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March

2018

Inside A Traveler’s Walls: Traveling Family Daniel and Jacqui New

INSIDE A TRAVELER'S WALLS

Here we go again! Inside A Traveler’s Walls is back with another amazing traveling family. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Four Packs Travel.

Lets start with the fact that they have been traveling for a year and a half with only a carry-on each. You all know we are driving our house around and although we have downsized from our previous three years of travel it still feels like a lot of stuff. I am dreaming of one bag travel today. How about you?

We were first introduced to this amazing family virtually. Avalon formed an online book club and Ollie (their son) joined it. It is rare that we get to meet IATW guests in person, but we all happened to be in Rome at the same time so a meet up was in order. They are just as interesting in person as they are in this post.

The great philosophers Metallica once said ”where I lay my head is home”.

There are so many good tips and messages about “living life,” but I think my favorite part is their future plans. They are truly committed to this WorldTowning life and soaking up time with their kids before they head off to university. But, they have also planned beyond that. A lifetime of travel is possible if you just have vision and a plan.

We planned and stressed and planned and stressed leading up to it, but when the big day finally came we felt fine. Often making a decision is the hardest part.

Ok, enough of my chatting, grab your coffee and get comfortable. It’s time to be inspired by this traveling family.

Traveling Family

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We’re a family of four – Dan, Jacqui, Ollie and Milla – and we’ve been traveling full time by plane, train, and bus for a year and a half with just a carry on backpack each. We’re originally from Melbourne, Australia.

Dan is the planner when it comes to traveling and likes to spend hours gazing at maps with a million tabs open in Chrome, dreaming up new adventures and places to visit. He loves the feeling of freedom that comes with carrying all he owns in a backpack and being on the move.

The only thing he dislikes about traveling is the often mediocre kitchens in Airbnbs, and not having all the herbs and spices he’d like as he loves to cook!

Jacqui keeps the rest of the family in check, and works on getting our travel blog going, and helping the kids with school and learning. She enjoys the minimalist lifestyle we lead although she sometimes would like just a little more room in her bag!

She loves to read and learn, and to try the local cuisine wherever we are – especially if it’s noodles!

Ollie is twelve and a half, and never happier than when he has a good (e)book in his hands. He’s funny and caring, sometimes a little shy until he warms up, and is extremely empathetic. He’s very adventurous, will eat just about anything, and jumps at every opportunity to do any adventure activities we come across.

He likes to play computer games, and misses his guitar from home – but guitar aside he’s completely at home on the road and would happily keep traveling forever.

Milla is about to turn ten, and she loves to sing, dance, and create. She can often be found with a pad and pencils drawing what she sees around her, and she’s taking after her brother and reading more and more lately.

She can be a little bossy sometimes but mostly she brings fun and energy into our family wherever we are! Of all of us she’s felt the most homesick, but only from time to time, and less and less the longer we’ve been gone.

Where are you in the world and what are you living in?

We’re currently in Oslo, Norway, staying in an Airbnb.

We’ve been to 38 countries since we left, and we stay mostly in AirBnb’s with a kitchen and washing machine, or hostels where we love to meet other travelers and have more of sense of community.

We’ve also spent countless nights on buses, trains, planes and ferries!

Why did you choose to live in your current arrangement?

For a long time we were doing the normal thing by default – working, buying and filling our home with ‘stuff’, and saving to buy a house in Melbourne’s incredibly expensive housing market.

We’ve always loved travelling but didn’t have much time for it with our busy work schedules.

A few years ago we realised that what we were doing wasn’t making us happy, and started to explore whether there were other options. We started to become increasingly minimalist and found that the more clutter we cut out of our lives – both physical and otherwise – the better we felt.

Around this time we felt that Melbourne was in the midst of a property bubble and decided that we didn’t want to buy at what felt like unrealistic prices. We were also both at points in our careers where we needed a change, and by then we’d cut out many of our physical belongings and were feeling great about it.

It all created a ‘perfect storm’ where we decided to sell our cars and rest of our belongings, quit our jobs and take off while the kids were still with us, and we could travel as a family and discover the world together.

It’s been the best move we’ve ever made!

What do you do to personalize your unique (less traditional) living situation?

Traveling carry on limits what we can take with us.

We have a small Bluetooth speaker that always finds a place somewhere wherever we stay. We all take turns connecting to it and playing the music we love.

Whenever we stay somewhere for longer, we usually end up with some artwork from the kids dotted around the place. It’s lovely to have it there, and when we move on they’re happy to say goodbye to it.

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Tell us your favorite and least favorite room in your space and why?

This varies greatly depending on the individual place, but often the bedrooms are our least favourite due to uncomfortable beds, or perhaps the kitchen if it’s missing essentials and therefore difficult or occasionally impossible to cook.

Our favourite room will generally be any common area where we can come together and do things as a family, or simply do our own thing in the same space.

What is the biggest misconception you had about your current living situation before you started living in it?

Perhaps the biggest misconception we had about our lifestyle is that we thought we would meet more families along the way. We’ve made some amazing friends and met people in different countries all over the world, but sometimes we’ll go for months without coinciding with other travelling families or making friends with locals.

However that is largely our fault as we’ve been travelling very quickly – taking out years of pent-up travelling urges from when we were at home working and wanted to be travelling!

Spending longer in one community would almost certainly help, as would visiting more hubs of travelling families such as Bali, Mexico and Southern Spain.

What is the one household item you carry with you every time you move or the one item you cannot live without?

Our e-readers, without question! We all love reading, and while we do love the feel and smell of a real book, the amazing ability to carry thousands of books with us, and have a side light on the screen is incredible and makes our carry on lifestyle much more doable!

What do you miss most about permanent, stationary, traditional living?

A kitchen with a good sharp knife, decent equipment, and more than anything a drawer full of herbs and spices!

The kids miss having family and friends around.

What is the one item your children carry with them to make their unique (less traditional) home more comfortable?

Milla has art supplies and a soft toy and is able to create a little happy, creative space wherever we are.

Ollie is more of a pragmatist and is perfectly happy with a few clothes, his laptop, and his e-reader!

Do you have a pet joining you in this journey? If so, has this been complicated? Any advice?

No – we all love animals but it’s not possible with what we’re doing.

traveling family

traveling family

traveling family

traveling family

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What is your best resource to find items you need for your place?

When you carry all you own in a small backpack, you are forced to make very conscious choices, and to think carefully about what you truly need.

Over the last year and half we’ve all refined our belongings, and therefore don’t usually need anything else!

When we do we usually wait until we’re in one place for a while, and order it on Amazon.

If you could only have one of the following in your home which one would it be and why?

Above average internet! Common in Europe but often a distant dream in Asia…

If you were to compare your unique (less traditional) home decorating style to a kitchen appliance or gadget what would it be and why?

A swiss army knife – compact, but versatile!

How do you keep traditions alive for your family in your unique living situation?

We’ve celebrated one Christmas in India (which didn’t feel very Christmassy at all) and one in Bulgaria which was much more like it! In each case though we were lucky to have family who had come to visit us from Australia, and we ate and drank and caught up, and had a wonderful time.

We make sure to go out somewhere memorable for birthdays and have fond memories of them in Thailand, Morocco, London, Greece.

How do you decorate for the holidays in your unique (less traditional) home or do you skip it all together?

The kids, especially Milla, will make Christmas decorations out of anything at hand, and we do our best!

What is your favorite part about this lifestyle choice?

Oh, I could go on forever – the people, the food, the sights…

I think ultimately it’s seeing the kids horizons expand with each new place, culture and language they’re exposed to. It’s wonderful to see them playing with kids all around the world despite often not sharing a language or culture.

It’s a common quote, but I think Mark Twain summed it up beautifully when he wrote “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”.

Many traveling families subscribe to the “house is not a home” theory. What is home to you?

The great philosophers Metallica once said ”where I lay my head is home”.

We have to hold to that theory as we’d otherwise be homeless!

However it’s definitely fair to say that we consider the world outside our temporary walls to be what our lifestyle is about.

What makes you love the place you live?

Last week? Being able to walk out onto a frozen lake and watch the Aurora Borealis dance overhead. Next week? We’re looking forward to getting reacquainted with street food in Bangkok (they don’t make Thai Green Curries the same anywhere else!)

Being on the move means we are always experiencing new things. It’s usually easy to find something we love about each place we end up in!

Can home be a person, or an idea?

I think so. We’ve stayed on boats, in beautiful Airbnbs, and in somewhat questionable guesthouses in India and we’ve always felt at home as long as we’re together.

Words of wisdom to anyone considering venturing out into the world of unique, less traditional homes?

A less traditional home will usually also mean less ‘stuff’. We think you’ll be much happier if you adjust your philosophy to, and relationship with material things before you make the move.

Otherwise, the only thing we would say is to do it! Life is way to short for regrets and what ifs…

Anything else you would like offer?

It’s normal to be nervous, or unsure, when making a big decision especially when it’s moving away from ‘the norm’.

We planned and stressed and planned and stressed leading up to it, but when the big day finally came we felt fine. Often making a decision is the hardest part.

As soon as we had left, we wondered what we had been so worried about!

What is next for you? Will you continue to live in your current home or try something different?

At this stage we’re planning to go back to Melbourne in another two years or so, as we need to refill the kitty. The kids will finish high school there, and we’ll work and save!

After that, the kids plan on going to university in France.

We have grand plans and daydreams involving motorbike trips across Central Asia, overland travel in Africa, and finally buying a sailboat and eventually circumnavigating.

There will always be room on our boat, or a pillion seat on our bikes, for the kids!

How do you educate your children?

We’ve tried a lot – unschooling, classical, project based and a mix of all the above and more.

As we’ve recently made the decision to go back to normal school in a couple of years we’ve enrolled them in our states online school following the standard curriculum so they’ll have an easier transition.

How do you make a living?

We had our savings, and made a bunch more money by selling our cars and the rest of our possessions before we left so we knew we were ok for a couple of years if we stuck to a fairly low budget.

Additionally, Jacqui was paid commissions from her prior job for the first year of our travels which covered most of our costs.

We’ve been working on setting up a travel blog – it’s just about to finally launch! – which we might eventually derive some income from.

Travelling so fast has made things difficult for us; we’d have done better to slow down earlier and focus on getting the blog up and running way earlier.

We’re also setting up some niche sites – we hope to derive some income from those to slow down the rate at which we chip into our savings.

Contact

Website

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Facebook

Who is ready to jump on that motorbike trip or maybe join a WorldTowning sailing community? Thank you New traveling family for sharing all of your experiences, dreams and your amazing journey. The world needs more people like you! Until we meet again in some far off land.

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Go adventure,
Jessica

Inside A Traveler’s Walls is where we feature families living in less traditional and unique homes (tents, boats, camper vans, yurts, flats, etc). If you think you might be one of those families and are interested in being profiled, please contact us for details.

 

COMMENTS (2)

2 thoughts on “Inside A Traveler’s Walls: Traveling Family Daniel and Jacqui New

  1. The photography here is spectacular! I can’t wait for Dan to get into some videography too! It would be a great asset when building the Travel blog and Youtube channel. Good luck guys. Can’t wait to see where you go after Bangkok.

    1. I agree, their shots are fabulous!!! And they are a super cool family. I can’t wait for their blog and vlog as well. Thanks for commenting on WorldTowning.

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