World travel – Kiwi families taking on the world – Morgans Go Travelling
Welcome to our Family World Travel guest post series Kiwi families taking on the world!
In this guest post series, I am excited to bring you a number of kiwi families who have given up the daily grind opting for long term world travel instead, kids ‘n all!
So just how do these families do it? How do they plan for an adventure like this? How do they support this amazing lifestyle? We ask all the burning questions that you are yearning to know the answers to.
Introducing Jared & Iri Morgan – Morgans Go Travelling
The Morgans are a family of six who have travelled the world on a budget, which they share in great detail on their website at www.morgansgotravelling.com
I have been following the Morgans world travel and adventures for a few years now and love the focus they provide on their budgets of the countries they visit. This makes it real and helps the rest of us realise that we could actually do this, even if it is just our own country…for now:)
Read on to find out why they started travelling and how they world travel with four kids in tow! Check out their tips on travelling on a budget, family safety, world travel and family dynamics.
Tell us about your family situation and how and when the idea of world travel started?
We had seen other families travelling around the world through Facebook and thought it was a neat idea and wanted to do something similar one day with our kids. When our nephew passed away at age 6 from Leukaemia we decided that the right time was now and that we needed to make memories with our kids now as tomorrow is never promised. We gave ourselves 1 year from the time we decided and slowly started selling all our belongings, paying off debts and getting ready for a year of travel with our four children.
Tell us a bit about how long you have been travelling and what countries have you visited?
We travelled to over 25 countries over 13 months and these included Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sweeden, Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Chez Republic, Hungary, England, Wales, Ireland, Canada, USA and New Zealand.
We found a base to live (Perth Australia), where the kids go to school and we travel from there when we can. We did another 6 week trip to Indonesia and Malaysia at the end of 2016/2017 and we are about to go on another 6-week adventure to the United States to visit the places we missed when our RV blew up last time we were there.
What has travelling the world done for your family in way of bonding/relationships?
We have definitely become more compassionate and understanding people while travelling the world as you see people through a different lens. It has made us closer in our relationships with one another as we are more loving and kind and understanding towards each other and the memories that we have made together provide us with lasting experiences.
Do you road-school, un-school or something similar? What has worked for you?
While we were travelling we used the world as our school. However, we still thought it important for the kids to keep up with Maths and English so these were done online in correlation to their year level for school. We were pleasantly surprised to see the kids slot straight back into school and they were not behind but either the same as before we left or more advanced.
The Budget! How do you afford to travel with four kids? Do you work along the way, have an online business, rely on savings…?
For the first trip, we sold everything and used savings to support us while we travelled. We had a couple of investment properties that we were able to cash up. I also earned a bit of money from a few different online ventures including writing for an American Travel Blog and also from Kindle E-books.
We are currently working towards creating a residual income that will support us in our crazy desires to travel whenever we want and not have to worry about money.
How do you keep your expenses down and how do you keep track of your budget?
We usually have a budget in mind for each country we visit and then try to stick to it. We used Numbeo – Cost of Living Index and information from other people that had travelled to the countries we wanted to visit and created a budget from there. For example, our budget in Asia was $120 a day and in Europe it was $200 a day.
How would you compare the cost of living in NZ vs other countries that you have visited?
I would say that the cost of living is very high compared to other countries that we have visited including Europe and USA. It all depends on where in NZ you live but generally speaking most of the countries we visited were cheaper than NZ for food, petrol and lodgings.
What tips do you have for others thinking of taking on the world on how to plan and research where you are going and what to do?
Do it! If there is any way you can just do it, absolutely take the opportunity. It was the best thing we could have done for our kids and our family and we have no regrets. We may have come home with not much and needed to start all over again but we would choose that path a thousand times over to have that year travelling with our kids. It really is a priceless experience.
Our tips would be to research where you want to go and gather tips for travelling to that destination with kids from other people that have already been there. The internet is full of stories from families that have travelled with their kids and that is how we gathered the information we needed to feel confident enough to travel with our 4 kids.
Safety – what tips do you have for staying safe while travelling overseas with four kids?
We made sure that the kids always knew or had a card of the hotel or place we were staying at just in case we got separated. We also had a backup plan if anyone was to become lost and that was to stay at the last place they saw us and we would come back to get them.
We also had a buddy policy that no one was to go alone anywhere. They had to have an older brother or sister or a parent and that worked really well.
In Theme parks, things could get hectic fast so make sure you write a ph number or address on the kids arms just in case you are separated at some point during the day.
What was it like coming home and did you settle down? What changes if any did you see in family dynamics?
Coming home was an easy transition for most of the family except me. The kids went straight back to school and hubby to work. I, on the other hand, had ample time on my hands as my youngest was now at school full time. It took me a good 6 months to get the motivation to get back into life and not mope around.
Relationships seemed much easier once we had returned and everyone seemed to get along better too.
Where to now? What are your future plans?
We are about to head to the USA for six weeks and then we have a Western Australia Camping trip planned for the Christmas Holidays.
We have Asia also on the cards for next year and we would love to head to Europe as well but as the kids are in school we have to be mindful of exams and assessments etc that makes it a bit difficult.
We have plans to always travel at least a couple of times a year.
You can follow the Morgans adventures on Facebook – Morgans Go Travelling or Instagram
Thank you Iri for sharing your travel and adventure tips with us! I’ve learnt a new thing or two, and love the safety tips too!