With the freedom to work and study from anywhere in the world, this family is going to make the most of it by purchasing a second home - at sea.
“We’re most excited about learning together as a family from hands-on life experiences in the real world.”
As part of our Meet Your Neighbors series, we’re speaking with future Storylines residents and getting to know the unique stories that make up our collective community. Here, we speak with a family of four who will soon be living at sea, traveling the world, and learning as they go.
Profession: Inventor of prosthetic limbs
Current Location: I am British, currently living in Cali
Favorite Destination: Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. I have climbed Half Dome - an amazing experience.
Last Vacation: La Paz in the Sea of Cortez - Gulf Coast Mexico
#1 Bucket List Location Yet to Visit: Bhutan
Favorite Part of the Ship: Business Centre
Why? I work from home and I need a dedicated quiet space for that. I can also host business meetings in the conference room.
On Board Full Time or Part Time? We’ll be at our land based home during the Spring and Fall seasons. We’ll be at our home at sea during the Winter and Summer seasons.
Favorite Quote: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ~The Buddha
Storylines: How did you come to the decision to purchase a residence on M/V Narrative?
Mark: Buying our condo was an easy choice. My wife and I have always wanted to do long-term traveling with our children, so when we learned about M/V Narrative it seemed clear that living on a ship at sea that is continuously circumnavigating is going to be the most convenient and comfortable way to travel long term with kids.
Traveling with children is not always easy, so we were definitely looking for a solution. With younger children, the challenges include having to pack lots of gear and lug it all around from plane to taxi to hotel, then repeat for every new destination. Teenagers have their own unique needs as well. They want to stay connected with their social groups and they want a lot of independent time, which isn’t always possible in a hotel room. On the ship, there will always be places for everyone to spread out and find their own space — whether it’s in the library, the resident lounges, the garden, the balcony, or the dedicated kids room, as some examples.
It was a major part of the decision for us to be able to unpack and have our own place and our own things — to not feel like a guest, but to know that we’re literally home everywhere in the world.
Storylines: How do you envision your new lifestyle?
Mark: We’ll be spending our days exploring exotic ports of call and learning all that we can, knowing that we’re truly free to focus on the adventure. Other than our work and studies, most other things will be taken care of — itineraries, housekeeping, laundry, and cooking. After our days seeing the sites and discovering the local culture and cuisine, we’ll come back to our own home. The kids can eat pizza or whatever comfort food they choose that day and they can FaceTime their friends.
We’re looking forward to using our time at sea to follow our passions. I’ve set up my business to be able to work from anywhere in the world. My wife will be studying for her master’s degree remotely. Our children will take online classes. But we’re most excited about learning together as a family from hands-on life experiences in the real world.
Storylines: How will that differ from previous trips you’ve taken together as a family?
Mark: We’ve done a lot of house swaps over the years from Hawaii, to Mexico, to London, to NYC, and many other destinations. The houses weren’t always as comfortable as we hoped for. The dishwasher didn’t work, or the cleaning wasn’t up to par, or the kitchen tools were inadequate for preparing a nice meal — little things that make for a more convenient travel experience. Living out of a suitcase and sleeping in a bed other than our own gets uncomfortable for us after about three weeks.
Hotels have their own drawbacks. It’s nice to have the housekeeping, but the amount of room is often inadequate for a family of four, and we prefer places with an option to prepare an occasional home-cooked meal. I personally like the idea of having a dedicated shared work space on the ship. My wife likes the idea of being able to sleep comfortably every night. We’re really looking forward to having our own home that travels the world.
Storylines: How old are your children and what will their education look like on board?
Mark: Our children are currently 10 and 12 and will be teenagers when the ship launches, so they’ll mostly be doing high school (secondary school) while we’re traveling. We’ll be in search of local guides and scholars so that we can learn the most we can about the places we visit. We’ll design our curriculum around the itinerary. A lot of people picture “school at home” when they hear the word “homeschooling,” but it doesn’t need to be that. My wife and I won’t be doing the teaching. There are plenty of online classes and tutors, and our kids will be starting to earn free college credit in their teen years due to dual enrollment programs while we’re living at sea. But more important to us than academics are the real-world experiences. There aren’t many students that can list “traveled around the world” on their college application.
A big thanks to Mark and his family for sharing with us. From all of us at Storylines, we look forward to welcoming you on board.