Let's Take the Kids Around the World: Alistair and Jenny Campbell (Ep. 2)

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Alistair, Jenny and their two children, ages 8 and 10, leaving their home airport in Portland, Oregon.

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On the train between Paris and Amsterdam, and the first home-school session of the trip!

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On a hike along the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

 

A MID-CAREER BREAK TO TRAVEL AS A FAMILY

Alistair and Jenny Campbell made a swift decision in early 2015. After a single inspired dinner conversation they decided to quit their senior-level jobs in advertising to take their kids on a one year sabbatical around the world. Their idea was: Why wait until retirement for this kind of experience?

Less than six months later, they were on the road. They traveled to 24 countries on four continents, staying in Airbnbs all along the way.

Plus, the end of their story has a twist: Instead of returning home to Portland, Oregon, they decided continue to make life interesting – and moved to Los Angeles, California.

In this interview Jenny and Alistair share tons of practical and logistical advice for other families thinking of taking similar adventures: on budgeting, homeschooling, visas, vaccinations, and how soccer jerseys are as good for starting conversations as puppies and babies when it comes to meeting locals.

They also talk about the impact this experience had on them as a family and as individuals.

 

memorable insights

  • Taking a mid-career break as a dual career couple
  • They got the idea from their parents! 
  • Wanted to enjoy this experience now, not just retirement.
  • Their biggest concerns were how much would cost, leaving careers, homeschooling.
  • How they decided on timing and packed for the trip.
  • A real sense of the logistics that goes into the final weeks before setting off on such a trip.
  • How they structured their schedule and accommodations for homeschooling consistency.
  • How they adjusted their plans once on the road.
  • How they broke the news to their kids.
  • How, with a limited daily budget, kids started to help decide how they’d spend that money on a daily basis.
  • Why Japan and Malaysia was their favorite stop on their trip.
  • How they managed the end of their trip – decisions about where to live and work next – and how they ended up picking a totally new place.
  • What they got as a family and as individuals out of their trip.
  • Lots of practical advice to other families.
 

3 QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

1. What do you wish you had known before you took your leap?

2. What was the most unexpected thing that came of your leap?

3. For someone who is thinking of doing something similar, what one piece of advice would you offer? 

 

THE CAMPBELLS RESOURCE RECOMMENDATIONS

Check out Jenny's articles on Medium, which include tips on "road schooling", budgeting, travel apps, and Malaysia.

Their go-to apps were airbnb, Rome2Rio, SkyScanner, Google Maps and all the Google G-Suite (Docs, Sheets, Drive).

 

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