Who Are We?

We are just a regular family who have decided to have a BIG Life Changing Year adventure!

We are Tracey, Gert, Brittney, Kate & Jono.  (We also have a Matthew – he’s staying home!)

There’s nothing special about us.  We are just a normal family who were plugging along doing what everyone else was doing.  Working hard.  Spending all our money on “stuff” and on our kids.  Taking a yearly holiday (which had started to take on a life of it’s own – I guess it was a sign!).  Then doing it all again the next year with all of us another year older!

We started to question why we were doing this.

Gert was working more and more and we were spending more and more.  We had more stuff, more furniture, more expensive toys, more christmas presents for our kids…….we saw almost every single movie that came to the cinema…..more, more, more!

Then a chance book purchase in an airport by an extremely tired Tracey led to the crazy idea that we should take the kids out of school and travel the USA for a whole year.  What a great idea we thought!  No-one else has ever thought of such an amazing adventure – we will be such trendsetters.

Turns out there’s many a family living the travel lifestyle – and since starting this website we have had the amazing good fortune to meet many of them online – they are so great that once we are on the road we plan to meet as many of our new friends as possible!

But that’s a story for another day…..back to us….!

As we made our plans to travel the whole of the USA in 2012, we were quite comfortable that it could be easily achieved.  We really only had to book our flights in and out and then choose a route.  We planned to buy an RV, use it for the year and then sell it cheap when it was time to go home.  Easy stuff, right?

Then we started to investigate the whole USA Visa process.  To cut a long story short, we were not able to easily or cheaply get a 12 month visa for the States.  It was a whole heap of hassle and a whole heap of money.  Did we give up on our dream to escape the rat-race for a year?  Absolutely not!!!

We came up with a new plan.  We would travel to all different countries, with two separate trips to the USA to get around the Visa issues.  The final plan became 3 months in South East Asia, including India, 3 months in the USA – covering 25 states, 3 months in Europe and then 3 months back to the USA – to cover the other 25 states!

This is the plan we have settled on.  Unfortunately the planning for this amazing round the world adventure is huge!  We became all tangled up in the zillions of options that were availabe to get from place to place.  You can google all night and still not make a single decision on where to go and what to do!!

So we’ve thrown caution to the wind.  We’re booking our flight in and out, making a loose list of what we want to see and do while we are there and going with the flow the rest of the time!  This will hopefully let us relax a bit more in the planning stage and leave us open to adventures while we are on the ground in each country we visit.  It may also set us up for more squat toilets than we had planned on but that’s the risk you take!!

So, who are we?

I love dressups!

I’m Tracey.  This website was my idea to share our adventures with our friends and family and it’s my newest baby.  I’m a bit protective of it though I might let one of the family have a turn if they ask nicely!  I’m leaving a job of 7 years with a global chemicals company and hoping to never return!

I long for an amazing adventure in 2012 – time spent with the kids just shooting the breeze.  Getting to know them better before it’s too late and they all run off to do their own thing in life.  I love a good story and am looking forward to some hilarious adventures to recount.  I’ll tell you anything if it’s funny.  Even when I should really keep some things to myself!!

I really, really want a family to adopt us for Christmas in 2012 so it’s extra special!!

Gert’s truck – he’ll sure miss it!

My husband is Gert.  He is originally from Denmark and has been a truck driver in Australia, doing 5000km each week driving the east coast of Australia.  He averages 1-2 nights at home per week and is also looking forward to time spent with the family.  He has loved the freedom of his job (and really he’s been on holiday for the last 10 years!!) so being in close quarters to us 24 hours a day for a year could be a challenge.  I’m sure he’s up to it!  Gert really likes everything clean and he hates double-dipping.  He’s in big trouble when we hit Asia!!  He will enjoy seeing his family in Denmark when we visit there late in 2012.

Our three children along for the ride are Brittney, Kate & Jono.

Brittney is 17 and just finished her final year of high school in 2011.  She planned to have a gap year in 2012 and now Mum gets to pay for it!!  She is selling her little car and saying goodbye to all her friends for 12 months.  Britt has her own website www.girlinasuitcase.com for our trip and will be helping me when I’m at my most technilogically challenged!!  Check out her site – she likes a good vlog!!

Kate.  Where do we start with Kate?  Kate is 14 and thought I was kidding when I said I was trying to take the family to the USA for a year.  She was shocked to find out I was serious – maybe that’s because I announced it on facebook while she was at a sleepover!!  After initially refusing to go she has come to terms with her travelling future!  She was going to do distance education so she wouldn’t be behind all her friends when we returned but I discovered we could get an exemption from schooling for a year.  Kate was a straight A student in 2011 so she should be fine to get back in to school when we return.  I’ve promised her a maths tutor for Christmas next year.  Lucky Girl!!

And that leaves 10 year old Jono.  Jono is thrilled to be going away for the whole year.  Every couple of days he tells me how excited he is!  His only concern is that he’ll be taller than everyone else when he comes back to school and whether I would agree to store his Nerf guns instead of selling them!!  Jono has plans for his own website as well so everyone can see how a kid copes with being dragged around the world!!  His site will be www.followjono.com once it is up and running.  This should be around the time we leave in January.  A visit to Disneyland is high on his list of priorities and he would also like to see Legoland and Vegas!  A boy after mum’s heart!!

So, that’s our story and where we are at!!

For the whole of 2012 we hope to be able to tell crazy stories, interview interesting people we come across on the road, cry over all our mishaps and regale you with stories of upset tummies and inadequate toilet facilities!  Most of all we want to share our adventure with anyone who’d like to come along for the ride!

If that’s you then please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and subscribe to our RSS feed so you don’t miss a single crazy story!!


Who Are We? — 16 Comments

  1. Hi Tracey,

    I hope the final planning stages of your big wonderful trip are going well. FYI, my girlfriend and I have a site together called HowToTravelForFree.net. It helps teach people about how to travel less expensively while still having great experiences. And one of the main concepts that we try to get across to people (especially Americans!) is that traveling for longer periods of time and more slowly can be affordable as well as much more appealing. Given that you and your family will be traveling for such an extended amount of time, we think your story would be something that our readers would like to hear about. If you would like to do so, it might be fun for you to do a guest post or two to kind of talk about your experiences and how you are pulling it off. We could put a link onto the story, so that people could easily find your site and follow you for all of your other blogs posts, etc. If this sounds interesting to you please let me know. And if not, no worries!
    Keith Hajovsky recently posted..50 Of The Greatest Travel Quotes Of All TimeMy Profile

    • Hi Keith. Thanks for the planning encouragement! I’ve had a look at your site and think I would be interested in guest posting for you. We started this with a plan of $250 per day for the five of us (that includes all of our pre trip expenses as well as our unavoidable home expenses while we are away (storage, one mobile phone plan, a small interest free loan etc). It’s becoming increasingly apparent that we can do it for much less and still see and do everything on our (very long) list. With our major expenses being accommodation, food and transport it seems we can easily knock these down a lot more than I had imagined. I had planned to document these on our site anyway over time but it could be much more interesting to write it out for others to actually use rather than just for my own amusement. I’m starting to think we won’t actually come home broke but with a bit of a cash stash!! And if the truth be known, if we can get the 14 year old to agree, we would love to stay away for two years! That can only happen if we halve our spending as we won’t be earning any money while we are away! Email me at traceypedersen@iprimus.com.au with your ideas. By the way I’ll be buying my bag of rice for Cambodia when I get home from work tonight!

    • Thanks Benny! The App is great. I’ve been using it nearly every day. My son’s not too impressed though – he was home sick a couple of weeks ago and was ill outside the shops. So I took a pic of the evidence and made it my photo for the day!! I’m a mad scrapbooker and will miss putting my photos in albums for the year we are away. Your app will go that little way to giving me a pile of pics to glance at when I’m missing it the most!!

    • Oh I don’t want to come home! And we haven’t even left yet!! Can’t imagine how that must feel. Be sure to update me about how you settle back in. Tracey.

    • Hey Skott and Shawna!! How exciting to travel for your honeymoon!! You will SO be able to travel with kids and you don’t even need to wait until they are older. Just incorporate them into your plans!! Heaps of families do! And thanks for your kind comments on Brittney’s girlinasuitcase blog. They really cheered her up!!!

    • Hey thanks for stopping by! We had the best time on our trip and you will too! Don’t be too nervous – it’s one of the best things you will ever do!!

  2. Hi! My husband and I are writing a book about untraditional lifestyles and people who have “opted out” of them and chosen to live in other countries … not buy into the “American dream” of working till you’re 65 and never having enough money to enjoy yourself.

    We recently moved to Cambodia where we write and volunteer and realizing there are many people who have moved abroad and have much richer lives than back home.

    I’d love to send you a questionnaire so we can include your story. Would you please email me at gabirich2003@yahoo.com so we can connect.

    Gabrielle recently posted..Languid lolling on Lazy BeachMy Profile

    • Hey Gabrielle, I’ve sent you an email. So jealous you’re living in Cambodia. We loved it there. Came perilously close to cutting short our trip and settling in!!

  3. Hello Tracey and family;
    We too love travelling and blogging. Lovely to take a look around your blog. Hope our paths cross on the road one day or look us up when you are at our home – in Perth, Australia.
    Prunella and family

    • Thanks for dropping by Prunella! We haven’t explored Perth yet – it’s the last Australian place on our list. I think next year we’ll do a driving tour over to WA to check our your Denmark. Gert would love to go there since he’s from the REAL Denmark!

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