My husband, Pierre Giauque, and I decided to travel the world (or at least part of it) with our two young kids for one or two years—or more, if we can swing it. We had both always traveled: before we met, together, and after having kids, but we ached to make travel—and an active lifestyle—more longterm.
Even though we lived comfortable, secure lives in Silicon Valley, California, we longed to be free from the burden of our daily routine and obligations, free from constantly chasing the clock. “This is not our lifestyle!” we would say at night, exhausted. “This is not us!”
So we saved our money, cut expenses, pulled the kids out of school, and in December, 2014, went to live the lives intended for us. No use waiting for the kids to grow up. We had to seize the moment now, while we were still energetic and healthy. Also, we struggled to have our kids, and now that they were finally here, we wanted to spend as much quality time with them as we could.
Over a four-month period leading up to our departure, we sold, gave away, or trashed 90 percent of our belongings–everything we had accumulated through 12 years of marriage and two kids, now ages 3 and 9—in exchange for what we expected would be the experience of a lifetime. We let go of our home, our school, our community, and said good-bye to our friends, an exhilarating yet scary experience.
On December 28, 2014, with four large suitcases, four backpacks, and one “electronics” bag, we left California. We started our journey with the familiar, first traveling to Switzerland, where my husband is from, mostly to care for his ailing mother. After three months, we shed one suitcase by donating our winter clothes to refugees and headed to Spain for six weeks, staying mostly in Grenada and Barcelona, places we think we might live one day. After that, we headed back to the U.S. to fulfill my husband’s dream: to tour as many national parks in the western U.S. and Canada as we can in four months (while we still had our SUV and camping gear, stashed at a friend’s house).
After that, we head to Southeast Asia, where our dollars go far and the culture is immensely rich. We first plan to return to Thailand, where we spent two amazing months with our kids in the summer of 2013, and also visit Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Borneo, Indonesia (including Bali), New Zealand, and more.
I intend to keep working a little along the way, to maybe push two years into three. Meanwhile, the kids are getting an exceptional education. In addition to “world” schooling, we also want them to see that there is more than one way to live life, that there are in fact almost infinite perspectives and possibilities. We also hope they will learn to give back and discover their own passions.
I figure our main business now is to collect experiences, live our adventures, and stuff ourselves with so many rich memories, our perception of time will open and expand, exponentially–as it should!
Join us on our journey! (I post most often on Facebook.) If there is something you would like to see on these pages, or you have questions or thoughts, please let us know!
Happy Travels, Cindy
(cindy at mylittlevagabonds dot com)
– July 4, 2015, Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA
A Little More About Us…
Cindy Bailey Giauque. I grew up traveling! My father was a second generation Irish-American and loved to travel, which is how he met my French-speaking mother in the Seychelles, where she was born and raised, along with her 11 siblings. We lived mostly in western Europe, but also a little of Africa and Asia. In my teens, we settled in California, USA, with our mother after my parents divorced. I earned a scholarship to U.C., Berkeley, and continued to travel every chance I got. “Home” to me has always been a seat on a plane. In addition to writing about travel, I co-authored, with my husband, the Amazon top-selling book, The Fertile Kitchen® Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Optimizing Your Fertility, and our fertility story has been nationally televised on NBC and CBS. I am also a former newspaper reporter, freelance writer, editor-in-chief of LitRave.com (now defunct), and award-winning owner of Bailey Communications, a corporate writing consultancy.
Pierre Giauque. Hi! I’m a hard-core Swiss guy, who grew up rock-climbing, biking, hiking, and motorcycling my way around Europe! The youngest of three, I helped my mom in the kitchen a lot, as my dad passed away when I was six. Somewhere along the way, I got a PhD in Physics and did some post-doc work at CalTech in Pasadena, CA, USA, where I met my wife. In addition to traveling, scuba diving, rock-climbing, and mountain biking together, we also wrote a book called, The Fertile Kitchen(R) Cookbook. I’m also our family’s cook, thank god, because my wife can only make pancakes. Can you tell my wife is writing this for me? (I’ll contribute myself soon. Thanks for your patience!)
Julien Giauque. Lover of Clash of Clans, CSR Racing, and almost any addictive video game that lands on my iPhone. I’m the 10-year-old with a heart the size of Mars, as my mom says (yeah, she’s writing my bio too, for now), and according to her, I’m also a truly compassionate human being. I get that from my dad, apparently, this need to make sure all the people around me are happy and safe. From my mom, I get this hyper, energizer-bunny like energy, which frankly makes it hard for me to sleep at night, because I just get so excited about life! What I love most about our trip: riding rollercoasters around the world! And getting to homeschool! I can read Harry Potter while I do a headstand, and get to watch the movie after. How cool is that?
Lily Giauque. Our beautiful, smart, strong, rock-climbing machine, Lily! I am only four, but I’m doing the Kindergarten program and reading simple books already, and, oh yeah, I can use chopsticks. Maybe it’s because I hang out with my cool big brother and he teaches me so much. Or maybe it’s because I’m just like this and I’ve got the whole world figured out already. I don’t know. Which country do I like the most? All of them! Because they’re all great. But I do miss my friends a lot. Next time we have a house again, can I have a tree house?