Stretton Family

Hi there! My name’s Steve and this blog is about my family and our travels. My wife Liz and our two kids, Matthew, and Rachel have been going around the world for the past 5 years now. Sounds amazing? It is and it’s not all that hard to achieve. Both Liz and I are school teachers and we started our teaching careers at Ipswich, England. I taught high school and Liz was a primary school teacher there.

If there’s one thing I realized early in life, it was that people who had traveled or lived in other countries seemed more well-rounded in their personalities and tolerance levels. Their knowledge was also better having experienced cultures and customs in another country. I wanted some of that worldly-wise stuff running through my family’s blood. You can’t trip around the world with children that are too young. It’s not only a waste but it’s downright frustrating and counterproductive. The best time to take kids on a trip is when they are old enough to appreciate it, have the courage to integrate and think of it as exciting. That’s a difficult combination, made more so by the fact that you will be taking them away from their circle of friends, away from their comfort zone and belongings and asking them to try eating different foods.

My kids, Anthony 12, and Amy 14 were the right age, at the time, 5 years ago, to take them from their schools without there being too much disruption and drama. I’m sure nearly all our friends and the kids’ teachers disapproved of our move but in later years, as we stayed in touch from different countries, they envied our lifestyle.

Teachers are wanted all over the world to teach English, China being a leading market. But many other Asian countries, including those in Europe, are always advertising for teachers. This was our answer. Recruiting companies for schools offered reasonable wages, flight reimbursement, working visas, and accommodation. Also, they provide language lessons for free. Bonus. The cost of living in these 2nd and 3rd world countries was about one-fifth of what it was back in the UK. Bonus 2. We had holidays in the countries in which we worked so were able to see nearly everything we wanted to.

Schooling for our children wasn’t a major issue as were both teachers. We were able to supplement their in-house lesson with internet schools but that, at times was a bit dodgy when internet speeds and connectivity was more luck than good management. On the plus side, I see kids these days with their heads buried in their iPads and smartphones while ours use them only sparingly.

Please join us in this blog. There are not many families doing what we do and you might be interested in knowing how it can be done. We will share some adventures with you as well as some travel disasters, of which there are plenty. Most of the time it has been a great education for not just the kids, but for Liz and I too.