Tell Us About Your Family!
Hey. We are The Globetrotter Family (Derek, Whitley, Dorothy, & Arrow)! Back in October 2019, just one year after adopting Dorothy, we started part-time traveling the world. Since then, we have officially visited 25+ countries, 6 out of 7 continents, 4 out of 7 wonders of the word, and all 6 Disney parks! We spend half about six months out of the year traveling and the other six months living in Utah and working on all sorts of cool things at our family business, Pickleville Playhouse.
What led you to the decision to become a traveling family?
Just one month after bringing Dorothy home from the hospital, we received a call from their neighbor telling us that there was smoke coming from the windows of our home. This incident is what we lovingly refer to as #thefireof2017. We lost nearly all of our physical possessions to the immense fire and smoke damage throughout the house. The crazy part was that, after a few weeks, we weren’t even that sad. We realized the most important thing to us were not “things”, but memories. When our house was eventually restored, instead of re-acquiring a bunch of stuff, we decided to sell our home and set out on an epic family adventure around the world.
Initially, most of our extended family members were outwardly supportive and inwardly skeptical of our chosen lifestyle. I think that as things have evolved and they can see how happy we are, their perspectives have changed. The variety, chaos, and uncertainty of travel is definitely not for everyone — but we absolutely love it! The memories and experiences we have had together over the past two years are our most prized possession.
What are some of the highs and/or lows of being a traveling family?
There have been so many highs and lows along the way! Our very first travel day from SLC to London was probably one of the hardest. We didn’t sleep for like 40 hours, we lost our luggage at the airport, we couldn’t find our airbnb… they whole nine yards. Eventually, once the jet-lag wore off, everything all worked out. Another time, probably one of the worst days of our lives… we lost one of our phones in Peru. It has several credit cards in it and all of our personal information all over in the notes, with no passcode. We spent the next two days trying to avoid our identity from being stolen, while paying international rates on all of our phone calls. It was a nightmare.
A few of our most memorable experiences have been riding camels in the Sahara Dessert as the sun sets, playing with kangaroos at the Australia Zoo, eating pizza in Rome, bungee jumping in New Zealand, building sand-castles in Hawaii, witnessing Machu Picchu, riding around in classic cars in old Havana, and the list goes on. The more we see, the more we realize we haven’t seen. It’s an incredibly satisfying yet insatiable journey. We are always seeking our next big ‘awe’ moment!
What are some places you think every traveling family should visit? Are there any places you wouldn’t recommend?
Must visit: Thailand, Switzerland, Paris, Rome, New Zealand, Peru, Bali, Hawaii, NYC, & Utah — there is still A LOT we haven’t seen yet though.
Could pass on: Athens, Greece is about the only place we’ve been that left us feeling kind of “meh”. The Parthenon is still pretty cool though. Maybe it was just our experience.
What advice would you give to other families looking to take the leap into long term travel?
If you have the financial means, make a plan and JUST DO IT! If you don’t, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering “what if” and regretting not chasing your dreams. We believe that if you are doing the right things for the right reasons, that the heavens will open up and start clearing a path for you to make it happen. Worst case scenario, you can always come back and live in your parents basement until you get back on your feet and find a passion to pursue.
How do you afford to travel long term?
We have seasonal jobs and own/run seasonal businesses. Basically, we work our butts off for 6 months out of the year so that we can pursue our passion for the other six months. To become a “traveling family” you basically have three options: 1) work seasonally and travel during your off time, 2) work remotely and make money as you go, 3) create a social media following impactful enough that you can support yourself through brand deals, getting stuff for free, or selling your own product/service… oh, or a fourth option — be insanely rich to start.