What’s Next? After a Year of Full Time Travel

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christmas card from a travel family
Joyous Solstice! Merry Christmas! Hurrah for Hanukkah! Winter Greetings!

I didn’t send a letter with our holiday card this year, so I am using this forum to do just that. Consider this your winter greeting card from me for whatever holidays you celebrate.

If you have looked at this website at all, you know that we spent most of this year traveling fulltime through Europe. You can see our answers to the most commonly asked questions in this post about our thoughts on a year of full-time travel. There are still a million stories to tell about that adventure, but most people want to know what’s next.

See also: Our Five Favorite Hikes in Europe and Zagreb Christmas Market (where we were this time last year).

As of October, we are back in Livingston, Montana where the adventure continues. It feels like a strange hybrid of traveling and community. We are moving around and don’t have anywhere permanent to live, but we have friends, family, community, and the mountains and rivers we know.

sweetwater guest house livingston montanaWe started in a vacation rental owned by our friends. In my dream world, we’d buy this condo, rent it out when we travel, and have a home base in downtown Livingston. This condo is lovely and perfectly located – rent it if you come to town!

montana ranch with crazy mountain views

montana ranch with absaroka mountain viewThen we moved into those same friends’ house while they are traveling for two and half months. This is a great housesitting gig in the Shields Valley. They have a ton of property, horses, cows, chickens, dogs, a cat, fish, a greenhouse, and a lovely farmhouse, which we are taking care of. There are miles of rolling land to wander around on. In the mornings and evenings we listen to an owl hooting outside the window. We eat fresh eggs for breakfast and walk the dogs with views of five mountain ranges. I wouldn’t want to live outside of town forever, but this farm stay is a great way to spend a couple months.

Have a traveler in your life? See my Guide to Best Gifts for Travelers.

most beautiful view in California. Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National ParkAquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach AquariumThe boys and I drove to California for Thanksgiving (the one downside of housesitting is that Henry had to stay and take care of all those animals). We saw my mom and Ed, my brother and his wife, and my perfect, new nephew. We hiked on Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park, watched flitting monarch butterflies overwintering in Ventura, played bocce ball, and wandered through the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

Christmas Tree hunt in the forestcross country skiing in montanaNow, back in Montana, we are soaking in winter as much as we can with cross-country skiing, sledding, and outdoor play. The boys are involved with our homeschool group. Chemistry class, guitar lessons, book club, and wilderness class have filled out their schedules. Most importantly, we are spending time with friends and family, especially Henry’s parents who live near our housesitting house.

In mid-January, we start another housesitting job. We have friends who have used Trusted Housesitters, but we’ve lucked out and found people by word of mouth.

In April, we will be in Mexico. We rented our friends’ condo near Akumel for a month and look forward to snorkeling with turtles, exploring Mayan ruins, and swimming in cenotes. I hope we can handle the heat and humidity; we are not known for our hot weather fortitude.

We hope to be in Montana for most of the summer and are looking for housing. We are scheming an East Coast trip for September to attend a travel blogging conference and connect with friends and family who live out that way.

We don’t really know what the long-term future looks like. We are craving a permanent home base in Livingston (especially Finn) and sporadic travel adventures. Until we can make that happen, we are just enjoying the adventurous family travel lifestyle we created.

Happy Festivus!

6 thoughts on “What’s Next? After a Year of Full Time Travel

  1. Henry

    Have really loved following your travels and visiting you in England last March.
    Especially love that you are back and nearby , at least for awhile.
    Lots of love and good wishes for all seasons.
    Henry

  2. Nancy Roney

    Just sent you a rather long comment, which I have been successful in deleting. I was born in the wrong century – I’m sure of it.

    Anyway, enjoyed keeping up with your European trip and hope that when you plan your Eastern US trek we might meet up somewhere. Would love to see all of you. Our two children and seven grands, several cousins and my 88 year old sister who your Dad, Henry, has visited a number of times, are all on the east coast.

    In the meantime, have a very Merry, merry and Happy, happy and may the adventures continue!!

    1. Mel Post author

      Thanks for following along! I hope we have many more adventures to follow :). It would be lovely to meet up with you in the fall.

  3. Edith H Conyers

    I have always loved your posts and still enjoying them. You lived the dream I had 50+ years ago and I enjoy reading your year of travels over and over. Thanks so much for the writing and the trip it allowed me to take with you!!
    Merry Christmas
    Happy New Year
    And I will stay on as an avid follower!
    Hugs and love to all

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