Father-son team travels world on the cheap
Juggling parenthood and career in the traditional manner isn't easy. Many determined to carve out quality time with their children find it practically impossible.
Such was the case for Talon Windwalker, who kicked corporate life to the curb in order to live a more conscious life with his son Stevie.
Travel seemed to speak to their mutual souls, so they decided to take an extended father and son trip around the world.
The two hit the road three years ago, and never looked back. Talon started a blog called 1dad1kid.com, which details their adventures.
Here's an inside peek at how this single dad keeps their nomadic life on track.
Belongings: Streamlining your suitcase collection is critical to long-term life on the road.
Says Windwalker, "Stevie and I each have one larger checked suitcase and one smaller day bag. While it's true that means we have some airline baggage fees, it's worth not having to chase down and purchase new clothing wherever we go."
Instead the Windwalkers skip the aggravation and use that same time to go exploring or settle in at their new location.
It also provides them with smoother seating on planes, since they typically only need storage for their smaller personal bags of essentials.
For Talon, this means a media-style backpack with padded sections for his camera and laptop. These are critical tools for funding their full-time travel adventure, and are therefore kept close at all times.
Finances: Walking away from full-time employment to live with and educate your son on the road may take guts, but it also takes cash.
While this might have intimidated most parents, Windwalker took it in stride. Says Talon, "Sometimes you just have to create the life you want."
Windwalker's solution has been to diversify his income through multiple revenue streams. Freelance writing plays a large role, as does ad revenue from his blog.
This full-time dad also provides medical transcription services and became a licensed scuba instructor during their travels.
Having more than one source of funds helps protect the two from the ebbs and flows of freelance contract work.
The two also housesit frequently to reduce long-term overhead expenses, and rent modest accommodations in inexpensive countries, such as Vietnam and Romania.
Visas: Another source of income is Talon's book, "The Visa Guide for US Citizens." It's a title he wrote after having to figure out international visa access from the road.
While having an American passport allows you to travel to a number of locations without difficulty, you still need to be aware of entry and exit requirements.
For example advises Windwalker, "Much of Europe resides within the Schengen Zone. This multilateral agreement is great for citizens of those countries, but for visitors it can create a hassle."
Travellers are only allowed 90 days in the zone for any 180-day period without processing a long-term visa.
Certain countries in Southeast Asia only allow a 30-day stay before you have to cross the border.
Says Talon, "Knowing national entry requirements can also be problematic. Some want you to show proof of sufficient funds, while others require specific vaccinations."