Trippin Momma

Interview – Amoya from Trippin Momma

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Interview – Amoya from Trippin Momma

In our very first interview on the site we connect with Amoya Knudson from trippinmomma.com about her remarkable story of breaking away from an abusive marriage to finding her feet as a single mother out in the world with her three daughters. We are sure you will find Amoya’s strength and spark for life as invigorating as we did!

 


DTW

Hi Amoya, Thanks for getting involved with Discovering The Wonder! For our readers let’s start with a little bit about your family; who you are? Where are you from? What was your motivation to travel as a family?

Amoya

Hey everyone, I am Amoya. I have 3 daughters that are 12, 11, and 15 months. We are from Austin, TX. After getting out of an emotionally abusive marriage, I decided it was time to start living life fully. When our lives flipped upside down, we realized all the “stuff” didn’t matter. We wanted more out of life and traveling has truly opened our eyes to what matters in life. For us that is being together as a family.


DTW

What was life like prior to trippinmomma compared to after?

Amoya

Life prior to trippinmomma was seemingly perfect on the surface. We had the big house that was perfectly decorated and a big blended family to go with it. However, my life consisted of constant fighting, constant stress, and chronic depression. After trippinmomma, the depression that plagued my life has practically dissapeared. The stress is also significantly less although traveling by myself with three kids is its own stressors of course. There is no more conflict and we are the happiest we have ever been.


DTW

So tell us a bit about your adventures so far?

Amoya

We started off with a crazy month in Puerto Rico. I randomly booked the plane tickets and Airbnb with no set plan. Upon arrival, we were shocked by the amount of poverty and road conditions.Things got even more tricky when we discovered our Airbnb was not how it was described. It was covered in mold, there was a big leak and hole in the bathroom ceiling close to the light fixture, and the place was extremely dirty. Luckily, we were able to get reimbursed and find another place for the remainder of the month. We made friends and it is now one of our fondest memories.

It took leaving Puerto Rico to realize just how much we loved it. Currently, we are on a cross country road trip that started in Texas and will end in Vancouver, Canada. So far we have visited New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. We try and stay at least a week in each place and keep our driving under 5 hours a day because that is all the toddler and this momma can handle. We are hoping to visit every state over the next few months and find one that we want to make a home base in.

White Sands National Monument


DTW

What are your top three favourite family destinations that you have visited and why?

Amoya

Top 3 favorite family destinations are Lake Garda, Italy, Puerto Rico, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City has it all. I think I said wow at least 20 times a day there. The city is surrounded by the most beautiful mountains. There are so many things to do with the family. They have the best library I have ever seen! We could spend all day at the Salt Lake City public library and not get bored. Puerto Rico has the most amazing beaches and friendliest people. Everyone there loves kids and are super helpful. The weather is just lovely and you can’t help but relax. Lake Garda, Italy is an absolute dream. The food is to die for. It is very kid friendly and the the lake is such a nice touch against the picturesque mountains. It is paradise!


DTW

Tell us about your planning process; how long it took to plan from the time the decision was made?

Amoya

Oh my goodness!!! There is usually no planning involved. I have such a hard time making decisions, and I change my mind often. We just kind of go with it. My kids have definitely learned to adapt to all my crazy random ideas. One second we were renting an actual “tiny” home off Airbnb, and the next we were headed out on the road trip of a lifetime.


DTW

In regards to educating your kids, do you follow a method or system ie; home-schooling, world-schooling, un-schooling?

Amoya

We tend to do a mixture of worldschooling and unschooling. My kids went to public school up until last January so we are new to all of this. I think we are still in the deschooling phase to be perfectly honest. We have no set curriculum. I just follow my kids’ lead and try and support their passions the best I can. We do a ton of learning through play, very little book work if any at all, and spend majority of our time exploring. Instead of reading about a place in a book, we go to it.

World School


DTW

Being age specific, what are the greatest challenges associated with travelling with kids?

Amoya

There is a 10 year age gap between my two oldest and my youngest. As far as the toddler goes, one of the challenges is all the gear that comes along with toddlers. The stroller, car seat, and general stuff can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. I opted to use a carrier instead of bringing along the stroller for our current road trip in order to save space. It is much easier to get around with a baby carrier then pushing around the stroller. Some places are not stroller friendly. Also, when road tripping, we can only drive for about 4 hours a day before the toddler has a complete meltdown so it takes us a lot longer to get to our destination.

The older girls come with their own set of challenges. We are dealing with pre-teen emotions added with the stress that often comes along with traveling. I think the biggest challenge with older kids is ensuring they are happy. I try to not shock them too much with our travel destinations. I appreciate their willingness to go along with my crazy ideas so I try and make it comfortable for them. They like air conditioning and Wi-Fi so I try and make sure wherever we are staying has those two things.


DTW

Do you fund all of your travel with good old fashioned saving or is there any passive / online income while you are on the go?

Amoya

I am lucky in the sense that I receive veteran benefits, and I get a little passive online income as well to help fund our travels. Since we do not have a home currently, I use the money I would have normally used on rent or mortgage, instead on our accommodations for the month. We are definitely on a very tight budget and in future we do plan on having a home base which means that our travels will depend a lot more on savings.


DTW

How do your children find travelling, do they ever say that they miss being at “home”?

Amoya

This is a tricky one. When we first started out back in April we had a few setbacks. Puerto Rico was rough for the girls and I. I found myself suffering from depression which impacted the girls’ experience. After Puerto Rico, we stuck close to our old neighbourhood renting different Airbnb rentals and almost gave up on the dream of traveling around the world. My middle child even stated she wanted to go back to school. I made an offer on a house before realizing that is not what we wanted. We had already sold and donated all of our things, sold our previous home and we hadn’t truly given full-time traveling a chance.

I convinced the girls to go on a crazy long road trip with me and they were all for it. We have been travelling ever since. They miss their friends at times. They miss having a home at times but they have also stated that this is the happiest they have ever been in their lives. That’s priceless. They both agree that they never want to go back to traditional school.

TrippinMomma_Waterfall


DTW

How did your family and friends react to your decision to take the kids travelling? Did it impact your planning or any decision making?

Amoya

A few family members were not happy with my decision to travel at all. They were all ready upset about me “homeschooling” the girls so when the traveling idea was presented I was met with hostility. It wasn’t fun. I started questioning myself and wondering if I had made a mistake. I even wrote my worldschooling group on Facebook asking if anyone else had experienced such hostility from family members. The amount of support from the group was unreal. One person asked me if the family members that were being hostile towards me seemed happy with their lives. That’s the thing. They didn’t seem very happy and I sure as heck didn’t want my life to resemble theirs in any way. I can now say I am very happy with my choice to travel with my girls.


DTW

What are some of the best pieces of advice you can give our readers about travelling with little ones?

Amoya

Go with the flow. Be flexible. Don’t try and jam everything in. Just have fun.


DTW

Where to next???

Amoya

We are flying out to Japan in a few weeks and we are beyond excited.


DTW

Amoya thanks so much for your time, we really appreciate it. I look forward to seeing more of your fantastic photos and stories online.
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