Curious how to sell everything you own and travel the world?
Then you’re in the right place!
Before she sold everything to travel with her husband and son, Lana took on a passion project that involved DIY-ing a 6,000-square-foot Tudor in New York for five years.
Despite all of the things her family had amassed in this home, not to mention the fact that she and her husband had steady jobs, they wound up eventually selling everything and traveling — as well as learning how to world school their son.
Below, Lana shares her story of breaking free of a stressful cycle that limited her joy to instead make the world a home and a classroom.
Additionally, she offers tips on how you can do this yourself, including insight into how she funds this lifestyle.
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How To Sell Everything You Own And Travel The World (Worldschooling Tips Included!)
1. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. To get started, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I am Lana and I am a world school mom who travels full time.
We are currently perched in the Netherlands while I finish up my vegan chef diploma and we ride out this pandemic.
I am a children’s wellness author and vegan nutritionist and have worked wellness and vegan exploration into our travels.
My husband, Joey is a composer and is the other half of our blog, Happily Curated Chaos.
2. Before your family traveled full-time, you took on a passion project that involved DIY-ing a 6,000 sq/ft Tudor in New York for five years.
This project even led to you putting your eight-week honeymoon through France and Italy on hold, a decision you’ve mentioned on your website that you would change if you could go back in time.
Why is this?
I suppose we all have an idea of what the American dream is, and I was just going through the motions of “being successful” and proving it with a big house.
We loved the creative process but hated the responsibility of a big house for just the two of us. If we could go back in time, I would have picked a week in Italy over a water heater any day.
We love homeownership and bringing a property back to life, don’t get me wrong! It was just the wrong time to root ourselves when we had explored so little.
3. What was it ultimately that led you to make the leap into full-time travel?
I had two brick and mortar shops, a child in full-time therapy, and a sick dad; travel looked pretty hopeless, yet it was a big desire for us.
Eventually, my dad got so sick, we had to close down the shops and move close to him.
During this time my son had done really well with occupational therapy and his schedule began to free up and we learned more about nurturing his needs and using yoga and meditation as a tool.
Sadly my dad wound up passing and suddenly we were living in a place we hated with no one to take care of and nothing keeping us in the states.
Our son is homeschooled as well, so if we didn’t leave then, I have no idea when an opportunity would happen again.
4. One major goal for your family was to “live with less things, and more of each other” which when I read it really sort of made my heart stop for a moment it was quite an impactful thought.
So I’m curious:
How did you begin this process of purging your physical things, and how do you feel it’s helped build a stronger connection in your family?
When we lived in New York, we worked a lot.
A 70 hour week was pretty normal, plus an intense commute. When we left the 6,000-square-foot house, most of the stuff wound up on the curb.
I realized I enslaved myself to just buy material possessions and disposable things. I really just worked for the weekends to have time with my husband and friends and to cook.
That thought made me extremely sad once I realized the cycle I was in.
What if we just had less stuff, less to worry about and all that money saved went to time spent together doing things that make our hearts full?
What if I didn’t want to be an executive and I just wanted to grow food and feed my family healthy meals and spend time in the sun?
Why were we complicating things?
So sure, we make less money, but we are also a full-time family homeschooling as we explore the corners of the earth.
Tiny pinecones and seashells have become treasured items instead of things that would eventually wind up in a landfill.
5. Now before moving you and your husband, Joey, had full-time jobs as a marketing executive and composer.
How did you both get to that point where you were officially thinking, “Okay, yes, we’re definitely doing this!” and what did you do to ensure you’d be financially secure moving forward?
We invested in real estate.
When we left New York, we bought a tiny cottage in Nashville and an investment property we short term rented.
We sold them both and bought a compound in West Palm that acts as a holiday rental, as well.
It became pretty popular and people like having weddings and gatherings there as well as photoshoots.
With the pandemic, there is a ban, but we are hopeful we can safely open our doors again soon.
6. You also had a small child, Atlas, who was six at the time you decided to shift into full-time travel.
What did your trip planning process look like, and what were some important considerations for your family during this process?
I am a pretty intense planner.
I planned the first six months of travel aligned with lesson plans.
The core of everything was to spend time together after feeling so raw from the passing of my father.
Secondary was to make everything a teaching moment without some elaborate arsenal of material to lug around.
This involved seeking appropriate museums, sensory-rich activities, and any social elements for Atlas.
This has been a cooking class in Italy to skateboarding lessons in London to an amazing school group in Holland.
Next, what vegan food could be found?
If those three things could happen, that’s all we needed.
7. While you travel full-time, you and your husband also world school your son.
For those who are unfamiliar with this idea, can you explain what world schooling is, how it works, and some of the benefits?
The world becomes your classroom.
The forest becomes a science lab.
Climbing mountains in Italy searching for waterfalls becomes PE.
A museum becomes a history lesson.
So much is out there, and so much of it is free. There are endless resources, guides, and other families to connect with.
I believe world schooling is what suits you. It’s hard to force it into a definition.
Some travel slow, some fast. Some only go with groups.
Using the world as your guide is the best way to explain it for us.
It’s beneficial to us because you can talk at children all you want, but until they see things unfold and understand for themselves, real learning doesn’t happen.
For example, we looked at photos of recycled sculptures in the woods, but until we went to see and touch and climb, they weren’t really real.
8. What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced while traveling full-time as a family? How have you overcome them?
In terms of challenges while traveling full time with family, the pandemic has taken our income away, so that’s been pretty tough!
Additionally, once in Paris our Airbnb host never let us in, and it was late at night.
You have to be flexible. You can’t do this and not be.
Plan all you want, but life is going to throw the most random stuff at you and you need to be willing to roll with it.
During the only time we flew during this adventure, our flight over-landed us in a city we didn’t book with our luggage missing for a week and us needing to book a train to get to our accommodations a day late.
The airline took no responsibility and we had to pay for everything out of pocket!
9. What is one of your favorite stories from the road that really exemplifies your perfect moment traveling as a family?
Lake Como, Italy. Renting a boat on a cloudy day with no one else on the water was so much fun and wildly therapeutic for us.
It was the first time we just did nothing all day and it was so beautiful, it looked fake.
Everyone was smiles all day, it was perfect.
10. What advice would you give a family looking to leave the settled 9-to-5 life to travel full-time and world school their children, but who may be nervous?
Just do it.
And if you fail?
It’s not going to go the way it is in your head anyway, so you may as well try.
And sometimes try, try again. It’s worth every botched accommodation, late train, and language barrier.
11. In terms of a practical tip, what is the first thing a family wanting to begin traveling full-time should do, in your opinion?
Map out your first six months in totality.
Download all your apps, find travel WiFi, make your curriculum, and do as much as you can before you leave because you can’t predict when you will have a clear head and space to plan again.
Study Googles Maps, walk down the streets, join all the Facebook groups, and only bring what you absolutely need!
Things may not go as planned, but all this information will be cataloged in your head and often super useful when you least expect it.
12. What is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned from the road?
We need far less than we are made to believe.
Clean air, clean food, time with those you love, and something to look forward to seem to be the recipe for happiness for us.
Also, don’t wait. The second you can, book that one way flight.
It’s worth it.
Do you have any advice on how to sell everything you own and travel the world?
Any travel tips for those trying to transition into a full-time nomadic life?
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