We are Team Amators – a family of 4 + 1 + 1 and a little dog. We’re traveling to interesting places, experiencing new things, learning as we go and taking time to appreciate life.
The Core Four
- Scott A Special Operations veteran, he completed his MBA in international business from Thunderbird University in Switzerland (after initially buying his first degree online… don’t do that). Brains & brawn! He now owns an email marketing company and works wherever he finds himself. He enjoys working out, reading and exploring.
- Traci is a wife, mom, professional, science geek, teacher and jack-of-all trades. She has degrees in physics and electrical engineering but makes Scott do all the “electrical stuff”. Best compliment received, “Wow. You don’t seem ‘smart’. You’re really easy to talk to.” She enjoys laughing, teaching, the outdoors and family and friends.
- Evie is 6! She is an old soul and is every bit a teacher as much as she is a student. She attends MJL Academy (homeschool) and we build her curriculum as we go. She meditates, sings, dances, invents, sells inventions and teaches her little brother.
- Jack is 4! He’s all boy – with all the good and maybe-not-so-good that comes with that. He’s tough and strong and brave. He loves motors and speed and danger. He is also our musician. I attribute that to his Colombian roots – we had him while we were living in Bogota.
The Plus Ones
Nate, Evelyn and Jack’s older half-brother, joins us during vacations and whenever we can successfully jailbreak him from school. Nate is a legend to Evie and Jack. He’s the coolest, smartest, trickiest, strongest, bravest… of all time.
Grandmom never ever never wanted to leave the U.S. She didn’t want a passport. For reasons that are neither logical nor accurate, she was afraid “she couldn’t get back in”. That all changed when we took her grandkids to live outside the country. Motivation. Now she travels more than we do.
Boston the dog is our little old man. He’s 9 yo. The only thing he hates more than traveling is being apart from us. Sometimes he rides in the front seat, sometimes he rides underneath the seat in front of us. He has is own passport and has been to no less than 5 countries.
As luck would have it, love unexpectedly found us in Iraq of all places. “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world…”. It was neither convenient nor appropriate but it was undeniable.
We were married outside of Acadia National Park in 2009. Originally from New England, we moved to Istanbul, Turkey in 2010 and lived there for 3 interesting years. It was every bit as exotic, intoxicating and infuriating as you might expect. Evie joined The Team while we lived there.
We came home to the U.S. for a year before striking out for Bogota, Colombia. Yes, we felt reasonably safe. We understand the impression people have of Colombia after the 80s, but it’s different now (sort of… it’s kind of backsliding since we left) and so… juicy. Mark my words, someday people will talk about going to Colombia like they now casually mention vacations in Costa Rica and Belize. Colombia is full of color and warmth and laughter. The people become family. Jack joined The Team during this time.
Between Scott and I, we have traveled to 30+ countries. We’ve savored time at some of the standard bucket list sites (the Giza pyramids, Machu Picchu, the Amazon River, Ephesus, Big Ben, the Petronas Towers, the Great Wall of China, a fort built by Alexander the Great) but we have plenty left to do.
We are learning to adopt a travel style forged by 2 independent adults to a family of 4.
In 2016 we bought an ugly beast of a machine, an ’85 Winnebago Chieftain for $9500. It was a monster that took us many places we shouldn’t have tried to go. We nicknamed it The Chief. We RV’ed around the U.S. for a year. There was no plan, there were no goals. We enjoyed each other and the simple life.
We sold the Chief. We lived in Maine for awhile. At first it was on purpose. Then little by little, it was less than on purpose. The rolling stones collected moss. We put the kids in preschool.
Then we thought we’d give backpacking around the world on a shoestring budget with the kids a shot. We trialed it.
Thailand taught us that we’re slightly more yuppie than hippie. No amount of pretty pictures is worth sleeping in $10/night hotels.
Then we thought we’d try Airbnb’ing around the world. We trialed it.
Virginia taught us that Airbnb isn’t necessarily “cheap” even if it’s the “cheaper option”.
We pivoted and seriously looked into buying an old sail boat and heading out to learn by doing. However, while boondocking in a boat seems easy and free, you can’t kick the kids out the door once you’re on the hook. They can both swim but they can’t ocean swim and Jack Jack really needs space to run. The Amators aren’t ready for the boat yet (but some day….).
Going full circle, we bought Winslow, a reasonably priced 2017 Chevy 3500 van. He’s currently 2WD until $12k comes our way to upgrade him to 4WD. Scott picked out a 23 ft Outdoors RV travel trailer. It’s a 2016. In my opinion, it is devoid of character (which I define as being unique characteristics that are at 25+ years old). But it’s 4-season and built for off-grid. They gets the job done.