WorldTowning was born out of the love for immersive travel, for each other and the world. Jessica and Will Sueiro, the founders of the slow travel adventure company WorldTowning Voyages, embrace a respectful lifestyle of learning and constant growth. Together with their extraordinary world schooled children Avalon and Largo, they create inspired journeys of discovery across the world. They have lived in each of the destinations and explored many diverse and varied cultures during the past seven years of full time travel. The Sueiro guides equip their guests with the tools that encourage magic and expand hearts, minds and souls. They delight in sharing with fellow travelers the roads less travelled in some of the most remarkable corners of the globe.
The WorldTowning team are staunch humanitarians and believe in supporting sustainable travel without harming or interfering with sensitive natural or cultural environments. They want to leave each destination a better place. Jessica and Will were not able to travel for long periods of time in their previous stationary life, but they have always had an appreciation of experiential travel; hiking through breathtaking vistas at dawn, and discovering delicious foods in new communities. Until recently, they’ve made every village, town or city their hometown and endlessly explored their unique vitality and offerings. Their unique travel experiences are designed for like-hearted adventurous people and curious souls.
The multi-cultural, multi-lingual intrepid foursome have thrown caution to the wind and faced off the pandemic by buying a yacht, learning to sail, and are now traversing the oceans aboard their 38 foot catamaran. They manage to juggle new experiences that the weather and tides throw at them each day, with two teenagers, homeschool, a YouTube channel to run and their tour company, not to mention navigating their ever-changing route. Jessica and Will understand that routine has its place, particularly where education and work are concerned but they are, by their own admission, status-quo dropouts.
Living in a confined area has its challenges. Being on a boat means that its residents can’t disembark to let off steam. Instead, the Sueiro family relies on a good, if not crazy, dance-off to release any tension that might be swirling in the eddies. They work effortlessly as a team and make sure that they connect each evening over dinner, no matter the mood throughout the day.
They have never tried to recreate a traditional office space; it’s unrealistic and can lead to disappointment. And while they don’t recommend it, they have been known to work in a bathroom or wardrobe when they crave alone time and silence. The WorldTowning Voyages are well-curated and planned; Jessica and Will have taken up to several years exploring various ‘hometown’ destinations to bring their guests the ultimate journey and mind-blowing experiences. They want their guests to engage fully with the culture and people of a new nation and have designed their tours accordingly. Each tour is an insight into their travel style and a new way of life.
Since Jessica and Will began traveling almost a decade ago, the digital world has come along in leaps and bounds. The pandemic has allowed an unprecedented acceptance of individuals and families working remotely. There are a few instances that they have needed notarisation of a USA document which has meant a physical visit to an embassy. Ten visits, in fact. However, in general they have found running a business while traveling the world not only possible, but has been inspirational, allowing them to grow more as individuals and a family than ever before.
Avalon has faced some challenges with her education during the pandemic. She took her ACTs in Paris and her APs in Spain. The family have tirelessly sought schools that will accept her for her exams so that she can continue her education path to college. Yet that didn’t stop her from achieving incredible results, the challenges only helping her learn and grow even more.
Jessica and Will run WorldTowning from ‘home’, which necessitates high-speed internet, which can be troublesome or very expensive when at sea. Internet provider, Starlink further develops its constellation of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit for satellite internet access and the couple hope this will further ease the internet challenges in the future.
WorldTowning is the lifeblood that allows the Sueiro family to maintain the nomadic entrepreneurial life they live. They must stay connected in order to continue essential communications and WorldTowning Voyage plans for their guests. They travel with a fully loaded Google Fi SIM card which gives them global coverage, but they will also use local SIM cards where possible. The boat is fitted with a Digital Yacht 4G Connect device that will join local services up to 20 miles away. Whilst on the move, they use their Iridium Go Satellite to still access emails and SMS message services. Although it can be a costly exercise, they have to remain connected.
Jessica started working from home digitally in 2005 with her graphic design company. She’s always struggled with people taking her seriously, even more so now that they are off the traditional grid. However, the pandemic has shown that people can be incredibly productive and reliable wherever they are in the world. Employers no longer expect their teams to commute mundane miles to work and spend much of their precious time away from their families; with careful planning, ‘having it all’ is a real possibility.
Remote work has had its harmful myths debunked. More and more people are adjusting their lives to accommodate working and schooling from home, wherever that may be. There is a new movement that embraces working remotely and promoting shared workspaces and nomadic support systems. There is much less of a divide between digital remote and traditional work. Research shows that cooperation keeps teams together in work and home environments. Jessica and Will have understood this for many years.
Time-sensitive commitments and time zones are always challenging. Calendars, client meetings, family trips, and kid’s classes have often fallen across numerous time zones. Jessica and Will have held client coaching courses in the middle of the night. Their children have taken online classes before dawn, and WorldTowning has had an online Q&A session as the sun sets.
Stable internet is essential whether the family is on the road, in an Airbnb, or floating at their anchor. Most countries and remote locations that the Sueiro family have travelled to have had internet challenges. Jessica thinks nothing of standing on one leg with her phone in one hand and a metal coathanger in the other on the corner of a street or way up a mountain trying to get a signal.
Interestingly, judgement on how the Sueiro family live has been another significant factor. Jessica and Will have adopted the philosophy ‘no one gets a vote on how we live our lives’, and it has served them well. They manage to educate their children, run a successful travel business, and meet unexpected challenges that traveling and nomadic lifestyles have thrown at them. They’ve faced detrimental discrimination from educational institutions and their educators, doctors and business services. Teachers have accused Jessica and Will of not providing education for Avalon and Largo; that they are lost souls, come from a monied background, or are simply irresponsible. Onlookers don’t seem to have boundaries if they don’t understand the Sueiro lifestyle choice.
The pandemic has opened digital freedom to many other people; the family believes that the tides are finally turning.
From a child’s point of view
Jessica and Will have always traveled, and they have learned so much from having exposure to new cultures, lands and people. They chose to travel with their children so that they could also have otherworldly experiences blended with traditional education. The rewards have far outweighed any negative experiences. The children are fluent in many languages and possess the confidence to interact knowledgeably with empathy and kindness with other children and their peers. The children were taught how to cook Moroccan bread in the Atlas mountains, hiked for 44 days in Camino de Santiago, and served as primary French and Spanish translators for WorldTowning Voyages group trip guests. They are connected to the world as a whole and not just to an insular part of it.
WorldTowning has allowed them to freely grow into authentic young adults without the negatives of social pressures or traditional media. Their world exposure has shown them that there is no such thing as normal. They are masters of creatively solving problems and finding solutions. They shy away from instant gratification and learn to improvise.
The bad bits
Remote living promises freedom and adventures in far-flung romantic lands that most people can only dream of. Yet living a nomadic lifestyle isn’t without its challenges. Most of the WorldTowning journeys have been filled with joy and harmony but Belgium saw them robbed of computers, cameras and other essential technology. They were stranded in a flooded ravine in Turkey and on a lonely, snowy road on Mount Olympus in Greece. The pandemic has put seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their way; their WorldTowning Voyages were put on hold indefinitely in the height of Covid. With tightened belts and a lockdown stint in France, they’ve been socially isolated in an empty dock with nothing other than cawing seagulls and each other for company. They’ve remained positive and supported each other and they can’t wait to start their traveling life again.
Never! Jessica and Will have no plans to return to everyday life for as long as their children are happy and they are physically and mentally able. They are changed people and by self-admission laugh, “We are ruined forever, in a good way”. They understand that they have left mainstream life and have maintained their wanderlust and freedom. “When Covid hits, your business pauses, you miss people, and life is hard. The fear of regret pushes us to keep moving forward in this WorldTowning journey; there is no end. This is our normal”.