Radical Family Sabbatical | Give Your Family The World

About Us

Our Mission

Radical Family Sabbatical helps families live extraordinary lives through travel, learning, and entrepreneurship.

Who We Are

Meet Matt and Diana Scherr, Regular American Couple, Exhibit A. And, though fairly ordinary, we are also travelers. Before we met we both traveled internationally just out of college, and that travel was a transformative experience for both of us. It changed the way we view the world and how we see our role in it.

But then we both went on to hold fairly low-rung corporate jobs with the likes of General Electric and MCI. Fortunately we both ended up traveling again and were shaken from our corporate stupor. We then both ended up in the ski resort town of Vail, Colorado where we got hitched and made two kids.

And because our worldviews had been influenced by our travel, we always wondered if exposing our children to the world at a younger age would make them the “global citizens” we only try to be. Being disorganized procrastinators, we never did any actual planning or preparation or any other kind of strategic work to actually realize that dream. So what do slackers need to motivate them to action? Pain.

It was the typical pain just about everyone hits at some point in their lives; between our work and community commitments, we did not feel in control over our time and our lives. And on one particular date night after some rough days at work, we invoked the name of the sabbatical dream and asked, why not? Why not, and why not soon?

When we truly cross-examined all our reasons why not, we realized they were actually just excuses. The kids are too young (what is the right age?). We have to achieve X at work (couldn’t someone else?). We don’t have enough money (how much is enough?). We have responsibilities to our community (that we might tackle better with a more global perspective). This is irresponsible (the voices of others in your head). We are taking the kids away from their grandparents (ooh, that one hurts…but a deal breaker?).

So we started looking legitimately at the logistics and overcoming our own objections. And the short and surprising answer to the big question was, yes, we really can do this! So we made our plans, gave our notice (though not actually in that order), packed up, and moved our family to Ecuador for a while, where we were inspired to create Radical Family Sabbatical.

Radical Family Sabbatical is our effort to demystify the family sabbatical experience, inspire other families to similar adventures, provide resources to make sabbaticals happen, and create a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens to change the world! Because…why not?

Read more about Matt and Diana on our Contributors page.
And you can read Matt’s blog from their sabbatical; a full and embarrassing account, from planning to departure to returning home.

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Comments (8)

  1. Hi Matt,

    I’ve enjoyed your blog, as well as the others you referenced. My wife and I are planning a mini, 3-month sabbatical this fall, and Cuenca is at the top of our list. However, the more I read, I’m growing a bit concerned about crime, or the potential for crime, there. From what I can tell, it sounds like many other places I’ve travelled – people use the same language: “If you’re smart, don’t carry valuables or a bag, you’ll be fine. Don’t make yourself a target.” or “I always keep my things safely hidden, and carry a twenty in case I get stopped”. Such matters wouldn’t concern me if it were my wife and I – I’m an experienced traveler, and my wife is to a lesser extent. However, we have two boys, 4 and 6, and that could make them an instant target.

    Since your kids were the same age when you arrived, you’re probably the best person to ask. How vigilant did you need to be while you lived there? Did your wife feel comfortable going out alone with the kids most of the time?

    Appreciate your perspective!

    Reply
    • Great to hear about your imminent visit to Cuenca, John. The infamous Latin American traffic was our greatest concern (its always open season on pedestrians). As far as crime goes, we never felt the least bit threatened and never worried when we were out with the kids. Matter of fact, we had heard from a number of locals that families are respected and rarely targeted for crime. Kidnapping was never remotely a worry. Of course if either of us were ever out late without kids, we’d have our guard up, just for precaution.

      The warnings you listed would apply to New York, Los Angeles, or about any big city in the world more than they would to Cuenca. We were more cautious in Guayaquil and Quito, but still tried not to give off the odor of fear. Whenever possible, we carried only what we could afford to lose.

      Of course you can’t ever guarantee safety in travel, any more than you can in life. But three months should be more than enough time to get comfortable enough to not feel like looking over your shoulder all the time.

      Good luck in Cuenca, John, and let us know how your family enjoys it.

      Cheers,

      Matt

      Reply
  2. Hi Scherr Family!

    My family of five just returned home after a transformative sabbatical year. We traveled all over the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom while road schooling our kids and loving life again. I blogged about our adventures along the way mainly to share with family and friends, but also hoping that another frustrated, overcommitted mom (like me prior to sabbatical) would read and feel inspired to break free, too.

    I love your site and support your cause of spreading the word about family sabbatical life.

    All the best,

    Jenny

    Reply
  3. Just love this website!!!…Wish you guys the best always, you are such a great and lovely family. Say hi to Diana and give a kiss to the kids. I miss them 🙁

    Reply
    • Muchisimas gracias, Alexendra. El sitio es hecho con amor (y trabajo). Te extrañamos también, especialmente los niños. Esperamos que estés muy bien.

      What I think I just said…
      Thank you very much, Alexandra. The site is made with love (and work). We miss you too, especially the kids. We hope you are doing very well.

      Reply

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