Introducing the adventure of a lifetime: Away is Home

We’re about to go on an adventure of a lifetime, and we want you to join us.

The project is called Away is Home, and it fulfills a promise I made to my family last year to spend more time with them and explore the world.

That was a lot easier said than done at the time. I had a desk job. Kari was a graduate student. And the kids were in school.

So early this year, we started making plans. I reshuffled some of my editorial clients, Kari finished her degrees, and we enrolled the kids in a homeschool program for a year.

Now we’re ready to go.

The idea of traveling across America has fascinated explorers since the birth of this country. From Lewis and Clark to Peter Jenkins’ A Walk Across America, it’s something that resonates deeply within all of us.

But this is no ordinary road trip. Instead of parachuting into a destination for a few days, we’ll stay a while.

We’ll live in real neighborhoods, meet real people and get to know the place like a native.

Sure, we might visit a few theme parks and museums along the way. But our focus will be on authentic, cultural institutions with a high educational value.

This special road trip will have a 21st-century flair, incorporating the latest interactive technologies and social-media applications, from Foursquare to Skype. If there’s an applicable technology, we’ll pack it.

But the real reason you’ll want to follow us isn’t that we’re interesting or have come up with a new twist on the American road trip — though both are true.

No, you’ll want to come along for the drama.

With three homeschooled kids, two entrepreneurs trying to earn a living, and the inevitable conflicts of being on the road together, you’ll want to check in every day to read the next chapter.

Our trip starts next week when we “beta” test the site in Europe. Then it’s off to the races this fall.

But we need your help now.

First, please sign up for Away is Home’s RSS feed, follow Away is Home on Twitter or on Foursquare and “like” the Away is Home page on Facebook. You’ll have a front-row seat to the adventure.

Second, if you see anything on the site that needs to be fixed or updated, please let us know. The site is new, so we’re still trying to work out some of the kinks.

Also, we’ll be having a contest to design our logo. The one we’re using now is just a placeholder that I pulled together using my basic Photoshop skills, which I’ll admit, aren’t all that great.

And finally, we are still looking for a few good sponsors who can help us offset some of the expenses of this adventure. Here’s more information on a sponsorship.

I’m sure some of you out there are asking yourselves: Why bother doing this? Why not just stay in the suburbs and raise your kids, like everyone else?

And they have a point; that would be the safe thing to do. It would be the prudent thing to do.

But life is an adventure. Mother Theresa said that. “Life is an adventure,” she said. “Dare it.”

Words to live by.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Cornhusker

    Come visit Nebraska!  We aren’t just “flyover country”!  The kids will LOVE the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and the Wildlife SAfari between here and Omaha.  Lincoln is home of the most unique state Capitol building in the nation and the University as well.  Many museums to see in Lincoln and Omaha as well.  You will enjoy the clean environment and great people here. 

  • Cynthia Kruger

    Sounds like you are going to have a grand time!

    I’ve been living and traveling in my truck-camper RV for 15-months now, staying in communities for as little as a few days to several months.  It is a fabulous way to see the USA and to connect with people in ways we don’t otherwise.

    To go along with the Mother Teresa quote, here’s one from Helen Keller:

    “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.
    Helen Keller  ~  US blind & deaf educator (1880 – 1968)”

  • Lisa Simeone

    Love that Helen Keller quote.  Now if only some people would learn to apply it in other areas of life . . . .

  • Mark Gottsegen


    In 1988-89 I spent 13 months traveling with my dog (a black lab named Edouard Manet) in my 1957 IH Metro van to 33 states around the US.  Did 296 drawings, 300 landscape paintings, kept a diary, and met the most wonderful people everywhere.  Alas, Fast Eddie died of old age, but I still have the van, a few of the paintings, and oh! so many memories!

  • Wandering Educators

    very cool!! i am loving that you’re doing this. our daughter (9) is always unschooled, and has such a curiosity about the world and people. i can’t WAIT for your family to share their experiences!

  • Gary Arndt

    This sounds like a great trips Chris! You and your family will remember this for the rest of your lives and I’m 100% positive your kids will learn more than they would have in a classroom. 

  • Zeitgyst

    Chis: What a wonderful thing to do, I eagerly will look forward to your posts, I’m in the San Francisco Bay area, lots to do here and in sleepy Marin. I’ve been following you since before “A Bridge to Nowhere”, and love the evolution of your life.  I signed up as a crew on a sailboat in 1984-85, left everything and everyone behind, no internet then, it was a great experience and a journey outward as well as inward, your kids will remember this all their lives, have a wonderful year…

  • Mrsgilly

    Good for you.  What a great educational experience for your children.  When our children and grandchildren were little we did a lot of traveling of the US.  They pretty much learned more some days then they would have learned in their school classes. But homeschooling.  Well that won’t be easy and you have to be so self dissaplined.  Good luck to you. 

  • soultravelers3

    Congrats! So happy to hear this and excited to follow along. As a family that is going on our 6th year of non-stop world travel, I can tell you that you will never regret it.

    Have a ball!

  • sam

    WOW this certainly will be an exciting trip.

    I discovered several years ago the: The WPA Guide to the States

    These books have such an abundance of history, folk tales, historic sites and information that is not normally and or easily discovered.

    I find it ashame that most people are not familiar with suck a treasure reference for our country. They are FULL of wonderful ditties, that people should find exciting if they get a chance to journey within the regions.

    The United States truly is a melting pot of history, music, foods and cultures.

    IMHO…..I suggest you check them out, even at your local libraries.

  • Powell from FamilyVagabonding

    Welcome aboard! We’ve been on a road school adventure for a bit over two years and can’t imagine any other way. What you’ll discover together is well beyond the pages of a textbook and classroom walls. The greatest debate is often who is learning more — parents or kids. Looking forward to following your adventures, hearing your stories, and tagging along for the ride. There are a lot of us out there…hope we cross paths somewhere! Bon voyage and enjoy!

  • Jody

    I highly recommend making a stop in Iowa. Probably the most underrated state in the country.

    You’re living my dream can’t wait to enjoy it from the sidelines.

  • Jodi

    I’ll be following your trip! It’s a great idea!