Ever dreamed of taking a sabbatical? Packing your bags, leaving the daily routine and just…escaping – family in tow? Co-founder of Babyccino, Courtney Adamo, and her husband Michael have done just that – and are travelling the globe having “barefoot children and carefree adventures” with their brood: Easton, 10, Quin, 8, Ivy, 6 and Marlow, 2.
“A family gap year is something I’ve wanted to do since I was young,” writes Courtney. “I have always loved the idea of travelling with our children and introducing them to different people, places and cultures. After twelve years in London, we felt like it was the right time to take a year off and explore different parts of the world, hoping it would inspire a different way of life moving forward.”
“The biggest surprise? How addictive it is! We have loved being nomads – the freedom and thrill of going from one place to the next, not being tied down. It feels so good to lighten our load, and this year has taught us that we don’t need much to be happy. None of us want this adventure to end, and surprisingly we don’t yearn for what we left behind.”
And, it seems, they’ve redefine the concept of ‘home’ during the journey. “Home is wherever my family is. Whether that’s a cabin in Chile, a campervan in New Zealand, or an apartment in Tokyo. You can put the six of us in a box and we’d be home.”
Here's a guide to some of the places they've stopped at along the way and how the journey has inspired them as a family, because the world is big and life is short...
Coconuts from the market, Brazil.
The most inspiring place you've visited?
Trancoso, Brazil. It is beautiful on every level – with colourful houses, beautiful beaches, delicious food... There is a grassy square in town where everyone meets in the evenings – young, old, rich, poor, locals, tourists.... Here you are reminded about the beauty of life and the deep connection between people, no matter their background.
How do you think the experience has changed your children's outlook on life?
The kids have seen and learned so much from our experiences this year. They’ve gained so many new perspectives of our world and the different cultures, people and places we’ve visited. They have made so many friends all over the world, and I think it’s really opened up the world to them – giving them a greater understanding of geography and all the possibilities that exist everywhere. Above all, I hope they look back on this year and feel even closer as a family, with lots of happy memories of our time together. I hope these memories shape the way they choose to live their lives and the values they will hold.
Ordering ice cream in Spanish, Uruguay.
Travelling together and being with your children every minute of every day - has this changed your role as a mother?
Of course! Both for my husband and for myself. We have learned so much about our children, individually and collectively. Through homeschooling we have discovered what type of learners they are and how they each process new concepts and ideas. As teachers to our children, we’ve gotten to know them on a whole new level. I’ve also learned, that I love spending so much time with my children! Of course there are difficult moments where one (or all!) of them is acting up, but Michael and I have gotten quite good at putting out fires quickly so that we can restore our family dynamics.
Keeping journals and doodling on the road.
The most important thing I’ve learned?
To breathe in every moment with my family that I can. To prioritize them over everything else and to experience as much together as we can.
"We made it to beautiful Colonia in time to watch the sunset! Marlow just asked me 'Where does the sun go when it leaves?'"
Beach: Byron Bay. It’s not only beautiful, but the community here is so inspiring, creative and friendly. Plus, the surf is always good!
City: Sydney! What a beautiful, hip, vibrant, sunny city.
Culture: South America – the people are so warm and so friendly. Strangers say hello in the street, people greet each other with warm embraces. They really value families, the youngest and the oldest in their communities. I would love to live there some day.
Food: Sri Lanka! We ate curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner and couldn’t get enough! The food is spicy and flavourful and so delicious. Also – the tropical fruit is divine!