An Update, and A Day of Gratitude

I published a post a week or two ago and removed it within 24 hours.


The details of the post are less important than the general sentiment: that the universe is pointing us to a more stable lifestyle, a more expat, in-depth rather than shallow, skimming, month-at-a-time existence. Though these years of travel have been life-changing, it’s time to shake things up a little. ;)

In any event, though I went through a bit of an existential end-of-my-twenties crisis (why didn’t anyone tell me those existed?) and the difficulties of nomadic existence came to a head: lack of community, too much stressful moving (toddler Ryder has been to 17 countries with us this year), and a growing desire for a kitchen, library, and a schedule, I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful for the privilege we’ve had to see the world. I’m tired,



Train to Edinburgh from London

but excited for future changes.

Here’s a list of what I’m grateful for in 2014:

The Ability to Breathe

Yes, I’m glad to be alive. But literally, for two years my nose was non-functional to a degree thanks to an iffy surgeon in Utah. I got things checked out here in Tokyo and the doc said everything looks normal, though I was told I’ll always need more sinus care than I have in the past. In some ways that feels like a miracle. I know it’s because I was able to get the best healthcare possible.  Thank you Sydney surgeon, and thank you Bupa insurance.

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A month after the surgery

My American Citizenship

I’ve come to appreciate the sentiment that feels uniquely American to me, the one that says no matter your start you can build the life you want.


Flying to Utah 

My Husband

Somehow I found my soulmate at a young age when you’d think someone would be too young to recognize something special (I was only 21, and had had only two boyfriends prior.) What would my life be like now if I’d never met Jacob? It’s hard to imagine. He’s romantic, sweet, hard-working, a problem-solver, positive, creative, considerate, neat, and talented, not to mention sexy. He makes me a better person—sometimes by urgent request, ha ha. We’ve been through ups and downs, but fortunately we’ve managed to navigate them together.


In a mutually favorite city, Istanbul

My Son

The part of my life I never knew I was missing. He’s gifted me the ability to become part of humanity more than anything else I’ve ever experienced.


He’s also reignited my interest in Legos

My Family

Supportive of our crazy lifestyle, can’t ask for much more than that. Really. I know a lot of traveling families whose families are NOT supportive of them at all. Ours even comes to visit us, though of course we know they wish we were closer.

untitled (83 of 164)Jacob’s home

image My parents at the hospital where Ryder was born

Digital Nomadism

We’ve been able to visit 6 of the 7 continents. Our first year we saw Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. Our second year we visited Asia and West Africa. Our third year we saw East Africa and the Caribbean. Our fourth year was spent in Mexico. Our fifth year was in Oceania and a bit more of Central America. And our sixth year has been spent revisiting some of our favorite places. What a time period to live in, when average folks like Jacob and I can visit every continent before the age of thirty. Thank you internet.


 Schindler’s desk in Krakow, Poland

Living in Tokyo

This city has everything. Time is zipping by with all of the food, museums, parks, and activities to partake here. Really it is fantastic to get to spend three months, I know a lot of people who come for 10 days and are thirsty for more.


The stunning Tokyo Sea Life Park aquarium, where Ryder gained a newfound interest in spider crabs


Happy Thanksgiving!

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 371 awesome articles for us.

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