Adventures in Wanderlust: Meet the Wallace Family! January 27 2018, 0 Comments

Meet the Wallace family, a full time traveling family of 6!  Check out their interview below sharing the inspiration for breaking out of the "box", the highlights of their journey, and what they have learned along the way. You can follow the Wallace family as they chronicle their adventures on Instagram @thewallacereboot

Tell us a bit about your adventure…

We are a full time traveling family of 6. We are mama Tamara and dad Wally. Our kids are Mekhi 16, Tayvin 9, Aveline 7, and Kingston 2 that are travelling with us and our 22 year old daughter Grace is in the states playing basketball for Washington Adventist University. We aim to live in each country for 30 days, preferably in a less touristy area so we can get to know neighbors, shop locally and attend church. 


What inspired or prompted it…

We were feeling uncomfortable in our "box." We LOVE America, but the prescribed "American Dream" just wasn't feeling very dreamy. Wally was working full time in a toxic company with a "watch your back", blame game, type environment and was growing increasingly more miserable. Not ok, especially for a Kool-Aid smile guy like him! He has a bachelor's degree in applied business management and is a retired Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, and couldn't seem to find a better job. It was strange. Our family dog passed away and we couldn't adopt or buy a new one, again, strange! 
 
I was up late one night researching various things, pondering the New Year, and it just hit me. I felt that we needed to sell it all and take our kids out to see the world, that we all needed to better understand our place in it. I stopped and asked my higher power, felt confirmation, then proceeded to ask lots of questions! I waited for Wally to wake up, fortunately he was on an early schedule, and i told him everything I'd felt and thought about. He wanted the ok from our them 15 year old son, and shockingly to me, he was in! 
 
We had our realtor over the next day to let us know what we'd need to do and there our journey began. Wally came home from work one day that next week and commented on our little boy's imaginary play. When I let him know that he played that way all the time he visibly deflated and we knew that we needed to do something different, our choice really settled in at that moment. We didn't have this family to be shuffling through life with our heads down, never having enough time for each other and the things that really matter.
 

What were you most looking forward to as you worked towards starting this adventure… 

Feeling alive again. Growing closer as a couple and a family. Growing as individuals. Trying new things and meeting new people. For our kids to understand how fortunate and blessed they are and that the world is so much more than just us and what we think we know. To just sit in awe of the amazingly beautiful places that exist on this globe!
 

How did your friends and family react as you announced this journey…

Mostly they just kind of laughed in shock, shook their heads a bit, then said something along the lines of "if anyone I know would/could do it, it'd be you guys." It was always followed with we were brave OR crazy and they were jealous OR there's no way they'd ever do it. 
 
My dad shocked me in his instant support and agreement that the world would give our kids so much beneficial experience, but he's been living and working in the Ukraine the past 9, almost 10 years, and I know that his response wouldn't have been the same without that experience himself. Grandma was supportive, but admittedly selfishly wanted us to stay close by, which is a bit funny as she travels constantly back and forth to Ukraine and all over the world with my dad. We are hopeful we will see her more on the road than we did at home, lol! 
 

Have you made any significant life changes to start/accommodate your adventure…

BAHAHAHA. Oh boy! I was a CONSUMER. I'd buy things because they were on sale and might need them some day, not that I had any need for them at the time. I've always been emotionally attached to my belongings, so I knew I was in for a reckoning. I'm a go big or don't bother girl, so a gigantic storage unit with all our stuff wasn't going to work. I wanted to really minimalize and make some big changes. This did greatly concern my parents who insisted on footing the bill for a year of storage. We got one of the smallest units we could and...It's stuffed. 😉 We kept a coffee table, a twin bed, two dressers I've had since I was a girl, some kitchen things and a fraction of my decor. The kids each filled one plastic tub. We left with an Osprey backpack and a carry on each as well as one family suitcase. It was an insane 3 months physically and mentally and each one of us made sacrifices to see it through. Our house sold in two days (!!) and it was an absolute whirlwind. We decided mid January, sorted out our well lived in house of 9.5 years, sold it and left the states in 5 months!
 

What has been your favorite moment of your journey so far…

Ok, this is hard! Each place has been so varied and amazing in its own way. My husband said getting to do some service in Brighton, England. The girls both said getting to see things with the family and being together more. The teenage boy said seeing new things and making new friends. He even attended a church camp for a week in Spain and pitched in helping with festival set up/work/take down in Wales. He can often be heard laughing on a group video call with either group of friends from those experiences. My favorite moments just started happening more frequently recently and are pretty simple, but fill my heart the most. Those are the times that we get in the car and head home from an excursion and actually coverse! Like the hour drive home, forget to turn the radio on converse. The kids were so into discussing Tay's newfound omlette skills that we laughed and chatted and ended up planning an "Omlette Off" when Grace is with us in Paris next week. The other example was last week when I was ready to go grocery shopping, but all of them were so into a game of Uno we put it off for over an hour. It was a cozy cottage, there was loud and friendly banter, Christmas music playing softly in the background and for a moment I thought I'd been transported into a Hallmark movie. It was magical!
 

What have you learned so far on this journey…

I had an idea before leaving, but it's still different to live it, but there's a strange headspace you find yourself in. You are seeing new places as if on vacation, but you are very much not on vacation. I think it was confusing for us all the first month or so. I've learned that we have a lot of work to do on our communication skills amongst each other, but that when it comes down to it we really can get through any thing together. We definitely have our ups and downs, real life is still taking us on a rollercoaster ride, but boy is the view amazing! We have been reminded that people are people, grumpy, kind, crazy, selfish and insanely open and giving. There is so much good!! We spent time together, did activities, ate dinner together before, but living together and not having full time jobs or hours of school to occupy the kids is a whole new ball game. We don't spend a lot of time together, but ALL our time together. It's definitely an adjustment, haha. I've learned that my kids are pretty awesome travelers! Of course we get grumpy on moving day or stress about little things here and there, but overall, they sit back and trust in the journey. It's been pretty rad to see. 
 

What advice would you give to someone with a similar goal or dream…

DO IT! Now, sell and donate all that STUFF and GO! There are facebook pages dedicated to Worldschool and full time travel that you can search through for ideas and inspiration on the logistics, but don't keep putting it off. My life was just fine before, but it is extraordinary now. I am seeing my family grow closer, we are all learning, we face fears, we mess up, and really significant to me is that I feel ALIVE. I really feel like I'm LIVING my life and it is amazing! Don't wait for next year, when the kids are older, etc., even if this lifestyle isn't your dream life ask yourself what would make you feel alive and go live it!
 

Where are you off to next? 

We are going up into the Harz Mountains in Germany for a month. It will be interesting as it is a smaller little village, there is a lot of snow and we speak NO German. Lol. After that we head to Prague where we will meet up with another worldschool family. We lived one state apart in the USA and met in Wales. We will explore with them for 3 weeks and for a few days our friends from England will also join us. It's really amazing how life plays out and people are placed in to your story. We are beyond grateful to visit the places we have so far, and many have brought me to overwhelmed tears of awe and joy, but at the end of the day it is all about the relationships. We love how our global family is growing!!