We Just Left Our Suburban Life To Travel In An Airstream

Follow a suburban families story of a year on the road in an Airstream through three Washington Post articles.

We just left our suburban life to travel in an Airstream trailer

There is something to be said for taking a risk, for leaving the known for the unknown, for getting (literally) out of your comfort zone, and for putting yourself (literally) out there.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to argue; there was nary a naysayer. People have been genuinely supportive. Friends, colleagues, neighbors, other traveling families we have connected with on social media, even the kids’ doctor, have all overwhelmed us with encouragement and praise. People seem excited for us, even if it’s not something they would ever do themselves (which of course they wouldn’t,it being crazy and all).

I’m excited too. And nervous. About change, and how the kids will adapt, and how the parenting and homeschooling and work/life/travel balance will all go. Most of all, I’m nervous about leaving the security and comforts of a three-and-a-half bath home with modern plumbing to live in a 200-sq.ft. tornado magnet with a 4:1 tenant-to-toilet ratio and a do-it-yourself septic system. Indeed, full-time travel with kids will bring lots of change and unique challenges. Bye-bye, Comfort Zone.


We Left The Suburbs to Live in an Airstream Trailer: One month update

1. We are happier. We gave up a lot of luxuries to live on top of each other in an extremely small space. A growth experience or a total disaster: it really could have gone either way. Despite a new study that shows too much time with parents could actually be detrimental to kids’ happiness, I think our family-immersion experience has been a win. Consider the small gains, like eating more meals together, reliving happy moments from the trip, and daydreaming about upcoming destinations.


2. We are learning stuff that really matters. We’ve crammed a lifetime’s worth of field trips into a single school year. …What’s more, the learning and development is 100 percent organic. Nothing about our road-schooling is forced or contrived, frozen, or made with artificial ingredients. We study astronomy in Dark Sky parks, learn about geology while hiking through slot canyons, and imagine history where it happened. Best of all, we (the parents) are right there learning with our boys. Nowadays we often discuss a moment in history or a natural wonder the way we would have talked about a movie or TV episode a year ago.


3. We got out of our parenting comfort zones. There is no place to stow life’s baggage in the trailer–no bedroom door to close, no rug under which to sweep a mess, and no closet large enough to hide one’s skeletons. In the life we put on hold to take this journey, the kids often saw a white-washed, social-media version of family dynamics. It wasn’t intentional, but I don’t think it helped them. I never thought about it until a friend recently shared a story. She noted that when her son failed at something he would become excessively angry. The pediatrician’s advice: he needs to see mom and dad make mistakes to learn how to react appropriately. Prepare a batch of cookies together, intentionally botch the recipe and model appropriate behavior, she advised, so he can learn resilience and self compassion.

Read the entire article at What other families can learn from this family’s year on the road


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