This Nomadic Family With 3 Children Has Been Travelling the World Since 2009

Traveling is always fun and it really bonds family members together. Money spent on travel is never wasted and neither are the miles traveled and the time spent together with your family.

In this interview, you will get to meet the head of the Pearce Family, Brandon Pearce. He shares his amazing nomadic family life, his best advice for parents who want to travel with their kids, and ultimately how to become a nomad with children!

Brandon Pearce and Family

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Brandon Pearce. I’ve been traveling the world with my wife and three daughters since 2009. That’s when we sold our house in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA along with most of what we own, in order to travel as a catalyst for personal growth, learning, and family bonding.

I’m the founder of MusicTeachersHelper.com, which helps independent music teachers manage the business aspects of teaching and connect better with their students.

I’m also the founder of the Family Adventure Summit, which is a 3-day live event for families interested in long-term travel and location independence.

I love playing the piano, photography, videography, and of course, traveling with my family. I also blog at PearceOnEarth.com.

Brandon Pearce and Family

How and why did you become a nomad?

I’ve always wanted to travel, but thought I should do the “responsible” thing, and I got a job and a mortgage and tied myself down. However, when my mother in law passed away with cancer, it woke me up to the fact that life can be very short and the time to live fully is NOW! I looked ahead at the trajectory of my life and realized staying in Utah doing the same thing every day isn’t, wasn’t I wanted. So I began preparing for a life of travel.

Why is having a nomadic life important for you?

There are so many benefits that continually come to my family through our travels. We get to spend more time together, our minds expand as we meet people with unique experiences and viewpoints and life situations, and we get to see various ways that the world works, learning through experience.

But my favorite part of travel is the way it helps me see myself more clearly. When I put myself in new surroundings, it shakes me out of any mental ruts I’ve been in, helps me both question and remember who I am, and keeps my mind open to expansion.

I love the freedom of being able to pack up and go anywhere at any time. I’ve realized how little I need to carry with me and what things are important to me.

Brandon Pearce and Family

What have been the most difficult parts?

Pacing has been a struggle for our family as we like the opportunity to settle for a time and work on creative projects, but we’re constantly being drawn into new travel opportunities, which we also love. Being mindful of our energy levels and respecting them is something we’ve had to get better at.

Keeping up with family and friends, and the constant saying of goodbyes has also been a challenge. But we are able to keep in touch online, and regularly meet up with those we’re close to, in various parts of the world.

Where do you live as a nomad?

For longer term stays of a month or more, we tend to stay in vacation homes or Airbnbs with at least three bedrooms, so we have enough space to be comfortable as a family, along with work areas. We now also own property in Ubud, Bali and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, which we use as home bases for part of the year, to fulfill our nesting instinct to a degree. We rent these out as we travel for extra income.

For shorter stays, we’re fine with a hotel room or hostel. We also enjoy home exchanges, Couchsurfing, or staying with friends and family. Sometimes, those interactions become a huge highlight to our travels.

Brandon Pearce and Family

Where do you usually work?

I almost always work from “home”. I prefer to have my own quiet office space as it’s difficult for me to concentrate when there are other people around or lots of noise in the environment.

As I have various projects I’m working on right now, including the Family Adventure Summit, Music Teacher’s Helper, and several information products, along with house improvements, family time, and more, every day looks different.

But I have a fairly strict morning routine I follow that helps me get off to a good start, including exercise (currently Tai Chi, Qigong, 50 pushups and 50 sit-ups), reading, writing, daily and weekly planning, and time logging.

It can be difficult to maintain this around travel days, however, when our schedule is shaken up by flights and odd sleep schedules.

Brandon Pearce and Family

How do you build a social life as a nomad?

We enjoy meeting people from all life situations, but those who become long-term friends are usually those who get us at a deeper level and with whom we feel a close connection.

Many of these friendships have developed over the years through traveling with and visiting other families. Many have also come through conferences like the Family Adventure Summit, which is an incredible opportunity to meet like-minded friends.

In general, we’ve found it easiest to make friends when we stay in one place for a longer period and have more time to take local classes, get involved in the community, and spend more time with the same people. Our kids have developed several good friendships over our years of traveling, which they often maintain online through regular video chats until we can meet up somewhere around the world.

Brandon Pearce and Family

How do you finance your nomadic life?

Our main source of income is my Music Teacher’s Helper business, which I created back in 2003 to help me manage my own piano students, and later turned into a subscription service. Through several years of very hard work, it grew to support our family in our travels, as well as many other people we’ve hired from around the world. It’s currently earning in the upper six-figure range. We also earn income from some real estate investments.

Interestingly, we (The Family Adventure Summit) recently did a survey of traveling families to determine how they finance their travels, how much they spend as they travel, how much they earn, what their income sources are, etc. There’s some really interesting data in there. If you’d like to see the results of the report, you can get it free.

What kind of gear do you bring with you?

My most important piece of gear is of course my laptop, a Macbook Pro. I also regularly use my phone (currently a Moto G5), a Kindle, Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, and a Sony NEX a6000 digital camera.

I use a bag from Ikea that rolls on two wheels, but can also be worn as a backpack. My favorite part about it is that you can unzip the back part to separate it into two backpacks, which has been very handy on flights where the airlines think it will be too big for the overhead bin.

Brandon Pearce and Family

What are your best tips for parents who want to travel with young children?

First, discuss everything with your kids. Talk about what they want and seek to fulfill everyone’s needs. Spend time with them and keep your energy positive.

Second, get rid of the rules. Unless their safety is being compromised, I think many parents spend too much time trying to force their kids to do things the kids don’t want to do, much of which is unnecessary. This creates conflict in the family, and reduces closeness in the relationships. If your kids don’t want to try the food you think is healthy or delicious, it’s okay. They’ll survive, and they’ll eat it when they’re ready.

Likewise, don’t force your kids to study and learn things they’re not interested in learning, or they’ll be bored with the subject and resent you. Instead, support them in pursuing their own interests, and watch as their interests blossom and expand from there. You can read more about our Worldschooling philosophy here.

What is your best advice for new nomads?

Don’t go too fast. When you first start out traveling, there is a lot of excitement, but if you’re jumping from place to place every day or two, it can wear you out very quickly. Take it slow, stay in one place for a while, soak in the culture, meet the people, and see how it feels to “live” there.

Brandon Pearce and Family

What will the future bring?

It’s a big year for us. This summer, we’re heading to the UK to work on a documentary project we’re very excited about (details forthcoming). Then we’ll be traveling through Scotland, England, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden, visiting friends along the way.

We’ll then fly over for the Family Adventure Summit, which this year (2017) is in Penticton, BC, Canada, on September 1-3. After that we may spend some time in Victoria and then visit my mom in Seattle. Leaving the kids with my mom, Jen and I will take a weeklong couples trip to Vermont to see the Fall leaves in October. We’ll then all visit family for a couple weeks in Salt Lake City, and finally head back to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to finish off the year.

Who knows what next year will bring, but I’m sure it will be epic!


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