People ask me all the time if I'd still be a nomad if I had kids, or they say that it's impossible or difficult to be a nomad if you have kids. I want to answer the question, but I think there's something even more important to talk about in relation to this.
The short answer is that yes, I'd still be a nomad if I had kids. A bunch of people travel with their kids, my favorite example being my friend Leo who does long single-backpack trips with all six of his kids all over the world. He's so good at it that I asked him to write a guest chapter about it in my recent travel book, Forever Nomad.
The thinking behind the question bothers me a little bit, though.
When I'm considering doing something, I give no thought to whether other people have done it or not. I don't really think about whether it will be hard or not. I don't think about what random people will think about it.
All I think about is if I want to do it (and packed inside that is whether it's aligned with my principles, a good long-term idea, and high enough priority), and whether it will be good for people I care about. That's it.
And then I make it happen or exhaust every possibility in the process. I assume that I'll have to learn a lot and that I'll probably have to come up with some new ideas to make it happen, but to me that's just par for the course.
I never think about whether something is possible or not, because I don't think I can know that until I start digging in.
Is it possible to travel with kids? That seems like such an obvious yes to me that it wouldn't even cross my mind. I would skip this whole question and decision making process and would instead ask, "how can I make traveling with kids amazing for me and the kids?"
Asking whether it's possible or not is the wrong question. It shouldn't even be asked. Want to do something? Great, make it happen.
One of the negative aspects of the way we raise kids and school them is that they think that we require them to ask permission for everything, and we tell them what is possible and what isn't. There are benefits to this approach as well, but the problem is that we keep that momentum through adulthood and forget that no one is a higher authority on our own abilities and path than we are.
Be your own higher authority. Can you travel with kids? That's totally up to you. Same with everything else.
Picture is a sculpture of Michael Jackson with a monkey. This is how cool I would look if I had a kid.
A week ago I was rooting through my projects folder and I came across something that I had somehow forgotten: a full length book I wrote about Life Nomadic. I gave it a quick read-through and thought, "man... there's some great stuff in here! Why didn't I release it?"
So, I'm going to release it soon. I've spent a good part of the last week doing some light editing, rearranging, and adding in sections that I hadn't quite finished.
The book has a lot of stories and anecdotes in it, but it's really a manual for the nomad or hardcore traveler. It talks about why to be a nomad, what it's like, what to expect, and how to deal with some of the challenges. About half of the book is dedicated to logistics: how to choose gear, how to pack it, where to stay, how to get there, etc.
Maneesh Sethi was kind enough to write up a guest post for us on striking off internationally and doing the digital nomad thing.
Here's Maneesh -
Every day, someone says to me: “I wish I could travel like you do.”
And every time I respond: “You can too.”
You see, I’ve been traveling for the last three years as a digital nomad, through Asia, South America, Europe. I move to a new city, learn a new language, and do a cool project. I built an online business that is completely outsourced, so now I can work as many---or as few----hours/week as I want.