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  #1  
Old 5 Oct 2012
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Married with kids - how do you combine it?

I'm 38 yrs old, married with kids (3 and 5 yrs), have two dogs, a mortgage, and a career. My calling is both with my family and the road, and I am torn down the middle.

I feel I can't leave them behind, neither often, nor for any lengths of time. This is not only for their sake, but also for my own sake - I kinda enjoy their company. Further, I feel as though I need to maintain my career to help provide my family with their current home, their current lifestyle, and hopefully a prosperous future. I don't have much flexibility in my career to take more time off than allocated vacation time.

At the present I am only looking into quick and fast satellite trips, over a week or four, that I can do with a few year intervals (this year I rode from Malaga to Bissau in a three week rally, and next year I plan a week long trip to Iceland). This is not the satisfaction I am looking for - I need much more. I day dream about the day when my mortgage is mostly down paid, my kids are too old to enjoy vacationing with their dad, and the dogs are dead... but then I am an old miserable fart that regret not having enjoyed my best years enough.

If you are, or have been, in a similar position - how do you, or did you, deal with this predicament?

I once seriously contemplated convincing my wife that we take two bikes and ride off for a year with our kids, maybe with a side car. Now I am not so keen, this as I see how important home is for my kids, because of the risks involved, because it would be a mammoth task to convince my wife of the idea, and because off all of the other necessary sacrifices. Anyways, I am not so sure my kids and wife would enjoy it as much - a recipe for disaster.
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Old 5 Oct 2012
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Not the answer but...

Hi, I know this doesn't address your question but I believe strongly that travel is only beneficial to young children. If you have the choice to go for a real journey I'd advise you to take it.
Of course both adults must agree. At such young ages the quality of the learning and feeling of the experiences will be massive.
I remember such travel at that age and look back with a wish that I could again feel the awe and amazement that I did then. How? Sorry I don't know. Lindsay.
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  #3  
Old 5 Oct 2012
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Wheelie,

I am totally feeling for you. Not much you can do at the moment IMO. You made the decison to be a father and husband and now you have to stick to your guns.

What Linzi said makes sense but if your wife ain´t happy with that it won´t happen. It is that simple. IMO every marriage is also an unspoken contract on how to live you life as a couple and family. Sounds like your wife did not sign up to be a longterm traveller or living like a pioneer woman. Mine did that neither. Damn, we never even gotten a camping trailer in all those years.

You have made a commitment and have chosen a certain lifestyle. You seem to get a maximum of travel activities out of it. I say you are doing well at this point.

Give your kids safe conditions to grow up in and plan ahead for the next 15 years. They will pass faster than you can imagine. Get out of debt and talk with your wife how you want to live in the future, a lot. Maybe she´ll stay with you ...

If I could do it again I probably would chose a military career enjoy retirement at 50 (which I am now), even though the Bundeswehr has been a dull place for me. I am quite a bit in debt with my business (not my fault, besides supporting my elderly parents financially for well over a decade). My plan is to get out of debt and retire at 60.

DW and I don´t need much money and we can live a simple life easily because this is what we have been doing all the time since we got our three children. We are going to downsize, one small economical car, one bike/scooter, two E-bikes. We want to have part time jobs as long as we don´t make ourselves ridiculous, both for some side money and making the brains and body work.

Not to p*ss on your parade but I know plenty of folks with a decent amount of money on the bank and/or a good retirement. Few of them are happy. Most of them suffer from an overinflated self-esteem.

Happiness comes from doing and living live at it´s fullest - not from owning. My Grandma was quite a poor person by all standards. She was one happy woman, though.

Whatever you do, good luck and happy trails!
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  #4  
Old 5 Oct 2012
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Don't wish your life away - many men would give their right arms to have what you do.

Work hard, enjoy your career and family and then if you can, retire a little early and hit the road.
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  #5  
Old 5 Oct 2012
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Smile

You are not the only one in that position, I too, have a wife, kids, dog, property & a business and are a little older. While my kids are a little older and my wife is supportive, I have been over a long period of time been restructuring my business that allows me to take small snippets of time to travel on my bike, with one day the dream of taking the epic journey I read about so often. If you really want it to happen, you can make it happen with the right timing, careful planning and keeping your commitments to your loved ones. Don't stop dreaming, keep planning while remembering you are so fortunate to have now what so many wish they could have.
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Old 5 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
Don't wish your life away - many men would give their right arms to have what you do.

Work hard, enjoy your career and family and then if you can, retire a little early and hit the road.
Hear hear!!


Anyone can run away from their responsibilities in a cloud of self-indulgence, but it takes commitment and balls to raise a family and pay the bills. You'll have plenty of scope for adventure later on, and what's more you'll be wise enough to appreciate it in a completely different way.
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  #7  
Old 6 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by muppix View Post
Hear hear!!


Anyone can run away from their responsibilities in a cloud of self-indulgence, but it takes commitment and balls to raise a family and pay the bills. You'll have plenty of scope for adventure later on, and what's more you'll be wise enough to appreciate it in a completely different way.
Exactly my thoughts. Nothing wrong to put the kids and missus on a sidecar bike and take off for two to four weeks, but until the kids are grown up, count your blessings and don´t be miserable about being unable to go on an expedition. I´ll be 55 by the time the kids are out of school, and then I´ll take a year off (I´m an attorney in the chemicals industry and will offer to work online two days a week for that year from somewhere in the world, e.g. from any of our subsidiaries; but if that offer meets deaf ears I´ll just take a year´s leave) and will hit the road together with my wife and any kids who want to join us. You won´t be older than that if your kids are grown up and 55 is far from being an old fart if you don´t let yourself go totally.
Cheers
Chris
(with a missus, a career, a mortgage and two kids 13 and 15 who have done their first 10.000km as pillion each throughout Europe).
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  #8  
Old 10 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by muppix View Post
Hear hear!!


Anyone can run away from their responsibilities in a cloud of self-indulgence, but it takes commitment and balls to raise a family and pay the bills. You'll have plenty of scope for adventure later on, and what's more you'll be wise enough to appreciate it in a completely different way.
Nail, head...

I too have always had a wunderlust, which is how I ended up here , which is how I ended up with wife, house kids etc etc .
the wife & kids scenario isnt the end of travelling... it's part of the voyage, it simply means that the pace of the voyage or the overall timescale has slowed down. It may have appeared to have slowed to geolocical proportions but you have to re adjust to that.

I have spent the last few years almost not using the bike due to kids & stuff, now the eldest is big enough to ride pillion it's starting again, the mrs has lost interest in biking but N°1 daughter is starting, so I will adapt, shorter trips to start with, stuff that will interest a 10yr old, communication system, etc etc...

None of this has stopped me from planning the big trip though, & whenever work or family ties start getting me down, I dig the plans out & go over it again, or plan some more , or plan another trip...

It will happen, but as life throws sh!t at you you have to dodge & weave, the weaving makes the road longer, that's all.

Bonne courage

MooN
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  #9  
Old 10 Oct 2012
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Wheelie - Where do I start with this one. I'm a bit older than you (61 now) and have been wrestling with this conflict between travel and family for the last 40 yrs. I still don't have an answer but what I have learnt is that a relationship breakup over this can have far more serious long term consequences than postponing a trip for a year or two or changing your wish list of plans to cope with your circumstances. The reality is that your available horizons shrink when someone else is involved and they shrink even more when children have to be taken into account.

In my case three serious relationships have covered those decades. The person in relationship one (70's) started referring to herself as a "motorcycle widow" over my persistent absence on trips and eventually she found someone with "better prospects". I regret that breakup to this day. Relationship two (80's) was happy to come with me on the bike but it foundered over the issue of children.

With the current Mrs B.O.B. (90's onward), maybe I got maturity at last or something but we've built up a family life that includes two children, homes, a career (she has one anyway) and a lifestyle that does enable us to do short trips (a month or two) every now and again. All of this is really important to me. I would dearly like to do some longer trips (I'm still healthy enough!) but still scarred by the outcome of relationship one I've had to decide where my priorities lie. My wife is aware of the conflict and does whatever she can to indulge me but there are limits.

Twice bitten, thrice shy means I'm conscious of the relationship consequences of dumping her with a demanding stressful daytime job and coming home to demanding stressful children, a pile of final demand bills and the endless depression of UK winter weather while I'm riding round Africa or somewhere in the sunshine. She has put up with me doing that a number of times over our 25yrs together but "payback" has been me taking up the strain when she has wanted to do something equivalent. It's not been easy and your circumstances may be (almost certainly are) different so you need to work out what's most important for you. With my two kids and your sidecar idea my son would have loved it but my daughter would have been traumatized by it.
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  #10  
Old 10 Oct 2012
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Quote:
this year I rode from Malaga to Bissau in a three week rally, and next year I plan a week long trip to Iceland).
Sounds like you are getting a decent amount of riding in, even with a family. I'm single with no long-term obligations and I can't get away for that long!
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  #11  
Old 10 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by brclarke View Post
Sounds like you are getting a decent amount of riding in, even with a family. I'm single with no long-term obligations and I can't get away for that long!
In that case, hit the road! It only gets harder ...
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Old 10 Oct 2012
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Going on the big one, without my family is out of the question for me... but dealing with just that isn't easy...
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Old 10 Oct 2012
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See how this family manages: jusalulu
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  #14  
Old 28 Oct 2012
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I'm in the same boat, struggling to balance family stuff, work stuff and motorcycle travel, all of which are worth having. But you have to realise that you shouldn't give up on your dreams, just work toward them.

I met Matt Cashmore mattcbf600 at the 2011 UK Autumn HU meet who did a great presentation about realistic motorcycle travel, on a budget with home responsibilities:

7 Day Adventures - YouTube
"Adventure biking doesn't have to mean taking a year off work and saving £25k. In this presentation I explore the amazing possibilities of short adventures to Eastern Europe, The Balkans, North Africa and Russia - not to mention the USA and how you can travel the world, 3 weeks at a time. Thrown in are some stories of my adventures and how much it all costs."

Although I would love to ride Mongolia one day, I enjoyed my trip through France and Belgium, with no plans apart from the ferries booked. I still immersed myself by taking an interest in the locals, speaking their language and sharing their time.

Next year I plan a trip from Spain through Andorra, France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium, all done in the time allowed in annual leave and my family commitments. 9 countries in 9 days!

Enjoy what you've got, and what you do.
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Old 29 Oct 2012
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Hi

You can travel with kids
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...s-family-65119

Toby
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