FAQs for Our Gap Year of World Travel

On December 8, 2014, we officially embarked on our gap year of world travel. We’ll be traveling the world with our two young daughters. We actually just came back from a half year of travel in July 2014, so our family and friends are amazed–and perplexed–that we’re doing this again. These FAQs are the questions we’ve heard the most, so here we go…

Why are you doing this, again?

Short answer to this one…Why not?! We’re going for a number of reasons including for our curiosity, discovery, enjoyment, fun, education, growth, family time, and community service. Life is short and you only get one shot at it. The time is now for us when the kids are young and we’ve got the energy to do this. So we’re doing it, again.


How are you funding this?

I wrote a whole blog post about how to fund a travel lifestyle. Basically, it comes down to saving more, spending less, and working and traveling. That being said, we’ve eliminated all of our costs at home by selling our gas-guzzling SUV, renting out our house, and selling or donating more than 90% of everything we own.

Where are you going?

I don’t exactly know yet, but we have general plans to follow good weather, which includes moderate temperatures and little or no rain. First stop is Honolulu, Hawaii for four weeks for family, friends, and the holidays. Second stop is Phuket, Thailand. From there, we’ll probably spend a few months in Southeast Asia and when it gets too hot, we’ll move on to Taiwan, China, and/or Japan. It is our goal to get to Europe before the summer stampede for at least a couple of months and then perhaps to the Middle East. Then back to Asia. If we like someplace, we’ll stay longer and enroll our kids in short-term schooling and if we don’t, we’ll move on to the next place. We’ll be savoring this freedom with location and time for as long as we can.

What about the kids’ schooling?

The kids are young enough that pulling them out of school isn’t that big of a deal. Besides, is there any better way to learn about themselves and the world they live in, by actually seeing and interacting with people of different cultures for themselves? On top of that, they’re in the guidance of their parents, which makes it that much more meaningful. We’ll be approaching their education on this trip through a hybrid approach of world schooling, local schooling, and home schooling.

Happy to leave our empty San Jose home...

Happy to leave our empty San Jose home…

And even happier to arrive at our Hawaii home.

And even happier to arrive at our Hawaii home.

What about your job?

I left my office job behind and have transitioned to being a location independent marketing consultant. I still get to work on stuff that I’m interested in and good at, but now I get to choose what I want to work on and when I work on it. It’s a game changer, plus it allows me to live the lifestyle I want, right now. Worst case scenario is that this working model doesn’t bring in the necessary income to sustain this lifestyle and I’ll have to return home to the Bay Area to find a full-time job at a company.

When are you guys coming back?

I don’t really know. We have our house rented out for at least a year, but I think my ambitions are bit bigger than that. If we can sustain this traveling/world schooling lifestyle, I wouldn’t mind doing this for at least a couple of years. I love traveling and I’ve discovered a new love for writing about it, so I’m sticking with this way of life for as long as I can (and as long as my wife can put up with it).


A special note to my readers and followers over the past year…

Thank you for reading, sharing, liking, tweeting, and commenting on my articles. It’s an honor to have people actually reading my stuff and getting something from it, whether it’s tips, advice, inspiration, or even a few laughs. This past year has been a year of tremendous transformation for me and your support has been a big part of that positive change in my life.

Here’s to 2015 and all the adventures yet to come!

How can you follow our adventures?

Cliff Hsia is a writer, husband, and father, who is determined to live a better than normal life by traveling the world, slowly and purposefully, with his wife and two young daughters. His writing has been featured on MSN, TODAY, The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and other publications. He writes about travel, parenting, and lifestyle design.

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  • This is huge. You’re doing it for real. Go get ’em!

  • Joy Ziya

    So impressed!!
    I have always loved travel but found I had married a man who could not see the point! Your wife and family are so lucky in your outlook.
    I totally agree with the 5 things learned,only struggle a bit with no.4. Now age 79 I am travelling as much as pos. to make up for those earlier years. Such a wonderful world deserves our appreciation.
    My own particular love is for Africa and India where I have enjoyed the amazing wildlife Also hoping to visit Vietnam soon and still not been to Australia and New Zealand or South America.
    Just hope to manage these while able to at my age.I travel alone and find people endlessly helpful.
    I look forward to following your adventures.
    With great admiration

    • Hi Joy, thanks for commenting. It’s inspiring to hear your story of travel even at the young age of 79! Enjoy all of your adventures. Cheers, Cliff