There are several questions I get asked on a daily basis. So here, just for you, is a list of our top 10 questions and the answers.
1. How Do You Make Money?
When we first set off on our travels my husband had a web design business. This was later sold and we have been making money from many different streams – the blog, photography, website templates/modules, freelance writing and affiliate marketing.
It’s not a question of how we make money, but more how much do we spend. We have a great article series – Show Me The Money – which explains this in detail. However our cost of living has reduced by over 65% from when we use to live in Australia.
So we don’t need to make as much money as we use to. Through the blog you may also notice we get invited to different places to review them as potential holiday destinations with our kids. We have never promised a positive review, only an honest one. But these trips give us subsidised travel so we can continue our journey and write interesting stories for Travel With Bender.
2. What About School For The Kids?
Our kids are currently 5 and 6-years-old and do not undertake a traditional formal education. They utilise programs they love on the computer including ReadingEggs.com.au and Khan Academy.
From time to time we pick up educational workbooks and reading books that we go through with them most mornings. We try to ensure they spend between 30-60 minutes per day developing reading, writing, and maths skills.
Travel is supplying the best part of their education. It teaches them geography, like no classroom can. It teaches them currency and all the maths that goes with money – addition, subtraction, conversion. We watched The Sound of Music in Salzburg the night before we visited the film locations. When we learned about dinosaurs it was at the British Museum of Natural History. When they learn about a frog’s lifecycle it’s because we had frogs at our house in Bali. They learn basic physics in science museums all over the world. They’ve learnt to count to ten in 4 other languages. Their educational experience is far broader than what could be taught in a classroom.
Read more about how we educate our kids as we travel the world...
Socially they have more friends than I ever did at their age. And their friends are not defined by colour, age or geography. Several of their friends are part of travelling families like ours. We’ve spent time with our very dear friends from A King’s Life in 6 different countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Romania and the US.
3. How Long Have You Been Travelling?
We left our home in Australia in May 2012. And other than a 3-month visit to sell off some of our personal belongings we have been travelling nomadically ever since.
4. How Many Countries Have You Been Too?
We have a full list of places we have been here. At last count the kids had been to over 55, while I was on 62.
5. What Is Your Favourite Country?
I always get asked this and it’s a tough question to answer. I usually go with the best experiences I remember or somewhere I wouldn’t mind going back to more than once.
The question could be answered based on what country I’d like to live long-term, or which country I’d like to holiday in – 2 very different experiences. There are so many other factors like infrastructure, food, entertainment, cost of living, natural environment, etc. Different countries are my favourite for different reasons.
But for the purpose of a quick answer: Bali is a favourite. We’ve been 10 times. But I would also have to add Thailand (amazing food), Ireland (gorgeous countryside), Turkey (beaches and landscapes), the UK (Wales in particular), and Croatia (beaches). Actually, the list could be very long, so I’ll just stick with those.
Josh’s: Not exactly a country, but the Cycladic Islands (Greece) would have to be a favourite region. The amazing food, laid-back culture, perfect beaches beckon me. I don’t think I could live there long term, but one visit is definitely not enough.
Mia’s: Finland, because Santa lives there.
Caius’: Australia, because it has all sorts of toys that he loves.
6. What Was Your Least Favourite Country?
There have only been a handful of places I didn’t enjoy as much as I should have – France, Hong Kong and Bulgaria. Generally it has more to do with the experiences there:
France – general rudeness since I don’t speak French (that makes all the difference)
Hong Kong – hello, has anyone heard of personal space?
Bulgaria – the Black Sea coast is beautiful but why do they insist on cooking such terrible food?
7. What Was Your Favourite Experience?
Nope, impossible. I can simply not name just one. Check out this post on 102 experiences I’ve had while travelling. But to name a few:
- Husky sledding in Rovaniemi, Finland
- Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey
- Water sliding with sharks in Dubai, UAE
- Road tripping Ireland
- Eating authentic Greek food in Greece
8. How Did All This Get Started?
Back in 2010 Josh mentioned the idea of becoming a perpetual traveller. I thought he was slightly insane. It was something we continued to talk about until we finally decided to try a 6-month world trip end of 2012.
In February 2012 a lady asked to rent our house in April. We decided we had no reason to wait. So we packed up our house, sold two cars and left Australia in May 2012. It’s been over 3 years since we left.
Here’s the long answer, but the short answer is it’s my husband’s fault.
9. When Will You Go Home?
Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. Maybe in another 3 years. Maybe never. We have no set plans or schedule. We are simply enjoying these moments we have.
And even when we decide to slow down, it’s quite possible that Australia won’t be our home base. We’re still shopping around.
10. What Is Your Best Travel Tip?
I hate these questions. I don’t have one tip, I have a zillion! However my first tip - just book it.
If you want to know how to find the cheapest flights, click here.
Looking for cheap accommodation, click here.
Want to know how to beat budget airlines at their own game, click here.
We also always get asked about our luggage so you can see our full packing list here.
And lastly if you want to start a travel blog, start here.
I hope you’ve gotten to know us a bit better and I’ve been able to answer your questions fairly concisely. If you have any others, please send us a message or connect on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t worry, we won’t bite. We’re regular down-to-earth folks just like you.
Reader Comments..."I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" - Josh Bender
Love it Erin! We get asked the exact same questions all of the time! We are a few months behind you leaving the USA Aug 2012. Of course it was great to meet up with you guys, nearly 2 years ago! Wow how time flies. Keep it going!
Love this post! Although I'm not a nomad (yet) like you are, I still get similar questions asked over & over again. This is a good way to answer all those questions!
As a teacher, I love how you talk about the education. Personally, I think learning the way your children is a lot more valuable than learning from the books. What I'm trying to say is that I think it's better for children to teach them what they are interested in (frog cycle when they see frogs in a pond) than teaching them things at the moment we want to teach something.
What does the back of the kids shirts say? Where to next? I'm going to personalize the car for you with a sticker.
Love, love, love it! I covet your lifestyle and way of thinking. I'm so glad my wife sent me the link to this post. What an absolute privilege to be able to show your family this amazing world. Thank you for sharing! A little bit about us: rubioswander.com
Nice blog with very interesting topic .
Hi! Just step across looking for information about road trips in Europe. I am expecting to visit Spain, France and Italy by the end of the year. I plan to do it in around two weeks with my girlfriend. I'm 37 y.o. she's 32. My biggest worry is about driving. How long are the distances from city to city? considering the time you spend driving, is it the best decision instead of flying? I imagine that trip spending 50% of the time driving which is not what I'm planning.
Thanks and Good Luck!
Alejandro (Lima, Peru)
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