How We Became A Full-time Travel Family

We’re officially a full-time travel family! Whaaaat?! It’s been a dream of mine since I was a study abroad student in London and fell in love with traveling. [A very long time ago.] While wanderlust is always swirling around in my heart, I wasn’t sure how/when/if we could actually make the jump with a school-aged child. We were happily in a suburban groove watching the years fly by. The decision to say Bon Voyage to our amazing neighborhood elementary school and awesome neighbors in San Luis Obispo, California did not come lightly. We had many family discussions before deciding to leave our little slice of paradise on the Central Coast. While we agonized over saying good-bye to our perfectly lovely life, the regret of not taking the trip and making memories would be even greater. So we had a family vote and one-by-one said YES to full-time traveling.

Dream it, Do it.

So here we are–currently working and world-schooling from a poolside cabana in South Carolina. Shouldn’t we be in the school pick-up line right now? It still feels like a dream.

Sometimes, like today, it hits me how lucky I am to be living this life. It feels like a dream to be traveling around the world with my family. I step back from the nuance of day-to-day travel planning and realize that we can go anywhere in the world. Decisions like ‘shall we go to Spain or New Zealand next?’ are dinnertime conversation. Mind blown. I think of how lucky I am to have lived my dream job as a swimwear designer and to have segued into my current dream job as a travel writer. [We are allowed to have more than one dream job, by the way.]

One Day to Day One

But then I remember none of this is luck. I remember so many mornings getting up at 4:00 a.m. to hustle, writing and pitching editors for hours before the sun (and my son) woke up. I remember how scary it was to sell 75% of our material things and leave our comfortable lives and had to dig-deep to find the courage to do so. I remember sleepless nights getting out of bed to research the best online school options for a full-time traveling second grader.

In the weeks before we left, I was packing boxes and flipped on the TV. It was a talk show host giving advice to someone who needed a little push in the right direction. He summed it up perfectly:

The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.

And that’s exactly how we got here, full-time traveling around the world. There are many unknowns we have to lean into as we step out of our comfort zone. So many times I walked one step forward toward a dream when fear was waiting for me to chicken out and stay put. But we didn’t chicken out. We dreamed and hustled and felt scared and did it anyway. And on a sunny Monday afternoon we said good-bye see ya later to our suburban paradise and turned one day into Day One as a full-time travel family.

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Kerry Cushman is a travel + style writer and fashion designer. She’s editor of Vagamom and a contributing travel writer for Red Tricycle and Matador Network. Her swimsuits have featured in VOGUE UK, InStyle, Marie Claire, Coastal Living and she’s been named E!’s ‘Most Wanted Fashionista’ and a Glamour ‘Do.’ Follow her full-time travels on Instagram.

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