The Ishmael and Heather Davis family — including elementary-aged sons Ethan and Cameron — spent 12 consecutive months travelling to 29 countries and six continents 2011-12.
During a travel segment Sunday on NPR’s Weekend Edition, the Davises talked at length about their travels with host Rachel Martin — including how they relied on careful financial planning in order to realize their dream of traveling the globe together.
“There are two things that came into play (financially),” Heather Greenwood Davis said to NPR. “One was, Ish took a four-over-five. So, for four years, his office withheld 20 percent of his pay and he worked a little longer than usual. In the fifth year, they give him that money back as salary pay. So, every two weeks he would receive an income, as he had, for the four years prior.
“For me, I'm a travel writer, so we basically just moved our life onto the road for the year. We rented out our home, we sold our car and we just offset all our expenses that way.”
In November 2011, the website Canadian Living caught up with the Davises five months into their trip and just after they had arrived in China. Heather Davis described for Canadian Living how the family was benefiting from its extended travels.
“I’ve watched (my sons) figure out how to communicate when language isn’t an option,” she said. “I’ve watched them transform and adapt to changes in their routine, diet and lifestyle without blinking an eye. They’ve grown more patient. They seem less stressed.
“And while the traveling and the things that traveling has exposed them to are incredible, the simple gift of having infinite amounts of time together — more than we’ve ever had as a family — has changed our family dynamic. I feel like I understand the kids a little more. I’m not as rushed to get dinner together or get someone to Karate practice.”