Can you slow travel the world without losing your family?
The short answer is yes. You can travel the world without compromising meaningful relationships with your family. Let me tell you how.
In this Internet-connected world, you can slow travel the world without losing your family. We can be closer to someone across the world from us than someone sleeping under the same roof as us. Let me explain.
This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube Channel for Vagabond Buddha. We teach people how to retire cheap internationally for less than home, and, how to slow travel the world for months and months for really cheap.
But today I will teach you how you can slow travel the world without losing your family and friends.
Bryce’s message, their anti groundhog day web page, and my written response have links provided. Click “More Information” below this video to get to our webpage where all the links I discuss herein are provided to you.
Before answering these questions, I want to point out that “traveling the world from a foreign base” was my initial dream. Here are the paragraph and videos from that day (links provided).
After traveling the world for over a decade, I realized that I could retire early on about $1500 per month in several foreign countries. I could have a better life in many places for about half of what it would require to retire in the USA. That meant that I could retire early in a cheap foreign paradise or slow travel through multiple cheap foreign paradise locations for 9 months of the year.
That meant I could save money 9 months of the year. That would allow me to visit more expensive places the other 3 months of the year. You can watch that video to get the full ideas (link provided) but let us see how that concept helps me answer Bryce’s questions.
Bryce has four questions directly related to this concept–Can you slow travel the world without losing your family–I will bring that out as I answer these four questions.
If I go full-time nomadic life how will I keep meaningful relationships with the people I love back home?
Group Zoom Calls (free): You could integrate your family into your full-time nomadic life. I will use myself as an example. My sisters and I have a group call every other Sunday or so with my mother. One sister lives in the UK and two other sisters live near my mother. Zoom calls let you see everyone present in each residence. You can wave, sing, tell jokes, update each other, or just be plain goofy.
Personal Calls (free, Skype, Whatsapp): In addition to group calls, you can call individuals and stay in touch. Tell them you love them and tell them what you are up to.
Annual Visits: At least once a year, I fly back to visit my mother for a few weeks. If it wasn’t for the coronavirus, I would be flying back to the USA next week to spend a few weeks at my mom’s house. Two of my sisters live nearby my mom so I get to see them also when I visit mom.
Proximate Foreign Base: If you are a full-time nomad like me, you may not want a foreign base. But if you are like most people, you will want to spend at least 3 to 6 months of the year in one place. To save expenses flying back to see family in the USA, Europe, Canada, or wherever you should pick a cheap foreign base that is close to your family. For example, if your family is in the Eastern USA or Canada, you could set a base up Merida, Campeche, or Tulum Mexico; or Coimbra or Porto Portugal. If you are in the Western USA or Canada, you could set up your base in Puerta Vallarta, Merida, Guanajuato, or Queretaro Mexico. This proximity would allow you to fly home in an emergency for much cheaper. The proximity will also allow your family to come to see you in a cool paradise location that they might never have seen had you stayed home.
Proof of Love: Your family will feel loved if you show them consistency with your communications. My little sister lives in Scotland and my mother lives in California. If you asked my mother, I’ll bet she talks as much or more with my little sister than she does with me or my other two sisters. If you stay that connected your family will feel the same way too.
Cool Factor: Once you are living internationally, your family may also attach a cool factor to your identity. I remember when my sister moved to London 20 years ago. That was before I started living internationally. The first thing my mother always talked about was where my sister had visited last. “She flew to Rome for a $99 round trip last weekend.” That coolness will more than make up for your physical absence if you remain present communicating with people on voice and video calls.
Do you feel obligated to be closer to aging parents or do you have family that can stay and take care of them?
If it gets to the point where my mother can’t take care of herself that will become an issue. Luckily she has long term care insurance that will pay for much of her living expenses but you never know if she will want to move into a place like that when the time comes. If that day arrives, I would talk it over with my mother and three sisters and we will figure that out. For example, if I needed to be in the USA 3 months of the year to share my “mother watch” responsibility with my 3 sisters, then that is what I would do. Luckily, she is still mobile and lives in her own home with the same best friend and roommate she has had for 35 years. She likes her privacy and life and is happy with the 2 weeks per year I visit her in person and the electronic contacts we have for the rest of the year. One day at a time.
I have a fear of missing out on whether I stay and miss the world or whether I go and miss the daily in-person contact with family?
I suggest you start with a trial run. Do a three to six-month test trip. Stay in contact on Skype, Zoom, and Facebook. Continue to let them know they matter. Share the world with them, as individuals, and as a group. You may find that the excitement of having someone they love out in the world and seeing the world through your eyes, is just as fulfilling to both you and them as having you sitting on the couch next to them. The world is changing fast. Your nieces and nephews will probably leave town when they are employment age anyway. By teaching everyone about the world, you may end up like my family. Spread all over the world but closer than most families that live in the same town. But you will have to be the one to make the effort.
After a test run, when you get back, people just may say … “Where are you going next?” Connections are no longer limited by physical proximity. If nothing else, that is what the coronavirus has taught us. We can be closer to someone across the world than someone sleeping in the bedroom next to us.
Have you considered Van life in this or another country?
Yes. I have thought about it. I figured I would live outside the USA until my eighties or so. Then I would move back to the USA and travel around the country seeing all the national parks. Not sure if it would be a van or a third wheel trailer or what. I like to cook so it would need a kitchen, gas stove and refrigerator. It would definitely not be one of those fancy executive homes on wheels. Just the basics. I think there might be a Harley involved too if I have the upper body strength still. I have been riding street bikes since I was a teen. I rode a chopper to highschool.
The answer is yes. You can slow travel the world without losing your family and friends.
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This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Have an amazing day.