It’s commonly assumed that having children ends a couple’s opportunity to travel. The truth however, is that traveling with your kids isn’t just possible, but in many ways it is the responsible choice. Besides the countless bonding opportunities it provides for your family, overlanding with your kids can help them to be more adaptable and better at problem solving, it brings them closer to nature and allows them to engage in different cultures, it exposes them to new things, encourages them to follow their hearts, and in many ways opens their minds to thinking like a global citizen. It’s for these reasons, and many more, that we love to share the stories of families like Six en Piste tackling life on the road.
As of this week, Thomas, 35, Marie, 34 and their 4 kids: Louison 7, Léontine 5, Oscar 3 and Achille 1, are beginning a ten month journey across the African and South American back country. Clearly this is no small feat, but the adventuresome couple wants to encourage other ordinary families just like them to get out there and see the world. “We would like to show other families it’s something they can do. We’re about to live one of our dreams, and we would love to share that experience with others”
You’re probably as curious as we are to find out what inspired them and how they are able to take this trip, so we took some time to learn more about the people behind Six en Piste. .
Thomas and Marie have had travel in their hearts from a young age, and they made good use of every opportunity that school and work provided to see the world. The pair grew up happily in Paris France, but after completing their primary schooling they made the jump to an exchange program in the United States. They ended up living in Ohio where Thomas attended Wright State University before taking a job that would land the both of them in New York City. The east coast didn’t hold them long before an opportunity arose for a transfer to Hong Kong. Here they spent all the spare time they could wandering around China and learning about their culture and the country’s natural beauty. Finally the couple had a six month transfer to Afghanistan before finding their new home in Cape Town. They fell in love with South Africa’s beautiful scenery and stunning wildlife, and soon found themselves drawn towards a new form of travel, four-wheel drive touring.
Their adventures began with short camping trips, but soon evolved into longer overland treks to different parts of South Africa including Lesotho, Swaziland, and southern Namibia. After five years of exploring Marie and Thomas could take it no longer, they had to quench their wanderlust. Thomas worked out an unpaid leave with his employer at the completion of his next project, and plans quickly began to fall into place.
The couple picked up a well used but solid Toyota Fortuner as their noble steed, and a Metallian Midi trailer to tag along as a home on wheels. After several test trips the kids officially adopted the truck and trailer and the team was ready for the journey ahead.
Their plan is to head North to Namibia first, where they hope to spend some time in the Damaraland and the Kaokoland driving the dry river beds and searching for wild elephants. After that they will move on to Botswana, the Okavango Delta, Chobe nature reserve, the salt pans, and of course make a stop by Victoria Falls.
Their tracks should then lead them to Zambia and Tanzania before heading south again through Mozambique. They plan to arrive around July in Durban (South Africa) where they will ship their car and trailer over to Uruguay. Once on South American shores, the group plans to visit Argentina, Chili, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and maybe even Colombia and the Equator.
“Our itinerary isn’t completely settled yet as it will depend on safety issues, weather… and what we like and don’t like! The whole idea of this trip is to be free (as free as you can be with 4 kids), and only one thing is certain: we want to travel through remote areas, on less travelled tracks!”
Marie will home school the children throughout the excursion, and will no doubt include the wonderful hands on experiences all around them in the curriculum. What better way to teach about history, geography, and animals than showing your kids first hand!? “We know it’s going to be tough sometimes. No modern comfort, camping with 4 kids no matter the weather, the cold… but, we’ll have the best experience of our life!”
Six en Piste leaves this week to start the African portion of their journey. Over the course of the ten months they will be uploading videos, photos, and posts to their website and social media channels as much as possible, and will even share their route and camp sites along the way. We couldn’t be more excited for this family and we wish them the best of luck in their travels.
To learn more about Six en Piste, check them out at the following links.