We began this way of life without even realizing exactly what we were doing. Here is our timeline in a nutshell:
2005: During this time, we got news that a company that Jen had helped grow in exchange for stock had just received millions in funding from a prominent Silicon Valley VC firm. THAT SAME DAY, we also found out that the company Dan had helped to grow and which had subsequently been acquired until it it was ultimately part of a Fortune 100 company, was laying off workers for serverance packages.
So there we were, unsure of whether to be jumping for joy or terrified. We decided to take a bit of the severance and spend the winter having a bit of fun, reassessing, and setting goals for the next phase of our lives.
2006: After that winter, we returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and founded an investment consultancy firm. Through that firm, we began to work together and to leave the corporate world behind. During the first year we took multiple trips for work, including a cruise to Mexico with the kids that we won in return for our strong sales performance for one of our partner companies. It was then we began to realize how much we wanted the kids to see the world beyond the normal tourist traps.
2007: We put our home in San Francisco up for sale, and began a period that lasted a few years, wherein we were moving every 6-18 months for work.
2008: We enrolled our daugher Ariana into the local kindergarten in a great neighborhood near Cary, North Carolina. We lasted 2 days, before determining that was NOT the path for us. Luckily, we located an incredible local co-op that opened our eyes to the opportunities homeschooling presents.
During this time, we met incredible friends, learned about the various ways people educate their children, and participated in many park days and field trips. We were already worldschooling, but didn’t realize it yet. During this time was actually when googled the word “worldschooling”, and found one young man using the term, as well as a few family travel bloggers, and the seed was born to do the same with our own family. She joined the worldchoolers facebook group and began fervently reading up on every tip and technique she could find at the time. During this time she also convinced Dan this was something they would consider as a path for their kids.
2012: We’d had a few years of researching, and were ready to launch…so Jen thought. When she approached Dan to pull the trigger, he was surprised this was was something she REALLY wanted to do. (PRO TIP: Make sure your husband reads all the same blogs and joins all of the same facebook groups! Once we did that, he also agreed this was truly a great way to raise and educate children.)
2014: We were ready to start traveling internationally. Until…we had a triple whammy: 1) Dan go critically ill 2) Our youngest daughter was discovered to have special needs 3) Our business partner had a pulmonary embolism (he survived, but our business took a beating). We had to decide if we were going to stay in Arizona, or whether we were going to find a way to push through to this dream of fulltime travel. Thank goodness my cousin gave us the option to try-before-we-buy with his vintage RV. We decided that instead of starting off internationally, we’d travel within the US to have access to medical coverage. And that is just what we did for the next 18 months, while having the time of our lives, free of financial pressure or time constraints.
2016: Once Dan had recovered his health, he began another company. It became clear he was going to need to return to Scottsdale to at least get systems up and running for some time. We knew we had a little time though, and so we purchased cheap one-way tickets to Italy, as there was no way we were going to stop traveling before even experiencing our original goal of international travel. We spent February through July living in Italy, Greece, Turkey, England, Ireland & Wales. On July 5 Dan flew back to Arizona, and Jen continued RVing for another few months so the kids and she could catch up with their beloved RVing community, before joining Dan for Christmas at the end of the year.
2017: We have settled into a lovely home in North Scottsdale. While the pool and spa are fabulous, the weather is fantastic, and the space to spread out is appreciated, we all still love traveling! We have found a balance that works for now by parking the RV in between Los Angeles and San Diego and visiting it often. We have also found a local adventure in the form of a sailboat, which we are all learning to crew. In addition, Jen keeps her hand in the traveling community as admin of the Worldschoolers facebook group, by taking several trips throughout the year, and by speaking at family travel conferences such as ProjectWorldschool.com and FamilyTravelSummit.com