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Full-Time Traveling Couple Struggle Not Seeing So Many Kids

  • As the father of six adult children and two grandchildren, I want to be physically close to them.
  • Last year my wife and I sold everything to travel full time during our empty nest years.
  • This is what it’s like to travel full time while struggling with the feeling of abandoning my children.

My wife and I are full time travelers. We have sold all of our material possessions to live a life completely independent of location. We decided to spend our empty nest years traveling the world and having unique experiences.

I have spent most of my adult life around my children; being so far away now sometimes feels like abandoning them.

I am grateful to be able to travel to exciting countries, sad that my children are not with me, and amazed by new experiences every day. But I often feel like I’m doing something wrong by not being readily available for anything my kids might need.

I also felt shame and compared myself to other parents and grandparents who decided to stay close to their children.

Despite these mixed feelings, I will continue to travel full time and embrace the kind of life I want to live outside of being a parent. I learned that I can be a good parent while not being physically close and “on call” to my children.

I had to give myself permission to live my best life as a parent

I started going to therapy a few years ago, and one of the areas we worked on was feeling a sense of obligation as a parent. Even after my children became adults, I felt I could only make limited changes because I was responsible for putting their needs first.

Working through long-time programmed parenting beliefs has helped me explore what makes me feel good and fits how I want to spend my golden years. I recognized that travel is essential for my soul and my happiness.

I understood that no law says that I have to be physically close to my children to be a good parent. I want to be the best dad I can be while living a free life full of things that make me happy.

I use technology to stay in touch and communicate frequently

We have FaceTime calls every two weeks to catch up, offer advice, and plan things for our family.

Those frequent check-ins aren’t as great as physically hugging our kids, but the ability to be connected has relieved a lot of stress. We are in the loop and there for our children in a different way.

Connecting through technology has helped alleviate these feelings of abandonment.

I want my children to see that it is essential to live and not just to exist

One of the best things I can do for my children is to lead by example. Selling everything to travel full time and live a drug-free life is an example I hope they take to heart.

My children may not want to travel like we do, but I want them to ask themselves what makes them feel good as individuals. I want them to see that life is meant to be lived and that they don’t have to walk down a path that makes them feel like they just exist.

Modeling a life well lived has helped me overcome the feeling that I am abandoning my children, because I am showing them that they do not have to follow or accept social norms in their lives.

I don’t know if we’ll be traveling for the rest of our lives, but I understood that it was okay not to be physically close to my children. It’s possible to be a good parent and live your best life – it’s not a decision to be made.

My children plan to join us in different countries, and having a free life means we can visit them whenever we want.

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