Watching their 6-year-old son cast a fishing net onto the Mekong River in northern Thailand, Gavin and Sarah Steiner knew they had made the right choice.
For the past six months the Kiwi couple and their two sons, Harry, 6, and Oscar, 4, have been travelling the globe, and intend to carry on exploring for the rest of the year - and beyond.
They are part of a growing trend of globetrotting families who have rejected the traditional work and school lifestyle, and instead embraced the culturally rich life on the road, or "worldschooling".
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Before leaving - and in many stages of their trip - the parents had fears around whether they'd made the right decision in plucking their young boys out of their stable lives in Auckland.
"But it's times like seeing Harry fishing with a local on the Mekong, picking it up without him speaking a word of English, or the boys interacting with hundreds of children in a small Philippines village, that it just clicks, and we know we are doing the right thing," Gavin says.
"Those are the golden moments we will never forget."
The family stopped first in Fiji, followed by a dozen or so countries in Southeast Asia, before making their way into Central Asia.
They spoke to the Herald on Sunday from Uzbekistan in central Asia, shortly before making their way to neighbouring Kyrgyzstan. From there the plans are up in the air, but are sure to include Sri Lanka - one of their "bucket list" locations - and plenty more of Asia.
Highlights are hard to condense into a short answer, but have included trekking in the hill tribe villages of Sa Pa (Vietnam), discovering fossilised dinosaur footprints in South Korea, and visiting and learning about the shrunken Aral Sea in Uzbekistan.
They keep friends and family back home updated via their Facebook page, Away With The Steiners , and also share tips for other families thinking about hitting the road.
While the couple are both passionate about their careers (Sarah works in early childhood education and Gavin in the earthmoving industry) they found that lifestyle meant they had been spending more time at work than with their children.
They have both previously travelled extensively and, after having children, wondered why it had to stop.
"We wanted to share that thrill of adventure, culture and wanderlust with our children," Sarah says.
They researched how to make it happen, and soon discovered many other families travelling the globe and worldschooling - including several from New Zealand.
After a couple of years thinking about it they decided to take the plunge, and this March they set off from Auckland.
They intended to travel on their savings, but while away they sold their Auckland house, allowing them to purchase a property outside of the city and travel a little longer.
Sarah says they have a rough budget for their time away, but so far are finding it comparable to life back in Auckland.
For example, during three weeks in the Philippines they got by on $142 a day - $72 for accommodation and $70 for expenses.
They also have a few tricks and tips for saving on the road, including booking accommodation for longer periods to get discounts, and buying fruits and vegetables at local markets.
Before the Steiners left New Zealand, friends and family fretted about safety, and education, given Harry had just begun primary school.
But Gavin and Sarah say those fears have proven unfounded.
Both the boys have grown immensely in their confidence, in their ability to make new friends and adapt to situations, and the family has become even closer.
Before leaving New Zealand they liaised with Harry's teacher and developed a teaching plan for life on the road, including basic reading and writing, and keeping a journal.
They also use a variety of online programmes and apps, but really the true learning comes from travelling.
"Stepping in to a new country and culture requires stepping out of your comfort zone, as you are thrown in to a whole new world of different languages, tastes, sights, sounds and people," Sarah says.
"We hope to experience some of those new worlds with our boys, so that they see there are many other ways of living, and that our way is not the only way."
One of the most amazing moments for them came while staying in a small Philippines village.
"It was Harry's birthday and we were staying with a family where there were 54 grandchildren," Sarah says.
"Nobody could speak English, but the whole village threw a party for Harry.
"[The boys] have a natural curiosity and engage with everybody they meet. Travelling with them makes the adventure different, and even better."
There have been challenges, but they are no different to at home, Sarah says - perhaps just in a different setting.
They recall a moment at a packed market in Uzbekistan, where Oscar dropped a piece of Lego into a huge cauldron of a steaming hot local rice dish.
Oscar "threw a tantrum" at losing his Lego, meanwhile the waiters desperately tried to fish the plastic item out before it melted.
"I could have crawled into a ball in the corner in that moment, it was so embarrassing," Gavin says.
But amid the mayhem other families began to gather around, and soon enough they had made a bunch of new friends.
"I think we all realised even though we speak different languages, have different cultures and lifestyles, in the end we are all the same, and our children do the same things," Sarah says.
The Steiners are following in the footsteps of another globetrotting Kiwi family, the Blacks, now living in Palmerston North after nine months abroad.
Kim, husband Paul and their two children Lochlan, 11, and Siena, 8, set off early last year, making their way through Southeast Asia before touring around Europe.
They saw orangutans in Borneo, travelled the Mekong Delta from Vietnam to Cambodia, and rode the gondolas in Venice - among scores of other life-changing experiences.
Before their trip they too had concerns about education, but since coming home have found only positives from their time away.
"After a term back at school the children were at or above the expected level in all the areas," Kim says.
But it's not only in their schoolwork they have seen benefits.
"Their school reports are full of comments about their confidence and resilience, how they are really enjoying their school work and are really enthusiastic.
"Those are things they picked up while travelling, from meeting new people and being in new situations, and are things you cannot teach."
The family has also become much closer, and especially the siblings.
"Before travelling they would argue and bicker, like most siblings their ages, but now they have the most amazing brother-sister relationship."
While they would love to keep travelling - and they have some shorter trips lined up - they realise as the children get older it can be more difficult for them.
"It is not so much about the education, but providing them stability.
"They really enjoyed the trip and talk about it positively, but they were homesick and felt a little insecure at times.
"I would say just think about how you can keep some familiar things from home, keep in touch with family, and have a bit of a routine."
Americans Brandon and Jennifer Pearce have been travelling with their three daughters for the past nine years, living in and visiting 36 countries, while worldschooling.
"We're trying to give our kids a 'world class' education by making the world their classroom," Brandon says.
For them, worldschooling involves a combination of play and travel, along with self-directed learning and a range of local and online classes.
The family host the Family Adventure Summit at a different location each year, bringing together hundreds of families from across the world.
Secondary Principals' Association president Deidre Shea, and principal of Onehunga High School, says worldschooling is a "wonderful thing", if done right.
"It is a wonderful thing to be doing. There are plenty of amazing learning opportunities while overseas.
"It is just important families plan the educational opportunities from travelling, as well as maintaining that formal learning - reading, writing, maths - as well."
While there are less concerns for younger children, there can be difficulties taking teenagers out of school for extended periods, especially those nearing the end of their schooling, Shea says.
"With students in years 11, 12 and 13 it could be very difficult as there are more constraints around formal qualifications, and learning at that level also requires a higher level of expertise."
The Ministry of Education's Katrina Casey says they don't generally support taking students out of school during the term, and there is an "increasing body of evidence that shows time out of school may result in lower achievement".
"Attending school from the age of 6 until the age of 16 is not just the law, it's also the key to setting our children and young people for success in life."
A year 11 student who turns up at school half of the time has a one-in-five chance of getting NCEA Level 1, while a student attending every day has about a 90 per cent chance, Casey says.
However, the ministry recognises parents are in the best position to recognise the impacts such travel can have.
"While there are ample opportunities for learning outside the classroom, it's important that there's a considered approach to decisions and catch-up learning activities are planned should in-term holidays affect a child's formal learning."
Families travelling overseas for extended periods can enrol children in distance education such as Te Kura, home schooling or enrolling in schooling overseas, Casey says.
While the Steiners plan to travel next year as well - after a visit home around Christmas - they recognise as their boys get older it will be more important for them to spend time in the classroom.
"We know we won't be doing this forever, it is just amazing to get to spend this time together, and create these memories," Sarah says.
"We love the challenge, being together 24/7, and travelling.
"We dreamed of doing it for years, but never felt we were ready - physically, financially or emotionally.
"We didn't really know it was possible, until we found out about other families doing it. So we just hope we can inspire other families to do it, too."