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July 24, 2008

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canadian traveller

This blog is going to be fascinating to read, but is almost more fantasy than a real travel writer's adventure. How many normal people can afford to take a family of 4 on a year's worth of tours costing thousands of dollars per person for each tour? And for people who can afford that, there really is no concept of budget so each destination holds unlimited possibilities.

I cringed at the comment about having no privacy in a hotel room with 2 queen beds - even when I was staying in 5 star hotels with my family it was in rooms with 2 queen beds, so this observation makes me believe that the Jenss Family is among the rich elite that lives very differently from the rest of us.

Nonetheless, it will be interesting to read about the trip. Especially how the boys react to travel and new experiences.

RJenss

We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventure as it unfolds and would just like to clarify your misconception that we are among the rich elite. While we do consider ourselves incredibly privileged to be taking this time to travel the world with our family, it was by no means facilitated by us being independently wealthy.

We decided to take this trip 4 1/2 years ago and since that time have put every spare penny into a "trip fund". We also radically altered our lifestyles to allow us to do this and and saved enough so that we could travel comfortably. We have included some splurges in our itinerary, but those are being offset by times when we have free accommodations (thanks to many friends who have offered us the use of their homes) or are staying in rustic cabins where the price is only slightly more than if we were camping.

We have a fixed budget for the trip and are keeping a detailed log of every expense we incur each day so that we can make sure we're keeping within the average daily spending allowance we've set for the trip.

We felt it was important to clarify this point, especially because we hope this trip will inspire other families to travel and we wouldn't want people to think such opportunities only exist for the privileged few. -- Rainer & Carol Jenss

Amy Greenstein

I think I learned more about Quebec City from reading this than from when Ira & I were actually there. I can only imagine that Stefan & Tyler are very fortunate to have this experience in their lives. I am also quite sure that they will learn more this year than any classroom could ever offer them. It sounds like you are already having a fabulous trip and how lucky for you that you were able to make this a reality for your family. Your friends miss you. Remember to think of us occasionally!

Amy

Aaron

Hm. Your project seems a bit elitist/escapist.

And if Mr. Jenss was a VP at National Geographic I'm guessing that he is indeed a member of the upper-upper-middle class.

Perhaps not Master-of-the-Universe level wealthy, but still quite well off.

Even saving for four years, I don't think most of America really could afford to have both parents take a year off from work and travel the world with two kids.

By the way, what are you doing about health insurance while you are gone? You might want to look into MEDEX (www.medexassist.com)

By the way, for a cool shoestring version of this trip, check out - http://www.thirteenmonths.com/

(Also self-indulgent and escapist, but easy to excuse the travelers as they are both kids...)

John Henry

As someone who knows the family pretty well, I take exception to these "elitist" comments. Rainer & Carol are both from it. Don't make assumptions just because you or I may not have the opportunity or means to do the same sort of trek with our families. Don't be jealous. Just enjoy the blog.

Keith London

As a old friend of the Jensses, I also need to come to their defense. Both Carol and Rainer have worked diligently and sacrificed to prepare and save for this trip, and just because one has a VP after his/her name, that does not make them wealthy... Especially in the NY Metro area, working for a non-profit organization. Don't be resentful for the adventures others sacrifice to create - start your own adventures the best you can...

Laura Jalbert

I am interested to follow the Jensses as we have just returned from a year-long trip around the world with our two boys, ages 7 and 8. We are an ordinary family who have a passion for travel and when faced with a change in employment, decided to pursue our passion in a frugal and very feasible way. I encourage folks who want to pursue their travel dreams, to read and learn how it can be done. Travelling with children is a gift as the Jensses will discover.

Laura Jalbert

I am interested to follow the Jensses as we have just returned from a year-long trip around the world with our two boys, ages 7 and 8. We are an ordinary family who have a passion for travel and when faced with a change in employment, decided to pursue our passion in a frugal and very feasible way. I encourage folks who want to pursue their travel dreams, to read and learn how it can be done. Travelling with children is a gift as the Jensses will discover.

Soultravelers3

I also would like to speak up for the Jensses and other families that have taken a world tour together. There is a misconception that travel is only for the elite or has to be expensive, especially a round the world tour as a family.

In truth, anyone can take such a journey if they are willing to save, sacrifice, plan, risk and do the work required. I want people to know that this is very doable and much cheaper and easier than most people realize.

Traveling does not cost much, especially slow travel, maintaining stuff does. We are just an average family and sold everything in 2005 so that we could travel the world together.

We travel the world, often quite luxuriously and live on a total of 25,000 dollars a year for a family of 3 and most of the last 2 years have been in Europe ( although we have been on 4 continents). We have had an incredible time and have met the most wonderful people. We also live very frugally by living like a native and going slow.

We find that we can live more cheaply traveling than we can living at home and we love the lifestyle of slow travel and deep immersion into cultures.

I wrote about many ways that ANY family can do this recently here:

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2008/06/how-to-do-exten.html

We have lots of school kids, homeschoolers and some disadvantaged kids that travel with us virtually.

Many, Many people will be able to benefit from the Jensses journey that they so generously share with us. I thank them for helping other families to know what a gift this is. Taking time to blog a journey is hard work, but so appreciated.

It is not escaping the world, it is getting to know the world in a more intimate way than many will ever know it. The family bonding alone is worth the effort of going, not to mention the educational value for the kids and all of us that follow along vicariously.

The very best parts of travel are actually free!! Thank you Jensses...we will be following you as we do our own world tour. I hope our paths cross!

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