But after a spell of sad deaths, this brave Lincolnshire family decided to embrace life and do exactly that - go and live.
The Lingard family - dad Ben, mum Natalie and children Millie, eight, six-year-old Henry and Bree, four - sold their home and all their possessions in November last year and once lockdown restrictions were eased in April this year, set off in their caravan on their adventures around the world.
Due to travel restrictions, the Lingards, from Tetney, had to stay within the UK initially so they travelled the UK before heading into Europe in June this year and visited an incredible 13 countries, including Switzerland, France, Budapest, Austria and Slovenia.
The decision to sell everything and live their dream of travelling the world came after Natalie sadly lost her parents and step-mum to cancer in 2018 - all within six weeks of each other and when Natalie was on maternity leave with their youngest daughter.
She explained: “The heartbreak of losing so many loved ones in such a short space of time really impacted us all, and it put in perspective just how fragile life is and how we didn’t want to take one more moment for granted.
“It’s a shame we had to go through something like that to get us going, my mum was only in her early 60s when she died and she thought she had at least 40 years left, so you just don’t know how long you’ve got and you’ve got to live each day.
“Even a pandemic wasn’t going to stop us, yes we’ve had to adhere to a lot of rules and restrictions along the way, but we’ve simply embraced them all and made the most of this exciting adventure.”
The children are being homeschooled by Ben and Natalie so they don’t miss out on their education, and set aside some time each morning to focus on the schooling before enjoying their day.
Natalie said that much of their education is also coming from the incredible experiences they embrace every day, including snorkelling and paddleboarding in the Adriatic Sea and seeing world famous landmarks such as the Sistine chapel, the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.
Their favourite country by far is Switzerland, Natalie said, owing to its beautiful scenery and the opportunity to go hiking, cycling and lots of other outdoor pursuits.
Natalie said the children’s confidence has blossomed in the past few months while they’ve been away:
“My eldest [Millie] was so nervous before we left, she wouldn’t even go to the swimming pool for lessons but now she’s snorkelling in the sea and paddleboarding, she said, “She was also terrified of heights and she’s been on high ropes, it’s been amazing for all of us.”
Unfortunately due to Brexit’s 90 day rule - which means that since the UK left the EU, UK citizens can now only spend 90 days out of 180 in the Schengen area of Europe - the family have had to return to the UK at the end of October, and are staying with Ben’s parents until they set off for the next leg of their trip.
Flying out to New York on January 6 2022, the Lingards will make their way across the US before flying to Hawaii, and then on to Australia, staying in hotels in the interim as renting campervans is quite pricy in the US..
“The kids loved being back and seeing their grandparents, but you can tell they’ve got itchy feet and will ask what we’re doing each day, expecting us to say we’re going hiking or adventuring!” Natalie said.
“We took the kids trick-or-treating and walked past our old house, and I asked Ben if seeing the house made him sad and he said no, and I feel the same. Each day we are making memories and loving the life that we have chosen, and we stand by it 100 percent.
“Yes, we don’t own anything but a caravan and a car a few toys and clothes, but selling everything to live our dream was the best decision that we’ve ever made,” Natalie added, “It’s lovely to share our story and hopefully, if we can inspire others to do the same thing.”