June 30, 2017

When I returned to the Pacific Northwest from our RTW trip, I had three major concerns:

1. How are my kids going to adapt to their new circumstances, after being away for 11 months?

2. Would I be able to re-enter the highly competitive job market in Seattle and still have the necessary "edge" to continue the work I'd like to do?

3. Will I be able to incorporate more travel into my work?

Two years later, I finally feel like I have positive answers to all three questions.

My kids are now 18 and 14 respectively - Isabella just graduated High School with the highest honors, and will be attending the University of Willamette in Salem, OR, in the Fall; Marco graduated from Middle School and will be attending Mo...

January 19, 2017

After a year and change has passed since our return to the Pacific Northwest, I still find myself inevitably transported to some of those places we visited and moments we experienced during the RTW trip. I was deeply affected by the return, and consumed by a sudden feeling of dread about resuming our daily lives - I didn't want that time to be diluted by the routine, as if nothing had happened, as if the trip had never taken place, but only in some figment of our collective imagination.  I found that reconnecting with friends that matter and who were (and are) genuinely interested in understanding how the trip had affected me was a great way to keep the memories fresh. Eric is one such friend. It was...

November 4, 2015

Most people don’t know what bad, dangerous driving is until they have an experience driving through Argentina. We took a 5,000 km road trip from Buenos Aires, through San Antonio de Areco, Cordoba, La Cumbre, Alta Gracia, Mendoza, Neuquen, Peninsula Valdez, Siera de la Ventana, and back to BsAs, completing a full loop of roads without using a GPS system. We know what we are talking about. So many lessons learned, and some truly great, instructional moments.




Truth be told, we had some near misses, but I never truly felt our lives were 100% in danger – though close. I have some of those memorable moments to share here, hoping that I won’t channel any of those stereotypical paranoid people who share h...

November 3, 2015



One of my favorite things to do while on the road around the world was having nice stretches of time to read. I am a slow reader, with a broad taste in storytelling - I look not only for a good story, but also for writing style, interesting characters, and insightful subtext. And I don't usually like non-fiction; I have a very active imagination and I feed it with other people's ideations as much as possible. That said, I still managed to read about 25 fiction books, amidst all the video shooting, editing, planning, cooking, and sight seeing. Thanks to my favorite gadget, a used nook e-reader with paper white technology. It was hard to pick just 7 books out...

We’re certainly not the only family who have left the rat-race to travel the world, but might be one of the few who did it with older kids and a tag-along-teacher. Our travels caught the attention of blogger and podcaster Jason Jenkins of An Epic Education. In his recently published podcast we discuss travel resources, spreadsheets, coffee makers, Rick Steves, library cards and the challenges of family travel with teens.




Some highlights about world-schooling while traveling (cited from An Epic Education’s show notes):


They knew they were coming back, so researched their state’s laws regarding homeschooling.
Enrolled Bella into specific online courses associated with...

Every long-term traveler we've met or follow thinks differently about how they spend their hard-earned travel-funds. Some want to eat at fancy restaurants, but will skip hiring a guide to show them the city. Others will stay in a premier hotel, but won't buy souvenirs. Many have different financial priorities during different parts of their trips. (We wrote about our point of view here.)


Lodging can be one of the most expensive parts of a long-term trip, but we've read about people who spend hardly anything in this category; they house-sit, couch-surf, and trade-work-for-lodging. For our family of five we rarely scrimped here, but we also couldn't afford hotels. Our prio...

In this new series we are sharing our exact costs for some of the larger, more famous cities we stayed in. We’ll also share a tip or two about finances in the city, things we wish we’d realized before we arrived. For a more details about what we spent in all of Argentina, read our post: We were introduced to Argentina’s Dollar-Hungry, Blue-Market, Ever-Fluid Economy.


Buenos Aires Stats

10 nights. 8 in a 3-bedroom short-term rental apartment, 2 in a hotel (we rented 2 rooms).


5 people. (We are almost always 5 people.)


We were there in November of 2014.


Total cost: $3572.58


Cost per day: $357.26


Per person per day: $71.45


Buenos Aires Sense

We found that we would have received 50% better return on o...

This post is going to be like that "Sound of Music" song. You know, the one with the whiskers and kittens and warm woolen mittens? Only without music. Or Julie Andrews. Just a few of our favorite things about Buenos Aires... 


Cutest Porteños


Heather, Rodrigo and I managed to take several long, exercise-paced walks through the Recoleta neighborhood. We were charmed by at least a dozen dogs who followed their masters obediently throughout the city. In contrast, there were also dog-walkers who picked up their charges, then tromped together along well-worn paths through parks and beside sidewalk cafes. These adorable pets made us homesick for our own (not-so-well-behaved) pups.


Spookiest sight-seeing



I had my first cemetery-history-lesson in Bastos, a rural town in Sao Paulo state. My host, a young 3rd generation Japanese-Brazilian, took me on a chronological tour to show how the immigrant-founded community changed over time. Early graves were Buddhist with obelisk tombstones covered in Kanji and framed photos of the deceased. In the 1950s and 60s, names like Eduardo Fujisaki and Beatrice Suzuki began appearing on tombstones, demonstrating that the townspeople had begun identifying as Brazilian. The newest headstones’ text were Portuguese with Christian elements like crosses and angels, signaling further cultural integration. It was an eye-opening experience that prompted a habit of visiting ceme...

September 10, 2015

Our first Round The World trip comes full circle - we are now back in the Pacific Northwest.  And a little culture shock is inevitable.


As my family and I face a reentry into the "real" world, I am reminded of how important this trip has been to all of us; we are stronger, wiser and now have a much better idea of what we want our future to look like. 


It is not possible to fully quantify the benefits gained during this nomadic time abroad, but I can mention a few things we have learned on the road that no corporate job or school system could provide. It is no small feat to successfully plan and deploy such a complex 11-month trip involving 5 people, 4 continents and 13 countries. We ar...

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