Around the world together

The Big Trip 2015

Looking back on the Big Trip….

As of August 9, 2016 our nine-month adventure has come to an end.  Our family is safely back at home, returning to our “old normal” (Don’t get the reference?)   The kids will soon be back in school, Joe back at Microsoft, and Kristina back to Rainier Scholars and everything else she does for our family.   Here’s a bit of wrap-up

And for those of you looking to understand what we DID, start below at the “It begins” and click the links to see the blog posts both about our adventure and all about

Thanks so much to everyone who visited, commented, made travel suggestions, sent us questions and every other form of support during our big trip!


It Begins!

We took our three kids out of school for most of the 2015-2016 school-year and embarked on a family adventure, including travelling all the way around the world.  We started in November 2015 and we’ll finish up in Summer 2016.


Part 1: US Cities

November 2015 – December 2015

We knew we’d be travelling far and wide.. but our kids had never visited New York or Washington or any of the other great cities in the US. So… we decided we’d start our trip close to home.   The kids switched to our local public schools in September for the year, and on November 12 we left…

The South
Washington DC
New York City



Part 2: Semester at Sea

January – April 2016

First sight...  our Ship!  our Ship!

On January 5 we left Ensenada, Mexico aboard the MV World Odyssey as part of a floating college campus called “Semester at Sea”. We were 5 of the 25 “Lifelong Learner” passengers who were travelling with about 550 college students and about 25 faculty and staff. Our kids were 3 of the ~20 kids aboard the ship.

We had an amazing time travelling aboard the ship … not just seeing the incredible cities and countries, but getting to know a wonderful group of people.

Life at Sea
United Arab Emirates
South Africa
Southampton, England: The Voyage Ends



Part 3:  Europe Solo

May – August 2016


After the ship disembarked in Southampton in late April, our family began another 4 months of travel on our own, through Europe.  As we started this last-leg, we had a lot of planning to do!  We didn’t know everywhere we’d go .. and we didn’t even have our flight home booked.

Czech Republic
Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary