Our Backpacking Family
Welcome to our family backpacking travel journal. An average Aussie family of six who has fallen head over heels in love with family backpacking travel. More to the point, we prefer world family backpacking do it yourself adventures. We value authentic cultural experiences that give our family the opportunity of travelling slow and immersing into other cultures and places around the globe all the while making real connections with people we meet along the way.
Our family, the Sixbackpacks, has been backpack travelling since 2012. Predominantly to South East Asian countries which are just a short flight from Australia.
But in 2017
Something amazing happened! We took a leap of faith and embarked on an epic backpacking journey around the world for the entire year. We made it happen. We packed up and rented out our home, found year-long carers for our pets, enrolled the kids in Distance Education and swapped ‘normal’ life for something quite different – 365 days of following the sun and travelling the world!
Ever since we embarked on that first family backpacking journey back in 2012, we have been dreaming and planning and most of all wondering if we could, in fact, pull it off someday one day. That someday one day door opened and we stepped through it.
Dream, Plan, Save and Go…repeat! Dream, Plan, Save and Go.
‘Living the dream’ is exhausting and the omnipresent triad of home-work-school duties made life feel empty and downright un-motivating. When I wasn’t working, I’d be cleaning or cooking, and when I wasn’t cleaning or cooking I was ferrying kids to netball training, friends houses, and picking them up at midnight parties. Everyone does this I know I’m not special, but I wanted something else in mine and my family’s life. When I had time to myself I was lost in free time haziness. You know the drill. Nothing abnormal in so many other families and households ‘living the dream’.
But I was starting to wonder and get curious about what life is actually meant to look like? Our growing daughters were getting taller and older and their final years of primary and secondary school were approaching like a freight train.
Then we took a leap of faith. After an intense discussion outlining pros and cons and changing our minds several times with yes-no and maybes, we finally made the decision. We were taking our family of six on a wild safari adventure – backpacking the world throughout 2017.
I quit my job; Steve took a combination of long service leave, annual and leave without pay. The home renovation – an extra bedroom and a modern kitchen – could wait. We realised that on our deathbed we were fairly certain we would not say “I wish we had have completed that reno when the kids were young”.
We were relieved and happy as well as confronted and terrified about our decision but both felt a sense of passion and purpose flow back into our lives. We saved like crazy syphoning my wage into another account while living off Steve’s. We went without purchasing all the usual materialistic longings we think we need. Our goal was big and it was now in front of us. We downloaded a countdown app and got excited. This amazing journey was now waiting for us. No more credit cards, no more debt. We even gave up drinking alcohol for an entire 10 months and the money saved by doing this meant we could purchase 6 ONE-WAY tickets to Langkawi Island, Malaysia to begin our year of travel (there’s something about saying one-way tickets that just sounds so pleasant to my ears). I’ll repeat it again…SIX ONE-WAY PLANE TICKETS!
For Steve and me, the decision felt right. But for our four daughters, well they were less than impressed with the thought of travelling with their parents for an entire year.
This is a video interview I conducted in our lounge room 60 days before departing for our family backpacking adventure. It gives a look into how crazy-funny-quirky our tribe actually are but also shows some of the ‘issues’ we’ve had to wade through at length.
I hope you enjoy reading our Six Backpacks family travel journal and looking at the photos and videos. Feel free to say hi or send us your comments on our Contact Us page or on one of the blog posts. We’d love to hear from you.
Happy travelling! Keep smiling!