The short answer is Will, Jessica, Avalon and Largo. Well, at least we were the original WorldTowners. However, over the years, WorldTowning has expanded beyond the four of us. It has become a global movement, a lifestyle choice, a world-changing community that spans six continents and continues to grow (someone get their butt to Antarctica please).
Broadening global understanding while bridging the people and cultures of the world.
A WorldTowner is someone who is living and changing the world through travel – one hometown at a time.
I’m a believer.
I believe that travel is one of the best ways to educate, inspire and break down barriers that only exist because we haven't been taught to think otherwise.
I believe that there is a story to be told in everything. The insane part is that until I picked up a camera, I wasn’t much of a storyteller. There is something about piecing together moving pictures, a heartfelt sentiment and an inspiring soundtrack that gets my creative juices flowing.
I believe that being part of a family is the most rewarding and fulfilling full-time job one can ever want to have. It is the job we can never disregard nor become too relaxed with. It can make us feel both alive and dismissed within a five-minute conversation. But, no matter what, we walk away knowing that if we do it the right way, with family first-we did our absolute best with the time we had.
I believe in chasing a dream. If our commitment and the passion are true, our measure of success comes from within. When we stop valuing what other people think, we finally become free, and our dream becomes reality.
I am a feeler.
I am a feeler who is thankful to have a partner who is a believer. I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) who has spent the last (almost) six years traveling the world with three other HSPs. I am sure you can imagine that it gets pretty crazy around here. There was a time in my life when I believed being an HSP was a negative aspect to my personality, but, in recent years, I have come to realize that it is the greatest gift given to me and my family. I feel all the feels, which pushes me to stay authentic and true to myself, while honoring our kiddos authenticity at the same time.
I love cheese. Did I mention that? I also love people. I can sit for hours in far off lands drinking tea and listening to someone’s life story. It is my air, and what keeps me growing and balanced. I am most comfortable when I am way out of my comfort zone, don’t understand the language and can’t recognize the food. I thrive on sharing these moments. My life's goal is to connect people through travel. How that plays out is constantly evolving for me, but I never give up my pursuit of the goal. I am a work in progress, dramatically flawed, too loud and sometimes inappropriate. Shall we blame this on the HSP, as well?
I love Will/Avalon/Largo, full-time travel and real estate in that order. You can figure out where cheese falls in that line up. When I was younger, I never envisioned myself married. Travel seemed like something I only did when I was 19 and living in London - before I grew up. Both finding a life partner like Will and traveling took me down a path I never imagined. Then, I had kids, and I completely fell off the straight and narrow path I was on. I cannot imagine life without them.
I am a reader.
I love reading, creating and doing literally anything but writing bio paragraphs. I’m a dog-person and constantly at odds with my traitorous cat-person brother. My favorite country is Japan, for the sole reason that I am a foodie and sushi is my lifeblood. I probably read too much, but don’t you dare ever imply that in my presence, or I will summon a vast army of literary villains to defend my honor. Anyway… I love having fun with friends, especially when we’re discussing books, movies or whatever else we’re obsessed with right now. The book that currently occupies the top spot on my list is a secret (unless otherwise proven), but I really like Skyward, The Lady Rogue and The Raven Boys. On the topic of movies, I live and breathe Marvel, Star Wars and anything heist-related! But, don’t ask my favorite Marvel movie unless you’re prepared to wait a thousand years while I attempt to decide.
I am going places.
I take flight lessons, and I’m twelve years old. My current job title is correspondent for the Asian News Network, RV News Network and the Camino News Network. I like Legos and the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. In my life, I’ve been to over 60 countries and six continents, I still need Australia. My favorite country is Denmark, because they make legos there. I love traveling. I hope you like traveling, too, because I’m going to be a pilot.
Once upon a time…we were a family who said to heck with “normal," the American Dream, the rat race, or whatever you want to call it. We called bullshit. Our life was overscheduled, overextended and frankly going by on fast-forward with limited truly present moments. We had careers we loved in Boston, an amazing school and community, a house and everything we aspired to have as Americans. But, it was just not enough. What we were lacking were deeper connections as a family and with the world-and the opportunity to create all the memories that go along with living life on our terms. One rainy day in October 2014, we boarded an airplane for a one-year adventure in Costa Rica. That was almost six years ago, and we are still at it.
We realized we only had nine summers out of 18 left with our eldest, and we were not living our biggest dream.
We can sit here today, almost six years later and tell you that jumping in was the best decision we have ever made. Frankly, it is right up there with breastfeeding and no tv-but that is a conversation for another time. The highs have been incredibly high and the lows debilitatingly low, but somewhere along the way (possibly in Nicaragua), we found us, WorldTowning the lifestyle. Changing the world, one hometown at a time.
When we set out on this journey, we had a vague roadmap of what we wanted the next decade to look like, but we were not quite sure how it would all play out. There were a lot of unknowns. Since then, we have lived for a year at a time in Costa Rica, Ecuador and the south of France. Then the kids wanted to take it to the next level. As a result, we bought a 21.5-foot RV and traveled to every country in Europe, plus Morocco and Turkey for 2.5 years. And, if all that was not enough, we decided to walk the Camino de Santiago for 44-days through northern Spain, which probably saved us during a very trying time. Currently, we are spending one month at a time in select Asian countries. There have been grand discoveries along the way, trauma has surfaced, our health has been challenged and so much more. But guess what? These things can happen anywhere. We are glad that when all seems at a loss, or when we feel like king/queen of the world we are experiencing life in front of an ever-changing backdrop learning about our family and about the true goodness of people all over the world.
When you remove yourself from all barriers and routines, the one thing you realize most is how much you don't know and how much more there is to learn.
The million-dollar question. Each time we accomplish a grand adventure it seems a new one gets added to the list and the ante has been upped. In no particular order, we want to: learn to sail and circumnavigate the world, explore the Middle East, Africa and more of South America, find our way to Antarctica, take another big hike, remodel a chateau in France and much more.
From a business standpoint our goal is to become the #1 family-run group travel company, specializing in deeper connections to off-the-beaten path experiences and intense engagement with locals. We have a couple other items up our sleeves, but you will have to wait for them to unfold.
We are just a (somewhat) normal family who decided to create a new “normal” before it was too late. You get one life to live, experience part of it with us.
A day that will go down in our family history. To commemorate it, we made it an official family holiday: Dream Day. To say our adjustment to the travel life was hard would be a gross understatement. It plain sucked, but the happy ending is that we survived and thrived. Each October 6th, we buy ice cream and as many crazy toppings as we can find wherever we are in the world. We create our “dream” sundae. It can be crazy, unrealistic, not "normal," whatever meets the individual's fancy. Then, we sit around and discuss our big, outlandish dreams for the next year and long term. We celebrate how far we have come and that, if we can do THIS, we can do anything. We encourage the kids to dream big and strive for what makes them happy, regardless of what society wants from them. We never want to forget what brought us to where we are today. It was a Rocky Road with sticky, melted marshmallows and topped with some very sour patch (kids). There were some rainbow sprinkles along the way, and we swear we saw a unicorn one day. You get the idea. We are proof it can be done. You don’t have to be in your 20s, rich or a brain surgeon. It just takes grit, and an “I will never give up” attitude. Steal this holiday, embrace it and celebrate big time. Share your sundae pics, and tag us on social media.
Celebrate the small and not so small accomplishments, but give yourself a reason to celebrate.