Lonely Planet Writer

This mom quit her job to travel the world full-time with her daughter

If you’ve ever dreamed of turning that family road trip into a full-time life on the road, take some inspiration from Evie Farrell and her daughter Emmie. As Emmie nears her seventh birthday, she and Evie are marking nearly a year of full-time travel to places like the Philippines, Vietnam, France and Germany.

The pair of travellers, from Burraneer in Australia, have traded their life in a Sydney suburb to travel the world together in search of new experiences. Before hitting the road, Evie worked in public relations, but worried that long hours were keeping her from spending quality time with her daughter. Then, the death of a friend made Evie realise that she wanted to spend more time with her daughter.

“We never really know what is going to happen us,” she told Lonely Planet. “We think we have all the time in the world to do things later on, but what if that time doesn’t come?” Knowing that she couldn’t just work part-time and still make enough money for her and her daughter, Evie realised that what really made her happy was spending time with Emmie and travelling. She decided the money she had set aside for a new kitchen could be used to travel the world.

“Emmie and I had taken lots of trip together, as it was the only time when we could be together and bond, and our holidays were always great”, she said. Since Emmie’s dad agreed they could head out on an adventure, she quit her job, took her savings, sold everything and left. That money has been supporting them, along with income from renting out their house.

The pair left on 1 February, 2016, and have since been to the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, France, Germany and England. Evie says that Emmie is an excellent free-diver who loves spending time in the water, snorkelling in the Philippines and Malaysian Borneo, and has also become passionate about the welfare of elephants

Evie’s favourite part has been hiking up the Great Wall of China, and seeing her daughter’s determination to get there. We camped overnight with a small group and even Emmie was just overwhelmed by the atmosphere, beauty and history… I did not expect that China would be so beautiful… I wasn’t expecting it to be so family-friendly and have so much untouched beauty”.

Naturally, while much of travelling is focused on fun, they also have to take part in normal activities like play dates and school, as Emmie was enrolled in a distance education programme and will now attend an international school in Vietnam. The pair will stay in Hoi An for a few months while Emmie studies, and Evie says she will have to earn some money if they want to keep travelling: “and I have to because I don’t want to go back to the hours I worked before we left”.

And while their lifestyle in enviable, Evie says it’s achievable through hard work and saving. She says she worked 20 years for the money needed for the trip – and notes that she now laments wasting money buying things in the past that they didn’t use. As for whether it’s achievable for other families with wanderlust, Evie has some advice: “The hardest part is making the decision and packing up. After that, when you leave the airport and walk through immigration – from then on, it’s magic”.