They quit their jobs and sold everything to drive around the world with two young children.

They quit their jobs and sold everything to drive around the world with two young children

They quit their jobs and sold everything to drive around the world with two young children
They quit their jobs and sold everything to drive around the world with two young children

They quit their jobs and sold everything to drive around the world with two young children

In order to travel the world with their two young children, they gave up their careers and sold everything.
With their two children, Jack, 3, and Charlotte, 1, Matt and Leah Prior recently left their jobs, sold everything they owned, and embarked on their own round-the-world overland trek. Courtesy Theo Prior

Many couples wish they could have it. Most people don’t, though.
With their two children, Jack, 3, and Charlotte, 1, Matt and Leah Prior have quit their jobs, sold everything, and on July 15 they will embark on an overland adventure across the world.

The Prior family has always had a strong affinity for travel.

In 2011, they got together in Laos. Leah was traveling the world for a year after working as a teacher in South Korea at the time, while Matt was raising money for the British Red Cross while operating a London black cab around the globe.

After his road trip was over, they fell in love right away and stayed in touch long distance for a year before relocating to Hong Kong to begin their life together.

The Zapp family, who spent 22 years touring the globe in a 1928 Graham-Paige vintage automobile and welcomed four children along the way, was encountered by Matt on that same trip.

As Matt Prior tells CNN Travel, “Leah and I discussed the Zapp’s adventure shortly after we met, and from there, the seed was planted — maybe one day we could do something similar.”

And now, that wish has come true. The family is departing from London in an INEOS Grenadier 4×4 equipped with a Patriot Camper X3 off-road trailer that includes a pop-up tent. Over the following five years, they will journey across more than 100 nations, stopping at national parks and other protected sites to support environmental and social causes.

They will travel through the UK, Europe, and the Middle East before heading to Southeast Asia, the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Americas after passing through Central Asia, China, and the Himalayas.

As part of the initiative, known as “Project Wild Earth,” they will also post tales on their website and social media pages about inspirational rangers, support groups, public servants, and business owners they interact with or work with.

Before our children start school, we have a special window of opportunity, so if we want to do something crazy as a family, this is the time to do it, says Matt.

“We hope to contribute to the protection and preservation of our planet’s biodiversity. If we are successful in doing so, I will feel like we have done our small part to leave the world better than when we arrived and to help change the course away from the one we’re currently on.”

Project Wild Earth’s route

The Priors spent slightly over ten years in Hong Kong after reconciling there.

American Leah, a former primary school teacher, was instrumental in establishing a Sudbury school in Hong Kong that allows students to take charge of their own education.

In the meantime, Matt, a British guy, held a variety of positions, including commercial pilot, co-founder of the adventure travel agency AdventureX, and director of The Explorers Club in Hong Kong, to mention a few.

The pair began reevaluating their plans in 2019 when political unrest erupted in the city.

They planned to relocate to Indonesia to live on an organic farm and start a family since they were ready for a change.

They were compelled to stop by the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to its “zero-Covid” policy, Hong Kong had among of the tightest pandemic restrictions in the entire world when the Priors got caught there.

Throughout the pandemic, Matt flew planes to distribute supplies all around the world in difficult circumstances.

There were countless tests, paperwork, and tracking and tracing… I had to stay in hotel rooms for weeks at a time,” he remembers. “Occasionally, there are armed guards and you can’t even open your window.”

Leah was carrying Jack at the time. At the time, partners were not permitted in labor wards in Hong Kong public hospitals, so Matt was unable to be present as she underwent an urgent C-section to give birth to their son.

Matt says of Jack, “Jack was a bright light in a dark time.” We relocated to Sai Kung [in the eastern portion of Hong Kong’s New Territories] in order to be in nature, which greatly assisted us and allowed us to live a simple life away from the city.

The city had not yet loosened its rules when Leah became pregnant with their daughter in 2022, so she temporarily relocated to the US. Although Matt kept working in Hong Kong, he was able to be present when she gave birth this time.

“We had to reevaluate everything after what happened in Hong Kong. Everything was there for discussion and on the table, he claims. We were essentially considering a fresh start, a new home, and possibly new jobs. This time, the decision was made as a family and not just according to our personal preferences.

As they considered their possibilities, they were inspired by the Zapps’ inspirational journey and came up with Project Wild Earth.

The notion of taking our family on an overland journey has come up once more. All things considered, this time it was our preferred choice and the one that our hearts and minds gravitated toward,” says Matt. “It’s probably not the most financially or professionally prudent choice, but it felt right.”

“Our north star would be protecting nature.”

They frequently went back to their hobbies and ideals while selecting how to spend their time traveling.

We soon realized that conserving the environment would be our compass, which, according to Matt, naturally led us to conservation.

They began looking at international environmental projects and talking to other industry professionals about how their family could make a difference.

The duo started assembling a global network of collaborators as their initiative took shape, and they gathered a database of more than 250 projects from around the world.

The programs cover a wide range of activities, from the rewilding project in Patagonia by Tompkins Conservation to the Allen Coral Atlas, which surveys coral reefs and keeps track of hazards. Then there are initiatives that help indigenous tribes reclaim their ancestral lands, develop nature-based tourism, drastically lower fishing bycatch, rehabilitate rainforests through agroforestry, and use technology to better monitor and conserve species.

They want to donate their time and expertise while traveling, as well as aid in promoting the work of each initiative.

“We are seeking for projects that can potentially serve as a model for others to follow and launch their own businesses, in addition to being inspirational. We think that when looking for a solution, nature should be used as much as possible,” adds Matt.

As long as the employment of cutting-edge technology has a noticeable impact on the ground, I also enjoy it.

The Priors are especially interested in projects that focus on agroforestry, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture in our food systems, as well as grassroots efforts.

“Grassroots projects demonstrate that there is still a way to organize and take action, which is what this is all about, regardless of what resources you have,” he claims.

“We want to show that by moving from gloom and doom to one of creativity, inspiration, and action, we can make the world a better place.”

Travel-related tales

Matt and Leah want to use storytelling to promote conservation activities, taking their lead from the Jane Goodall Institute and the youth volunteer group Roots & Shoots.

Dr. Jane Goodall, a renowned primatologist and conservationist, created both organizations.

Because of her conviction that narrative is the key to causing people to change internally, Matt thinks she is a great inspiration to the team.

“We hope that over time, as we share more and more stories and examples of what is going on around the world, it will inspire people to take action in many forms.”

They believe it will motivate some people to reevaluate their consumption patterns and others to change their careers, form partnerships, watch films, start their own projects, or volunteer for environmental organizations.

When people ask us how they can help, we frequently suggest the Key Conservation app since it enables environmentalists to raise money and support for their campaigns in real-time.

“We hope people think a little more deeply about nature and biodiversity and appreciate what we have here on our planet.”

The Priors intend to use the monthly membership program Mossy Earth, which supports programs that promote rewilding and biodiversity, to offset their carbon footprint because they will be driving for the most of the trip.

The family has established an initial emissions estimate based on UK averages (12.7 tonnes of CO2e per adult and 6.35 tonnes per child), but will carefully monitor their mileage, water, and waste usage on the road to obtain a more accurate number.

“The youngsters can participate in this. They will like it and hold us responsible, which is fantastic, I have no doubt,” adds Matt.

Everyone’s family

Before taking off, Matt and Leah traveled across the globe with Jack and Charlotte to conduct many long-distance test runs.

The couple gained a better understanding of how to organize their travel itineraries, break up long rides, and keep the kids occupied without the use of electronics as a result of these long drives and camping excursions.

The Priors want to expose Jack and Charlotte to as much diversity, cutting-edge thinking, and natural beauty as they can by involving their kids in the journey and conservation efforts.

“From our standpoint, it’s crucial that the youngsters get involved right away. They represent the future, claims Matt.

The life lessons they’ll learn, along with how to deal with problems that impact us all, and simply mingling with people from different areas, ages, and backgrounds, will be invaluable.

They look forward to the children’s involvement in numerous initiatives and their learning about various ecosystems, animals, restoration, regenerative agricultural methods, and conservation in general.

Jack might enjoy using the SeagrassSpotter app to assist Project Seagrass better predict where seagrass can be recovered by recording seagrass in coastal communities.

“We’re j into this eyes wide open,” he declares. “We know this is not going to be a walk in the park, but at the same time, kids are adaptable, and nature is an amazing playground, which can be inspiring, entertaining, and educational.”

It is so special, he continues, to be able to share this priceless time with our kids.

“We hope that our children will grow up to value the outdoors and helping others. But it will be up to them to decide where this trip ultimately leads them.

They quit their jobs and sold everything to drive around the world with two young children

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *