ParentingQuality of Life
Our Best-Ever Kid Trip: A South East Asian Adventure
18Oct 2010
2
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My good friend, Tim Ferris, wrote a little book you may have heard of, “The Four Hour Work Week” (it’s sold like 10 trillion copies). Missy and I read it at the same time in early 2008. Among the many big ideas in that book, Tim poses the following question (and I paraphrase); “If you have a job you can perform remotely, why not go live in another country for a while, have a serious, life-changing adventure, and come back smarter, wealthier and substantially more cool?”

Reading Tim’s book just happened to coincide with another discovery, namely, that our youngest daughter, Jade, was dyslexic, which is why school was so difficult for her. She needed a change. And we needed to do whatever was necessary to help her increase her self-esteem.

These factors, coupled with our already passionate love of travel, could only mean one thing… It’s time for the Butcher Family to “get the hell out of Dodge” and go on the adventure of a lifetime!

We left America in early November for South East Asia with our two children, Jade (8) and Justin (4). 139 days, 8 countries, 18 airports, 26 flights and 10 boats (most of them scary) later, we arrived back home safe and sound, and our epic adventure came to an end…

It’s difficult to put into words how life-changing this trip was for our little family. We shared, saw and experienced so much together. From the islands of Phang Gna Bay in southern Thailand, to the ancient temples of Laos and Cambodia, to the days spent on the long-tail boat on the mighty Mekong River, to the glistening white sand beaches of the Philippines, to the frenetic markets of Bali… We truly had an amazing adventure… (continued after the MASSIVE photo gallery)

We learned about history, culture, art, literature, religion, music and business… Jade and Justin learned things most kids never learn – like currency exchange, how to haggle in night markets, Apsara dancing, the ancient process of Batik, the names of the Royal Thai Family, and on and on and on…

During our 5 months abroad, I can honestly say we never heard one person raise their voice to another. We experienced no rudeness, bitterness or entitlement mentality whatsoever, anywhere. Only deep appreciation for Westerners, who represent a source of income for the local people that would otherwise not exist.

For nearly half a year, our phone barely rang. We had no meetings, no business lunches and we received less than half our normal volume of email. We didn’t watch TV news once, we missed the Super-bowl, the Inaugural Speech and the daily reports of the world-wide economic crisis. Yet, the world and our businesses went on without is…

We got SO CLOSE with our two little children. The quality time was off the charts – and so was the quantity! And we created memories with Jade and Justin that none of us will EVER forget.

There were way too many awesome experiences to report in one post. even trying to cover the highlights of a 5-month trip would be difficult. However, if you’d like to learn more about it, you can go here for a complete record of our amazing family adventure: Butcheradventures.com

This photo-blog is a detailed record of one of our most profound travel experiences ever! As you explore the archives, the photos and the posts, our greatest hope is that they inspire you to consider creating your own life-changing experience. Consider pushing your limits, doing something unusual and unexpected, exploring the world and taking your life to another level in the process!

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2 comments “Our Best-Ever Kid Trip: A South East Asian Adventure”

  • Heather R
    November 7, 2010
    12:10 pm

    wow, Jon,
    I loved hearing your experiences on this incredible trip. I, too, was changed forever in a similar itinerary in the late 80’s. I traveled solo with a backpack that time. Your story has inspired me to put into my Lifebook a trip like this with my now 8 year old daughter. I have no doubt, if it is in my Lifebook, I will do it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Warmly,
    Heather

  • Jon
    November 8, 2010
    12:10 pm

    Jade was 8 when we left America for 5 months in SE Asia. It’s the perfect age! :-) She will NEVER, EVER forget the adventures and experiences we shared… Funny, we were just watching some video last night from that trip and laughing so hard… :-)

    I hope you DO take your daughter on a trip like this and post it for Lifebook Members to see!

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