Aamion and Daize Goodwin, along with their two children Given, 3, and Truth, 1, are circumnavigating the planet across 18 countries, using the world as the ultimate educational tool. A few close friends came along to film the Goodwins as they journey through destinations including Iceland, Nepal, Morocco, and Senegal. And they have plans for a full-length documentary about their time on the road.
Originally from Kauai, they’ve traveled to some far-flung locations already. But at its core their adventure reflects the immense love and dedication that often bond parents with their children.
Here is the story of their journey so far, as told by Aamion and Daize.
What did you hope to experience when setting off on your journey and what do you hope the film conveys?
Aamion & Daize– We wanted to experience the world through our children’s eyes. We believe in travel as a teacher, since both of us have learned so much by travel. This planet is so amazing and we are so grateful to be able to show that through this journey.
What has been the most difficult challenge traveling with two kids?
Daize- I wish I had a list for you, but it has been an incredible ride so far. The crew couldn’t have been hand picked better, and everyone from flight attendants to locals in a crowded market welcomes you with open arms when you have children with you. That said, there is always the reality of jet lag and how that reaps havoc on the kid’s sleep schedule. But that all sorts itself out after a few days in a new country.
How are Given and True handling life on the road?
Aamion-The kids are the best travelers out of all of us. As long as Given has his job site– with his backpack full of tractors– and True is close to her mommy, we’re good to go.
What have been the unexpected hiccups while traveling?
Aamion-We’ve had most of them: lost bags, delayed flights after a red eye, a 24 hr. open ocean boat ride because our plane was broken. But it’s worth it for what’s on the other side. It’s amazing because you actually see it in the kid’s faces as well. And you know that those temporary hardships might be the best thing for everybody.
How have your travels impacted you as individuals and as a family?
Aamion- It opens your eyes so much and makes you realize how small you really are. It’s actually not a “Small World After All.” It’s huge and filled with so much. Our son thinks he can speak another language and raps in what sounds like Thai these days.
What have been some unexpected challenges you guys experienced while traveling?
Daize-The challenges haven’t been too unexpected, and are pretty manageable. This trip hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows and there are certainly hard days. But we are all here to grow and become better people. And you have to go through some trying moments to make yourself better. As long as the kids are safe and happy and experiencing life in a pure way, I feel like we are winning.
What is your advice to parents interested in traveling with young kids?
Aamion and Daize- The process is worth it. You just need to really focus on the kids and make it fun for them. Even if it’s a flight across the state or country, it’s an experience you can’t get any other way. Home will always be there. But tomorrow will not.
What have been the highlights of your trip so far?
Aamion and Daize- Israel and New Zealand have our hearts wrapped up so tight. We’re keen to move there for parts of the year. Although Iceland’s tap water, Ireland’s people, Thailand’s food, and the Marshall Islands’ clear water have us wanting to return to them as well.
I heard that in Iceland you guys spent two weeks looking for waves, driving for hours on roads you didn’t know. Has that been a common trend?
Aamion- We realized that we we’re missing out on other things so the endless search for waves stopped there. If the waves are good, and we are close by, we surf. As soon as you have kids surfing comes second. One of our greatest finds in Iceland was a fun little wave at the beach near the glacier. So you’re surfing through big chunks of ice and seals and we pretty much stumbled upon that. Other spots, we camp where we know the waves could be good if a swell hits. But every location is different, so we just surf what we can while we’re there.
How has the surf been so far on the journey? Where have you guys scored the best waves?
Aamion- We’ve gotten fun waves everywhere and Ireland probably had the best waves so far. We think the big stuff is right around the corner though.
Have you faced any criticism for taking two young kids along on such a wild adventure?
Daize- Not to our face. People have been really supportive of this adventure. I think with the way things are going in the world right now, it refreshes people’s spirits to see something different and wholesome. We’re really trying to show the beautiful side of everywhere we go.
For more appealing images from their travels check out the Goodwin Project blog.
Stay tuned for the second part of the Goodwin Project from the point of view of the crew.