Island Parent Submission #2: Trip around the world: getting into the nitty gritty

travel

This is being submitted to Island Parent for publishing.


Last time I wrote, I let you peek inside the realm of what it takes to go on a trip around the world. I’m going to break down some of the bigger topics like money, world schooling and what to do with your home.

Money

How much money does one actually need to travel the world? My husband, Luc, created a spreadsheet that had the daily cost to budget when travelling to different countries. Estimate how long you will be in each country and multiply that by the daily cost and that will give you an estimate. Lonely Planet is a great resource to find out how much the daily costs are in certain countries.

Slow travel is something to look into. Not only is it cheaper, it also integrates you more into the daily life and culture of a country. You no longer are visiting somewhere, you’re living in it.

Airplanes/trains/boats are expensive! Look for credit cards that give you cash back, or where you can redeem points for travel. We got a credit card that had a big signing bonus of points and we were able to travel from Victoria and New York for a family of 4 for approx $75 (one way).

Look for places you can stay for cheap or free. We’re staying in a studio apartment that Luc’s dad owns in the South of France. We also will be living with them for 4 months in Switzerland (big savings!). You can’t go wrong with Airbnb either.

Sell your stuff. Start as soon as you commit to travelling. All that money adds up!

Schooling

I was surprised when we talked to our principal of Violette’s elementary school how easy it is to pull your child from our school district. I believe Violette will be transferrer to SIDES (South Island Distance Education School) while she is away so we can take advantage of any long distance resources we might need.

I am definitely not an expert by any means on world schooling and there are many different terms when it comes to this: unschooling, home schooling, world schooling… the list goes on. I don’t believe there is a strict way we will be doing this. I also believe that it really depends on the age of your kids too. It’s quite different if your child is in grade 2 versus grade 10.

How we will be doing it is going to be a combination. We will teach a lot by doing, interests, visiting museums, asking lots of questions, using our 5 senses, learning in the moment and observing different environments. I’m looking forward to opportunities to learn about nature, different money, patterns, reading, being curious and finding the answers. We will look into khanacademy.org, SIDES distance learning and the BC curriculum to support us. We will bring electronic books and try to find libraries where we can.

The world will be our classroom to learn!

Your home

What to do with your home? If you rent, consider ending the tenancy or subletting if that’s allowed. If you own, now comes the big decision of what to do. Do you sell or keep? If you keep it, do you rent it out? Who looks after the property. I’m not going to lie, this part of the puzzle has been the most challenging for us. We have changed our minds so much on this, I actually thought that we weren’t going to go because this part was just to hard to figure out.

We decided to rent out our house and we’ve enlisted one of our friends to “property manage” the place while we’re away. Currently, we’re getting the place ready fixing, cleaning, packing. If you can believe it, our ceiling and hot water tank both decided to start leaking in the same week. When it rains it pours. Luc continues to remind me that it’s better it’s happening now. Yes, and we still have so much to do!

We have also chosen to rent the suite fully furnished so that we don’t have to store our big belongings. This works for us.

This entire process has been a journey of learning, creating, being open to other opinions and ideas.

If you have a passion to travel and you have kids, a job, a house and feel like there’s no way you could even consider a trip around the world until you retire, I’m here to say, you can do it. All that’s stopping you is just the logistics of how to make it happen. It’s all possible – I promise.

Please follow and like us:

Island Parent Submission: #1: Trip around the world

Journey

This is being submitted to Island Parent for publishing.


My family and I are going on a trip around the world. It sounds so crazy to say that. It’s like a dream come true.

We’ve had the idea about 5 years ago, and we’ve been planning it for about 2 years. We are now 4 months away from leaving. It’s getting real.

I have a 7 year old daughter, Violette who is in French Immersion. My husband is from France/Switzerland. I also have an 18 year old daughter who is on the other side of the country going to university. My husband and I both have full time jobs which we’re taking 1 year leave of absences from.

Violette, who is Canadian/Swiss, will go to school in Switzerland for 5 months at a French speaking school and then we will world school her after that (I’d be lying if I said I know what I’m doing).

I will walk the 800km Camino de Santiago in Spain at the end of August. It will take approximately 40 days. A journey within a journey.

The voyage hasn’t even started and yet it has in so many ways… it’s a journey of the heart and soul, a journey to seeing what is outside your comfort zone, a journey in relationship with my family, friends and work. A journey to entrepreneurship as I started my own business as a life coach to support our travels while we experience the world.

I’ve been asked a lot about a few key pieces of the prep and the trip. I’ve shared them here in priority of what comes up most.

  • Budgeting: How much money does one need on a trip like this? We created a budget to save money and another budget for while we’re on the road to know how much money you anticipate spending. This enabled us to know where we could scrimp and save prior to leaving. And then how we can ensure we stretch our dollars/euro/francs/etc… the furthest.
  • Our home: Are we going to rent it out or sell it? We will be renting it out. Currently we’re getting it ready to post and find our perfect renters. We have spent days working on the house, fixing, cleaning, repairing.
  • Our child: What are we going do for schooling? We are pulling Violette out of grade 2. This is quite easy in our school district. We spoke with the principal and she has given us lots of ideas and resources. We hope Violette will be a pen pal to her friends at school for her to practice her writing and keep those important connections and relationships.
  • Our jobs: What are we doing with our jobs? We’re taking a 1 year leave of absence. Something for you to consider is: could you quit your job or find a location independent job? Could you work remotely? There are a lot of websites out there now that support location independent lifestyles. While on the road I will continue to life coach and Luc is going to be looking for jobs along the way. He’s also starting up his own YouTube channel soon with Violette. They will be father/daughter cooking around the world.
  • The itinerary: Where do you want to go? Think cheap to start… Thailand or Vietnam. Could you stay with friends or family in distant countries? Also consider slow travel to make the money go further. We will be spending about half our time in European countries and then heading over to South East Asia, Indonesia and Australia.
  • Our friends and family: When did we tell them? We started telling people about a year ago. This helps to socialize it early for people to get used to you leaving. Also, throw a big going away party for them before you go.
  • Many many extra things to think about: Visas, what to pack (you’re going to be gone for 4 seasons and only one backpack? This makes my head spin), mail, travel insurance, vaccinations, passports, automating monthly payments, cancelling your cell phone and all businesses that know that number, and so much more.

It’s a lot of work and a lot to think about, and it’s all worth it. Sometimes it feels like the preparation is never going to end but before we know it, we will be leaving on a jet plane in July.

Please follow and like us:

Gratitude

Youre going to Paris

This post is hard to write. Mostly because I’m afraid of what you’re going to think. I think you’re going to think that I’m bragging or wanting everyone to know how great my life is.

That’s not it at all. I think what I want you to know is that it’s just hit me, that I do have an incredible life. I’ve known it all along, but the lightbulb went off and has shifted my entire perspective. Entirely.

I’m so so so so grateful for this incredible life I have. What really hit home was something that happened yesterday. I woke up and there was an email in my inbox that read:

Youre going to Paris

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. My dream is coming true. We’re making it happen. How incredibly lucky I am to have such an amazing life to see this message in my inbox. How grateful I am for the chance to see this city and so many others. How fortunate I am to be here in this moment and have everything that I have.

So while I’m sharing, I’ll share that we have plane tickets now for Nice, France and Biarritz, Spain. Biarritz is the start of the Camino de Santiago which also means I’M DOING THE CAMINO. No shit, no kidding now. I might be alone, I might be with others; regardless, it’s happening.

I spent the rest of yesterday (and will carry this forward now as a practice) being so immensely grateful for what I have. I had an opportunity to thank the postman so I acknowledged him. I said hi to every single person I walked past yesterday. I was fortunate enough to go on a date night (which Luc scheduled – so grateful for that) and there was live music so I thanked the musician and gave him some money. The woman who served me, Carmen, was so wonderful and spent so much time chatting with us and joking.Jesse (who I’ve met once) called me and he wants to workout with me to support me with my health and fitness goals. I coached yesterday with my AMAZING coach Maria who I am over the moon with gratitude for her beautiful soul and the contribution she is for me and my life.

My heart is wide open with the gratitude and love that I have for everyone in my life and all that I have.

So while I don’t want you to know how amazing a life I have because I’m afraid you’ll judge me – I also need to say it – mostly for myself. I’m excited for what I’m creating and I’m so incredibly grateful for what I have and every single person in my life.

Please follow and like us:

261 days

Switzerland: Les Dents du Midi

Since Jaedyn graduated I’ve been counting down the lasts… last band performance, last musical, last award ceremony, last day of school… I cried my way through most of these events.

Now: we’re coming home after our trip (or so we think) but I can’t help but think of what we won’t be doing next year. We won’t be having the halloween party at the Fairbanks. We won’t be celebrating Luc’s birthday at our neighbours house and then trick or treating with our friends while Luc steals birthday candy tax from V. It goes on and one. We won’t be having Christmas with my family next year. We won’t be celebrating V’s birthday at home. When V get’s to the end of school, we’re saying good bye to her friends for a whole year.

It actually starts to become a bit overwhelming emotionally for me. Those of you who know me know I wear my heart on my sleeve and I don’t hold back on the feeling machine.

It’s such bittersweetness: so much joy, exploration, wonder to be had. Yet everything we have to say goodbye to (Sanja I got the feels you’re having right now and I’m still 261 days away from leaving!) will be hard. Not being with my parents, my beautiful Jaedyn, my besties, my friends, our neighbours, collegues… yikes.

I cling to people coming to visit us when we’re on our travels (pleeeeeeease come). I envision Skyping with friends to keep in touch. V will write postcards to her friends to practice her writing and spelling (this is homeschooling right?). I know what Christmas in Switzerland is like and it’s the stuff of dreams (except when you light real candles on a real tree – that’s TERRIFYING. My mother-in-law caught on fire just a little bit last time is all I’ll say). I can’t wait to get out there into the world and walk walk walk and meet so many people on the Camino. I think the thing I’m looking most forward to is the people. Meeting, talking and connecting with people. Getting to know where their journeys will take them both physically and spiritually. The landscapes. Watching my daughter experience so much diversity. Experiencing my marriage with Luc grow and expand.

I feel better now reminding myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. Connecting back to what my dream is. I was stuck a bit in the sadness of leaving home. I get FOMO (fear of missing out) like crazy. So when I think of missing out on an epic camping trip with friends or watching V and our neighbours kids play in our backyard or the snow, I think of what we will be missing. It’s helpful to remind myself of also what I will be creating.

Switzerland: Les Dents du Midi

Please follow and like us:

Showing up as “hard”

Money in - money out = money left over.

Yesterday I spoke with an amazing woman. While I was busting up my filter around moola, she said to me “I assert that you think it has to be hard to be free from worrying about money.” She also said “you don’t have to take a whole bunch of time to get this, you can get this now, and start living your life differently now”.

Huh. Like right now?

Yep.

I was told once that people would rather talk about their sex life than talk about their money situations and money full stop.

So I choose now for money to be easy. For it not to be a “thing”. For it not to run my life. It’s really simple and flat and not give a shit.

She said “imagine what you and Luc could do when you’re travelling around the world if money wasn’t something that you had to think, worry, stress, fill in the blank about at all.” If I’m being honest, that’s really hard. I told her, I started this program and my coaching practice in order to make money while travelling.

I started out wanting this to be a back up money making business while I travel to subsidize my travelling costs. I can work and travel and this is the job that would do it.

But now I’m in a different place. I’ve actually found a job I ADORE. I’m excited to meet so many different people from around the world who will share their humanity, stories, dreams and goals with me. Who I will without a doubt make a difference in their lives and the lives around them. That’s what I’m excited about. It actually has nothing to do with the money anymore.

I choose a life free from the constraint of money. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be irresponsible with my money. I’m not going on a spending spree. I am shedding the story that I have that I need save for some date in the future. What? Retirement? Life is now.

I bought flowers the other day for myself (and my family but really more for myself). Something I don’t do ever because flowers are frivolous and they die and it’s a waste of money. Well, I did it because I wanted them and I wanted to give myself something beautiful.

It doesn’t have to be hard. It is easy. I chose to be free from my money story now.

Please follow and like us:

OnFocus Journey

Footprints

Today I share a piece of unperfected writing that I will submit to Island Parent for consideration for a monthly submission for the next 20 months. I’ve never considered myself a writer, hence never thought myself good enough. It’s with fear of failure, trepidation, and feelings of not good enough that I write this – and will submit it anyway. Please share any feedback you have to make this article great. The idea is to have a monthly article posted in Island Parent of the journey our family is taking both from a worldly standpoint and from a inside-out perspective.


My phone bings. I look at it. It’s Trello being updated by my husband. Ahh the sweet sound of our 5 year-in-the-making, 1 year trip around the world coming closer to a reality. (Trello is a sudo project management app that is helping to keep our unquestionably complicated journey in check.)

5 years ago, after living 5 months in Switzerland while I was on maternity leave, Luc (my Dear Hubby) and I decided that we would come back there on a more permanent basis after our eldest daughter graduated high school. 2 years ago, that idea turned into a trip throughout our world. And now we’re 9 months away from leaving.

A lot has happened in that time, I became a personal life coach, we have both approved leaves from our jobs, and our dreams of where we want to explore have grown and expanded. We are discovering what it means to “slow-travel”. AND it all hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows – oh no! I remember wondering what are we going to do with our house (still a bit of a question mark to be honest). There was one particular planning session with Luc that went wildly sideways (I might have said “forget it let’s abandon this trip altogether” – not a shining moment). Our daughter graduated and then left for 4 years of university across the country to follow her dream (yep we’re going without her). And the thought of homeschooling our soon to be 7 year old sends me running as fast as I can to the interwebs.

While I explored my dreams and goals with my coach, I knew that the only thing between me and my dream was me. It’s all possible. It’s also completely outside of my comfort zone. That little voice in my head tells me still “oh this is going to be a lot of work. Why would you want to do this HARD thing. It’s going to be scary out there. Just stay right here where it’s super warm, cozy and you already know how it’s going to go.” Got it. Thanks. And I’m going to chose something different and something unknown.

One of the first things that people say to me when I tell them we’re going on a 1 year holiday “I would too if I won the lottery”. Know this: you 100% don’t need to win the lottery. There is a crazy big community of families that have been living for years on the road. Giving up their jobs and making money while travelling. There are resources out there that can make travelling cheaper (house sitting, buying plane tickets with points, and budgeting to name a few). Coaching can also help to dissolve your relationship to money – it’s definitely helping me.

What I will provide over the next 20 months: many many resources to help families like us, see that this can be a reality. Inspiration to people to live the life that they dream. Courage to show that it can be done. Reality of what life actually throws at you and the humour that surrounds it. The journey that we as parents are on in this world and in our lives.

Our itinerary so far: New York, France, Switzerland (where our home base will be for 5 months and our youngest will go to school in French), I will walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Bali, Australia and Fiji.

My journey to get me to where I am right now has been one of self love, self reflection, giving up suffering, control, right and wrong, tapping into who I am, humanity, time and money. I have by no means perfected any of this, it’s a work in progress and I will be working on this until I die I’m sure of it.

This has and will be a journey. I look forward to the journey with you.


Robin Howe is a mother to two beautiful smart daughters (18 and 7), wife, public servant and a personal life coach exploring what it means to be human and what this great big world has to offer. Follow her journey at OnFocusCoaching.ca

Please follow and like us:

Around the world

The world

I have finally released the info that I’ve been holding for over a year now: Luc, Violette and I are going on a 1 year leave of absence from our government jobs and travelling the world. I can finally be authentic in my speaking and sharing. There is so much freedom and excitement in that.

So what does this mean? Well, I can speak about my coaching business in relation to my travelling the world. The reason I started my coaching practice was to create more financial abundance while we travel. (Instead of spending all our money without an income coming in.)

Looking at how I relate to money about this trip and in life is my next blog post.

The work of a life coach is: partnering with your client to help to create and manifest their project, goals, desires and dreams. Travelling for a year with my family is also a dream of mine. Who would I be to not live my truth? How could I be a life coach if I also wasn’t living my dream?

I get it. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s waaaaaaaay outside your comfort zone to live and breathe your dreams. Every day I’m getting closer to my dream, seeing what it’s going to take to get us there, constantly moving through comfort to uncomfortable. And I have no doubt that it’s going to be so amazing, so back to my being, so soul filling, so much adventure, growth, peace, angst, love, desire.

So where are we going? Well it seems to change daily (thanks hubby for helping make it impossible for me to plan :P) Here’s what we have chosen so far:

  • Leave mid-July 2018
  • Fly with one way point tickets to New York
  • Get cheap flight from New York to Switzerland (CH)/France (undetermined where exactly currently)
  • Try to be in CH for Aug 1 (national holiday)
  • Cote d’Azure to visit family in Aug
  • Violette starts school in CH mid-August
  • Robin leaves for Camino de Santiago beginning of September
  • Luc meets Robin for last 100 km.
  • 2 weeks of holidays for Violette Oct (Germany/Italy)
  • Leave for Sri Lanka/Maldives first week of January
  • Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (not in that order)
  • Phillipines, Bali
  • west coast of Australia, great barrier reef
  • Fiji
  • Home July 2019.

Now we prepare to leave. UPDATE: We just bought our first one way tickets! We’ve bought our backpacks, getting the house ready to convert our level to an Airbnb, finding someone to look after our rentals, passports are in the works (France), renewing other various ID, researched vaccinations (thanks Kim!), worked out a budget, where we need to get visas, and started a fabulous TRELLO board (well many actually) to keep track of the project. So much more to go. I can’t wait.

The world

Please follow and like us: