In this episode, Tsh talks with Stephanie Langford, who’s been traveling around the world with her family this past year! She caught up with her in Melbourne, Australia, their 30th and last country before heading back to Canada.

langfords with penguins

The kids seem to do just fine with their backpacks!

abbie langford

Tsh’s kids recently tried on everything from 18 to 40-liter to prep for their turn this fall. It was funny.

reed in a backpack

These are playsilks!











If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? And why do you think people are hesitant to travel with kids? 

Some resources they’ve used:

And this post summarizes why Stephanie and her clan (and later, Tsh and her clan) claim that there’s pretty much no better school in the world than, well, the world.

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20 comments on “Wildly Unconventional

  1. I’d head up north to go cross-country skiing.

    We’ve had a hard time traveling with our little guy. He doesn’t like changes in his routine, nor does he like to sleep in new places (Just too much to see!) We are getting the hang of camping, but its still rough. We are willing to ‘rough’ it (both senses!) because we think its worth it. At the same time, none of us enjoy having our routines and things we know change… it leaves each one of us feeling off balance and cranky. Both Hubby and I have lived in PRC (before we met each other), and so we know about the changes brought by international travel, and we aren’t too keen to bring that on right now with this particular little one. Might be because we’ve not done it, or that we don’t travel all that much (we are both home bodies!), but such is life right now.

    It is fun reading about other’s travels, though.

  2. This is SUCH a fun post! We are a homeschooling family as well and traveling and seeing the world is at the top of our list. Love that you are creating these lifelong memories for your family!

  3. This was my favorite episode ever…I can talk and listen about traveling for hours, too. (Please do more travel podcasts!) I can’t wait to read your book, Stephanie. I’d love to meet you sometime, too, you know in 6 months or so when you’re settled. :) We live in Blaine, WA right now but in a few months will be moving up to Surrey…in your neck of the woods.

    Traveling around the world is a huge dream of mine–to take our family traveling everywhere, but it’s a financial issue, not a kid-issue currently. We make travel, even on our measly budget, a yearly Requirement, two times if we can squeeze it.

    I actually love traveling with my kids. They are 5 and 6 1/2 and also love it. They rise to the occasion and totally soak it up, too. They will be happy to go camping in the middle of nowhere for a week and be totally off the grid, and just as happy going on old mansion tours and local museums. I think I’ve passed my wanderlust down to them already. I have a dream of someday doing multiple WWOOFs with them, too, so they can actually SEE how people live/work/play where ever we go. (
    I would love to go to Greece someday, it’s been on my top 5 list for years. Next year, whether we can *actually* swing it or not, is our 10 yr anniversary and we’ve been planning to go to Scotland. :)

    Sigh. Happy travel talk!
    Sarah M

  4. Brynn M Feb 20, 2014

    Awesome podcast. So encouraging to hear you two traveling/planning to travel with your kiddos/wee ones. Just out of curiosity, for these extended travels, how to go about budgeting ofr different countries and different economies? We have a 14 month old and at this point our trips are short, 2 weeks. We’re talking about doing an international trip, probably can push it to 3-4 weeks with our jobs, but definitely dream about taking a year to explore the world with our family in the future. We’ve been talking about Israel and just wondering did Stephanie do independent exploring or take part in a tour as a family there? Thanks for the resources.

  5. GAH!!! I want to do this (with my family of 6) so badly! This was such a fun post and podcast and I could’ve listened to her talk about her trip for a long time! I look forward to her books on the trip!
    It is my dream to be able to travel with my 4 kids all over the world…studying Roman history, let’s go to Rome…studying the Berlin Wall, Germany here we come…etc. There is SO much to learn by traveling (not just the history).
    Thanks for posting this!

  6. Ashley Feb 20, 2014

    Oh Japan… Yes it’s commonly said to be expensive, and in many ways it can be, but there are ways to travel a bit more cheaply! (I lived there for five years.) If any help to anyone else at all, here are a bunch of ideas I learned from five years in Japan and trying to travel without spending a lot of money: (Not my own site)

  7. Georgia Feb 21, 2014

    Thanks for a great podcast. I’ve really enjoyed your last few podcasts with some new (to me at least) people.

  8. This is so amazing. I am fascinated with the idea of family travel. I often forget that anything exists outside of my small city. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. So fun to hear about your travels, travel plans, and the mention of Kunming.

    Living in China, the language is hard, and the accents/dialects change so much and that compounds the difficultly. But there are so many beautiful places and things like the karsts in southern China you can’t see anywhere else.

    Hope your travels are all great, and stay away from stinky tofu definitely one of the worst smells here. :)

  10. Loved this podcast! I used to live overseas, and I’ve often tried to figure out how my love for travel fits into my life now with three kids under the age of 6. Thanks for the tiny glimpse into what’s possible with a lot of planning and saving!

  11. Loved this podcast!!! Can’t wait for her books :)

  12. When we lived in the Philippines for 6 months, I got the vast majority of books through my Nook from our library back home. I’d recommend seeing what you can get for the kids through that :)

  13. Maggie Feb 24, 2014

    I would love to hear more family international travel podcasts! This was wonderful!

  14. Oh, I absolutely love this. Thank you! As someone who is a little scared of traveling with my kids it gives me a lot to think on. And if I could go anywhere, I would really like to see Italy. But my heart says go back to Thailand!

  15. Leslie Feb 26, 2014

    I really loved this podcast. I had never thought of doing a big trip like this but after listening I’m really inspired. What a wonderful, unconventional education it would be for our 3 kids age 5-10. Are there any books you’d recommend for someone considering a big trip? Will definitely check out Stephanie’s when it comes out! We are a medical family- my husband is an MD. I’m wondering if there’s a way he could work (continue to earn income) while we travel. I think it would do him some good to practice medicine in other cultures for awhile!

  16. Great podcast with awesome information! We are a expat family living in Norway. We do a lot of travel but none of the trips have been longer that 2-3 weeks. I have a dream of an extended trip like this!

    Just an FYI- because we live in Norway and have avid readers, we found we were missing just going to the library for picture books in English for my 5 year old. We recently bought both of our kids Kindle Fires to combat this so that they could pick up and read books anytime. (We have an 8 year old reading chapter books too. We choose Fires for the graphics because he loves comic books.) Amazon has loads of Kindle picture books and our old library in Washington has lots of e-picture books for loan too. (Shhh….don’t tell them we are still using our library cards in Norway….)

    On the podcast, Stephanie suggested books on the iPad and actually, in retrospect, we probably could have waited for the Kindle for the 5 year old and just let her use the iPad. But I did want to mention that the books don’t have to be apps. You can just use the Kindle Reader app on the iPad and there are loads of actual picture books. (Even easy readers.)

  17. Breeanba Feb 28, 2014

    Loved this!!! I really hope you can keep podcasting on your trip Tsh!!!! I look forward to them and listen while I make dinner!!

  18. sylvia Mar 18, 2014

    This is amazing, travelling the world is a dream for so many people, and doing so with the whole family must make memories for a lifetime! I look forward to reading her book! We travel a lot, but take shorter tours and use airtravel a lot less. I don’t think travelling with your kids is unconventional. Being able to do so is a huge huge privelege!!!
    Just one thing: this is the art of simple podcast. I know everybody’s definition of simple is different, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the ecological impact of all those flights. The ecological footprint of a family using air travel for months is far from simple, that is massive!!
    But as I said I think this kind of travelling is fascinating, and I love hearing about it, so thanks for sharing!

  19. Caitlin Apr 3, 2014

    I have to agree with a previous commenter.. this was probably my favorite “Simple Mom/Art of Simple” podcast yet! I could listen over and over and still find it informative and entertaining. I’m not a mother yet, but just hearing this conversation makes me very interested in planning out a good chunk of travel time when I do have young children. I wish my own parents had planned such a trip and been as brave as both you, Stephanie, and you, Tsh, are!

    Keep up with the great podcasts. I truly love hearing your conversations with each different guest.

  20. Heather May 20, 2014

    I cant tell what she is calling the square toy that keeps her children busy??? I’m so interested…can you tell me what they are called?

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