A couple sold their house to travel around the world with their family – after the cost of living crisis squeezed their disposable income. Chris and Tamira Hutchinson, from Corby, packed their bags and left for Thailand in May.
After the pandemic, the family craved more quality time and the cost of living crisis was the breaking point. The couple sold everything they owned and took their daughters, Olivia, 9, Scarlett, 7, and Bella, 3, on an adventure around the world.
Chris, who was a personal trainer and videographer, said: “It [life] was really stressful. You work all the time and finally get to the weekend and you can’t afford to do anything. Everything we saved up would be eaten up by the prices going up.”
The couple sold their house in January and left for Thailand in May. So far the family has travelled around Thailand and Malaysia but they planned to visit nine more countries over the next year.
Back in England, the family of five would spend an average of £3,000 a month which covered their mortgage, bills, petrol, groceries and other basic expenses.
Now they are travelling the family spends around £30 a night on accommodation and $40 on food and spending money per day. They often spend far less which means they cut their monthly budget by three, spending an average of £1,200
Tamira, a swimming instructor said: “There are some days where we go slightly over, and some days when we spend nothing at all. When we planned the travels we took into account where we would be more comfortable with our money and which places would be more expensive.”
The couple have enough money saved to travel for a whole year without worrying about work and settle down again after their travels. They also generate a small amount of money from their social media channels.
Tamira said: “We didn’t want the ongoing cost of having things in storage so we sold everything: furniture, cars, everything. We only kept small things with sentimental value that we could keep at relatives’ houses.”
The family can now enjoy time together and are far happier, they home-school the girls in the British curriculum, and are giving them “world education”. Chris said: “Our stress and anxiety levels have massively come down. We sleep much better, get outdoors more, and are generally happier as a family than before.
“Family time is the biggest benefit to us. The time we spend together is irreplaceable and that’s the main reason for doing what we are doing. We decided during COVID, when we were able to spend so much time together, we realised that that was what we wanted to do.”
The family made the decision to travel during COVID-19, but the cost of living last Christmas was the last straw and what pushed them to leave. Chris explained: “The cost of living during Christmas was just horrific. That was the breaking point.”
Tamira continued: “We would have done it one day either way but the cost of living pushed it along. It made the decision so much easier. If it hadn’t been because of the cost of living, we might have thought twice when we ran into any difficulties along the way.”
Chris and Tamira say that they see many Britons looking to do the same thing as the cost of living crisis eats away at parents’ work-life balance.
Chris added: “We get so many messages from people in tough positions looking to do the same as us, I think there will be more and more people doing it.”