Why Our Family Travels

Taking a break at the Pearl Harbor, Hawaii playground on our way to live in Florida again. Abraham is a couple of months old. (2007)
Taking a break at the Pearl Harbor, Hawaii playground on our way to live in Florida again. Abraham is a couple of months old. (2007)

We've travelled so much as a family over the past 12 and half years that it has almost become second nature. During this time we've been asked for tips and information on what keeps us traveling so much.

Job Relocation

The main reason why we travel so much is due to job assignments. Because of the nature of my husband's work, we move on average every two years. Sometimes it's sooner or later than that.

We usually have a time estimate given for our length of stay, but it can really change within short notice. The shortest notice we had was on a random Monday. We were living in Maryland. Tim found out that we had to be in Florida that Thursday so he could report to work Friday morning.

This short notice also happened during a time before most people had internet connection or computers. Smart phones didn't even exist either and cell phone text capabilities were just slowly starting to emerge. So we had to use the library's computers (and faster service) in order to find an apartment online.

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Hardly anyone had a website and there probably wasn't such a thing as blogs as well. In fact iWeb, Apple's first easy website-building platform, was unheard of at the time.

Enjoying the Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium (November 2008)
Enjoying the Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium (November 2008)

We were so glad to find a decent apartment online that had photos of it's surroundings. We signed a contract that was faxed back and forth via Kinkos. All-in-one printers and fax machines were also just starting to be developed and we eventually invested in one after this incident.

In our first two years of marriage, we lived in 5 homes that included 3 different states (on opposite ends of the country) as well as overseas --- halfway around the world on the island of Guam.

This move did not include the flight we took halfway around the world after our wedding from Saipan to Japan and then Georgia during the honeymoon. We also made a long road trip from Georgia to Maryland with our belongings before we settled in our first home --- all just a month after we got married.

In just a little over a month from now we will be moving to a new home and another state and yes, all because of work. So that would give us a grand total of 10 homes in less than 13 years of marriage! This includes a couple of overseas moves as well.

Layover at an airport in Texas. This used $5 almost new Graco stroller was extremely handy to carry cargo especially since I had only given birth two months prior to this. (December 2007)
Layover at an airport in Texas. This used $5 almost new Graco stroller was extremely handy to carry cargo especially since I had only given birth two months prior to this. (December 2007)


The next main reason why we travel so much as a family is to see family members. We love our family and are blessed with great relationships with them!

Whether it's flying to another island or driving to a different state, we look for opportunities to visit when we can. We love our family and try to see them whenever we can afford it, is convenient, and because of the nature of our lives don't know if we'll ever see them again.

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We try to travel for special events such as weddings, birthdays, or holidays but mainly whenever it fits our schedules and we can afford to do so. During then times we've moved back and forth overseas we've made an effort to say our "goodbyes" by making visiting family members a priority.

We never know if it would be our last time. Over the years this has been a big financial investment for us but worth every penny. We rather see and visit family members than go on a "vacation." Oh vacations are nice! It's just that we can't really afford to do that.

So what we try to do is turn any trip --- even a short road trip somewhere --- into a fun-filled family day! We tell each other we're doing something special because we're on the road and traveling together. When we visit family we might try a different restaurant, visit a neat store together, take a picnic lunch to a park, or visit a new thrift store.

Visiting family or spending time with them when they've visited has allowed us to see various parts of the following:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • San Diego
  • The islands of Guam and Saipan


The next main reason why we've travelled has been for special events of new or old friends. This has mainly been for weddings or a time of fellowship on our way back home.

Because there are so many of us and traveling can be taxing on the body, we try to plan out something feasible for the children allowing enough rest. This is especially helpful for me as I am often still in a nursing season.

These trips have been very rejuvenating and encouraging for our family no matter how last minute they may be. They have given us the opportunity to lodge in or visit the following places:

  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Chula Vista,California
  • Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Various parts of Springdale, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Little Rock, and Hot Springs, Arkansas

Helpful Educational and Family-Enriching Conferences

Traveling often for job relocations (sometimes for house hunting when applicable) costs us a lot of money that is not fully covered. Though the job is there, there are often times not many costs that are factored in by my husband's relocation allowance.

One example is when we move overseas, we need to ship our vehicle a month ahead of time. Because we survived on one vehicle for many years this left us to have to pray and look for substitute vehicles. Renting a vehicle for a month, no matter the size of your family is pretty expensive.

We also need to pack up most of our belongings (including most kitchen items) months ahead of time. So you can be without your household items for at least three months (a quarter of a year) until it arrives and then gets unloaded by the moving company.

While we wait for our things to arrive we will sometimes buy items that are still in the shipment such as extra towels or cooking utensils. Though we mail items and bring some necessary kitchen tools with us, there's only so much you can bring.

I mention all of that to say that after spending money on those things almost every two years, visiting family when possible, and traveling for weddings, we barely have much money for conferences. So we pray about each one and try to save up to make it to one. We try to attend local ones since lodging is less costly (our home) and admissions are sometimes also free.

We've been able to attend family conferences in:

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Louisiana

When possible we'll "attend" a helpful conference online. This not only saves us a lot of money but is also a great blessing when we can't afford to go, don't have days off to leave (or need to save for something else like birth), or because someone in our family gets sick and we can't cancel our reservations.

While online options are great for saving money, they lack the encouragement and live interaction with positive like-minded people. So that is something we pray about and trust God that He works out what is best for our family.

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As much as we've travelled over the years, I don't think we've made a trip somewhere to go on vacation mainly because of lack of money. So we enjoy day trips to local areas and having a special picnic on the grass with either special food we prepare or buy from an organic co-op. Also it helps that we feel as if we are somewhat on a vacation when we visit family members and friends for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.

If we were ever to "vacation" I think it would be a dream to own one of the larger newer Airstream travel trailers. We could tow that with our recent purchase of a used 12 passenger 2014 Nissan NV3500 full-size van.

That would save us money since we won't have to pay for two hotel rooms a night for a family our size. We would also have a kitchen available to cook and prepare our own healthy food. An advantage too is that we wouldn't have to load and unload our gear and save time for other things.

I did a lot of research on these options to see if it would be more feasible. I also looked into 2015 models of fifth wheel toy haulers of different manufacturers too that included bunks, an extra half bath, and washer/dryer hook ups, but I'll save that research on travel trailers for another blog post.

In writing all of this I can see that the very nature of our lives spells adventure and constant travel. Because most people do not live this type of life, vacations may be a needed respite to a busy life. Though our travels aren't in the same category, we enjoy them very much! Perhaps one day we too can have a trip free of the rush of busy scheduled events or happenings and enjoy the pace of something relaxing.

Question: How about you? Does your family travel often?