Why are we doing this?

We have a few reasons for wanting to embark on such a long trip, the main one being that we simply want to spend more time with our children while they are still young enough to enjoy being with us.

Children in the UK are the most academically assessed in the world.  In addition, we are encouraged to fill their spare time with tutoring, ballet, swimming lessons, tennis and brownies.  We would love to step off this treadmill for a while and enjoy simply being together.

Steve and I have a shared love of travelling, and it’s been something that we’ve talked fondly about returning to over the last few years.  Our memories of previous trips together have sustained us through the years of sleep deprivation and tantrums.  It seems obvious to us that, as our children grow older, we should share this love of travel with them. 

We also think that travelling with our children will change our experience in a positive way.  We will immediately have something in common with many of the people we meet, which will hopefully enable us to gain a deeper understanding of the countries we visit.

We think that extended travel (as opposed to short trips) will suit our parenting style.  We usually take things slowly on our outings around London and believe that children benefit from having plenty of downtime to rest and absorb the experiences they have had.  We don’t want to rush around, trying to ‘do’ a country in two weeks.

We are keen for our children to grow up understanding how lucky they are to live the lifestyle we do.  The experience of living out of a backpack and seeing how many people around the world cope with very few possessions should be an eye-opener for children who have a bedroom each and more toys than they know what to do with.

We hope that by exposing our children to some of the world’s most fascinating cultures and beautiful natural sites we will have a shared experience none of us will forget.

9 Responses to “Why are we doing this?”

  1. daniela 21/03/2009 at 9:19 am #

    Hi: great reasons to travel!
    Good on you.
    I live in Tasmania.
    If you need any goss on what’s great for kids here … drop me a line.


    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/03/2009 at 6:31 pm #

      Thanks, that’s really kind of you. I didn’t come across ootoya last time I visited Australia, but I’ll look out for it this time as we love Japanese food and eat it all the time in London. Our favourite cheapish chains are called Wagamama, which has mostly noodles and dumplings, and Yo Sushi, which does what it says on the tin! Best wishes

  2. daniela 22/03/2009 at 10:36 am #

    Hi again,
    Ootoya is in Japan.
    Happy travels,

  3. tamsin 04/06/2009 at 8:04 pm #

    what a great outlook to have on life.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 05/06/2009 at 5:26 pm #

      Thankyou. Once we made it through the fogginess of six years of sleep deprivation and baby stuff, we realized that we really missed the stuff that we used to do. It’s nice to think that we might be able to get a little of our old selves back and take the children along for the ride.

  4. Sarah Lavender Smith 30/10/2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Hi there — it’s so nice to discover your blog and a family with motivations similar to ours. You recently commented on my 11-year-old daughter’s blog, collyworld.com, in which she wrote an article about the pros and cons of long-term family travel. Thanks so much for reading and encouraging her blog. I hope you’ll check out our family blog, too, away-together.com and consider adding it to your blog roll. Good luck with your planning and departure! Sarah

  5. One World, 4 Girls 24/03/2012 at 1:52 am #

    I agree! My parents had the same feeling – we wanted to take time away from the rat race and spend time together as a family. So we are taking an 8 month trip around the world – similar to what you have done! We visited much of Europe (unfortunately we missed London – always have to leave something for other trips) and are now in SE Asia, traveling from Indonesia all the way up through Thailand, Cambodia and are now in Vietnam. China is next. It’s an amazing experience and I’m happy that you chose to do this with your children. Your kids will remember this trip for a long time!


  1. Origami, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Origin of Species « It's a small world after all - 17/12/2009

    […] So what is the point? And what can we do to prepare them for such a big change in their little lives? […]

  2. Round the world with kids…   West London Mum - 01/08/2012

    […] What inspired you or rather gave you the courage to set off? I was inspired I guess by a feeling that my children were growing up really quickly and I wanted to make sure I spend a decent amount of time with them.  I read lots of travel blogs, which gave me itchy feet.  I’ve always love travelling!  This explains more here  […]

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