“If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.” A. Bourdain

It doesn't matter if you’re standing underneath the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or floating past a Mayan temple, you feel an inexplicable connection to those who stood there before you, and a shared honor in the adversity you faced on the journey.

The internet gives me a window into the world that our ancestors would have only dreamt about, but it comes at a price. The need to try and consume every last bit of information is a Pandora’s Box that can lead to distraction, anxiety, a false sense of accomplishment, and a filtered view of the world. 

Breaking that binary data down into goals rather than dreams is a start, but pushing away fear of the unknown, listening to your evolutionary voice that craves exploration, and treating time as your most important currency, are pivotal to truly feeding your curiosity. I try to live my life with a sense of urgency, coupled with a desire to go on as many rides as possible before my season pass at the theme-park expires. 

I wanted to share this concept with my children, to give them a chance to connect with the people of a divided world obsessed with competition. I wanted them to see beyond borders and race and look at our planet as Carl Sagan saw it, a pale blue dot suspended in a sunbeam that we all call home.

On June 11th, 2018, I traveled 9792 miles across France and Italy with my wife and three kids. Along the way I documented the entire year long journey, from the credit card points I saved, to the immigration stop in Canada, to the parking ticket I received in Pisa. The total cost for a family of five was under $8000 and hopefully this guide will convince other families to follow in our footsteps.

I believe that with patience, organization, sacrifice, and sheer force of will; even a family with a tight budget and complicated schedule can explore the world.

I wanted to inspire others to leave their comfort zone and to teach my children about other cultures in a time where nationalism is rampant and immigration is a political talking point. In life it’s more important to feel strong then to actually be strong, and on this trip I saw firsthand how brave and compassionate my wife and kids were when placed in unpredictable situations. It all started with my bucket list.

Bucket List
  • Watch a sunrise under Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, Utah
  • Take my daughter to see Cirque du Soleil
  • Lay under the Sea of Stars, Valhoo Island Maldives and stay in an underwater hotel in Niyama, Maldives
  • Travel across the United States in an RV
  • Hike through Angels Landing and the Narrows in Zion National Park
  • Star gaze in the Atacama Desert
  • Sleep under the stars at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico
  • Install a saltwater fish tank and purchase a sea dragon
  • Go see John Mulaney live
  • Visit Hobbiton in New Zealand
  • Have a drink at the Pelican Bar in Jamaica
  • Watch all the extended editions of LOTR in one sitting
  • Bid on and win an item at a Hollywood auction
  • Go to the Bregenz Festival ‘Opera on the Lake’ in Austria
  • Put on a beekeeper suit and be swarmed by bees
  • Sit at midnight near the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima, Japan
  • Visit the Glass sand beach in Kauai, Hawaii
  • Go on a spur of the moment trip to Las Vegas
  • Stay in the Blue Lagoon hotel in Iceland
  • Go camping at Burning Man
  • Book a trip to Antarctica and watch a sunset over a glacier 
  • Visit the Parisian Catacombs
  • Ride bicycle around Vietnam
  • Hike through Piton des Neiges, Reunion France
  • Drive through a tree at Redwood National Park
  • Walk through the field of bones in Peschanka, Volgagrad
  • Jump off of South Point on the Big Island Hawaii
  • Eat rice in Banaue, Philippines
  • Walk the luminescent stone path of Sirindhorn Wararam Phu Prao Temple in Ban Chong Mek, Sirindhorn, Thailand
  • Attach a lock at Pont des Arts in France
  • Walk through the forests of Bastogne, Belgium
  • Find and frame a Robocop Tyler Stout Alamo Drafthouse print
  • Sleep under the stars in Glacier National Park
  • Complete the 14 km hike between the towns in Cinque Terre, Italy and eat gelato at the end
  • Attend a major film festival
  • Take a tour behind the scoreboard of Wrigley Field
  • Meet Stan Lee
  • Visit the Excalibur sword in Chiusdino, Italy
  • See an Aurora in Iceland
  • Sit in a Hot tub in the snow in Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Take a boat ride along the Greek coast of Santorini
  • Spend a night camping in a jungle in Central America
  • Go to a Masterchef Australia judges restaurant
  • Swim in Lake Moraine
  • Eat macarons in Paris, France
  • Volunteer at SDCC
  • Feed a monkey in cato Santiago island, Puerto Rico
  • Visit the Grave of Lafayette, major general of the Continental Army
  • Visit the mountains of Senja, Norway
  • Go dog sledding at the Kakslauttanen arctic resort in Saariselka, Finland
  • Take my wife to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Pet an elephant in Thailand
  • Go to Pink Autumn in Bruges, Belgium with Misty
  • Visit the Yellow House in Ydra, Greece
  • Hike Waip’o Falls in Waimea State Park, Kaua’i with a dog buddy
  • Camp in the Hang En Cave in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam
  • Walk Highline Trail in Glacier National Park
  • Listen to an entire record on vinyl, but the record recommendation must come from someone who collects vinyl records or owns a record store
  • Sea bob with dolphins
  • Eat kangaroo in Australia
  • Visit Shibu Onsen hot spring in Nagano, Japan and play with or feed a baby monkey
  • Go on a safari in Africa at Kruger National Park and explore Hoedspruit, Phalaborwa, and Blyde River Canyon
  • Go to Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk, Australia and find a cave painting on the walls of the canyon
  • Visit the Seneca Rocks in West Virginia and walk the ridge line
  • Have lunch at 007 Elements in Solden, Austria
  • Visit Las Lajas Sanctuary in Colombia
  • Sleep under the stars using a retractable roof in Soneva Jani, Maldives
  • Walk across the hand bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Eat a Tomahawk steak in Perth Australia
  • Go to The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, CA
  • Hike to the city of Petra and find where Indiana Jones entered to look for the holy grail.
  • Eat at The Fat Duck or any other restaurant owned by Heston Blumenthal

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