I’m surprised you’re looking up single parent travel.

Are you interested in trying it for yourself?

Or are you a keyboard warrior prowling for bloggers to harass about how traveling with young kids is unsustainable and not good for their stability?

However you found this post, I’m glad you’re here.

Trolls feel free to leave comments below, I’ll give you some hugs, it’s clear you need it. 

What is Single Parent Travel?

We could all talk a little more about single parent travel.

And we can’t talk about it without discussing what it looks like, who does it, and how it’s done. 

Single Parent Travel
My daughter and I in Thailand.

What does single parent travel look like?

Perhaps you imagine a fit mom wearing a backpack with a baby seat marching her way to the top of Machu Picchu?

That’s not real.

Sometimes we go to cool places.

single parent travel blogger
We often go to Hong Kong.

But I make my daughter hike on her own.

Single parent travel is slow, thoughtful, and deliberate.

I’m not gallivanting my way from resort to resort.

I recently spoke to a friend who asked me how I could possibly be living in Thailand; I must be spending $100-$200 a day just on accommodation alone, right?

No, that’s my monthly budget for a private bungalow on an island in Thailand.

I travel as a single parent because it’s more sustainable for me than living in the United States.

My rent is lower abroad, the food is cheaper and healthier, the cost of transportation is minimal, and because I don’t need to hustle my life away to pay rent, I have heaps of time to spend with my daughter every morning, evening, and weekend.

To me, single parent travel is about giving my child as much of me as possible.

I was stretching myself too thin in the US, and this approach to life puts my parenting first, instead of my paycheck.

single parent travel tips and ideas
When my dad came to visit us in Asia, we all went to Chiang Mai!

Who are these single parent travelers?

Like myself, there are single parent fathers out there doing the same thing.

Most people that I talk to are on board with the idea of single dad travel.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not met with skepticism.

Travel Dads

Consider this story of a single dad who was traveling with his teenage daughter when the authorities were called on him by the hotel staff because they thought he was a pedophile.

single parent travel tips

Perhaps it’s the stigma that ‘single dads are bums’ that lead to this unfortunate incident, causing the staff to not stop to think, ‘oh yeah, some single dads are good dads.’

Whatever it was, there are some really unique challenges to being a single dad.

You can read a little more about mine in this Reader’s Digest article I was quoted in.

There’s another brave father out there with the heroic name of Talon Windwalker, and I’m pretty sure it’s his real name.

single father travel blog
Photo credit to 1dad1kid.com

Anyway, he and his child have done heaps of travels, including scuba diving all over the world.

You can read more of his story at 1dad1kid.com.

Travel Moms

Queenie Tan

I’ve been fortunate to meet some pretty cool people in my travels.

One of them was Queenie Tan, Asia’s premier parenting coach.

single parent travel resources
Photo credit to https://foongkwin.com/

She’s smart, driven, and full of good advice for parents who are interested in worldschooling.

You can find her here, and I recently did a recorded podcast with her that I will link you to when it goes live!

Trippin’ Momma

I’ve got the easy life: one little child who is only occasionally a devil.

Amoya of Trippin’ Momma has one little child and two bigger ones.

single parent traveling around the world
Photo credit to https://trippinmomma.com/

I often reach out to her to talk travel strategy, parenting tips, and online income ideas.

You can find her blog here.

Why do single moms and dads travel?

The real question is why does anyone travel?

What is it about far-off destinations that makes any rational person want to get on a flying piece of metal to go swim with sharks or risk their lives climbing a mountain?

I imagine it’s because the very first humans were travelers.

To be fair, we don’t really know anything about the very first humans except that they first roamed the plains of Africa around 300,000 years ago and built tools out of the environment around them.

If we know that, what can we ponder about the way they must have lived?

I like to imagine I’m living 250,000 years ago.

(You can skip past this italicized portion if you’re not interested in creative fiction, if you like spending some time in a pretend world, however, the italicized portion is for you).

My eyes slowly peel open when the sky is dark blue, moments before the first birds start singing. I look over at my daughter who’s rolled away from me. Her mother was eaten by a sabretooth tiger one night when she went out to urinate alone. 

I stand up and pull my tanned-hide cloth up around my waist. Looking around the dark interior of our hut, I see other parents stretching their arms and putting on their cloths, even some of the late-teenagers have sat upright.

I’m the first out the door, I take it a deep breath through my nose of the winds coming across the plain, and I recognize our problem and know our solution immediately. My closest friend in our 40-or-so-family community steps out of the hut, smells the wind, and exhales in exasperation.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, “The herds move every season, it’s more fun trying to find them after they’ve moved over night! It’ll be an adventure.”

“It will be,” he replies, “but we’ll be running into rain later.”

I inhale deeply through my nose again, faintly smelling the onset of rain in the distance, “good nose.”

We quickly disseminate among the families that the herd has moved and it’s time to follow.

Myself and several others prepare to track and find the herd while everyone else breaks down camp and gathers the necessary tools and skins for travel.

With a razor-sharp knife cut from stone, a 6-foot spear of the strongest and lightest wood, and a skin of water enough for 3 days, our team of 6 sets out in pursuit of the buffalo.

At first we jog, following their scent, faint as it is on the wind and masked by the impending rain, zigzagging a bit to get a sense of where they went.

For hours we search, until we find their tracks. 2 of the team members turn around, to give word to the other families which direction to follow.

Our jog intensifies, our barefeet land ball-first, coil the heals down, and the rear tendon snaps back to push us forward.

Our run is rhythmic, simple, and efficient.

We could run like this for two-days straight. One of the team members once did, just to prove he could.

After hours of prodding across the open plains, watching the sunrise and feel the heat intensify, the rains begin to fall, but only lightly.

We find the rear of the herd. Walking slowly and lazily, they’re resting, enjoying the coolness the rain brings.

Steam rises from the sea of their backs and horns.

This is the time of year they aren’t going to stop moving.

They’re leaving these plains because they know the rain is leaving.

The journey ahead is a long one, and every member of the 40-families will have to endure it.

(The creative fiction ends here and the blog continues)

Obviously, we don’t know for sure what people were doing 250,000 years ago. But I like to think about things–even single parent travel–from an evolutionary standpoint.

Our eyes point forward, our hips are upright for walking and jogging, our feet are biological masterpieces of efficient forward motion.

single parent travel blog
Feet are made for travel.

I truly believe we evolved to travel.

That’s where the urge for far-off destinations came from.

Our ancestors were all travelers.

That’s why great kings expand their empires and why we visited the Moon.

can single parents travel?
Expert traveler.

It’s why we look at Mars and think, what if? It’s why we create movies like Avatar, Star Wars, and even Dora the Explorer.

So if you ask why single mothers and fathers want to travel with their children, just blame it on first humans who loved chasing buffalo across the open plains.

How do single parents travel?

Okay, we no longer carry spears and chase buffalo, but long-term with kids is still possible, even for single parents.

Let me put this plainly: single parent travel–if done properly–is less expensive than living in the United States.

That’s even compared to my home state of Michigan, which has a relatively low cost of living.

Also it’s frozen AF for half the year, but that’s another story.

 

how do single parents travel?
Michigan thinks it’s cool because it has lighthouses. Well, those lighthouses don’t do anything in the winter!

When people think of parents traveling with their kids, they think of the vacations they’ve taken in their lives that cost thousands of dollars for the family to stay 7-days and 6-nights at an all-inclusive resort.

That is not what single parent travel actually looks like, and the costs are nowhere near the same.

Single parent travel is about downsizing what you own to maximize your time with your kids.

It’s about finding the cheapest flights, staying in the most affordable place for a long time, and living as close to a local’s budget as you can wherever you go.

It’s a life focused on consuming less material to spend more time doing what’s right for our families.

That alone should be enough to convince anyone that single parent travel is okay, but they’re always concerned with the logistics and the finances.

And rightfully so.

But their concern overwhelms them and turns into fear and fear turns into excuses that reinforce the ideas that keep them away from encountering their fears.

Single parent travel is keeping concern at face value.

It’s something that’s there, but you can prepare for it and it doesn’t have to stop you.

how do single parents travel with their kids
You must trust your travel instincts.

Here are some of the excuses I hear about why people think single parent travel isn’t possible, and what I think about those excuses.

Excuse 1: Travel is expensive, I can’t afford that.

Does your child currently go to daycare or preschool in the United States?

Mine did and her school cost just shy of $1,000/month.

Your entire cost of living with one child as a single parent in Chiang Mai, Thailand will be less than that.  

If you can afford daycare in the US, you can afford to travel.

I do understand that income is tied to your job, but nowadays it’s not so hard to find a job that lets your work remotely.

And you don’t need to be making much to make it a sustainable lifestyle.

single parent travel tips
In one month, you can spend this on daycare in the US, or on ALL YOUR EXPENSES COMBINED in Asia.

Ways Single Parents Can Make an Income While Traveling

Work Abroad

Teaching

How to work abroad with family

Teaching English is the most abundant job, but if you have a specialty, all the power to you.

I taught Math and English in Hong Kong. 

Nursing

how to work abroad with children

Travel nursing is a real thing.

Heaps of people do it. 

Special skill instructor

how to make money working abroad

Think SCUBA, surfing, dancing, singing, yoga and whatever other skill you can teach.

You can take them all on the road. 

WWOOF

how to work on a farm overseas

What better way to connect with the world around you than volunteering on a farm somewhere far away?

Your whole family will be stronger and healthier.

House Sitting

how to house sit as a single parent

People leave their houses, they need others to take care of their houses and often their pets.

That can be your job. 

Transfer within your own company

make money as a single parent

I know heaps of people who have been able to spend time traveling simply by transferring within their own company to another of their locations overseas. 

Could you do that?

Work Online

Teach English

teach english online as a single parent
Your energy level on camera needs to solid.

It’s easy to make around $20/hour teaching English online to Chinese children.

Heaps of people do it full-time.

Blog

make money parent blogging

Blogs have dozens of ways they can make money, you just have to start one, which you can do with this step-by-guide that I wrote.

Then you need to monetize it by investing in yourself, and I show you some awesome ways to do that here.

Youtube

single parents on youtube

I really enjoy making YouTube videos.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be someone who makes a living off of it, but the worst-case scenario is that I get to watch cool videos of my travels when I’m old and senile!

Coach

traveling with kids how to make money

You have a skill? You can coach it.

You’re a super mom.

Coach non-super moms your ways.

And do it all online.

Travel agents

how to travel with my children

The job description is in the name.

But these agents don’t sit in one cubicle their whole lives.

Digital nomads of all kinds

digital nomad family

Web-developers, videographers, bitcoin traders, writers.

There are too many different types of digital nomads to name.

It’s anyone who works online. 

Since we’ve confirmed single parents can easily make an income while traveling, the next excuse is usually about protecting their children.

Excuse 2: My child’s education…

Is extremely important.

So why leave it up to a system that is falling behind in the world?

The United States public education outcomes don’t rank in the top-10 in anything other than dropout rate for developed nations.

According to the 2018 PISA Worldwide Rankings for Math, Science, and Reading, students in the United States ranked just 31st overall.

The education style that’s being taught in the US isn’t preparing our children for the world they’re growing up in either.

That’s why less traditional schooling options are on the rise:

  • Homeschooling
    • Traditional curriculum in a non-traditional setting.
  • Unschooling
    • No set curriculum; learn from life experiences; self-driven education.
  • Forest Schools
    • Classes are taught outside; children are given the ultimate freedom to explore nature.
  • Montessori Education
    • Self-driven education in an experience-based classroom.
  • And more

If those aren’t your thing, single parents have the option–like I do–to send their children to an international school that will still provide them with the education and certifications that they need to attend universities back home.

single parent travel possible
My daughter in her ‘Scouts’ uniform in Hong Kong.

When you throw in the fact that children in travel families get to learn new languages, try new foods, and see the world, you can see why your child’s education is going to be just fine.

When they know their income and education concerns are covered, they instinctively worry about themselves.

Excuse 3: I’d have no support system.

That’s a pretty fair point.

can single parents travel abroad?
It’s easy to worry about your children.

Taking care of a child, they say, takes a village.

But a life of travel and interpersonal support systems aren’t mutually exclusive.

For me, it works perfectly.

As an out-going introvert, my favorite job of all time was when I was a summer camp counselor.

I could be a part of a vibrant community for two months, then spend the rest of the year in a more introspective lifestyle. It’s a great balance for my personality type.

And when I travel, the same thing tends to happen.

how can single parents travel with their children
You can build a big family wherever you go. Summer Camp 2014

We can live somewhere and find a local community using Facebook groups or meetups, but I can still live my own lifestyle on my own time.

And when the scary moments happen–like when I got really bad food poisoning in Thailand–the expat community on Facebook where I was staying responded with overwhelming hospitality.

It feels scary to not have the support system you’re used to back home, but you’ll always find that good people everywhere are happy to help if you ever need it.

So you just have to replace your fear of not having support, with a trust in the world to help you when you need it, because it will.


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I know a lot about single parent travel, mostly because it’s the definition of my life. What I know best is managing times of stress before they occur. It’s called preparation folks. 

Preparing to get on a plane with your kids takes just that. 

Here are my six quick tips for traveling with your children as a single parent. 

1. Kids are Weak

*Affiliate links (disclosure here) may be present in this article.

Since everyone can usually take a carry-on bag for free, make sure your kids each take one.

The key is to give them the big, lightweight objects.

single dad travel blog

 

Things your children can carry:

– Neck pillows

– Coloring books

– Their stuffed animals

This distributes the load evenly among the capable legs in the group.

You don’t want to be  crushed to death by your family’s luggage.

2. Pack Your Books High

Books are valuable tools for surviving single parent travel life.

Keep them safe by packing them on top of everything else.

single parent travel
All the books you’ll need to pack to travel as a single parent.

You don’t want their spines to be snapped.

Remember: books have feelings, too.

3. Pack Just a Few Clothes When Traveling

You don’t want to be carrying around a wardrobe.

That’s too heavy for proper single parent travel techniques.

travel packing tips with children
Not a smart way to pack for traveling.

If you need stylish clothes on the road, check the local night markets.

4. After You’ve Packed, Remove 50% of Your Items

Surviving family travel means carrying as little as possible.

Once your bags are packed, unpack them.

I promise you, you overpacked.

Things to remove:

– Any more than two pairs of pants

– Any more than 6 pairs of socks/underwear

I use one check-in bag for long-term traveling with my daughter.

And we don’t even fill it.

You can check out the bag I use in the video below.

5. Pack Smashables Down Low

Books aren’t smashables, they belong up high. 

Clothes are smashables.

Pack them low. 

6. Micro-pack Your Necessities in case of Baggage Delay

Single parent travel isn’t too difficult.

Until you don’t have a toothbrush and diapers because you checked them in.

Have a little bit of everything you would need for a day and a morning.


 

Just enough to get settled without stressing after your flight.


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When we got to Asia one year ago, I was committed to spending at least a year here so Auburn could learn her grandparent’s language. This wasn’t an easy choice; growing up in the countryside of Michigan, I learned to love the fresh air, the space, and the sounds of nature. Hong Kong has nothing of the sort (in most parts, at least). 

Moving to Asia with Children

As an asthmatic, I’m not a big fan of living in cities anyway, but one year was enough time for me.

move to asia with children
Hong Kong in the distance.

Now, I need to live in the fresh air again for a while.

My lungs and throat got sick 4 or 5 times over the past year and usually, I don’t get really sick like that more than once, maybe twice in a year. 

So, off to Thailand, to a  place we’ve lived twice before! 

To be honest, we weren’t planning on coming to Thailand this time.

single parent blog
A previous visit to this island.

We were planning on moving to Cambodia for the school year to try something new.

However, I overlooked a significant detail: Auburn’s passport expires before the end of the visa I would get in Cambodia, so they wouldn’t grant her a visa if we were to try. 

Thankfully, I noticed this before we made concrete plans to move to Cambodia to get the fresh air we needed.

single dad blog

My child and I decided we would return to a place we know and could practice something she’s been learning to love recently: swimming. 

For these Few Months in Thailand with my Child

After a few breakthroughs in the pool in Hong Kong, the island we live on now is a good step up from that.

There are plenty of pools to use, but the immediate access to the sea and coral reefs is going to be a good way to teach her to snorkel. 

We’ve practiced a few times this week already, and hopefully we can find some good weather to give it a go this weekend in the open blue!

I’ll catch some video for you if we do so you can see her first snorkeling experience in the ocean!

After Our Thai Visas Expire, Where Will We Go?

I’ll be getting a few documents in the mail soon that will allow me to apply for my daughter’s new passport.

We are going back to Hong Kong to do this because we can visit her family again, and I like the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, it’s very efficient. 

That shouldn’t take more than a month to get the new passport in hand.

Once we have it, we will be moving to Cambodia at that time–our original plan!

Now that the final piece will be in place–the passport–we can then get to Cambodia and spend a year in the countryside where we can kayak, play basketball, swim, fish, and breathe fresh air. 

We’re both looking forward to it, but that will be later this year, of course.

single dad travel blog
We can get here in 30 minutes pretty easy. Top-notch snorkeling.

For now, we’re in Thailand and I’m excited to teach Auburn how to snorkel and freedive! 


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The gymnasium has already been swept up after Pre-K graduation. The teachers are breathing a sigh of relaxation. And I’m reflecting on this last year  living in Hong Kong  as a single parent. 

There’s much to reflect about in terms of my personal growth, business development, and physical fitness and health. But, since this is a single dad blog, I will focus this post on how my little family changed over this past year. 

living in hong kong
Being a single dad isn’t so bad!

My Relationship With My Daughter Improved

Before we came to Hong Kong, she was struggling with sleeping a full night’s sleep. As a single dad, I was dealing with this by myself and it was really wearing me down. 

My muscle tone was depleted, I was always tired, and as a result of my poor physique and tired mind and body, I was short with my daughter when she was whiny or in tantrum mode (which happens often enough that I was feeling like a pretty crappy parent at times). 

Now, one of the first things you might notice if you ever move to Hong Kong, is that your living environment is probably going to be much smaller than what you’re used to if you’re coming from the United States like me.  Like 1000 times smaller. 

If you know me, however, you know I don’t mind living in a small place 

And this time, I’ve found that it helped improve my relationship with my daughter.

Our small room in Hong Kong keeps us physically close, but we’ve also grown closer emotionally as she’s had the freedom to wake up in the middle of the night and sneak into my bed without waking me up.

No creaking doors, no squeaky floors, she just shimmies to the foot of her own bed, one-steps the gap to my bed, and crawls up next to me (or so I assume!). 

single parent travel blog
Auburn sleeping peacefully. With her underwear on her head! 😛

Sometimes she wakes me up by accident, but even so, single parent travel has been awesome with my daughter.

Since I’m physically close to her all the time, I’m also more keenly aware of her emotional state. I’ve been preventing tantrums as a result of seeing their onset early on and guiding her away from them. 

If you’re used to living in a big home and having lots of space to separate yourself from people, you might be surprised–like I am–to find that living in a small place can vastly improve the relationships in your life. 

single parent travel tips and ideas
Auburn in her scouts uniform in Hong Kong. They are known as Happy Bee 🙂

My Daughter Speaks a Language I Don’t Understand

Yup, you read that right. I have a 5-year-old who not only speaks a language I don’t understand, she also makes fun of me for not speaking it!

She’s just kidding with me, of course, and I love that she is speaking Cantonese! 

Seeing her speak with her Chinese grandma and grandpa–in their language–fills my heart, and I’m so proud of her for wildly exceeding my expectations in her language development. 

raising children in hong kong
Auburn and her Chinese grandma, grandpa, and half-brother

Living in Hong Kong Has Made Us HUNGRY For More 

Auburn and I have lived in Colombia, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, and of course we’ve spent time living in Hong Kong. Each place has given us a new perspective on life and encourages us to keep learning.

Now, after our year in Hong Kong, and despite the awesome outcomes we’ve achieved here, we are ready to escape the noise and hustle of the big city. 

living in hong kong, expat life
Auburn overlooking the city that has taught her so much this past year.

We both are yearning for consistently fresh air, easy access to the sea, and cheap, healthy food. 

That’s why I am ready to reveal to you where we are headed in just one week: Koh Tao, Thailand !

Of course, we’ve lived there before and it’s part of the reason we are going back. I love it there!

The school she goes to is awesome, the food is incredible, and I feel so healthy while I’m there.

In fact, I’ll take a before and after picture of my body, I won’t change my exercise routine at all, and I guarantee you that I will lose at least 8 pounds of fat–that I’ve gained living in Hong Kong and eating so much oily food–just from the diet we’ll be on. 

It’s a wonderful place. And that’s why we’re headed back for the next three months! I’m ready for more of this single-parent adventure travel!

Do you want to travel with your children one day? Let me know in the comments!


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Can a 4-year-old learn a new language within a year? Do children travel well? Let’s examine those questions. 

Children are incredibly adaptable to new situations. They quickly learn physical skills, new words, and social behaviors. Take my daughter, for example. She’s grown up speaking English and a little bit of Spanish with me, but we spent this last year in Hong Kong where they speak a form of Chinese called Cantonese.

Accomplishments for my 4-year-old this year include becoming fluent in Chinese,  diving down into the pool, dribbling a basketball more than 10 times, but, sadly, she still can’t wipe her own butt very well.  

I hope this story inspires you to reconsider how you think about raising children. If you haven’t thought about raising children outside of the United States–or whatever country you’re from–I hope this story encourages you to give it a thought. 🙂

Basketball in Hong Kong

I’m pumped that she enjoys playing basketball with me. I challenge you to play against her in 10 years, she’s gonna be dangerous with her crossover!

Auburn and I after a day on the court

It’s been awesome to watch her become more interested in it the more we play. Seeing her grow and develop her skills each time is so much fun to witness! She really gets after it on defense! 

In the same way, she’s learned other physical skills this year.

Learning to Swim in Hong Kong

At the start of the school year, Auburn was still very hesitant about swimming. She’d had lessons a little over a year ago, but she did not enjoy them.

Since then, I’ve been trying my best to get her accustomed to swimming not just in the pool but also in the waves in the ocean.

best beaches for swimming in hong kong
One of her favorite places to swim in Hong Kong, Shek O Beach

As she’s been slowly exposed to it, she recently had a massive breakthrough! As she would tell you, “I’m not scared anymore,” then quickly dive under the water and come up laughing. 

I’m excited to teach her how to snorkel and surf in the future, but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, we need to work our way up again. 

Is Chinese Hard to Learn?

I would say yes; my Chinese is quite awful even after a year here. I can’t get the tones right, I often forget the words, people look at me confusedly no matter what I say. 

However, if you ask my 4-year-old, she might tell you it’s not so hard to learn Chinese. 

“What are your thoughts on living abroad with children? Let me know in the comments below!”

In fact, she went from understanding zero Chinese last September, to being as fluent in it as she is in English. Furthermore, she’s also a skilled translator–to my advantage!

learn chinese in hong kong
Auburn loving Hong Kong because she actually understands what people are talking about, quite unlike her father! 😀

How did she learn Chinese here in Hong Kong? By attending a local school and spending time with her Chinese family!

A School Year in Hong Kong

So, I would highly encourage anyone who is considering moving abroad with their children to do it. I know that fear of not knowing the language may hold you back, but your kids will manage, I promise you! If you make it a point to get to know the locals, you’ll all learn–but, like me, your children will be better at it. 

It took Auburn about 6 months to really start grasping the new language, but once she took hold, it was leaps and bounds after that. The development has been incredible and I’m excited to see the multilingual person she will grow up to be!

Any Regrets?

When we first got to Hong Kong last year after spending the summer in Michigan, I was again overwhelmed by the noise, the population density, the air quality. 

In Hong Kong, I live in a building that has more people than the village I grew up in. True story. 

living in hong kong
Typical residential area in Hong Kong

While I was disenchanted at first, it grew into frustration over the first six months. Sometimes at being congested with people, sometimes at having to step over carelessly thrown garbage, other times having to listen to the pounding of pneumatic hammers and plate-sized buzz saws. 

Whatever it was, it’s what lead tome drinking way too much

Once I quit drinking, I started reading into something I was always superficially interested in: zen philosophy. I think my dive into the subject has helped me learn to deal with the stress and distraction of living in the city. 

So, for the past two months, it hasn’t really bothered me at all. I just let it be as a consequence of bringing my daughter to a place where she could learn her grandparent’s language. And she’s succeeded, so, mission accomplished. 

a school year in hong kong
Auburn, happy in Hong Kong

I hope you can learn from my experience and see that single parent travel is 100% possible and your whole family will grow and benefit. After talking with many of you on Facebook and Instagram and a little bit on YouTube these days, I realize that there is a lot of mistakes we’ve made, but also successes we’ve had, that you could learn from.

Hopefully, if you’re interested, you can make the jump to a nomadic life one day! You get to travel as a single parent (or with a partner!) and your children will be exposed to new languages and ways of thinking. It’s a win-win!


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Have you recently heard the term ‘digital nomad’ and wondered what it means? I’m one, so let me tell you! It’s a person who works online and isn’t tied to any single location. We are location-independent entrepreneurs, writers, teachers, vloggers, computer scientists, marketers, photographers, musicians, and designers. Some of us are even digital nomad parenting. 

Digital nomads take many forms and infiltrate almost every industry. While there are many young digital nomads showing the world the power of the next generation, there are also people like me: single dads raising our children abroad while blogging about our journey. 

Do you think you’re ready to buck the system that breaks your soul? There’s another lifestyle out there waiting for you, are you ready for it?

I’m ready for the Digital Nomad Parenting Lifestyle!

*Affiliate links present; that means if you make a purchase through any of the links, a commission towards supporting this blog is generated at no cost to you! 

We come with extra baggage; dad joke on so many levels. 

If you’re a parent who is ready to make the leap from being tied to a desk and a plot of land–or a box in a building–to living the digital nomad lifestyle, there are a few key things you should do to prepare. 

1. Keep Your Children Well-Documented

Having your children’s birth certificates, passports, and medical records may be necessary to enter a new country. Having multiple copies of each is suggested, and always have a copy on your person. Also, have recent photos of your child on your phone showing your relationship.

If you’re a single parent, you’ll also need one of two things: your divorce decree showing that you have full legal and physical custody with no travel restrictions (like the photo below), or a letter of permission to travel from your child’s other parent.

digital nomad parenting

2. Diversify Your Income

What are you doing now to make money? Are there ways to expand what you’re doing?

I hope you’ve started a blog, if you haven’t, sign-up for hosting with this offer from Bluehost

 

Your blog is the base of your mobile life, if you don’t exist on the internet, you’re leaving money on the table.  Digital nomad parenting is hard enough without having to worry about cash flow, so up your income and your influence by starting a blog. 

If you want to copy the path I’ve been taking and find your way to working as a freelance writer, then check out  this course by Elna Cain, she helped me find my way when I was just starting and she will help you, too!

Having multiple streams of income will give you a surer sense of stability as you travel the world. I highly recommend using the programs and tools above!

3. Purchase Travel Insurance

Have you wondered about travel insurance and how it works? Is it reliable? Does it cover emergencies? What if my bags are lost? Is it expensive?

There are lots of questions surrounding travel insurance that need to be answered, but here is the most important: what’s the best company for travel insurance for Americans?

The answer is World Nomads

 
 World Nomads is well known for being reliable and covering everything from baggage loss to theft to emergency evacuations. 

Travel insurance gives you a peace of mind that is well worth it’s cost and pays for itself when accidents do occur. 

Conclusion

With the documents to move your children around legally, a diversified income portfolio, and travel insurance to keep you and your children protected, you’re ready to take the digital nomad lifestyle as a parent! 


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Is chocolate better with peanut butter? Does pineapple belong on pizza? Is Donald Trump a good president? Should I visit Discovery Bay with my kids?

There are lots of questions you and I may disagree on. But there is one question that is undeniably, unequivocally, abso-freaking-lutely a ‘yes’ to: the last one.

Good thing my single dad, parenting blog is here to bring you all the answers! 😛

Should I visit Discovery Bay with my kids?

Discovery Bay Hong Kong

Yes. Like I said: yes, again.

The beach is massive and has heaps of space available. Bring your own shade, however, because the massive beach has little of it.

The water is warm and pleasant with a sandy and clean bottom.

There are heaps of restaurants along the piernext to the beach and plenty of other establishments to explore including nearby grocery stores if you’re keen to bring some food and drinks to the beach.

What’s in it for the kids at Discovery Bay?

Well, the beach, for one.

But don’t miss the awesome zip line for kids!

You can watch this video of mine and Auburn’s day there where she took a ride on it. Needless to say, she loved it!

There is also a great playground right on the beach that the kids flock to.

What’s in it for the adults at Discovery Bay?

As I said before, food, drinks, and businesses are readily available in Discovery Bay.

The biggest draw for me is the ease of access. How to get to Discovery Bay?

If you make it to Central, head to Pier 3 where you’ll find a quick boat to Discovery Bay. After you get off the boat, you’re a 3-5 minute walk along the pier until you’re at the beach. It’s super easy to get there.

With mountains in the background and islands out to sea, it’s a wonderful place to relax.

So, if you’re asking yourself: should I visit Discovery Bay with my kids?

The answer is yes, you should.


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As a child, I always had a fascination with anything that crawled, slithered, or creeped through the garden. It’s no wonder I now have a fascination with the snakes in Hong Kong.

I would capture every animal I could to examine it further; I even once caught a bluejay a rake when I was in the fourth grade. Fish, lizards, scorpions, snakes, I loved catching them like they were Pokemon. Who knew this love would lead to a scary story in this single dad travel blog?

Thankfully, I was never stung by a scorpion. But I was bitten by snakes as a child, nothing dangerous. But I witnessed their speed and precision first hand. 

Doi Suthep, Thailand
Happy to be alive enough to tell you this story!

And though I was never bitten by a poisonous snake, teeth are teeth.

Now, let me tell you about the time that I missed death by three inches.

The Encounter, Snakes in Hong Kong

As I made my final descent through the mountains of Sai Kung, I reflected on the    unique juxtaposition of city and nature in Hong Kong   . How just a few hours prior you can be in one of the world’s most important financial sectors, and in this moment be encapsulated by green mountains filled with fluttering butterflies, chattering cicadas, and resting snakes. 

I spent the day soaking in the sun on Ham Tin Wan, possibly Hong Kong’s most beautiful beach. The day’s tranquility belied the danger I was going to encounter upon my exit.

single parent parenting blog
Hiking through Hong Kong with my dad and daughtr

I left the beach with a several hour hike through the mountainous jungles ahead of me. 

The trail was partially muddy, a patrol of mosquitoes rose from its sludge and chased my legs as I squished through the trail. Then I felt a strong bite on my left calf muscle. Mosquito, of course. 

I reached down to slap it, inspect the splatter of blood between my hand and lower leg. 

I saw my hand, and slightly out of focus behind it on the ground was something black and pulsing

My eyes dilated and rapidly focused on what I was seeing: hundreds of large, black, diamond-shaped scales wrapped around a curved tube of a body thicker than a softball bat.

snakes in hong kong
I think you get the idea. This isn’t the actual snake I saw, it was not in a woven basket.

Its scaly body pulsed in ominous breaths just inches from where my hiking boot had landed before being bit by the blood splattered mosquito on my leg. 

Time to Die, Thank You Snakes in Hong Kong

Easily within striking distance, the large snakes’ fangs inside its cotton-colored mouth could easily deliver enough venom to kill me.

In the best case scenario, my brain quickly identified, you’re going to be hit with neurotoxins and cardiotoxins, you need to remain calm after you’re bitten to slow their progress through your body.

Knowing I needed to keep calm, I instead jumped, screamed, and nearly lost my balance on the slippery trail. 

The black mass flinched and slithered off into the tapestry of leaves and ferns. 

Had I stepped on that snake–just three inches to the left–with my hard ass hiking boots, it almost certainly would have struck me in defense. 

Hours from the nearest hospital, and quite possibly, the nearest antivenom, I could have easily died in the lush mountainside of Sai Kung. 

Hiking in Hong Kong can be dangerous–would you risk it?


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Ladies, you’ve got me in a rage. I just tore a phonebook in half and bodyslammed my kitchen table. Why? Cuz I hate you and your single parent blog.

You might be saying, ‘whoa, whoa, calm down Nicholas, what did we do to you?’

My answer: nothing in particular; I just have problems. 😛

single parent blog and single dad blog
Me, frustrated by how awesome you are.

But there’s something you’re doing that ruined my day: you’re too awesome for me.

I Can’t Win as a Single Parent Blogger

I bust my ass taking photos, creating content, optimizing my language, distributing my creations, and still, you beat me. And it’s not even close.


You’re absolutely crushing my blog. Blogs like Wealthy Single Mommy, Confessions of a Single Mum, and Single Mother Ahoy all produce compelling content on a regular basis and are kicking my ass while being kick-ass mothers.

That’s why I’m enraged, in fact, I’m downright frenzied!

I checked my rankings on Google today and was incredibly excited for the first one I checked, ‘single dad blog.’

On Being a Single Dad Blogger

I’ve been hovering between page 2 and 3 for some time now and I’ve been working to move it up to page one and eventually to the first spot overall.

Today was the day I first saw my blog on page number 1!

single parent blog single dad blogger
First appearance on page number 1

Feeling confident, I moved on to the second keyword I wanted to check, ‘single parent blog.’

I wasn’t on page 1, nor 2, 3, 4, nor 5. I was on page 8.

I might as well be the left-over crumbs on the underside of the dinner plate compared to the feasts of content that are today’s single mom bloggers.

single parent blog single parent blogger
Hidden on page 8

Single Parent Blog Competition is Stiff

How am I supposed to compete with these freaks of marketing? These wordsmiths, zen-like parents, and givers of love and value? I’m not sure I can.

As for the other single dad bloggers, I’m coming for you. Every spot on page one of every keyword related to single dad blogging will be mine.

You’ve been warned.

But for you single mom bloggers, I’ll just try to keep up and not fall off page 8 into the depths of algorithmic hell.

|If you can’t tell this post is written tongue-in-cheek, I hate you, too|


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The Smell of Rubbing Alcohol

My feet clicked along the linoleum, one direction, then the other. Occasionally, I would stop and sit on the 3-person wide bench along the white wall and write down the recent events: 10:06am barely miss the down elevator. 10:15am stop at library. 10:45am get food @ restaurant I hate. 11:00am wait for bus; I want taxi. 11:12am get in taxi. 11:32am $93.50 HKD to taxi driver. 11:47am Miranda* checks in. 11:49am I am in waiting room.

single parent blog
Typical taxi in Hong Kong

Outside the air was heavy and a sparse fog made the orange street lights glow like jack-o-lanterns. Horns and sirens echoed through Hong Kong as life for 7 million people zoomed by during the most important moment of my life.

Inside, a large, circular, convex mirror hung in the corner, but no one was coming. Was I the only person waiting? 7 million and no others here? Where are the other-

The double doors swooshed open for a lady with a white face mask and a poofy, white hairnet that made her look a bit like a walking mushroom. The mushroom gave me a status update, refused me entry, and I wrote down what she had told me.

best single parent blogger
Hair nets look a little mushroomy.

            2:14pm Mirandas contractions hit one minute.

As much as I was hurting to finally be allowed in, I couldn’t imagine the pain she was in.


No Fear of Pain

“Are you sure you can handle it? You’re pushing a football through your body.” We had already agreed that short of having the birth at home in a tub, the more natural the labor process, the better.

“Mmmmm, no, but if it’s good for my baby then it’s good for me.” I was proud that my daughter would have such a strong mother, then thought about what it would be like pooping a football, and then felt deep relief that I am male.


Like Nat Geo

5:00pm Admission to labor room.

The first thing I saw of her was a little tuft of hair. It was matted to her scalp like someone had taken a warm sponge to it. The doctor said something in Cantonese, then a nurse handed her some gauze.

Out popped two brown eyes and a nose that a button would wear as a button. I don’t remember crying at this point; but, afterward, her mother would tell me that the nurses had kept asking her if I was okay.

top single parent blog
Have no shame crying man-baby

If I had understood Cantonese and been able to respond in kind, I probably would’ve laughed and cried even harder. Okay? Okay?! I was more than okay; I was rhapsodic!

Overjoyed, Overwhelmed, Overly Wordy

It’s often said that people who aren’t parents don’t know what it’s like to have a child; the love you feel is like nothing you’ve felt before.

So, what I tell them is this: imagine someone kidnaps you (this got dark quickly, I know, but stick with me even though it gets darker right now), chops off your arms, blinds you, removes your inner ear, and sterilizes you. Imagine it hardcore…like it’s real. You feel that dread and that horror?

It’s the exact opposite of that. It’s cup of water under a running tap; continuously overflowing and uncontrollable. It’s trying to hold back a wall of marbles; it’s too much, it completely takes over your entire world.

Only that running water and that wall of marbles are not wasteful nor painful. A parent’s love isn’t just the overflowing cup; it is the water, the spigot, and the drain. It’s not just a million marbles crushing you to the ground; it is the marbles, it is the ground.

It is everything.

After her face completely emerged, the rest of her seemed to slide out of a purple water slide. It’s not as gross as people make it out to be, at least not all the time. When you finally see it, it just is.

There is no judgment on the body fluids, the baby that looks like a sweet potato, or the tears pouring out of a grown man’s eyes. It just is.

And it’s beautiful.

A Fragile Moment

babies have no fear of pain
Auburn and I

The doctors wanted to push me to cut the cord immediately. But, as Miranda and I had discussed, we were going to wait a few minutes and let the last bit of placental food give our daughter the best start she could have.

She looked so helpless on her mauve towel. Limp little arms and legs wiggled as she adjusted to gravity. Lips and eyes closed and opened slowly. A few grunts, but not the screaming baby you see in the movies. Like I said: helpless.

The scissors sliced through the cord in one quick snip. The nurse clamped it shut and wrapped her in a towel. She picked her up and handed her to me. Every YouTube video, all the pantomiming, all the practice I put into holding a baby all came down to this one moment: don’t drop your baby, don’t break her neck.

And I didn’t.

With her head gently resting in the crook of my elbow, I looked down at her little face and saw the same look I still see in her eyes today: she knows I’m Dad.


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