Family-of-four sell everything to travel the world

Parents who ‘wanted more’ out of life sold EVERYTHING they owned to travel the world with their two young children – and have no plans to ever return after visiting 22 countries in a year

  • Benjamin and Zyleen Hewins, from London, made decision after a family loss
  • They have since been to the likes of New Zealand, India, Fiji and Canada 
  • The married couple reveal they ‘world school’ their children as they travel 
  • They’ve so far visited 22 countries in one year and will continue adventurers 
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A married couple have revealed they’ve given up their comfy lifestyle to travel around the world with their two children.

Benjamin and Zyleen Hewins, from London, made the bold decision to ‘world school’ Emiliana, six, and three-year-old Zacharia, when a close family member suddenly passed away – making them reevaluate what they really wanted from their lives.

Deciding to sell everything they own to get the money to fund their one-way ticket around the globe, they have become known as the Flip Flip Family after blogging about their adventures, and have since travelled to the likes of New Zealand, India, Peru and Thailand. 

‘We knew that we wanted more out of life and couldn’t see how we could get there without working harder and longer,’ Zyleen told The Mirror.

‘We didn’t want to lose these precious years with our children by working more so we decided to trade it all in for family time and adventure.’


Benjamin and Zacharia at Osiyan Safari Camp in India on January 11. Alongside the picture on the family’s Instagram account, Benjamin wrote: ‘I was gutted I missed the football last night, nothing will ever beat sleeping under the stars with my beautiful family and sharing precious moments, because it’s those moments that we live for. I hope you’ve had a precious moment with your family recently’


The Hewins family (pictured) even managed to squeeze in a visit to one of the seven wonders of the world – Chichén-Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico on April 23 2018. Pictured, Benjamin, Zyleen, Emiliana and Zacharia


The Hewins family threw their arms up in delight after hiking to the top of Machu Picchu in Peru (pictured)


The family visited the Colourful Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur on 8th November 2018. It’s a limestone hill that has a number of cave temples within it. Above, Zyleen


Married couple Benjamin and Zyleen (pictured) shared a kiss at the top of sugarloaf Mt in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on July 20 2018


Emiliana, six, and three-year-old Zacharia in Kosgoda, Sri Lanka. The post read: ‘Currently in Kosgoda, Sri Lanka receiving some serious love from all the beautiful locals’

Ben sold his work van, tools, motorbike and the family car, while the children flogged their clothes and toys to passersby.

But while the couple were excited for their future plans, their family and friends were far more dubious.  

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‘Most of them thought we were crazy,’ Ben told the publication. ‘But once the news sank in, they all started planning where to meet us along our journey.

‘We have actually been so lucky to have spent 10 weeks out of the year with family and friends in various countries.’


The parents described the view as ‘breathtaking’ – and Zacharia seemed to agree. Pictured at the Taj Mahal, Agra, India on February 4


Pictured in Gili Trawangan on October 23. The picture was captioned: ‘There is no motor vehicles allowed on the island so every mode of transport either involves a horse, a bike or an electric scooter’


Zyleen (pictured) and her family have no plans to return home any time soon. Pictured in Ban Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand on March 2


Pictured Emiliana, six, and three-year-old Zacharia at Muay Thai training at the Super Champ Camp in Bangkok. The post was captioned: ‘We try and get the kids hands on (and legs on this case) in as much as possible ranging from all sorts, it helps builds character and confidence’

One year ago, with an open ticket to just a few countries, the family packed up and headed off on their adventures – with the main aim being to spend quality time together as a family.  

They planned to head to the first country, and to then research and decide where to go from there – in a bid to make each moment as spontaneous as possible.

Only, with some countries requesting onward tickets before allowing them to fly, it made things that little bit trickier. 

In one instance, the family stood in Sri Lanka airport with just ten minutes to board a plane to their desired destination, which they claim ‘added to the fun.’


The family posed with their surfboards after having their first surf lesson on Varkala Beach in India on December 13 2018


Emiliana, six, and three-year-old Zacharia (pictured) are ‘world-schooled.’ Above, at Nusa Penida Island on October 19 2018


An enthusiastic Zyleen can be seen hanging on the outsider of the train on Nuwara Eliya Town, Sri Lanka on December 7


The adventurous family spent Christmas on the beach in Carmona, Goa in India – and they couldn’t look happier


Benjamin holds his children’s hands as they admire the view from Sigiriya in Sri Lanka on December 8 2018

‘We had planned to spend two months in India but Sri Lankan Airways would not let us board unless we booked a ticket out of India,’ said Zyleen. 

‘So we jumped onto our flight apps and found a flight. It’s fun to do a search to “anywhere” and just like that, the next leg of our journey was fixed, Bangkok.’

The family headed to Canada, central America, to the South, over some Pacific Island, then New Zealand, Fiji, Sydney and Asia. 

And Zach and Emiliana have even managed to keep up with their education – just not in the traditional sense of the word. 

‘They are world schooled, learning about different cultures and languages, seeing wonders of the world and becoming pretty good snorkellers and photographers,’ explained Ben.

He went onto explain how Emiliana has learned how to ride a bike without stabilisers in Guatemala and Zach can swim without armbands – while both have swam amongst stingrays and sharks in French Polynesia. 

The plan 

Indonesia

Singapore

Malaysia

Thailand

India

Sri Lanka

Laos

Vietnam

Phillipines

Japan

Home?

 

 Vancouver

Mexico

Guatemala

Peru

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Easter Islands

French Polynesia

New Zealand 

Fiji

Sydney, Australia 

 

While the family still have many countries on their agenda, Brazil, India and New Zealand have been their favourites to date. 

And after a year – and 22 countries – the Flip Flop Family have no plans to return to their normal life and are funding their adventurous lifestyle through promotion on their social media accounts.  

‘Some days, your flight is cancelled and the next available option is a 10 hour coach journey on bumpy roads with no toilet on board,’ said Benjamin.

‘But its an adventure and even if it only lasts two weeks or two months, the bonds you make with your family and the memories you create will last a lifetime.’

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