The real story of a young couple who left it all behind to live together with their little ones the greatest adventure around the world.
Hi there everyone! And nice to meet you!
We are the Miljian family: Julien, Miki, Teo and Lia and we’ve been travelling around the world for 700 days.
Our story started on September 5th 2017, when we jumped on our first plane with a One Way ticket for the world to live the greatest adventure of our lives.
But let’s start from the beginning… ;)
On a hot summer night in beautiful Florence, we found ourselves sitting on the ground under our kitchen window when we decided it was the moment to realize one of our greatest dreams. Background music, baking food and two babies playing next to each other: Teo just turned two while Lia was 8 months old (we didn’t know back then that she would’ve turned 1yo on Bali).
It was a very particular moment in our lives, the perfect moment to make that choice. We could’ve never had the same courage six months before or after.
Back then, Babbo J was creating his Start-Up (digital services for hotels). When we were still living in Paris, Daddy J and his big smile-behind-a-dark-beard used to manage a hotel. If you didn’t know yet, we used to live a Parisian life not long ago, walking around le Marais on Sundays, moving by Metro, Notre Dame being our neighbor, spying on the skyline of Paris and its dark grey roofs from our little apartment on the 6th floor (ehm, without elevator), and Teo was born a few steps away from le Jardin du Luxembourg.
Mama M used to be a writer. After moving from Paris to Florence we decided to open an online diary: likemiljian.com, born as a diary to catch up with our families living far away it turned into our job in a few months. The daily stories of this french-italian family gained readers every day from all around the world.
On September 24th, 2016 Lia Miljian is born, in the coziness of our apartment, under a huge map of the world and likemiljian.com has a big audience already.
We had to make a choice. What we knew for sure was:
we probably won’t stay in Florence
our jobs would lead us to be travelling often
it was the perfect moment for the four of us to live that incredible adventure!
We could write 546 stories about it, but not today. It was just a “let’s do it” and a “ok”, without any hesitation. We took the chance.
Somehow it’s always been so obvious, traveling is part of us. We’ve been sleeping with a map of the world over our heads for years, our home was full of paintings and images coming from all over the world, we travelled the first time to the other side of the world during my first pregnancy (only a couple of months before we found out we would soon be three). Such a crazy timing! It was a ticket to Vietnam, a whole month on the road, two months pregnant and nothing more. The night before the flight we spent a lot of time talking and doubting about leaving for such a long time, could it be the right choice? All of our energies were involved in such a tiring conversation. Eventually, we jumped on that plane to Ho Chi Minh (years later, Teo will show incredible talent in eating a pho with sticks without no one showing him how to do it. Destiny! ;)).
Where were we? Oh, yes. The morning after that “Ok, let’s do it” sitting on the floor, two babies playing next to each other, we sent a resignation letter from our rental contract. The owner of the apartment let us know about a possible deadline.
And this is the best part: how did we make it? Well, the answer might seem abstract, but in our case is real and obvious like the neon sign of an amusement park: we believed. Babbo J decided to keep working on his start-up projects from afar, while traveling. And Mama M would keep writing from afar, while traveling.
We had some savings, not a huge amount but the necessary for a couple of months in South-East Asia.
And then the greatest, craziest, ambitious and committing decision we ever took, what made our projects possible: we created a company together, a brand, a vision. We were aware of our competencies, we looked at each other with courage and we said: “we will make it happen”. Our objective was to turn travelling into our work, to auto finance it.
Since that moment it’s been 500 days, 54456890 km, countless flights and countless nights spent working on the bathroom floor (the only available space in a hotel room while the kids are sleeping on the bed), tears, finish lines, goals, “gimme five!”, billions of people along the way, several passport checks, almost every continent visited and you-cannot-even-imagine-how-many pictures taken. Today I would say: we made it! Traveling is our job.
Babbo J became a photographer and his content not only fills our Instagram page @likemiljian, but also the pages of many magazines around the world, sometimes even the cover. Also, he’s the administrative and financial mind behind LIke Miljian.
Mama M writes, writes and writes more. What seemed to be a hobby is now her job. Her stories are the engine of Like Miljian, she writes for magazines and she’s also working on her first book. We believed, this is all friends.
Our company is a creative company (pictures, videos and writing) and today, after so much work and our dedication to get better and better, we became travel journalists and content creators.
So many of you ask us how did we make it: it’s been extremely hard. What you see online is the tip of the iceberg. Behind it there’s so much work. We’re never on a holiday, we’re on a real journey. We have fun with our children, we play, we laugh and we live moments to fill thousands of photo albums; the children will be proud someday of what we’ve lived together, and this is because we’re working hard, every day, every hour, every minute.
The world is our home, our only home. We learnt with patience and experience to balance our family life with our professional life. At the same time, we earned something that has no price for us: our time together. We never had a babysitter (so far) and we’re not only taking care full time of our children, but also of their education, homeschooling them ourselves. We truly believe that the world is the best school ;) Now that our kids should go to kindergarten, we do fun and educational activities all together, while we travel.
Teo and Lia speak italian, french, a little bit of english and they can greet and thank in indonesian, thai, Vietnamese, chinese, japanese, korean, spanish, srilankese, portuguese, german, hindi and nepalese. :)
It won’t last forever and our deadline is the day Teo will start the primary school. Maybe we’ll stop before, maybe we’ll have a house again, maybe we’ll be more than the four of us but surely we’ll never stop traveling.
We left our apartment in Florence a couple of weeks before leaving for our trip, in August 2017. We put all our belongings in boxes and only the necessary in our suitcases, for our first steps around the world.
All we own: our books, our paintings, our clothes and our memories are in a storage room outside Florence, waiting for us.
We travel light: two suitcases and two backpacks for the kids’ toys, one backpack for the electronic material and a stroller. To travel light means for us to be free. In those suitcases we have all we need and care about, as if they were our home.
In these 500 days we never stopped traveling. Our traveling pattern is: we go far away for a while and we come back to Europe to take a breath and see our families again. Then we go far away for a while again and back to the EU. We did this for three times now. Our moments back to Europe allow us to plan our work and the itinerary of our next adventure, to have a health check-up (while we travel we’re covered by a really good health insurance, our only constant investment), and of course to hug our beloved families. :)
Our project is born to share a message mostly: the family. In a period where everyone seems to be focusing very much on their individual selves, we decided to leave it all behind to put our energies in what matters the most: not “ME” but “US”. The time spent together, the moments with our children, our love relationship and the greatest adventure, all together.
We value the journey as much as we value our family: we love the idea of traveling with children and we want to show that it’s possible. We are the living proof that we can discover the world with the kids, we really can. We meet people, we talk, we share, we find out, we discover and we try to adapt to the local habits. We’re not on a holiday, we’re on a mission!
The United Arab Emirates, indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Japan, Korea, The United States of America, Mexico, Cuba, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal…
It’s the story of a conversation sitting under the kitchen’s window during a hot summer night in Florence. It’s the story of a family that decided to live the greatest adventure of their lives. It’s the story of a journey around the world.
And now we wonder… Where to next?
Born under the French sky with a baguette under one arm and a camera at hand, the amazing ability to adapt to every country he visits, blending in with the locals perfectly. His passion is cooking, you can find him setting the grill under Hong Kong’s skyscrapers. His ideas are genial, he is the brave Dancing Babbo.
Italian born, Parisian by adoption, she collects hats, Visas and she’s crazy ni love with her family. She imagines herself writing on a boat on Halong Bay, in a kimono on a tatami or in a japanese ryokan, dancing with mariachi (?) in Mexico or on top of the world in Kathmandu. Careful with 90s music: she may go crazy. She’s the pen of this great adventure.
Lion born, Fishes is his sign. He is the living wikipedia of animals and basketball players. He already changed two passports, his blonde wild curly hair makes of him the explorer of the team. He learnt to eat with sticks in Vietnam when he was two, he had a ride on a camel in Dubai, he met a panda in Osaka, he had dinner with an elephant in Sri Lanka.
Born under a map of the world, she smells of cookies. She took her first steps in Indonesia, spoke her first words in Japan, tasted her first dim sum in Hong Kong. You will find her dancing anywhere in the world. She loves to swim in the ocean without any fear, to fall asleep touching her ears, tulle skirts and she knows how to smile to get another piece of cake. She is our entertainer.