What you need to know:
- For two years' husband and wife Dale and Damiana Trimble, have visited 20 countries with their three young children despite the pandemic
- Since deciding to tour the world, in two years, the family of five has gotten 10 visas, and taken close to 100 flights
Imagine a life with a beautiful family, a four-bedroom home, three luxury cars, four annual vacations, and a successful business, and then you still feel like something is missing. Husband and wife, Dale and Damiana Trimble both 38, had been bit by the full-time travel bug. "One morning over breakfast, we decided that we would sell all our things, give some away, store the keepsakes and travel the world to experience all that God has made," says Dale. The Trimbles have three children: King, seven, Legend, four, and Love, three.
Since deciding to tour the world, in two years, the family of five has visited 20 countries, gotten 10 visas, taken close to 100 flights, and ticked a lot of experiences off their bucket list. Now getting into their third year of travel, they're not looking to stop any time soon.
"Our very first flight on this journey was to Bangkok, Thailand," says Damiana. "We had never flown for more than eight hours before, yet there we were, inflight for a full 24-hour day with three babies. We had no clue about full-time travel and all that comes with it, but we really enjoyed Thailand. Kenya, India, Bali, Vietnam, and Tanzania have also been highlights," Damiana says of the places the American couple has been able to enjoy.
The family's Instagram page (@trimblefamilybucketlist) is filled with beautiful pictures taken during their travels, from recently celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary in the white desert of Egypt to breakfast with giraffes at Nairobi's Giraffe Manor, horses on the beach in Zanzibar, and visiting beautiful villas in the Maldives.
"We were initially scared because traveling full time was so far out of our comfort zone...this was a huge risk!" says Dale. "Our kids were really small and to traverse the world with babies, you have to have balls. The change was however imminent. We had money without the beautiful experiences, and a life without meaning was the last thing we wanted our legacy to be," he adds.
Some of their family members were however not supportive of the journey. To this day, the couple says that even after seeing the beautiful and wonderful things that they have experienced around the world, not all of them are their biggest supporters. "This journey is about freedom for us. We are escaping the status quo, the mundane, and the old routine systems we were brought up in," says Damiana. "We did not want that life for our kids. It's also spiritual for us as we have reconnected with our highest selves and feel good about it," adds Dale.
Traveling during the pandemic has not been without its challenges. They came to Kenya in January last year to explore the country for only three months. In that time, they visited places like Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Lamu, and Diani, but following President Uhuru's announcement to lockdown last year, they ended up extending their visa, finding an Airbnb in Nairobi, and staying longer. In that time, the African-American family immersed themselves in the culture, explored more of Nairobi where possible, tried more Kenyan food, and made friends.
"Slow travel is always easier for us because of the kids and also because we like to take our time in touring a country," explains Dale. "Africa has the same restrictions but fewer Covid-19 cases than the western world which makes us feel a whole lot safer in traveling. If we are locked down in a country, we take it for what it is, but we are financially prepared for years of travel or even for lockdowns."
They provide stability for their children by staying in each country for at least 30 days. Damiana explains, "Although each place is different, some of our family systems include always eating together at a table setting no matter where we are, learning and going on adventures together, and holding weekly family meetings in which the kids are included. To keep them rooted socially, we take them to wherever it is safe to play and make friends; we do this in every country."
Dale adds, "We always ask them if they are enjoying these experiences or not, and they tell us that they love it. They are very friendly and outgoing. In every country they play with the children there, so making friends is easy for them. They look forward to a new country because they are so eager to meet the kids there."
The pair homeschools their children in 2-4 hour blocks of time throughout the day, and most learning is hands-on. Reading is done half the day and involves reading anything from books to menus. They use YouTube for additional learning and learn as much language as they can in each country they visit.
Their top travel hacks:
- Pack extra outfits, have quiet toys for long flights, keep gum and balloons on hand to unclog ears, have favourite treats, bring light blankets for flights and layovers.
- Roll clothes in suitcases for more space.
- Sometimes book flights at the last minute to get better deals.
- Pack a week ahead of time to ensure you have everything for the journey.
- Try not to take very long flights to keep the children from experiencing anxiety.
- Carry all your baggage and pay for any excess.
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