Suzanne Rutledge and her husband Mitch have always loved international travel, and continued to make it a priority after they had their son Luke. In 2014, during a trip to Chile to celebrate their 40th birthdays, Suzanne and Mitch met a solo female traveler who had been traveling around the world for a year. Inspired by the conversation and her travel stories, Mitch and Suzanne set about planning a long-term adventure for their own family, and were ready to set off less than a year later with Luke, who was seven at the time. Over nine months, the family traveled to New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Western Europe, and England, volunteering in some countries along the way as well to give back to the communities they were visiting.
The family had the chance to spend nine months together, and made sure to take notes of the things their trip taught them. Luke had the chance to experience different cultures and historical sites first-hand rather than hearing about them in the classroom, and regularly pulls from his experiences now that he’s back at school. Suzanne, Mitch and Luke also took steps to simplify their lives after returning from their trip and prioritize family time, and started a travel blog to share their adventures and experiences with family and friends. Suzanne was even inspired to bundle some of her best travel tips with some of their stories and write her book From the Rut to the Ledge.
On this episode we talk to Suzanne about the family’s inspiration behind taking the trip, and why they decided to prioritize slow travel. We also talk about what it was like to travel with Luke, how he reacted on learning about the family’s plan to take the trip, and the differences she now sees in him. Suzanne also discusses the importance of learning from your travel experiences and implementing what you have learnt back into your life when you return home, and how this helped inspire her to write her book.