For the love of Summer: Episode 01

Traveling the world with kids can be fun:
Tsh Oxenreider's summer trip tips

If there were ever a family travel expert, it’s Tsh Oxenreider. In 2014, Tsh and her husband Kyle sold their house, put all their stuff in storage, and went on an almost year-long trip around the world with their three kids—ages four, six, and nine. Tsh wrote this experience in her phenomenal travel memoir At Home in the World. Today, Tsh kicks off our “For the Love of Summer” series and tells us about her fascinating trip around the globe. She also gives some practical tools to help us make travel memories on any schedule or budget. Tsh has a ton of tips on packing, saving money, setting the right expectations, stewarding our kids’ energy levels, and so much more. Tsh helps us see that we can create lifelong memories with our families with just a backpack, some snacks, and a laid-back attitude. 

Transcript from the show

Narrator:  Hi everybody, my name is Remy. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast, with your host Jen Hatmaker, my mom. She writes books and speaks to crowds. But she mostly loves talking to amazing people, every week, on this podcast. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy the show.
Jen:  Hey, everybody. Welcome to the For The Love Podcast. It is Jen Hatmaker here, your hostess, and I am tickled about today’s episode, really, and you are going to be too. We’re kicking off the next series called “For the Love of Summer” and we’ve got all kinds of interesting summer experts talking to us about a variety of things.

So today, my guest is Tsh Oxenreider. A lot of you probably already know her. She’s a wife. She’s a mom. She’s a writer. She’s the author of three books. She’s written Organized Simplicity, Notes from a Blue Bike, and specifically the one we’re going to talk about a lot today is called At Home in the World.

So, Tsh is such an interesting person. 10 years ago, she was living in Turkey with her husband and her three-year-old. That’s when she founded the website The Art of Simple, which may be how you know her. She was using it first to document her cross-cultural adventures, but then it morphed into this amazing community of readers who exchanged all kinds of tips on simplicity, and making margin, and focusing on what matters most. It’s a really, really cool space that she has created and developed. It’s been mentioned everywhere: HGTV, Food Network, CNN, NPR—everywhere, literally.

Last year, after about a decade of shepherding The Art of Simple, Tsh exchanged pen for podcast mic. She’s the host of two weekly programs that are amazing: The Simple Show and Women’s Work, which is newer and you’re going to love it. I will link to all these in the transcript because I want you to see both of them.

So, after moving all around, Tsh is actually my neighbor. She lives in Georgetown, which is just north of Austin. I’ve known her for some time and when it dawned on me Tsh is the right person to talk travel, I was, like, light bulb going off over my head. She is so, so fascinating.

What we’re going to talk about today at length is a handful of years ago, in 2014, Tsh and Kyle—their kids were four, six and a half, and nine—after a couple of years of planning and strategizing, they sold their house, they put all their stuff in storage, and they went on almost a year-long trip around the world with their kids. You guys: four, six, and nine. And so, she wrote all about it. That’s what her book At Home in the World is about. Telling these stories in first-person, in real-time as they traveled literally all around the world. We’re going to talk so much about it, and it’s so fascinating.

Also, today though, she is bringing us a ton of tips on traveling with kids, on packing, on budgeting, on setting the right expectations, on stewarding our kids’ energy levels. I mean, this one’s packed of really, really practical information, plus it’s fascinating to hear her story, so you are going to love her. You guys, help me welcome to the show, Tsh.

Okay. I’m so glad to be on this podcast with you today, Tsh. Thank you for coming.
Tsh: Thank you for having me. It’s so fun. I love an excuse to chat with you.​

Jen: I just told our audience a little bit about you, and your life, your work. I talked about At Home in the World which, as you know, I loved it. I loved it. I recommended it. I blurbed it.

I wonder if you would take all of us back to the moment where you and your husband decided to take your family on a year-long trek across the globe. Because this is no small deal. I mean, this isn’t like just something you decide on a Tuesday.

Tsh: Right.

Jen: Will just tell us what was going on? Where were you living? What were you doing? Whose idea was this? Who brought it up? Did one of you think it was crazy? Was this, like, a really hard sell? It’s just so outside the experience of normal, it’s so fun to peek in and hear how this went down for you.

Tsh: Yeah. You know, what’s funny is I can tell you exactly where I was and exactly the day where we had this idea. But in order to understand who we are as people and as a family, you have to almost back up a couple of years before that, because Kyle and I, my husband, met rather unconventionally.

We were both single working overseas in Kosovo—like, war-torn Kosovo in the late ‘90s or early 2000s. So we both have in our DNA, independently, the sense of adventure and the love of unpredictable, just laidback living. We come to that for our family on our own, so there’s not a lot of convincing of one or the other we should do something besides just the normal.

Just to give that background, Kyle and I, we were living in Austin at the time, but temporarily. I’m from Austin. I was born and raised there from the ‘70s. [At the time] we were back from Turkey. We had lived in Turkey for about three years before that. We were back in Austin to have my third-born, and he was a newborn in my arms when we found out that we needed to move back to the States for boring reasons that I don’t want to explain. But [it was] a little sudden, and it really threw us for a loop. We just were not expecting [it]. We just thought we were going to be in the States for a few months and then move back.

So our home and everything was still waiting for us in Turkey. We had friends later that packed up for us, and they said it felt like Pompeii because there was like pictures still on the fridge of our kids, paintings . . .

Jen: So weird.

Tsh: Yeah. It wasn’t like we thought we were moving.

Jen: It was like you were raptured, and all of a sudden you were just gone and then there was your half-drunk milk glass.
Tsh: Totally. So, we were just really shocked, and I went through a grieving period because I had always wanted to raise my kids cross-culturally and globally. I just felt really down about the whole thing, and of course, I’ve got the post-partum, everything’s happening.

I also had a two-and-a-half-year-old and a five-year-old, so I was just in that stage of life where you never sleep, everything is emotional, and you don’t know which end is up.

Jen: Totally. And your big kids had only known Turkey, right? That was their only set of memories, really.

Tsh: That’s right. Because we moved there when my daughter barely turned two and then my son was born there, and so that’s the only life they knew. In fact, for a long time my daughter thought she was Turkish. We would come back to the States and she would ask, "Are there other Turkish people here like us?"

Jen: So cute.

Tsh: I know, it’s very cute. Yeah, this is all they knew, and I was really mourning this loss. This is when Kyle said—when I was holding my youngest in my arms—he said, "You know, just because we live Stateside now does not mean that’s the end of giving our kids a global worldview and really experience a worldview." So helped me off the ledge, seeing, Okay, this isn’t a death sentence, moving back to America.

Jen: Right. We’re doomed to the suburbs for the rest of our lives.

Tsh: Right, exactly. At the same time, this is when my online thing started going enough to where this was our family’s primary work and it was a total surprise to me, that’s a whole other topic, but this was not in the plan. Yet we happily accepted this. And Kyle then got a job with our organization to do work from home in the States but technically, he could do it from anywhere. So he’s basically given the position of director of operations of this organization, and other than meeting with his boss maybe, like, every couple of months, he really could do his work from anywhere around the world.

So we thought, Okay, sometime in the next few years, if we are still doing this work, so we still have a lot of freedom, let’s take this show on the road, man. Let’s see if we can do this.

And that buoyed my spirits enough to feel like, Okay, I can live here. I can be back in the States. I can do the "normal" thing because we have a plan that’s just a little bit us still. 

Jen: Yeah, totally. I know what you mean. When I have something to look forward to, I can get through anything. This is why I always tell Brandon, "I need to be planning a trip." It can be 18 months in advance. That’s fine. That’s enough gas in the tank for me to get through my stuff.

So from that moment where Kyle was like, "We can still do something amazing, an amazing family adventure," how long was it until you pulled the trigger on this and you loaded up your family?
​Tsh: My youngest was barely four when we got on our first plane for this big long trip. The reason we waited that long, there were a couple of reasons. Some of it is money. We needed to save up money, which I can talk about later the details. But we also wanted to strike this little window: my youngest was four, my eldest was nine, where they were still young enough to not be too rooted. You know what I mean? 
You have older kids. It would be a lot harder, now that my daughter is 13, to extract her from her relationships. It’s just a whole different thing. It can still be done, it’d just be different. But at nine, you’re still like, "I just go where my parents go. Whatever." You know?

Jen:  Absolutely.

Tsh: Yet, we also wanted them to be out of diapers. We have friends that travel with babies, but that’s just not what I wanted to do.

Jen: That’s too hard.

Tsh: It’s a lot of work.

Jen: That’s just too hard, universe. No.

Tsh: It’s a lot of work, and I wanted everybody to be able to carry their own backpack even some of the time because our criteria was everybody gets one bag and that’s it for a whole year. One backpack.

Jen: Oh my gosh, we’re going to get into that. So, they were four and your middle kiddo was how old?

​​Tsh: Six and a half and then nine.

Jen: Six and a half and nine.

​Tsh: And they all had birthdays as we traveled, yeah.
​Jen: Where did you start? Where was your first, first stop?

Tsh: We went westbound, so we first landed in China, which is insane because China is not classically easy in the sense of maybe, like, England is. It’s obviously Eastern and so just from a Westerner’s point of view, it feels pretty countercultural. So it felt like jumping in the deep end.
But the reason we went that way is because we wanted to chase the sun as best we could. This was in September and so this was still fall. We just started looking if we went the other way, we’d be hitting a lot of cold spots during the winter and we wanted to travel light, as light as we could, and so we just did the math. Of course, there were going to be places that weren’t going to be ideal, weather-wise, but we just saw that on the whole, if we went westbound, we’ll be chasing the sun as best we could. So that’s the reason we went that way.

Jen: Okay. It’s too dreamy. Now, how much of this was completely planned out for . . . It was basically a calendar year, right, more or less?

Tsh: Yeah. We followed a school year, yeah.

Jen: Was it entirely completely planned, or was any of it a little bit, Let’s just see where the wind blows?
Tsh: It’s like whenever anyone asks, How do you know when you’re ready to have a baby or get married? It’s like at some point, you just go and you learn as you do it. There’s no way your 100% ready. It’s the same thing here. We realized, "Oh my gosh, we’re never going to get all our ducks in a row. At some point, we just need to do it."

So we planned roughly a third at a time. When we left, we had a third of our plane tickets. It was roughly three months or so, three or four months. We decided this for a number of reasons. One, because we wanted the freedom to be able to change our minds down the road and we also wanted an escape hatch, but we didn’t want to bite off too much and we’re like . . .

Jen: Totally. You don’t know.

Tsh: Yeah, and they were definitely times, especially in the beginning, where we’re like, "What the heck are we doing? Get me off of this train."

Jen: Seriously? Like when? Give me an example. When was a moment where you’re like, "This was the dumbest thing that Kyle ever thought of and advised"?
Tsh: I remember in Thailand, we’d been in this trip for about two months, and we laugh about this now—but I remember turning over one morning in bed and waking up and saying, "Oh, it’s you again." Which I know is marriage, I know that’s marriage. But we had been spending 24/7 together, I mean, literally.

Jen: Totally. I mean, normally we’re tempered with our friends, and our neighbors, and our co-workers. And you had this one family, that’s all you got.

Tsh: That’s all you have, and my kids were too young to be left alone anywhere. Now we could go on dates. But then, we couldn’t. So it was just, 24/7, the five of us all the time which, flip side of the same coin, was one of my favorite things about the trip, looking back now. But in the day to day, it just got hard. I’m an introvert, and I just need my alone time, and it just was hard to find. So there were times when I was just like, "Okay, we’re in month two, and we’re doing this how long? A year? Oh my gosh. I don’t know if I can do this." There were definitely moments like that early on.

Jen: I relate to that so much. I’m introverted like you are too, and there’s a specific itch that nothing can scratch except for being by myself. That is it.

Tsh: That’s right.

Jen: It’s not that I don’t like my husband or children. I’m just like, "There you are again." So that is cracking me up.

Tsh: Yeah.

Jen: Obviously, you plucked your two oldest out of school. Your four-year-old wasn’t yet in school.

Tsh: Right.
Jen: How did you "worldschool” your kids while you’re on the road? Because that’s a whole ‘nother deal. It’s one thing to travel for a year, it’s another thing to essentially homeschool and travel for a year. This feels like where my brain fries a circular level.

Are there learning strategies? What did you pick up that you still use? How did you chart that out?

Tsh: This was another reason why we went when we did, because it felt a little more doable to do third grade and first grade, and definitely not eighth grade.

Jen: Like AP Chemistry?
​Tsh: Yeah.

Jen: Right. Yes.

Tsh: To give another little bit of the backstory, when we lived in Turkey, I had come to terms with the fact that we would probably homeschool if we’d lived in Turkey. And that’s a whole other topic too, because I was not okay with that idea for a while and then I became okay with that idea and then I learned to live with it.

And so, back when we were living in Oregon, we decided before we left to homeschool for a year. My kids were still super little. They were kindergarten and third grade before we left. We homeschooled that year to mentally prepare us for worldschooling the following year.

I will say that ended up being such a smart decision because the transition was not nearly as hard as pulling them out of a more traditional setting. We were already used to the idea of having more blurred lines between subjects and then learning how to do things on their own.

When we went, this was roughly fourth grade and first grade, so it was still pretty easy. My only real concern was reading, writing, and math. Everything else would be just "extra." It wasn’t that I didn’t care about those extras, but I figured we would just figure it out as we went and would let the world teach us. It turned out to be a great move.

Jen: Geography is covered.

Tsh: Yeah, right.
Jen: Culture is covered.

Tsh: Exactly.

​​Jen: History, covered. Yes.

Tsh: It’s so easy. And for us to stick to some curriculum that would otherwise make us miss what’s outside the windowsill. 
So we’re about to go on the Great Wall of China or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. We’re not going to say, "Well, but kids, right now, according to our textbooks, we’re doing physics. So we’re doing physics, not marine life, even though we’re snorkeling today." We just decided, "Let’s just go with it."

Those sort of subjects, they just taught themselves by being in the world, and then we used everything else to help with reading, writing, and math. The kids kept, at least the oldest, kept a daily journal of everything she did that day and so that covered writing. That also gave her this really great souvenir she can look back on, even though she hated it at the time. That kind of thing.

Jen: Sure.

Tsh: If I went trying to replicate traditional school, it would be totally frustrating. But we just took the low-key approach and it worked out great, honestly.

Jen: When you got home, did you keep homeschooling?

Tsh: No. We ended up moving to Austin, which was a total shock to all of us, and we put them in a school, our neighborhood school, for a year and that was definitely a shock to the system. It was harder, honestly, to return than to be on the road for us, especially because we’re unconventional anyway. That was a rough year for them. They’re now in a great school that is a hybrid of everything that we love. We’re good now, but at that time it was a rough re-entry.

Jen: What was the most surprising thing that you learned about traveling the world with your kids and family instead of solo, which you did for years?

Tsh: I already talked about the constant togetherness. I think one of the things that the kids taught me that I did not expect is that we did so many great milestone things that you can use a scaffolding for different mile markers of the trip, like snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, going on a safari in Kenya, seeing really great monuments. Yet their favorite parts, if you were to ask them today what their favorite parts were, were the really slow, boring parts where we just stayed put for a while.

Jen: Interesting.

Tsh: We added three spots of the trip where we stayed put for somewhere for at least a month. And we did that first, at the end of the day, to catch up on school and work but also just to catch our breath.

And those were our kids’ favorite parts. They were not filled with much of anything really. For five weeks, we house-sat for friends who were out of town in the Sydney, Australia, area. And it was literally in the suburbs, where they had a backyard with a trampoline, and we fed chickens, and we just did our thing. One of my kids just absolutely loved that moment.

Kyle and I adopted this mentality, this phrase of, When everything is awesome, nothing is awesome. 
Jen: Oh, that’s good.

Tsh: We kept that in mind whenever we felt this compulsion of, We need to make everything this event. When really, if we did too much of that, it watered it all down. To me, it was a great life lesson about what does that mean about real life back home and how we traveled. Maybe it’s okay not to see everything and the point is more of the togetherness than the checking off things on a list, you know?

Jen: I like that. To me, that has a ton of threads.

Tsh: Yeah.

Jen: I’m listening to you say that and I’m pulling that down into parenting, and into marriage, and into career. That’s really a fascinating approach and interesting that your kids almost prefer the downtime.

So you were in Sydney for five weeks. Where else did you camp out for longer than normal?

Tsh: We were in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for quite a while, almost about six weeks, and then we were in Southern France in this tiny little village called Cadenet in Provence for about five weeks. So yeah, it was rough.

Jen: It’s too much.

Tsh: Yeah.

Jen: This is too much. This is too fantastic. Experience is obviously the best teacher.

Let’s say you were going to go back and do it again with your kids at the ages that they were, not the ages that they are right now. Would you do anything differently?

Tsh: I think we would go to fewer places and stay in each one longer because one thing we realized is that the traveling was the most tiring part, not once you’re out there.

Jen: But the airport and the airplanes.

Tsh: Yes. All the logistics.

Whenever we have a travel day of trying to make all that happen, we were both just exhausted and stressed but once you’re somewhere, it’s great. But not only for that reason but also the reason I was just describing.

And we did take an approach of a little bit of slow travel while we were out. We didn’t feel the pressure to see everything because who knows if we’ll ever be here again? We never take that approach. But there still was a little bit of this element of like, Oh my gosh, we’re in East Africa, what all can we do?

I think, instead, I would just pick a few hubs and live life there and maybe do some day trips, maybe even go somewhere for a week but then come back, instead of just always hopping from one guest house to another. Because that definitely got tiring.

Jen: Yeah, no question about it, especially with your kids at that age. I mean, even being experienced travelers like your kids are, after a while that’s just taxing. 
We’re going to get in to some of those specifics in a minute because you have to tell us. But before we do, I want to give you a little rapid-fire question based on your trip: not the all-your-life experiences, but this specific trip.

Tsh: Got it.

Jen: Just fire it off to me. Okay, what was your favorite city?

Tsh: Oh my gosh. Munich. I love Munich.

Jen: Munich.

Tsh: Mm-hmm.

Jen: I did not expect you to say that. What was your favorite food?

Tsh: The food in Thailand, the street food like mango sticky rice, Pad Thai, all that. I mean, you could eat like kings for 50¢ and it was amazing.
Jen: That’s my favorite food in the world. That’s my flavor profile. That is my country. I will never, ever get tired of Thai food in my life.

Tsh: Yeah.

Jen: Who had the best bathrooms?

Tsh: Such a great question. Well, back to the Munich question, I would say either Germany or Switzerland because they care so much about cleanliness.

Here’s the thing too, I realized. Well, I knew this already but it was such a good reminder. Europeans are good about having the right length of bathroom doors. The gap between the wall and the door is huge in the U.S. and so it just feels so much more private in public bathrooms. Europeans know what they’re doing there.

Jen: Good job, Europe. Who had the worst bathrooms?

Tsh: You know, a lot of places.

Jen: Yes.

Tsh: Most of the world uses squatty potties, so you get used to that, but they’re never fun.

This is almost like a cheater answer, though. We stayed at this really cheap house for just a couple of nights in Nairobi, Kenya, because we were about to go on safari. And one night while we were sleeping, the septic exploded.

Jen: That’s too bad.

Tsh: Yeah. The whole yard was flooded with sewage, so we literally had to create little—what do you call it?—little rocks between the front door and leaving so that we didn’t step in the sewage. It was delightful. It was great. It was a great smell to wake up to and to try and just pray your nine-year-old does not drop his bag.

Jen: Oh my gosh. I’ve had many, many interesting potty experiences in Africa, as well. Many, many, many.

What about best place for a date, not that you got one, on your trip?

Tsh: Well, I will say we did get a couple. We ended up meeting up with people who were willing to exchange. So, I will say, oh man, when we’re in southern France, we had some friends that we met up with there because they were traveling too, and so we piggyback and forth with babysitting. So Kyle and I went to the next village over this town called Lourmarin and it was beautiful. I mean, it almost was a joke how ridiculous it felt. So we went to this like beautiful . . . So, southern France, honestly, because it’s ridiculous how on point they are with that kind of stuff, food and everything.

Jen: I’ve been to southern France one time, and it’s almost dumb.

Tsh: Yeah, exactly.

Jen: We just were like, "This doesn’t make sense. Why are we here? Is this how these people just live their lives?" I mean, it’s too charming. It’s too precious.

Tsh: Right. That’s right.

Jen: What would you say if you had to just uproot the whole circus, what would be the most livable city?

Tsh: That’s a great question. Well, livable for us, so we’re used to things . . .

Honestly, the place that all our kids keep talking about like, Can we live here one day? is Italy. I think about the logistics, though. Italians are pretty, like, whatever about a lot of just the practical, so I don’t know.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons Germany was really nice because Germans are so orderly, yet they still have this great, beautiful architecture. So maybe like the Switzerland, Germany area. This is totally not answering your question because you asked for a city.

Jen: That’s all right.

Tsh: But somewhere in there, some small town in neck of the woods I think would be ideal.
Jen: I know what you mean. We spent a week in Italy last year. First of all, just being in it, it’s magic. I mean, it really is. It’s just dreamy. But it is kind of fly by the seat of your pants. We’d go somewhere and they’d be like, "We’re just not open right now." I’m like, "Well, it’s the middle of the day on a Wednesday." They’re like, "But we’re just not." 
Tsh: Yes.

Jen: We did have to figure out how to go with their loosey-goosey culture.

What would have been the most livable place in a tent? Let’s just throw out the nice hotels and homes.
Tsh: Well, we did actually camp some. Yeah, because we had to. We camped in Australia. Now, it was kind of glamping in a way because we didn’t have to actually pitch a tent, but it was definitely tent-like and we also did that on our safari as well.

But I’m going to say either Australia or New Zealand because the geography is so stunningly beautiful. I loved the weather there, the people there and they just have the best views, I think, in the world and I want to go back there.

Jen: I’ve never been there, and I’m just drawn to it like a moth to flame. It just feels so magical, and special, and wonderful.

What would you say out of all your spots was the friendliest? What was the friendliest city or a place in general?

Tsh: That is tough because there are so many friendly places in the world and that was one of the great things to see. Everybody is so kind.

Thailand is great with kids because they love kids. They’re very chill and very mild people in the sense of, like. they’re not the type to honk at you if you mess up in the car or whatever, so they are really kind. Honestly, Africans in general, like East Africa, oh my gosh, the nicest people in the world. The friendliest to strangers. I mean, really.

Probably like Uganda. Uganda, maybe. Maybe that’s my answer.

Jen: I loved Uganda too.

Tsh: I loved Uganda because of the people.

Jen: And of course, we have the same experience in Ethiopia where they almost over-love you. It’s almost too much love.

Tsh: That’s right.

Jen: I’ve told this story before, but I don’t remember this thing but true in Uganda, but in Ethiopia, did you all stop there? I don’t remember. Yeah.
Tsh: Yeah, we were in Ethiopia.

Jen: Obviously, the culture is really affectionate physically and so all the boys, the grown boys, the men, they hold hands. Their arms are always around each other. The girls always have their arms’ length. It’s lots of kissing on the mouth, just man-to-man, on-the-mouth kissing and I love that. That’s one of my favorite things about Ethiopia. 
And anytime I travel there—we go there about once a year—anytime I travel there, my friends and my family members laugh at me because I want them to hold my hand. I do. And so, I will be walking alongside one of the women and it’s like I’m trying to get to first base with her. I’ll let our hands crash like, “My hand is here for holding if you want to.” They’re like, "Jen, you’re being so weird. Just stop it."

Tsh: I love it.

Jen: I can’t get in the hood. I love all that.

What was on your trip—and it’s probably hard to pick two—but what was the most surprising thing, place, or experience or something you saw or anything? What was just the most surprising thing?

Tsh: Oh my gosh, the whole trip was one big, fat surprise so in a way, it’s hard to answer.

For me, personally, is we went to Kosovo, back to where we lived and where we met. Kyle and I can pinpoint, like, we can draw an X on the dirt of where we met literally on a road. And we had not been in 15 years.

And it was really cool to see the changes that had been made in this part of the world, super war-torn, where when we lived there, there was barely electricity and barely any sort of infrastructure to now, like, there’s internet in places. There are legit restaurants. There are places where you could live and actually live well, and that was really encouraging for us and it was cool to see. We picked back up where we left off with a lot of our Albanian friends, and that was encouraging to see also that some things never change because they are very personable too. In fact, when you were describing Ethiopia, that’s the way Kosovo is too, in terms of affection.

It was this really cool paradox for us. So much has changed and yet nothing has changed at all. In fact, the village where we met, it’s really middle of nowhere, dirt roads, and there’s just this little store where you can buy canned goods and random stuff. We walked in and it was the same guy behind the counter doing the same stuff. And he just looked up  and he was like, "Oh, hi," as though we had never left. In our minds were thinking, "Don’t you want to ask where we’d been?" It’s almost like it didn’t cross his mind. We haven’t been there for 15 years.

So that was really cool to see how little had changed, even though everything’s changed.

Jen: I love that. That must have felt so good to see, for a city that you loved so much and that you are so invested in their own recovery and restoration.
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All right, so listen, let’s get into some nitty-gritty of this because it is summer and we’ve got a lot of listeners who are interested but they’re maybe not as brave as you. So, some of us need to tiptoe into the travel waters, which probably means traveling without a passport.

In your opinion, because you’re an adventurer not just in the whole world but also in the United States, what would you say was the best bang-for-your-buck traveling experience in the U.S.?

Tsh: Well, I know some people would think it’s crazy to road trip with smaller kids, but we have always road tripped almost exclusively in the U.S. We’ve done some flights when we needed to, but I say that to explain I really do believe that kids become better travelers when they have travel experience. A lot of times, when people say, "Oh my gosh, my kid is a total pill in the car and he’s six years old. He couldn’t manage 12 hours, let alone 2," I make the argument of they get better the more they have experiences.

And so, for us, our experiences of traveling up and down either the East or West Coast have been the best. We’ve figured out a lot of tips and tricks to make it work for us, so I think that makes it doable.

But really, whenever people say like, "Okay, that sounds great. Here we are in Austin. I’m not going to drive to Maine and back, so tell me what else to do," I really do argue with everybody just getting started, "Just go somewhere within a 2-hour driving radius of where you live." In fact, try that first, especially if you have little kids, and then go a little further and then a little further to where you might actually one day legitimately do an East Coast or West Coast road trip with your kids and not want to die because it actually is fun.

Jen: What are your tips for the inside-the-car times?

Tsh: Well, it depends on the age, of course. But for us, we always have a cooler in the car, meaning we’re not just going to drive-thru and do the fast-food thing. We always go to grocery stores and get our food, and so it’s kind of like having a picnic on wheels. We always eat that kind of food, just fruit and finger food. We call it “finger foods,” really, because it’s not sandwiches but it’s like meat, and cheeses, and everything else you do. So at any time, kids can have snacks. We can throw any out the window of like, No, it’s not time to eat. We just eat as we go.

We do make stops at rest stops, and you start learning what states have good rest stops. So, we will always have lunches at the picnic tables at rest stops or at the parks. I’ll Yelp for good parks for kids, and I think that helps a lot because getting enough outside time and getting for kids to run around is key to expecting them to be strapped into a car. You and I, growing up, whenever we were in the car, we could play on the floor board.

Jen: Totally.

Tsh: We had a very different upbringing in the ‘80s.

Jen: So true.

Tsh: Yeah, whereas our kids are now expected to be totally content strapped in and not be able to move. That will drive anybody crazy.

Jen: That’s a good point.

Tsh: So we try to play at playgrounds as much as we can and only do the drive-thru thing when it’s just absolutely necessary.

Jen: That’s good.

Tsh: So that’s a big way . . .

Jen: And a huge money saver. Humongous money saver.

Tsh: Huge money saver.

Jen: I mean, if somebody with a huge family . . . I don’t care where we stop, Burger King, it still costs $7,000.

Tsh: Right.
Jen: Let’s just say real quick, because I want to get into some of the things you just mentioned on saving and planning. But let’s just say listeners did want to take their kids abroad, maybe for the first time. What would you suggest as the most family-friendly, budget-friendly place to consider?

Tsh: It depends on the time of year because the biggest cost to traveling internationally is the long-haul flight. That’s easily the most expensive part. I mean, there’s housing too to consider but it’s not as much, and so it depends on the time of year.

If it’s in the summer, which I think is the case for most people, it’s going to be, honestly, somewhere like, believe it or not, Southeast Asia, Central America, and maybe even Europe if you can plan, if you strategize a little. Flights to Dublin, to London, to Amsterdam. Let’s see, there’s one other big city. Not Paris. I’ll think of it. Yeah, Amsterdam, either way, those major cities, flights can be pretty cheap. And if you live near a big, you know, if you live near Dallas or New York or Chicago, you can find some pretty great deals.

It’s usually best to fly in and out on Tuesdays because Tuesdays tend to be the cheapest, and it’s also cheapest to buy tickets on Tuesdays for whatever reason, I don’t know why. But prices fluctuate. If you really are thinking, "I might want to go somewhere overseas," those are the ways to do it.

Another place right now is Turkey and Greece, if you can find good flight deals. Because once you’re there, housing is pretty cheap right now. I’m talking 2018. You never know a year from now because these countries are all over the place. But you can find some really great deals and those are fantastic places to visit with kids because they love kids, and kids have so much freedom than they do in the States in terms of just being able to roam and be safe. I’m a big fan of Turkey.

Jen: I love that. You’re so right, and plus the food is delicious so your kids are going to be delighted with all that cuisine. I have not been to Turkey, but I’ve got friends who love Turkey because it’s so incredibly hospitable, people are so kind, the kids are so welcomed, and it’s so laid-back.

Tsh: That’s right.

Jen: So nobody is fussing like in America when your kid is walking around just a restaurant or whatever. It’s just a completely different culture. 

Last year, when we went to Europe with our friends, we’d been paying attention like you are because some of it is just a matter of keeping a keen eye out. We were following a couple of deal sites on flights because, you’re right, that’s the most expensive part. And we flew from Austin to Dublin, as you mentioned, and each one of our flights roundtrip was $350. I mean, I can’t fly to L.A. for that.

Tsh: No. I know.

Jen: So, you’re right. It exists. It really does exist, and some places are more than others. 
You mentioned this earlier and I think this is where most of us, as far as I’m concerned, have to strategize deeply. And it’s budgeting.

You talked about, heck, you logged a handful of years saving for your trip around the world. What’s the best way to save for a trip? Do you have tips for this? What did you learn? How would you counsel those of us who really would love to save for some kind of amazing trip with our family?

Tsh: For me, it’s a combination of the type of traveling you want to do. Maybe consider not the most luxurious hotel, and I’ll get into that in a second. But in terms of the actually saving up money, it’s honestly a lot to do with the latte factor, which is the idea of what are those little things in your life that you are spending money on that you don’t even realize you’re spending money on because they add up so fast. So even for a week, if you just don’t do anything different but just track it, you’ll be really surprised how you might spend a hundred bucks a week on just little things.

Jen: Yup, and basically have nothing to show for it. Right.

Tsh: Yeah. If you just choose not to do those things or even do them a little bit cheaper—like instead of a literal latte, do something at home for six months—not only will you surprise yourself at just how you don’t miss it like you thought you would, but that money adds up fast. You can even have a separate savings account with a lot of online banks that automatically take a certain amount out every week. And if we’re talking 20 bucks a week or even 50 bucks a week, whatever it is, after a while you will be astounded at how you don’t even notice it. You don’t notice it and before you know it, six months later, you’ve got like oh, this is a decent amount of money that can go to something.

Jen: That’s awesome.

Tsh: Yeah.
Jen: Speaking of budgeting, did you have any rules . . . I feel like because we have seven people in our family so travel is really expensive because everything is expensive, it’s times seven. It’s that many heads that we need meals. Did you find any ways or did you set any rules in advance to stay to stay on budget while you’re traveling? Did you say, "This is just something we’re not going to do except in extreme cases," or, "This is something we’re going to do instead of this"? Was there anything in play in advance? Because we can blow a budget in four days because all of a sudden there’s this, Well, what about this? or, Maybe we can do this instead. I think for us, sometimes where we go off the rails is once we’re there.

Tsh: Yeah, especially when you’re in vacation mode and suddenly it’s like, "Who cares?"

Jen: Totally.

Tsh: And you’re like, "I care. Later, I will."

Jen: Later.

Tsh: Yeah, for sure. You know, it does actually help to have a budget because then you get the idea of limitations in your life because you can’t do everything anyway. So if you’re limited by a budget, it provides more freedom because then you can say, "Well, we actually literally can’t do that. So instead, what are we going to do?"

For us, our kids were younger, but we still involved them in the planning to some degree and we would actually talk to them about like, "Okay, what’s one thing you will be sad if when we leave we didn’t at least do this thing?"

Jen: Oh, that’s a good question.

Tsh: Yeah, and so we talked as a family a lot as we traveled about what’s a priority. Then when we heard everybody else’s that might trigger some ideas where we realized, "Oh yeah, I actually would care about this more than this thing." But then once we heard everybody else’s and we would just say, "Okay, well we can’t do all five of our priorities in Italy," for example, "Because that would just break us. So what can we do that would make the most of us happy?"
We would talk about that and then we would help them explain—and man this is a good life lesson—“Okay, if we are going to go on a safari here or if we are going to go visit this one particular place, you have to see that that means once we’re in this country we’re going to just be doing a lot more hanging out.”

Jen: That’s good.

Tsh: A lot more seeing . . .

Jen: Setting the right expectations upfront.

Tsh: Yeah, and really holding on to the bucket list loosely because you’re not going to see everything anyway. To really embrace the idea that a huge part of travel is not seeing all the things, but it’s the being there.

Jen: That’s good.

Tsh: It’s like when you’re in southern France, you’re not necessarily checking out every single magical, historical spot. You’re enjoying the way of life there and that in itself is a thing to do. A thing to do is to slow way down, to enjoy just knowing local people, visiting the village farmer’s markets. Just browsing instead of buying. And it’s hard to wrap your mind around that, but once you start living that way, it just becomes a little easier.
Jen: Right. Oh, that’s a good one. You have that rule?

Tsh: Yeah, because otherwise, you’re just going to fill up your backpack full of all kinds of random stuff. So we’d be at some street market in Hong Kong and my son would be mesmerized by this plastic or metal frog that made this noise and light up and I’d just say, "Okay, is this your souvenir for Asia?" You could tell he’s just like, "Oh, maybe it’s not."

Jen: Yeah.

Tsh: That helped a lot too. So we just had a lot of ground rules from the get-go, and Kyle and I did too. We made that rule for us, and that was hard because I would see amazing jewelry or artwork or whatever and I had to say, "Nope. Nope, we’re going to do this."

Jen: That is a really good tip. 
Speaking of, let’s talk about packing a little bit. Now, you obviously had to care deeply about this because of just the scope of your travels. You can’t bring three suitcases a person. How would you counsel another parent who’s getting ready to travel with their kids that don’t necessarily want to fill up their whole entire car with suitcases? They want to travel light. They want their kids to be able to carry their own bags, as you so aptly noted. Because frankly this, to me, is where I am terrible. I hope my friends are listening to this podcast because when we travel together, I am notorious for bringing three times the luggage that they all bring, and I just don’t know how to pare it down. I’m worried that I’m going to want what I didn’t bring.
How did you approach the whole packing idea? Obviously, this is arbitrary because it depends on where you’re going and what time of year it is. But just in general, how did you manage to travel so light?

Tsh: You know, the first step is mindset, honestly. Before you even pack the bag, it’s thinking about what will you really care about?

You said something that’s so true, where we have this idea of, But once I’m out on the road, I will so wish I had this shirt or this pair of shoes and I will be beating myself up that I don’t have them. From my experience, 95% of the time that never happens. I think at home, Oh my gosh, I’m going to want this thing, and then when I’m out there I don’t even remember it, much less wish I had it. So to remember that most likely you won’t care in the moment, it helps alleviate a little bit of that pressure of Bring All The Things. Not entirely, but for me it helped.

Another way to think is most places you will go, if you absolutely need something, you can find there, especially with the practicals and especially with kids. If you think about, What if he rips this pair of shorts? He needs five pairs of shorts. You can probably find a $5 pair of kid’s shorts somewhere wherever you’re going if you absolutely need it. But in the moment, you can make do.

Another thing is, this is one of the many reasons I’m a big fan of guest houses versus hotels with kids. If you are going somewhere where you can rent an Airbnb or some kind of house where you have laundry facilities where you can wash your clothes—let’s say you’re just going somewhere for a week, you might consider only packing half a week’s worth of clothes in that way because halfway through, you can just wash everything because kids don’t care. They are happy to wear the same shirt again and again. I don’t care, honestly. When I’m in vacation mode, I don’t care. So that’s one of the many reasons I like guest houses.

But even so, just packing if you think through a week’s worth of clothes in not so much my regular life but in vacation life. So depending on where you’re going, let’s say you’re going somewhere where it’s just mostly hanging out. You’re not going to Regatta galas. You will mostly need shorts and T-shirts in the summer and wear layers. You will need one pullover or two cardigans, or something like that. So the whole capsule wardrobe mindset, I think, goes a long way.

All of these things are about ways you think of packing before you even pack your bag. So if you can embrace the capsule wardrobe idea, the fact that you can get stuff where you’re going and that you probably won’t miss it as much as you think, then honestly, over half the work is done.

Jen: How did you do this? Because your trip was different than one weekend in the mountains. Your trip was a year. What rules did you give like yourself, give the kids? "This is what we’re going to choose." Did you only do backpacks?
Tsh: I did a 60-liter backpack, which is the bag you would wear, about covering my back and a little bit more. So yeah, I had a whole year.

You know what? It turned out to be one of my favorite things about the whole trip. We came home and, I don’t know, six months into regular life, Kyle and I would say, "Remember when we only had to keep up with like 10 things? That was fantastic." 
It was almost a little experiment for me. I don’t know about you or anyone else listening, but I’m constantly losing little bitty things like pens. Like a pen a day. I’m like, "Where did that pen go? Oh well, here’s another one."

Jen: Same with bobby pins. Where did those go?

Tsh: Yeah, that kind of stuff I just lose all the time. But I kept up with the same fifty-cent ballpoint pen the entire year and to me, I was like, "How does this happen psychologically?" I think it’s because I only had to keep up with one pen and I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere without a pen, so I made sure to keep up with it. So that was like life lesson number 362 for me. Like, wow, that’s interesting.

But in terms of how I decided what to wear, layers was the name of the game for me. I’m not going to bring a bulky sweater. I’m going to bring maybe five things to wear starting with a tiny, little thin camisole all the way to my jacket that I bought at Columbia or REI that’s super thin but super warm. I invested in some pieces that would last a long time and were made for that kind of thing. So I might have spent a little bit more on, I don’t know, a pair of shoes that I could walk and really get some mileage out of.

I packed three pair of shoes. I packed three or four tops, one pair of jeans, one skirt, and one pair of shorts I think is what I did. I can’t remember exactly.

Then I also decided that if I saw something really cute in some market, I would just go ahead and buy it because that was part of the fun. That could be my souvenir. If I had room in my backpack, then I felt like I could do that more than if I packed absolutely everything I needed. It’s like I almost wanted to go with not quite enough and then fill it up from really cool places I would never . . . you know, from not Target, basically, and then have a fun little souvenir from wherever I was.

Jen: Oh my gosh. That to me is such an engineering faith that I marvel at it. You managed to travel the whole world with five backpacks. That’s so impressive and so awesome and I’m sure that you come home and go, "Let’s just get rid of everything."
So let me ask you this: obviously, there’s one way to travel either solo or just with your spouse. You’re just very nimble, you’re older, you’re more adaptable to handle all the transitions, and the jet lag, and the new experiences, and the language barriers and all that. It’s another thing to travel with kids, who are just not quite as resilient. They’re just a little bit, sometimes, more sensitive to their environment, to changes, to time changes, all of it.

Were there any ways, as you traveled, that sometimes you and Kyle got to be leading the charge like, "No, I know you’re tired but we’re going on. I know this place is making you nervous, but in we go. I know you don’t like this food, but that’s all you get"? Did you make any concessions for kids being kids? Were there any times where you’re like, "Okay, we’re going to let the kids’ energy level here drive the ship, and then there’s other times we’re going to push them through and they’re going to be good for it"? That’s a weird question. Do you understand what I’m asking?

Tsh: Yeah. I 100% know what you’re asking and this was on our minds all the time. When you have little kids and you can’t always explain to the four-year-old rationally like, “I know this bus is hot and sweaty but just hold tight.” It doesn’t work.

First of all, I’ll say that I think the attitude of the kids is directly in proportion to the attitude of the adults. So even if you’re faking it, even if you’re like, "Oh my gosh, I cannot wait to get out of this car," or, "I’m so hungry," or, "This food is disgusting," you can still think that. You can still be honest. I’m not saying lie, but if you have this attitude of a mature adult of like, “This isn’t my favorite food, but I am here, I am willing to try it,” that goes a long way.

I’m not saying they still won’t complain—because they will if they’re my kids—but it gives them at least a little bit of a perspective like, I’m not alone here and this isn’t going to last for all of eternity. When they see the adult they know best and they’re acting the same way, in fact, it’s helpful for them to hear, “I don’t like this food, but I’m just going to power through anyway,” or, “I’m really uncomfortable.” So, that was one thing we embraced: Let’s just be honest with the kids, but also show what it means to have a good attitude and try anything.

But we did make some concessions. We have one kid who is very . . . he’s got sensory issues anyway, like, he’s just a sensory seeker, and food in particular is hard and a challenge for him. He likes 10 things, basically. We made a rule for him that everywhere has pizza—that’s just a thing, even in the weirdest places we never guessed would have pizza, they have pizza—we made a rule that once a week would have pizza and even not great pizza, we are willing. “Sure, Domino’s, we’ll do it because Domino’s is all over the world. We’ll just buy bad pizza.” That helped him like, "Okay, this food I might not like, but I’ll get pizza soon enough," and that helped a lot.

We also were not big into, “You have to try all the things in all places,” especially with that guy. I mean honestly, if it meant him enjoying his time in Asia, and yet he knew that he could just get noodles or rice and maybe some chicken and his mom and dad were not going to say, "Try this thing that’s staring back at you," that helps a lot.

So we didn’t have this mentality of, We’re here, we’re trying it no matter what, because that wouldn’t be good. That wouldn’t foster a good relationship with him and with others. So that was definitely a way we managed.

The other thing is if you’re traveling with kids, you have to know going in it’s not going to be the same as traveling without kids. I know that’s, duh, but if you go and thinking . . .
Jen: Not really. It’s a good expectation to set.
Tsh: Yeah. It’s not necessarily going to be relaxing. It’s going to be fun, it might be fun, but it’s not going to be restful. You’re going to be exhausted and there’s just different ways . . . you’re going to go slower than you like. You’re going to not get to see as much as you like. But if you know that going in, that helps so much. Especially if you go in with a bucket list of, just, that it might not happen, then it’s just already a little bit better.

Jen: I cannot agree with you more. I think all of my disappointing moments traveling with our family is purely because I had unrealistic expectations. It’s on me. Nobody’s being terrible. They’re not being terrible, they’re just being kids. But I set some sort of impossible bar of how much every single moment was going to be divine, and how thrilled they were going to be to see all the things that I want to see and eat the food that I love.

They’re not going to do that because they never do. That doesn’t describe one day of our lives. The disappointment to me was worse than anything, so I love this advice. Maybe lower the bar a little bit and then be pleasantly surprised.

Tsh: That’s right.

Jen: Like, "Oh, this is a wonderful day."

Tsh: We’ve said from Day One about travel: expect the worst but hope for the best. You can hope that it goes great, but expect the worst, honestly. That sounds like, Why bother at all? But really, it’s because the good outweighs the bad.

Jen: Oh, that’s great. So you and your family, are you traveling anywhere this summer?

Tsh: You know what? We’re actually not going anywhere major this summer because we live in a fixer-upper in this tiny town. And my husband, he’s a former contractor, Kyle, and so he can do it all himself. And we want to do it all ourselves because it saves us money, but we just want to get the dang thing done.

One of the reasons we live where we lived is because it’s also really Airbnb-able. We live in a historic district right off a town square in Georgetown, right outside of Austin. So there’s lots of people who come here to visit. Our plan is, next summer, to be done with the house so we can Airbnb while we travel. That’s the idea.

Jen: Oh, great idea.
So, let me just ask you this quick, rapid-fire questions to wrap up. We ask these questions of everybody in the summer series. Just off the top of your head, what’s your favorite summer drink?

Tsh: Grapefruit gin and tonic.

Jen: Oh my gosh, wait a minute.

Tsh: It’s so good.

Jen: Wait a minute.

Tsh: Okay.

Jen: Explain it.

Tsh: Okay. Well, you know, I guess you could get LaCroix but we get the generic HEB sparkling water.

Jen: Yeah.

Tsh: The grapefruit flavor is my favorite, so you use that. And then you use gin and that’s it—and a squeeze of lime. It is my favorite. I drink one almost daily.

Jen: Oh my gosh, I’ve never heard of this before and I can’t believe I haven’t.

Tsh: Yeah.

Jen: That is going to be remembered by Jen Hatmaker. What’s your favorite summer clothing item?

Tsh: Well, it’s eight million degrees here in the summer, so I rotate these three dresses that basically look like giant shirts but they’re tank-top shirts. They don’t touch me as much as possible because they’re just like sacks. They’re pretty though. I make them sound like they’re terrible, but they’re like just a long tank dress with minimal touching at my skin.

Jen: Is it above the knee or below? Are they long?

Tsh: Oh my gosh, it’s above. No way. I need very little, I mean.

Jen: Where do you get that dress, by the way?

Tsh: You get it from . . . I got a mix of them. There’s one from Madewell that I love that I work on rotation. Madewell is a good place.

Jen: Yeah, it sure is. That’s exactly how I dress in summer. Tsh and I only live 45 minutes apart and so basically, from mid-May to late-October, we’re just melted into pavement. There’s no reprieve. There’s no relief. It’s just absolutely horrible. It’s already horrible right now and it’s barely June.

Tsh: I know.

Jen: Absolutely horrible.

Tsh: Oh my gosh.

Jen: I wore dresses all summer.

Tsh: Long month . . .

Jen: They’re all from Old Navy and Target. They’re just knit and I don’t care.

Tsh: Yeah.
Jen: This can be anywhere. It could be home, it could be clothes, it could be inside or outside abroad, anywhere. What’s your favorite summer location, where you just want to be in the summer?

Tsh: That’s a great question. Gosh, this sounds snobby and I don’t mean it. Tuscany. Well, you’ve been to Tuscany.

Jen: I have.

Tsh: Tuscany in the summer is insane. I’ve only been there in the spring, but in the summer it’s so pretty I literally cry. And there’s some weird thing that happens to your brain where you’re totally okay with eating gelato three times a day and it’s just unbelievably beautiful. That’s my favorite place this summer but I sound like, you know . . . I’ve only been there twice in the summer and it’s insane.

Jen: I was in Tuscany last year in late May, so almost summer, and I cried. I cried. I did the same thing that you just said. My eyes couldn’t take it. I just could not take it, how gorgeous. And we stayed there for a whole week. We kind of did your “anchor up and just be in the house.” And we ate. We ate tomatoes, and cheese, and basil, and balsamic, and olive oil literally all day, every day. That’s all we ate. We just quit eating food other than that, and I never got tired out of it and second your recommendation
Okay, last thing. This is a twist on the Barbara Brown Taylor question that we always ask.

Tsh: Yup.

Jen: What is saving your life this summer?

Tsh: Well, this sounds super nerdy, but because our kids can be super like, "Can we have screen time? What are we watching? Can we go to a movie?" all the time. We have about two or three nights a week where we just call it “Reading Nights.” And what we’re doing is, instead of watching something on TV, everybody’s just getting their own book, whatever they’re reading, and we’re just reading in the same room together.

Jen: Oh, I love it.

Tsh: Yeah, but the nice thing about this for me is that I’m getting my reading in. Because I’m always wanting more reading time and I feel like I don’t get enough because I fall asleep in bed or whatever. It answers the question of, “Can we watch a movie?” The answer is, “No, because we’re doing the Reading Night tonight.”

We’re still spending time together, and I’m not just often in my nook and then feeling guilty because I’m reading and the kids are . . . we’re all reading together and so we’re also showing, "Hey, reading is a good thing. It matters. This is a priority for us in our family."

Jen: That is phenomenal. I’m absolutely adopting that. Plus, it’s in the air-conditioning.

Tsh: Exactly.

Jen: So, that’s double points for it.

Okay, Tsh. I feel like I could have extended this conversation for another four hours. I have a million more questions that we didn’t get to.

Thank you for everything you just suggested. You gave me so many good ideas. You make this sort of travel life with the family seem so manageable. It does not have to be über expensive. It does not have to be über hard. It doesn’t have to be over-planned. It doesn’t have to be even overhyped. It can live in this real space, with a real family, where you create these phenomenal memories. I was taking notes while you were talking because you gave so many good ideas.

Thank you for being on the podcast. Tell everybody real quick where they can find you, where they can find your stuff, all of that.

Tsh: The biggest or the easiest place to find everything is tshoxenreider.com—that’s Tsh without an I—because that’s the link to everything else. That’s honestly the easiest way to say it. You’ll find my Instagram there. You’ll find my podcasts, whatever. Just go to tshoxenreider.com. It’s easy.

Jen: Totally.

Tsh: Yeah.

Jen: All my listeners, if you’ll go over to my Podcast page too, we will have everything linked for you. All of Tsh’s stuff, her books, her social medias, all of it. So that will be over at jenhatmaker.com on the Podcast page, if you do not know where else to go and you can’t remember how to spell Tsh without an I.

Tsh: That’s right.

Jen: Okay, sister, happy summer to you and your sweet family. Should we ever just decide that we’re too melted and we need to meet at the river, let’s do it.

Tsh: Yes.

Jen: We’ll find a halfway point and jump in.

Tsh: Amen, amen. I’m there.

Jen: Talk to you soon.

Tsh: All right, bye.
Jen: Love it. Love it. Love it. When I talk to Tsh, it makes me want to just grab a backpack, and throw in a pair of shoes and a hoodie, and just run to the airport like, Where can we go? What can we do?

I love her sense of adventure. I love that she does it in ways that almost seem practical, if ever you could think about traveling the world with your kids for a year is practical. But it’s manageable. We can do it.

Remember her suggestion: if you want to just get started, put your kids in the car and take a drive somewhere within two hours. Any of us can do that. Pack a cooler, make a sandwich. It really is doable to create the sort of amazing experience with our kids, with our husbands, with our families.

Anyhow as always, you guys, Tsh’s information will all be over jenhatmaker.com under the Podcast link where we’ll have the transcript, and all the links, and bonus pictures—we’ll get Tsh to send us some of the pictures from her travels so you can look at those too. I hope you’re always using that amazing resource that we love providing for you.

And as always, my assistant Amanda, my producer Laura, we are so excited and glad to bring you this. This podcast is our favorite thing.

Thanks for being here. Thanks for always listening with such enthusiasm and such good listeners and you’re always sharing this podcast and it’s so special to us. I love the “For the Love of Summer” series, we have more to come. Come back next week. We’ve got more tips, more ideas, more fabulous strategies for creating a fabulous summer.

So you guys, thank you for listening and reviewing and rating and sharing. It is just a joy to bring you this week in and week out.

Okay, guys, see you next time. 
Jen's Favorite Things
​Hey guys, we're back for another segment of Jen's Favorite Things. This is the part of the show where I share about some wonderful companies that are producing amazing products--and giving back to charitable organizations and really worthy nonprofits. Plus, they have exclusive discounts and extras just for you, our podcast listeners. So here are today's favorites!
Style Challenges
Make getting dressed the easiest thing you do all day with Style Challenges--an online personal styling program that gives you all the tools you need to build a stylish wardrobe at the fraction of the cost of a personal stylist.

So, get $10 dollars off with the code ForTheLove10 at 
stylechallenges.com
Narrator: That’s it for today’s show. Hope you enjoyed this chat. Be sure to subscribe to my mom’s podcast and give it a “thumbs up” rating if you like it. From the whole Hatmaker family, hope you have a great week and see you next time!

From the show:

Books

Quotes From This Episode