Hey There Future World Traveller,
Fellow Expats and
- Are you dying to escape the rat race to travel, experience the trip of a lifetime or live abroad for a while?
- Do you wonder how you can afford to travel or make travel more meaningful on a budget even if you have kids?
- Are you looking for useful travel advice like why you MUST pack Vaseline in your luggage or quirky travel facts like which countries eat bugs?
Practical Adventurology is here to help answer questions like the ones above and more, in a practical, entertaining and non-boring way.
What This Site NOT About!
Practical Adventurology is NOT just another travel BLOG or some day to day journal of someone’s travels.
Sorry, you won’t find talk of Disneyland vacations here either unless of course we end up going to Euro Disneyland.
Nor will you find any mention of scary adventure trips that involve jumping out of planes or playing with wild tigers.
There are plenty of great sites that already cover those types of travel topics much better than I could ever do.
Hello My Name Is Annie André.
Like you, I am a multi-faceted and multi-passionate person with lots of interests but I’ll try to narrow it down for you.
I’m a cubicle escapee, seasoned world traveller, MOM-preneur, budding freelance travel writer and the person behind Practical Adventurology.
Some might call me quirky while my husband calls me a weirdo magnet. I think of myself as a fairly serious person who likes to play practical jokes.
I often have conflicting and eclectic desires like the fact that I am a meat eating wannabe vegetarian who loves spicy food and Siracha sauce. Or the fact that my all time favourite band is probably Depeche-Mode mode but I love classical music too. Or the fact that I almost failed my first economics course at university but then decided to major in economics.
Born To Be A World Citizen
I was Born in Thailand to a Thai mother and French Canadian father and raised in 3 countries. I’ve been travelling since before I could walk and talk.
English isn’t even my first language but “me speak it bestest” ( long story and I don’t really speak like that LOL).
Over the course of my life, I’ve travelled and lived abroad as a child, a teenager, a young adult and now as a wife and mother of three in the south of France.
I was what you would call a “Third Culture Kid” aka “TCK”. A term used to describe children who travel more than they spend in one home country and who in many ways are world citizens in spirit and in mind. (Thank you dad for this wonderful gift you gave me.)
I have lived in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, the United States, Canada and now France. I’ve also spent months at a time slow travelling and visiting places like Scotland, the Netherlands, Macau, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philipines and more. In total I’ve been to over 25 different countries so far.
Back To The Present: Sometimes bad things happen for a reason!
Although living in France has always been a dream of ours (my husband and I), we never actually believed it was something we could achieve any time soon because we were tied to our jobs and life in California by golden handcuffs.
Then we BOTH got laid off from our jobs on the same day and after a long bout of unemployment, something clicked, (probably the sound of those golden handcuffs coming off).
That’s when we decided to take the road less travelled and do the unthinkable.
We decided to rebuild our lives the way we wanted it to look rather than the way society told us it’s supposed to look. This entailed making plans to start fulfilling the dreams and goals we kept putting off. Living our lives to the fullest and creating sustainable incomes that supported our lives and our hearts without selling our souls or sacrificing our financial future.
So we gathered up our three kids ( our then 2 teenage boys and 4 year old daughter), lived nomadically on the east coast with family for almost a year between Montreal and Maryland as we tried to get our lives in order and figure out our next steps.
We’re In France
Flash forward a few years. We’ve been in France since 2011 and we’re enjoying all that France and Europe has to offer. But we’re not just site seeing, drinking wine and eating cheese. We’re making the most of our stay here and working our butts off accomplishing our other goals while the kids are immersed in French culture and attend public French school.
Blake has already finished his first novel. We’re both working on our freelance careers that enables us to be home with our kids and work from anywhere in the world.
Want More Info? Why I built this site!
Wow, still reading?
It was during the research of our latest trip (our family sabbatical in France which you read about above). I had a hell of a hard time finding practical and organized information that could help people like **us achieve our travel dream of taking an extended trip abroad with the kids.
**When I say people like us, I mean..mature people with all the trappings of a conventional life. You know, the car, the mortgage, the job and a lifetime of accumulated possessions and a kid or two or three.
I decided to make it my mission to share my research and 20 + years of adult travel experience, resources and connections to create the site I wish existed when I was researching our own adventure.
Voila this site was born. My greatest hope is that this site will not only show people it is possible to spend a year abroad or to travel more and for longer periods of time, but as a resource that will also help inspire and empower people to follow all their dreams whether it involves travelling or not.
Why Listen To Me: My short story and what makes me the expert!
I write from experience and from a point of view that only someone who has been in your shoes can write.
I understand your struggles because I’ve been in your shoes.
I know how frustrating it is to want more out of life. To dream about travelling the world but feel helpless to do anything about it because of work, bills, kids and responsibilities.
Besides, what would your friends and family think if you left your job and your life behind to travel and pursue your heart? Oh La La.
How I went from world traveller to corporate lackey back to world traveller again!
When I was 18, I took a three year break after secondary school to travel to Japan and over 15 other countries before attending the University of California Santa Cruz.
I buckled down and chose a degree based on something practical (economics), rather than choosing a degree on my actual interests. This has always been on of my many regrets in life.
Like most college grads, I buckled down, drank the corporate cool-aid and made it my mission to climb the corporate ladder. That lifestyle, put me me on a hamster wheel that also put me on track to keeping up with the Jonses.
My life was more about living to work rather than living life to the fullest. I barely had enough time to do anything that lit my internal fire or got my juices flowing. Then it just became a way of life.
I had a career, a house, kids etc. Life was good but it didn’t give me the satisfaction I thought I was going to feel. I wanted to pursue my dreams and travel but I was afraid of what might happen if I did or what I might lose rather than what could happen.
You could say that Fear kept me in check. The fear of losing what I had build so hard to get only that dream came at the sacrifice of my other dreams in life.
Then something happened.
The catalyst that propelled us on our journey to break free of the golden handcuffs and to eventually decide to take action on our dream to move to France for a couple of years was….. THE BAD ECONOMY. Both my husband and I worked at the same company in silicon valley and we were both laid off on the same day.
I suppose we would have eventually made the move towards our current lifestyle but it would have taken years to get here. So thank you bad economy for forcing us to take action on our dreams sooner rather than later. One less death bed regret for me.
So back to you. I get it. It’s scary to veer off course but trust me when I say, it’s worth it .
“You Can Travel more, Live Abroad or you’re a little unhappy with the monotony of your life and want to start Living A More Fulfilling Life Now, YOU CAN DO IT!.
You’re not alone either. Their are a lot of families and couples who wanted a change and who are living their travel dream and Ideal life.
Don’t take my word for it. Read these inspirational stories of regular people, most with kids, bills and responsabilities like you who are living their travel dreams despite the obstacles.
My Travel and Career Break Resume
I’m A Serial Expat And World Traveller who knows how to harness the power of time off to get stuff done.
Over the past 20 years, I have successfully taken five “BREAKS” to accomplish some of my biggest and most gratifying goals including
- GAP YEAR:-18- 21 years old: Between high school and college, I took a gap year to live in Japan which turned into a 3 year trip to over 15 different countries. My trip came to an end when my father was killed during a robbery leaving my 14 year old brother and I devastated.
- HOME BUSINESS / STAY AT HOME SINGLE MOM: At 29, burnt out from climbing the corporate ladder and a nasty divorce, I took time off from work to teach myself new skills by starting a home Ebay business which not only allowed me to stay home with my kids but also resulted in giving me the skills and experience I needed to eventually find my dream job and earn a six figure income. (While I was a struggling single mom receiving no child support BOOYAH!).
- HOME E-COMMERCE BUSINESS: Started an eCommerce shop selling my own line of upscale and handmade sleeping masks. I used my time off to teach myself everything from sewing and product photography to SEO and online marketing.
- MINI BREAK : Took A mini break to re-charge and get re-married. Actually we eloped to Edinburgh Scotland for just over a month. (Which took some planning but was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G)
- SOUTH OF FRANCE: Right now i’m on the biggest break to date and the toughest to plan and execute because we’re doing it as a family with three kids in tow, after getting laid off during a recession. But we’re doing it while living abroad in France for less than the cost of staying in the U.S. or Canada.
Subscribe, Follow, Connect with Annie Andre
If any of what I said interests you than stick around. Sign up for exclusive emails updates designed to inspire you to get off the couch and live your own travel dream. Plus, follow along on our journey as we harness the “The Power Of Time Off “ to travel AND to reboot, reset, revive, re-connect and rebuild our lives the way we want it to look while exploring the world around us.
Travel + Self + Passion + Family + Money & Entrepreneurship –>Through “The POWER OF TIME OFF” to achieve your wildest dreams and happiest self.
Please stay in touch. I would love to connect via social media or email. Or just leave a comment on one of the blog posts. I always respond.
- Email me at annie[at}annieandre.com or go to the contact page
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Meet The Gang
If you want to read more about our story just sign up for email updates. I post occasional updates of what we are up to. Plus you can download my free packing checklist when you signup as a gift to you. Otherwise, start reading the Blog.
If you want to meet my wonderful hubby and three kids than come on over and Meet The Family.
If you want more personalized help, someone to talk to who can help you get UN-stuck and help you work out whatever challenges or mental mind blocks your facing than consider booking some one-on-one mentor and strategy sessions with me. .I’m here to help you. Sometimes the best help you can get is from someone who’s walked in your shoes before.