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Why I Travel The World With My Kid

This mama decided to take her family on the adventure of a lifetime.

Why I Travel The World With My Kid

Most peoples’ eyes went wide when we told them our plans to travel the world with a toddler. To be totally honest, if you had told me the same just four months ago I would have nervously laughed in your face and wished you good luck. This wasn’t really part of our plan.

In January I took my business, Household Mag., full time after about a year and a half of working part time from home as a content manager, caring for my first son, Owen, and burning the midnight oil to make Household Mag. a success in NYC. Shortly after becoming my own boss I could see the wheels turning for my husband, Zack. He saw the flexibility, creative freedom and quality time with Owen that I was soaking up and we set a goal for him to do the same come November, just in time for his thirtieth birthday.

Zack started a copywriting business this January and it really took off, I mean really took off. It wasn’t long before his standard twelve hour days (with commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan) were turning into fifteen hour days once you added in his time spent writing at night at home. And, this wasn’t including the time he worked on weekends. Quickly this dream to have more time with our family had turned into less time, more stress and exhaustion, but we kept our eyes on the prize. We knew that it would all be worthwhile come November when he could leave his job.

Early in March Zack shot me a text from work, “Hey, tonight, I want to talk about our next move.” I honestly didn’t think too much of it--our lease was up in April and I thought maybe he wants us to consider a new neighborhood, a smaller place so we could save money or maybe he just wanted to tell me he didn’t want to go anywhere.

After we got Owen to bed that night Zack sat me down and gave me his spiel. Some friends of ours were just wrapping up nine months of travel, sans kids, and he was feeling really inspired by their journey, plus he was in the midst of reading The 4-Hour Workweek (anyone who has read this will understand his enthusiasm). Our friends had saved like crazy for a year prior to their trip, set up some streams of passive income and had the time of their lives while they saw the world.

Zack’s idea was similar.

He proposed that we sign our lease for one more year, take that time to save (pushing his timeline with his corporate job out further) and make plans to sell all of our belongings to travel with Owen next April. Ideally we would spend one month in each city, we would work remotely and get a feel for what it might be like to live in each given place.

Initially I was hesitant, but ultimately, it just made sense.

We would lower our overhead by leaving New York, we would pocket some cash when we sold our belongings, having the flexibility would undoubtedly give us the opportunity to grow each of our businesses, we would have more quality time together as a family and on top of it all we would have the chance to see the world before Owen was in school. It felt like a no-brainer.

But here’s the thing--I’m not what you would call patient. Once I had bought into the idea I was ready and there was no chance I was waiting a full year.

I convinced Zack that we should chat with our landlord about a six month lease, but our landlord wasn’t into it, so it was back to the drawing board. With just three weeks before our lease was up, we sat in our living room, took a lot of deep breaths and I somehow convinced Zack that this change wasn’t worth putting off for a year, and that we should dive in, head first now. It was scary and exciting and everything in between, but now that we’re on the other side we both couldn’t be happier we took the leap.

That night we decided to choose experiences over belongings and to live a life we could enjoy today, not just when we retire. We hope that by traveling the world with Owen that he soaks up the essence of this sentiment, that he learns that there isn’t just one path you have to take in this life. There is no reason to delay your happiness, especially if that reason is fear.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

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Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

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Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

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$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

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$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

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$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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