Q&A | Our answers to your questions
Guys. Here we are. Crazy how a conversation under the kitchen window can change your life. We don’t have a house anymore and we’re officially 4 full time travellers, more or less young. :-)
Thank you so much for your immense support! We received a lot of messages, both privately and in public and they’re the fuel to our engines. Thank you!
Since we posted about our plan you asked a lot of questions of all kinds. The trip around the world… but how can you do such a thing? Financially, physically, technically…? So, here are all the answers! 3...2...1… let’s go!
How many suitcases are you taking with you?
We are leaving with exactly two suitcases and four backpacks. Also the kids will have their own. :-) It’s fundamental to travel light when you’re always on a roll. Our baggage will be filled more with technological stuff, medicine and necessities than clothing. No clothing we take with us can be better than the one we find on the spot, and that’s exactly our plan: filling our suitcases while we go. ;-) In the kids’ backpacks there will be their toys only, of which they will be responsible. And then, yep! Let’s go! Travelling light is the best solution when you have to pack and unpack your baggage once every four days. And I swear: there’s nothing better than feeling free while you’re travelling.
Did you already think of a travel itinerary?
Absolutely! First we will stay 4 days in Dubai, this is because we decided to take advantage of the airline transfer to get in the “mood”. After this we will start our journey to South East Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam will be the first countries we’ll visit. We have set dates until Malaysia, where we will be until the end of October, if everything goes as planned. We will probably be in Asia at least until the beginning of 2018. We will then evaluate if we’ll be going back to Europe to quickly hug our families and leave again or just continuing our trip. We are thinking whether to keep exploring Asia (China, Japan, Korea…) or maybe jump towards America or Australia. What will define our path are our needs and the projects that will bloom along the way.
How long do you think this trip will take?
Until we get tired, if we’ll ever be :). The deadline to come back to a stable life will be the year Teo will have to start elementary school. Right now he’s almost two years and half, so we have almost 4 years to keep being travellers.
Can I come with you?
Ahah! This is a questions many of you asked. Thank you so much! Your idea tempts us! You’ll have to eat tuna pasta every day, know the call of all the animals and sing the Aladdin soundtrack every morning. Let us know if you’re still up for that ;-)
Where will you store your clothing and furniture?
We sold all our furniture before leaving. Regarding the clothes, accessories and all the other stuff you can gather at home without even realizing (let’s talk about it: how many things can a house contain?!) we put everything into boxes which will wait for us in a storage warehouse in Florence. After a couple of months, all the boxes will be taken to Paris to Mamie’s canteen (grandma in french :-) ) where they will be safe and sound. Who knows when we will find these boxes again? The things we are most attached to are travelling with us.
And the map?
Regarding the famous map (an IKEA piece we bought in Paris some years ago), you should know that we didn’t sell it but it’s stored safely. It’s Impossible to get rid of it since it’s a piece of our story.
What will you do after?
During the trip we will fully dedicate our time to our passions, which will become our job in all respects. We will also be busy with this when we come back, when we’ll have a roof on our heads and bricks and walls around us. Miki will take care of the writing, Julien will specialize more and more on his profession, which all revolves around tourism and marketing. Also, he will be busy with a project that’s always been in his mind and heart and he’s really good at: cooking! ;-) Stay Tuned!
How did your families react?
Ahah: good question! They are our families, they know us reeeally well. No one was surprised. They expected this and more from us. Also, we’ve been living far from home for quite some time now. Julien, Parisian, he left home when he was 18 to move to the UK. Miki left her home town many years ago and never stopped since. Skype and Facetime are our best friends, just so you know ;-) and our families will come visit us somewhere in the world, why not? For instance we’re planning a Christmas all together in Thailand. Wouldn’t that be nice?
How old are the kids?
Teo was born in February 2015, now he’s almost two years and a half. Lia was born in September 2016, she will celebrate her first Birthday in Bali :-)
How are you going to deal with their education?
School is fundamental, it will not be ignored. When Teo has to enroll to the elementary school we will already be home. Until that day they will be enrolled to the most beautiful school: the school of the world.
What will the kids eat?
Every place will offer its culinary specialty, its peculiar heritage. The kids will adapt to what we find locally, just like us. We know that anywhere in the world there are kids, mothers and fathers just like us, that live and grow up. As a personal experience, when we were in Vietnam and Miki was two months pregnant we spent our time beautifully and we never felt so safe. Clearly there are hygienic rules to follow. We will read as much as we can and gathering information is on the top of our list. Of course we will avoid places that are not safe for the kids.
What about vaccines?
Our kids’ health is our priority. Regarding the vaccines, it all depends on the places we want to visit, but of course: being with the kids doesn’t allow us to go on hikes or explore jungles. Our family doctor helped us to sort things out and gave us a lot of advice on what we could and should do. It is definitely something to arrange before leaving. Also, we are covered by an excellent health insurance. It’s one of the bigger investments we made for this trip.
How will you manage travelling with two kids?
As we always did so far. There are no differences between travelling with them in Florence or at the other side of the world. We are not very used to helping hands from our families, since they live far away (and we never needed a babysitter either). Our secret? Always together. All together. United: it’s the key.
What do you mean when you say “we’re doing this for them”?
To live the world, to breathe it, to fall asleep while staring at it. This is all priceless. We’re doing this for each of us, as a family. A family who wants to write its story all together. Even if they will probably not remember every detail of this adventure, the feelings will be within them forever. And they will be able to rediscover those feelings through all the pictures and maybe someday they will do the same with their own kids. :-)
How will you deal with not having stability and a routine?
If by “stable” you mean “comfort” then yes, we decided to step out of our comfort zone. To be very honest, it’s something that represents us and we already had similar experiences in the past. For instance, when we came back to Italy from Paris, where we used to have a comfortable life. This is how we are and how we’ll always be. We consider ourselves experienced, our home is us. Our safety is us. And until we decided to step out of this comfort zone, we’ve never been so close to our souls, to our most authentic selves. We have never been so happy and brave. Our stability is the adrenaline that makes us move mountains. it’s not easy every day, but we stay together and this recharges us to face the world and make it our best ally.
Are you wealthy or did you win the lottery?
We have a castle in spain, a couple of yachts… no. Definitely not, just joking. We are not wealthy and we did not win the lottery. We are just two individuals who, during the last years, developed the competencies that allow us to work autonomously today, and to create a profitable dynamic. That’s all.
How do you do with your job?
We are two freelancers, totally independent. As we always worked at home, we will keep doing it around the world. We will become travel journalists fully sharing this experience with you.
What’s your job?
Exactly what you see. Travelling is an integral part of our job. We made our passion our life, our source of income. We’ve been autonomous professionals and entrepreneurs. Julien is a specialist in hotel marketing, Miki has always worked in the fashion industry and since likemiljian.com was born this became her full time job. Writing is both her present and her future.
Do you have a starting budget?
Of course even if travelling is part of our job, we need a starting budget. We have some savings and we sold all of our furniture. We did not own the house. We made an accurate calculation that showed us that life would be way less expensive travelling than being settled while paying rent and fixed expenses, considering our condition of being autonomous workers. We realize that we could never take this decision months ago, but today we can. And we’re doing it in an organized and intelligent way. The only big investment has been the insurance, necessary for our health and the technology that will be needed to document it all.
And when will you run out of money?
You don’t run out of money if you work along the way.
Are you worried about not having a job when you come back?
Not at all. First of all, this is our job and our goal is to keep doing this even after we’re back. In fact, let’s talk about coming back: we need to know where, when and how. And no one has the answer to this question yet. So, we are not afraid of coming back at all. That’s how our life is.
Do you have sponsors?
For such a trip, to make it sustainable and make it last, we built a network of partnerships with like minded businesses that embrace the same values. Our partners firmly support us with this project and they will help us making this trip flexible and sustainable and most importantly to spread the idea that travelling is good, and doing it with kids is even better. Travelling with children is possible. Our partnership is based on values such as sharing and possibility. Travelling with kids, guys, is beautiful and possible!
Where will we stay?
Making partnerships is a way of working that will allow us to have a self-financed trip. We managed to create a network of collaborations with brands that really share the positive spirit towards Kids & Family friendly. We cooperate with different types of properties, hotel chains and independent hotels but also several apartments. Because we want to find that feeling of home again. Along the way we also want to build good relationships with people and if possible we would love to spend the nights at their places. The human side of the experience is a priority for us.
Is your trip mainly a leisure experience or will it also enable some kind of profit?
If you want travelling around the world to be sustainable you need to sort out a trip that is auto financed. It is absolutely fundamental for us that every single thing we’ll do, every collaboration and every choice we make will be in line with our values, will make us feel good and will be pleasant, especially for the kids.
This is our life, we simply want to make it beautiful. If we’re travelling around the world it’s because we want to enjoy its beauty, encounters, discoveries and growth. This journey is a choice of life, an entrepreneurial project but mostly a human experience where our family is at the very center.
We are doing this because we want to experience something incredible with our children by our side. Life is beautiful: there’s no time to waste. We should do what we love.
Thank you for your interest in us.
With a lot of love.
Miki and Julien.