One of the things we have really loved about being immersed into this frigid and exciting water of full-time family travel is discovering just how many other families there are out there doing the same thing — or something similar. It has been SO fun to learn about some of these families, make some new friends and find out how they make full-time travel work for them.
We expect that more and more couples and families will decide to leave their traditional lives and homes behind to explore the world as they find ways to do so, and we obviously think it’s pretty amazing, but whether you’re dreaming and scheming about leaving daily life behind, or completely content with your blissful life at home and just enjoy watching our little family’s adventure we think you’ll really like learning about some other families that are doing the same thing.
So, without further ado, we give you…
The Kuresa Family
We’re the Kuresa Family (Tyson, Emily, Aiden 8, Connor 6, and Emmett 4). Most recently we lived in Utah for a couple years and hail from California before that. At the moment we’re traveling around SE Asia. Before this, dad worked in the corporate world for 10 years. Mom worked in insurance, had short stint of a baking business, all the while being a stay-at-home mom/worker. Our kids love typical kids stuff: sports, physical activity, drawing, YouTube, hiking, camping, adventure.
Describe your journey and inspiration leading up to your decision to travel full-time and your reasoning.
We started following travel families a couple years back — like the Bucketlist Family — and it was like watching the world through a window. We felt inspired to see the world as a family. We’ve always loved road trips, being outdoors and spending time together. We wanted to see if we could take it a step further(or maybe a leap further). Emily and I were already on our way to Europe for a couple weeks alone, and being there alone just had us longing for the kids to join us as well. When we returned, we really felt that we could make it a reality and we decided that it was our goal to make it happen.
How much lead time did you give yourself to plan and prepare? Describe the process.
We gave ourselves about a year and a half to plan and prepare considering all the activities, schooling, family and friends we’ll be leaving behind, money being saved and prepping our travel documents, etc. We looked at map, made a list of what countries we wanted to see and finalized a time frame: 1 year. At first, we were going to make the first place we visit a home base, then travel around to different nearby countries from there. This would give us some stability we had back home while affording us the opportunity of seeing these countries.
Was it hard for you to leave “home” behind? Describe the emotions and experience.
It was harder to leave the people than our physical home. We’ve always been on the move throughout our marriage. The longest we’ve stayed in a home was about four years back in California. After that we had moved three times in three years, most of that time being in Utah. So in a sense, not having a real, long time established home helped alleviate feelings of regret or sadness as we left on our journey. I’m sure if we stayed in our California home a couple years more, we’d feel more attached but luckily it was easy for us.
How long have you been traveling for and where have you visited? How long do you plan to travel?
We’ve been traveling for about 6 months now! We did a longer stay in Thailand because we wanted to establish a base for a longer term initially. We’ve visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Jomtien, Hong Kong and are currently in Bali. Initially our plan was to travel for one year, now we’re planning for an additional year, so 2 years total.
Do you prefer to travel slow or fast, or a combination of both. What do you feel like is an optimum travel length, or does it depend on the destination?
I guess “slow” is a relative term, but we like to stay in a city no less than a month. A month or more at a time in a month allows us to stay consistent, see places we want to see without killing ourselves or burning the kids out. We also get better rates for Airbnbs when we stay for at least a month at a time. Travel length depends on the destination. For example, we’ve already been in Bali for about two weeks and we feel a month really isn’t enough to see everything it has to offer. It reminds me of Hawaii.
What attracts you to a destination? What is your purpose? To see and do as much as you can? To experience the culture? To get a feel for what living there is like?
We go by three C’s when looking at a place: Cost, Culture and Community(I like to throw in Culinary too since we love eating, but that’s not a deal breaker.) We love getting a feel for the environment, the people and their lifestyle. We recognize we are outsiders, so we don’t try to overdue ourselves to “become part of the community” but more or less allow the community to affect us, be patient and take in more than trying to give. We really have nothing to give these people. They already live simple, happy lives. We are traveling to open our kids eyes to the world outside of what they’re used to. We’re hoping this will make them think about others, respect others and learn to appreciate life.
Where do you stay while you travel? What amenities/conveniences are most important for you to have?
We like staying in Airbnbs since it does feel more homey than a hotel all the time. We need good internet for Tyson’s work, or at least a good SIM Card or backup wifi option. Every now and then we’ll splurge for the boys and stay at a hotel/resort so they can have amenities(breakfast, kids club, playground, daily cleaning) which is also nice, but 90% of the time its Airbnb or Agoda Homes. We are always looking for a pool for the kids, convenience to Supermarkets or restaurants. We also like having a decent functioning kitchen to save money on having to eat out a lot. Although in SE Asia, it’s cheaper to eat out than cook at home.
How do you plan activities, excursions, sightseeing and balance your time visiting new places? Do you plan in advance or figure it out as you go? Whose responsibility is it, or do you share the responsibility?
We use Google a lot. Emily likes using Pinterest for ideas to make sure what we’re doing is kid friendly and educational to some extent. We like a mix of planning ahead through a local travel agency or just going off the cusp and booking things when we arrive. The latter does give us anxiety a little as Emily is a planner and likes to have itineraries setup. Emily does most of the planning and Tyson thinks of locations.
Do you work while traveling? If so, describe what you do.
Emily quit her job as an Insurance Auditor before we left. Tyson still worked his corporate job for a couple months at the beginning of our travels, but he was slowly transitioning out of that position and away from that company. Now he teaches English online, so that in addition to our savings is how we are able to travel longer term.
How do you afford to travel full-time?
Tyson works in the evenings online and we had a nest egg for savings.
How do you educate your kids?
We have them on a couple of homeschooling programs. They are doing Schoolhouse Teachers and supplementing their learning with another online program too. They just use their tablets to do their work during the mornings or evenings (depending on the activities we have planned). Every month we are in a new place, so we pick out some books for them to read through during that month, then we donate the books to the local library. It hasn’t been the easiest task with three actives boys to keep their focus, but it’s been better than we thought. They’re also learning a lot about themselves and the world around them.
Do you have a budget for traveling expenses?
Yes, we do. We are pretty strict on our budget for the most part. We are a budget travel family but luckily most of SE Asia is cheap.We don’t eat out all the time, we like cooking in at the Airbnb.
Do you use social media, YouTube, Pinterest, a blog, or other platforms to help fuel your travels?
Tyson Kuresa, Kuresa boys (@boysbeyondtheborder) * Instagram photos and videos
1,283 Followers, 202 Following, 164 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Tyson Kuresa, Kuresa boys…www.instagram.com
Social Media has been great in connecting with other families(like you guys ;)) and sharing experiences, getting tips and just enjoying seeing other people with similar passions. We have partnered with a couple companies which have been cool, but other than that we just like taking pictures of the boys and showing them later. We aren’t really expecting it to explode or become content creators or anything. We’re just enjoying the ride!
What are 3 of your biggest challenges traveling full-time?
Getting our kids to try new foods.
Travel day — having to leave a place we really like.
Being away from family and friends(and our mini van *cry*).
What do you find most rewarding about full-time travel?
When something clicks for the kids in their brain, or we see a new mannerism or connection they make with what’s going on around them. Interacting with other kids their age around the world too is teaching them that we’re all alike. They can find commonalities with all different cultures. And the food…the food is great too :)
How has your perspective, personality, family dynamic, etc. changed since you began traveling full-time?
We’ve seen the boys grow a lot. Having each other on this journey has helped. They’re always entertaining each other, doing things together and being able to experience it with their siblings has been a joy for us to watch as parents.
We’ve also realized how similar everyone is around the world. They value family, finding happiness and what their purpose is in the world. We’ve celebrated birthdays, holidays and different cultural festivals in different countries. We’ve realized that being together is not only the most important thing, but crucial for growth.
Are you a minimalist? Do you pack light or heavy? What are some essential (maybe surprising) items in your suitcase?
Yeah this can be a blog post on it’s own lol. We thought we packed light when we began. We each had. suitcase, the boys had their suitcase and carry on bag. Now, 6 months later Emily and I have a small suitcase, the boys share a large suitcase and then they have small side bags. That’s it. We realized how little we really need and use. We’re not thinking of getting rid of a bunch of stuff in our storage back home! Some essentials we’ve realized are basic toiletries, baby wipes, multiple charges and an extra pair of underwear at all times for the boys!
What advice do you have for others in regards to traveling full-time?
Go for it! And not in an impulsive, irresponsible way. We mean go for it, as in the idea of it. Don’t let it get away from you. Let it grow within, make plans, set goals. It can be a reality of you really want it and it’s very very doable, even if it’s jus for 3,4,5,6 months. We miss some things but we’re gaining so much in return.
Thanks so much to the Kuresa Family for sharing their time and story with us!!! If you enjoyed reading this please give it a clap and leave any questions you might have below!