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How did we get here?

Traveling with kids, are you nuts?

A map with a route plotted, a toy car, and a couple of passports
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Hello! ¡Hola! Bonjour! My name is Brian Douglass. I’m a husband, a father of 5, and a software engineer.

As parents of 5 kids (ages 11, 8, 6, 4, 1) my wife and I constantly get comments about “having our hands full” or having a “herd of kids”. While yes our hands are full, usually holding little hands, that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything.

We may get lots of looks as we travel around, but we enjoy our trips. And we enjoy our time with our kids. They are only young once!

But how did we get here? Where are we going? I intend to answer some of those questions.

Table of contents

Traveling is from the Heart

A map of the USA with heart pins in it
Image by Brian Douglass

We’ve always loved to travel. As a kid, my family took long car rides to Grandma’s house. And as a teenager my girlfriend (now wife!) and I flew down to Florida. Now with kids, we get to go to even more places.

We’ve gone on day trips, weekend trips, week-long trips, month-long trips. Why not make every day a travel day? We want to experience the wonders that are out there, see new sights, and experience new cultures.

Working from Home

A laptop on a desk
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But how can we afford to do that, especially with kids? (Trust me, paying for 7 tickets for places can be pricy!)

The trick is to not stop working. As a software engineer, all I need to work is a laptop and a decent internet connection. I work from home every day of the week. As we travel, I can still work and still have fun.

And no, you don’t have to have a degree in Computer Science to make this work. My entire company is remote. Including support staff, account managers, and salespeople. If you find the right opportunities, you don’t have to be tied to one location.

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    Homeschooling

    A purple and white desk
    Image by Brian Douglass

    Ok, so you work from home, but what about the kids and school? That’s where homeschooling comes in.

    It’s not as daunting of a task as it might seem. Or at least that’s the way my wife makes it look.

    With homeschooling, we take our books with us. But we don’t just rely on books, we also integrate schooling into our travels.

    The Alamo? History ✅
    The Grand Canyon? Geology ✅
    Yellowstone? Biology ✅

    Traveling in Style

    When we loaded up our minivan for an extended vacation, it was busting at the seams. With 7 out of 8 seats filled, that didn’t leave much room for luggage, even with a roof rack.

    So we bought ourselves a 12-passenger van.

    A black 12-passenger van
    Image by Brian Douglass

    It looks massive, but we’ll still fill it to capacity and then some!

    Selling our house

    A house with a for sale sign
    Image by Freepik

    At the time of writing this, we haven’t yet sold our house. We are still sorting through all of our stuff. We want to sell some stuff, give away some stuff, and trash some other stuff.

    We’ve held on to things too long. Or had good intentions when buying something. But when you don’t have a home anymore, it’s time to downsize.

    It has been a process to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. And that process is still ongoing. I may need to take several hard looks at my collection of books. Will I actually read some of these again?

    Where to next?

    Once we’ve gone through the process of selling our home we’ll be hitting the road. We plan to come back to visit family and friends about every 6 months or so. Our parents would get pretty upset if we missed Christmas.

    When we set out we’ll be staying in AirBnBs and other short-term rentals. You can usually get a discount if you stay for a month. And we’ll be counting on that to not break the bank completely.

    We’ve started building a list of places we want to go, things we want to do, and experiences we want to have. Why not follow us on our journey?

    Brian Douglass
    Written by Brian Douglass

    A father of 5, trip navigator, and computer programmer.

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