Tom and Anne Andrus always hoped to take their kids on an adventurous family voyage. Now, they've made their dream a reality with a 365-day expedition around the globe! Anne, Tom and their four kids—14-year-old Dax, 12-year-old McKane, 7-year-old Kieran and 4-year-old Asher—left their Atlanta home and hit the road on August 27, 2006. First stop, New Zealand! About eight months into their trip, they have already had their fair share of adventure touring floating villages in Vietnam, dancing on Namibian sand dunes, tubing down a river in Laos, visiting museums in France and even meeting an elephant in Botswana…and they still have five months to go.
Tom says three major events made them start to seriously plan their family's trip. First, volunteering in New Orleans during the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina made him realize "we focus too much on stuff," he says.
Then, a friend's son died. "That really made us think how short our time is with our kids."
Lastly, Tom experienced complications during a surgery, which made him think about his life. "When I took a look at my life, I realized I was spending most of my time working. And even though my family is the most important thing, I'm focusing on work," Tom says. "So this is really about taking the time for a year to just focus on family—and the fact that we're doing it going around the world is just an added blessing."