In 2012, our family took our first family travel sabbatical–to Belize. That first trip lit fireworks in our souls. We arrived in Belize on a beautifully sunny day in November 2012 as a mostly white-bread, middle-class, suburban family. We left our private school. We left our sports and activities (the superfluous, because-everyone-else-is-doing-it kind, not the ones that fed us). We left our home and cars. We left our friends and our busy schedule.

When we returned home to the United States six months later, things had changed. The old activities felt flat. The schedule felt too rushed for no reason. Then we realized: the place had not changed, nor had the lifestyle. Those things were the same. It was us. WE had changed.

So I got home, finished my book, started homeschooling, and got deep into planning the next escape. It didn’t take long. In four months, we’d bought a 32-foot travel trailer and were off for a 10,000-mile, two-month road trip across the United States.

That trip was awesome.

After our first family sabbatical, we learned some things about taking a trip like this. And we aren’t alone. So many families, from all over the world, have chosen the travel path as a way of breaking out of the rat race and educating their children experientially.

Below I’ve compiled a list of families who have chosen this unique, beautiful lifestyle of taking off for parts unknown. Below is a list of blog posts or articles they’ve written that describe that AHA! moment they got while traveling with their kids.

I hope these posts are as inspiring for you as they are for me. Please enjoy!

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Taking Our Family Sabbatical

This is a post I wrote after our return from Belize that describes our realization that we could never go back to “normal” life quite in the same way again.

Observations & Thoughts From 8 Months on the Road

A post by Lee Vincent, someone we met while traveling across the U.S. in our travel trailer. Lee’s blog, Chasing the Sun, describes her family’s adventure-seeking travels with their son. This post was written shortly after they returned back to the Yukon from their first big trip on the road. She reported to me that they only have a few months until their next big adventure, for which they have no end date this time!

How Did This Whole Thing Begin?

Love this post by Allison Sherman from Let’s Just Travel, which describes how their family started traveling in the first place. She takes us from the time she was a little kid to her adulthood and helps us see how travel and thinking outside of the box was destined for her and her family.

6 Lessons in 18 Months of Travel

Jessica shares the lessons she’s personally learned during their 18 months of travel. With long-time stays in Costa Rica, France, and Ecuador, Jessica reports major growth in the areas of patience, gratitude, simplicity, acceptance, strength, and the ability to see that dreams can come true! Follow Jessica’s adventures of her family’s full-time travel life on her blog, Goodie Goodie Gumdrop, and be on the look-out for her exciting new endeavor coming soon,

The Only Thing Stopping You Is You

If you read at all about family travel, you’ve probably heard of Travel With Bender. This blog belongs to Erin and Josh and their two kids from Australia, who have been traveling the world nomadically since May 2012. In this post, Erin offers some inspiration for people to live their dream lives.

9 Compelling Reasons to Travel With Kids

In this post, Patricia Monahan shares her thoughts about kids and travel on her website, Our Whole Village. The post offers some simple reminders for why traveling with our children is rewarding and “an effort worth making.”

11 Ways Growing Up Abroad Is Ruining My Daughter’s Life

Crystal Blue, founder of Enlightened Globetrekker Adventures, cultural anthropologist, and frequent traveler, lives a third-culture life in Mexico with her 9-year-old daughter as well as leads inspirational adventure retreats all over the world. This article is her most popular post.

If you enjoyed this post, please share! 🙂 Also, if you have taken a family sabbatical with your children, please write me and tell me about it! I’d love to feature your story here at Exit Normal.