Maybe I Need a Travel Agent

This feels like the start of a joke–like, “Remember the time when Melanie lost her mind and thought it was a great idea to travel around the world with three kids on her own for a whole year?” And then the punchline would be something other than me actually doing it, right? But yet here I am, 134 days (4.5-months-ish) away from our departure, having a mere couple of weeks planned out at the beginning.

I am struggling with figuring out where to go, how long to stay there, where to stay, how to get to the new stop, and so on. I have so many travel books and lists and family travel accounts to follow on Instagram, and yet I feel frozen. I think it’s the case of just having too many options (in this case, most of the world) leading to decision paralysis. Oh, and the fact that I chose to do this with the kids over the course of a year, and not, say, a summer. Not too late to change our plans (save losing their spots in their schools for next year), but I don’t really want to give up or back down–or even have someone else (like a travel agent) make all of the choices for me. But maybe, like, just some choices…?

One of these people is not very helpful in planning our trip–and the other one just turned six.

I have asked the kids for input on where they’d like to go, but Addie is only six, and the boys have never been much of anywhere outside of the U.S., so they mostly just shrug their shoulders and say they’re happy to go anywhere. I’m torn between wanting to take them places I have been and loved and wanting to add to the list of countries I’ve visited. Ultimately, it will be a mix of both–and I know that seeing familiar places through my children’s eyes will make them new for me too.

Our Plans Thus Far:

  • Iceland (mostly driving along the Ring Road; staying in a different place every night, which–I know, I know–is going to be exhausting)
  • the Faroe Islands (staying on Eysturoy for the whole of our time)
  • Denmark (staying in Copenhagen for a few nights and then possibly in Billund for a visit to Legoland)
  • Ireland (maybe a few nights in Dublin before our weeklong home exchange with a family in Cork)
  • England (a weeklong home swap with a family in London… and then maybe driving to Wales and the Cotswolds and eventually up to Scotland, where I’d love to visit the Isle of Skye and maybe the Orkey Islands and the Shetland Islands?)
  • THE REST OF THE WORLD (or at least some more of Europe through the end of November, when Sam will meet up with us for some time in Spain and Portugal)
  • Southeast Asia and maybe Japan
  • Oceania
  • South America

Holler if you’ve got any bright ideas about how to plan out the remaining 49 weeks of our year of travel, where we should be sure to go… or just any life advice in general (I obviously need it all)!


Hey there! I’m Melanie. Originally from Brooklyn, home is now Charleston, SC--or wherever my three kids and husband are. Our family gap year will take us around the world, touching down on six continents over 12 months.
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    No need to freeze, you got this. Once you hit the road, you will find your groove. Inspiration will flow!

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    This is so exciting! You are so brave and inspiring, and what incredible memories you’ll make with your family. It’ll all come together and I can’t wait to follow along on your adventures! 🙂

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      Gah, it’s Kate Goodin trying to leave a comment, and WordPress is making me log into this old account – sorry about that!

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