Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World
A family prepares to get back on the road at a rest stop in Woodbridge, New Jersey, U.S. (Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg)

Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World

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My girls were 5 and 9 when we set out to explore the American West in an RV for two months. The pressures of established routines and societal expectations had taken their toll, and it was time to shrink external distractions and practice living small—whatever-fits-in-a-backpack small.

When you have young children, you feel you need to plan and organize and constantly shuffle them around or you’re somehow putting them in danger. Here, they were capable and independent, appreciating each moment without comparing it to the last. Kids, it turns out, understand their place in the universe intuitively, without getting lost in our ego-driven games. They don’t need fluffy towels or a ­constant flow of new clothes to be happy. For us parents, needing less means working less; it buys us independence, instead of weight.

Now, at our new home base in Chamonix, France, we’ve bought little more than a rust bucket of a van to explore our surroundings. My husband Jeremy no longer has a cellphone. And by fine-tuning how we spend and how much waste we generate, we can live smaller and smarter, wherever we want to be.

Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World
Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World
Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World
Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World
Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World
Traveling With Kids Can Change Your World

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