What does it take to be an adventurous family?

27 Feb

We met the most fascinating cruiser recently. Erik and his family cruised through less traveled corners of the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa.  They left the US numbering seven, and returned numbering eight. The Hemingways had amazing experiences and visited unusual places that I’m so interested to share with our family- Senegal! Morocco! Israel! In the way of the cruising world, although our tracks have never intersected we know a number of boats in common, and before long it was like talking to an old friend.

To be honest, it was such a pleasure talking to Erik, I really almost forgot that the purpose of our call was not for us to learn from him, but so that he could interview Jamie and I for his very cool Family Adventure Podcast! We did get on track and had the rare gift a crystal-clear Skype connection. Erik has produced a really nice program that hits on all the big FAQs about cruising: how do we deal with homeschooling? how do we fund cruising? what about putting the kids in school in another country?

Although he’s a former (and future) cruiser, the podcast isn’t just about cruising families. Erik talks to families who chose to opt out of the expected path in many different ways: some choose cruising. Others have biked across continents. There’s a family who is driving their massive truck literally all over the world. Like us, the experience of choosing to live differently has had such a positive impact on his family and he’s looking for ways to help inspire others to take the leap, however it makes sense for them. Erik puts it best on his website:

We aren’t weird, (well, depends on who or when you ask) we just knew we wanted something different for our family. We knew how life sometimes went in the ratrace, predictable, and sometimes…..easy. Do you know what we mean? It is sometimes lived on autopilot and before you know it, the kids are grown and you’re planning retirement. We wanted to take a break, and we knew the nomad lifestyle couldn’t last forever, but we chose to spend some time, focus on our kids, and maybe show them you can dream big, and with some planning, and goal setting, you can do what most people think impossible.

Oh yeah- we know what you mean! Thank you Erik, for letting us share our story.

The podcast is available through iTunes and Stitcher, or you can just download/stream the .mp3 directly from his show notes page for our interview.


  1. Behan - s/v Totem

    Econobiker, again, I disagree. We were cruising for three years without any ongoing income stream at all. Prior to that, we did have jobs and all that goes with it. We saved it, and then we lived off our savings. We did not skip health insurance or other precautions. You simply do NOT need an ongoing income stream to do extended adventuring as a family, but you just need the fortitude to prepare for it and get out of the rut of consumerism. We did not work two jobs, we had decent annual vacations, we do not have a support “network” beyond awesome friends who cheered us on. I’m not sure why you think these things are necessary, and after two exchanges, I guess we can agree to disagree… but I’ll show you a whole lotta families “out here” who fit the model you say isn’t possible.

  2. econobiker

    Thank you for your reply.
    My statement about independent wealth did not mean that a person did not have to work or was not “working” but that that person has an income stream (mostly) unrelated to the adventure travel. And this income stream needs to exponentiallly be greater the more children which travel with the family. I don’t think that all adventure traveling families do so without family health insurance or catastrophic event insurance -or do they? The typical family has to pay for food, diesel/gas, and sundries somehow.

    To have the choice for family adventure traveling is a blessing (and far more easily available due to technology today) but it is reserved for those who are not working two jobs, for those not working for a job with just 2 weeks vacation per year, for those with a good support network behind the scenes (whether thru family or a company which they own).

  3. Behan - s/v Totem

    * econobiker, I disagree, NOT end of story, although people (you?) like to use this “must be independently wealthy” and variants as an excuse for why *they* cannot live adventurous lives! It’s simply not true. Maybe you and I have a different definition of ‘independently wealthy’ here? I’m going with the generally accepted first world interpretation that means you don’t need to work to support yourself. In our case, we started with the immense fortune of being born into a life of *opportunities* with education and employment, but we certainly didn’t have wealth. Instead, we took advantage of those opportunities: having a plan, working hard, and focusing on the dream. Absolutely not independently wealthy.

  4. econobiker

    Gifford, It takes independent wealth and/or family wealth to be an ‘adventurous family’ plain and simple. End of story.
    Without wealth supporting the travel, a family is just a poor group of traveling beggars or gypsies.
    Hue, Oldham describes the person but not the family. “They do not worry about finding work,” doesn’t cut it when you have a child to feed, cloth, shelter…

  5. Hue

    Does this fit as an answer? Might.

    “Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Adventurous personality style. The following eight characteristic traits and behaviors are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.
    Nonconformity. Men and women who have the Adventurous personality style live by their own internal code of values. They are not strongly influenced by other people or by the norms of society.
    Challenge. To live is to dare. Adventurers love the thrill of risk and routinely engage in high-risk activities.
    Mutual independence. They do not worry too much about others, for they expect each human being to be responsible for him- or herself.
    Persuasiveness. They are silver-tongued, gifted in the gentle art of winning friends and influencing people.
    Wanderlust. They love to keep moving. They settle down only to have the urge to pick up and go, explore, move out, move on. They do not worry about finding work, and live well by their talents, skills, ingenuity, and wits.
    Wild oats. In their childhood and adolescence, people with the Adventurous personality style were usually high-spirited hell-raisers and mischief makers.
    True grit. They are courageous, physically bold, and tough. They will stand up to anyone who dares to take advantage of them.
    No regrets. Adventurers live in the present. They do not feel guilty about the past or anxious about the future. Life is meant to be experienced now.”

    Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.


Comments are closed.

More from the AIM Marine Group