Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017

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Big changes are happening here at Epic Education headquarters. After nearly two years in Valencia, Spain, the four of us are making a move. Several moves, actually.

Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Valencia arts sciences sunset

Below I’ll fill you in on a little of our upcoming trip and what we hope to do and see along the way. It’s going to be a long and eventful trip, which may have us settling on another continent.

If you’ve been to any of these destinations and have good advice, let us know!

Leaving Europe

Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Valencia street

In just a few weeks, we will leave Spain. We hope to return soon as it’s such a great place to travel and to live. There is much more for us to see and do here. We loved our tour of Northern Spain, our time in Barcelona and our adventures along the Costa Blanca.

We thought Cuenca was stunning and Toledo fascinating. We could easily spend another week on the island of Lanzarote alone. Yet even after two years, we feel like we had just scratched the surface of Spain.

For those of you that have followed our Spanish residency saga, I can tell you that yes, we were approved for an extension, but it’s complicated and I’ll need to explain it later in a post all its own.

We fly out with mixed emotions, to be sure. Valencia — and Spain — have been very good to us.

Our kids went to school here and played on local soccer teams. They made friends, and they became excellent Spanish speakers. Valencia isn’t perfect (where is?) but when it comes to European city living, it’s pretty close. We love you Valencia, and hope to see you again soon.


Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Lombok 1

Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Lombok Rinjani Volcano

Our first destination is Lombok, the Indonesian island east of Bali. We’ve been to Indonesia many times, but only to Sumatra and Bali. We’ve loved our time in both (especially in Bukit Lawang and Ubud), but now we want to see what Lombok has in store.

Lombok offers a lot of the same appeal as Bali, with similar landscapes and attractions: beaches, jungles, and volcanoes.

We’re hoping to do some surfing, snorkeling and possibly a cooking class. Just offshore of Lombok are the Gili Islands. There are two sets: the northern Gilis and the southern Gilis. Hopefully, we can visit them both.


Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Kuching

Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 probiscis sarawak

Next up is Sarawak, the southern state of Malaysian Borneo. We’ll fly into Kuching, which is the capital of Sarawak and is also known as “Cat City” (The Malaysian word for “cat” is kuching).

Most people coming to Borneo are here to see orangutans. We’ve had two great orangutan experiences in Sumatra, so for us this time around we’re hoping to focus on other wildlife, such as the proboscis monkeys.

Kuala Lumpur (KL)

Food in Malaysia for Kids: Non-Spicy Malaysian Food They'll Love Kuala Lumpur malaysia fruitstall

Many people catch connecting flights in the Malaysian capital, but KL is a fantastic family travel destination in its own right. We love travel in Malaysia, and that includes an enthusiastic thumbs up for Kuala Lumpur.

From the Batu caves to the science museum, you can spend days exploring KL with kids.

We visited multiple times when we lived in Penang, and are looking forward to returning again. There is lots to do and lots to eat! I’m not sure if we’re more excited about the archery or the roti.


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It’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen Keiko’s family, so we’re heading home to visit the Yoshikawa clan. All of Keiko’s family lives in the Kansai area, and so it’s quite easy to see everyone within a week or two.

It’s fun to visit Osaka with kids, too. We have a few set things we usually do when we’re in town, and we’ll likely head to a few nearby destinations like Kyoto, Kobe or Nara.


Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Atlanta

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My hometown. After we visit Keiko’s side of the family, we’ll head to mine. My parents are super keen to see their grandkids, of course, and we’re getting really excited about seeing them.

Knowing my mom, we’ll have more activities than days to do them. I’m expecting some Braves games, as well as getting to see the city’s new professional soccer team. A bike ride on the Beltline, a hike to the top of Stone Mountain, and a visit to the city’s aquarium are also on the itinerary, I’m sure.

Mexico (tentative)

Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Yucatan Mexico

Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Mexico yucatan cenote

I’ve long wanted to explore Latin America, and Mexico seems like the right place to start. I know that in today’s media, the country is not portrayed in the most flattering light, but the truth is that most of the country is safe, culturally rich and ripe for exploration. We have met dozens and dozens of families who have loved exploring the country with kids.

For example here are a few from the podcast:

These are just a few of the families I’ve actually interviewed (more to come). And then there are the many that I’ve communicated with or read about online in forums, blogs, and elsewhere. We can’t wait to see what it’s all about.

We need to be in Oaxaca later in the year for a family gathering, so what happens between Atlanta and then is yet undetermined.

We’ll move back into homeschooling as we travel, and it can be an immensely rewarding experience.

Mexico advice welcomed!

Moving on: Our Family Travel Plans for 2017 Family Portrait Turia Bridge Valencia 2

For those of you with experience in Mexico, where should we go? What should we do? If we decided to stick around for a little while, what cities would you recommend? I’ve heard good things about many places, and many places where I would enjoy, but as I’m traveling with a teen and a tween, I want to make them happy, as well.

Expect more updates from the road. Lots more great tips and advice are on the way.


  1. Sounds like you guys have got big plans for the rest of 2017. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your travels. All the places you mentioned sound interesting.