Here’s another episode of #FamiliesOutside and today we are interviewing Crystal from Enlightened Globetrekker.
Crystal is an international teacher, freelance writer and expedition leader to the Himalayas (awesome, right?) who basically brings her daughter to just about anywhere. Read more about her and their adventures as a family:
1. Give us a short background of your family.
Me, Crystal, and my daughter, River, age 7. We are from Wilmington, NC but we left America in February 2013 for the paradise of Mexico, to Cozumel and Tulum for a year and half, and then we moved to the Marshall islands in the South Pacific for a year. We just left there at the beginning of June and have been traveling Asia since. We have been to Australia and Thailand and are now in India. I lead expeditions in the Himalayas and we just got done with one of those this past month. Next we head to Nepal and then onto Europe. We will eventually land back in Mexico in October to open an adventure resort.
2. Do you travel full time or part time? When did you start and why?
Full time. We always live abroad, and travel from there. Right now we are fully mobile, carrying in our suitcases around the world the only possessions we have, except for our special things in storage back in North Carolina. But we live in different countries, with only what we have with us. We started in 2013 when we moved to Mexico. Why? Because life is amazing out here.
3. How do you afford to travel as a family? Do you also work on the road?
4. How do you plan out your trips (and for full time travelers, are you always out or do you have days where you just stay in)? Do you particularly choose those “family-friendly” or “kid-friendly” destinations or are you flexible and just simply adapt to the place?
I plan out my trips wherever I want to go, or where I have a retreat to lead. when we are on an adventure we are always on the go, but I plan weeks of down time in between as well to catch up on work and relax in hotels, etc. I don’t choose family friendly places, I just choose where I would like to be and what I would like to expose my daughter to, and go there and make it family friendly for us if it isn’t already. we are both very flexible and she is mature enough do that we don’t really need or desire family friendly places. if they are, awesome. if not, that’s ok too. right now we are in New Delhi, India. I don’t think I would classify this as family friendly. but we are a family and we are here and having an awesome time, so I don’t think that really matters to me. I would probably say that i like the un-family friendly places better because that means it is off the beaten path and more challenging and unseen. like the Himalayas, where we just were for a month. That’s the kind of stuff we like.
5. What is that one item you can never travel without when you are with kids?
My camera. Also, her travel journal where she documents and draws what she sees each day. Also to add some other things, Dramamine for her for the long car rides in the Himalayas, wet wipes for bathroom and hand sanitizer, Pepto for belly issues from any traveling bacteria, and portable DVD player for the airplanes.
6. There are varied opinions when it comes to learning while traveling VS. formal schooling. What is your stand on this? Does travelling really give an advantage to your kid’s education, based on experience?
River attends international schools wherever we are based. Sometimes I need to take her out early or start her late, or take her out for a few weeks, but as a basis, she attends structured international schools in whatever country we are living in. Ibelieve that traveling and global experiences benefit children more than formal schooling, but I also believe in formal schooling for competencies in such things as reading and math. So, I have found a compromise that works amazingly well for both of us.
7. What advice would you give to families who want to start out a travelling lifestyle?
8. Where else can we guys read about your family adventures?
Visit my blog or Facebook page or see my articles published on Elephant Journal whenever I have time for that.
Follow Crystal and River at:
#FamiliesOutside is an interview series to help encourage families to go out and explore places, near or far. Bi-monthly, we feature families who love travelling – full-time or part-time – or who simply love including the outdoors in their daily activities.