Amoya Shantae, better known as Trippin’ Momma, left her unhealthy marriage and decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime – with her three little ones in tow. They have now traveled and lived through the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Albania, and Kosovo, proving that single moms can, and do, travel. Amoya’s story is one that every mom should hear because it speaks to the strength we all have as moms to provide the lives we want for our children, no matter what that looks like. In this case, it happens to be a journey around the world… Read on to learn more about this month’s Wynning Mom, Amoya Shantae, including her experience with unschooling for all us parents who despise the phrase distance learning.
Where are you originally from and when do you begin your travel journey? I am originally from Austin, TX. We began our travel journey in March 2017.
What made you decide to start traveling with your children? I went through a difficult divorce and realized that the times we found joy again were during the small trips we would take. I was struggling financially as a single mom even though I was retired military, and I realized it would actually be cheaper for me to get rid of all my possessions and travel full-time instead of continuing to live in a high cost of living city like Austin, TX.
What’s your favorite place you’ve visited? The most kid-friendly? This is a tough question because we absolutely love Merida, Mexico which is why we decided to set up our home base here after two and a half years of full-time traveling. It is extremely kid-friendly. Still… I really loved both Guatemala and Italy.
If you had to give up your passport and get another country’s passport, what would you pick? Most likely Italy.
What about Mexico prompted you to make it your home base? I fell in love with the community in Merida. Also, it is extremely family-friendly with playgrounds and nannies in a lot of the restaurants. There is endless sunshine. The cost of living is amazing and the culture and people are absolutely beautiful.
What are some of the differences you’ve seen when it comes to childcare and healthcare in other countries you’ve visited? Both child care and healthcare are more affordable in the countries I visited. Also, I have always been seen quickly at hospitals where in the US, we would have to wait hours in the emergency room at times.
How has your experience as a single mom differed in other countries versus the US? In other countries, I don’t feel looked down upon for being a single mom. In fact, people seem impressed. Also, I live a life of luxury in other countries as a single mom whereas in the US I struggled greatly. Life in the US as a single mom was lonely and financially tough. Life abroad as a single mom has been financially relieving and full of meaningful friendships.
Is there one city or country that didn’t live up to your expectations? Northern Ireland. It was beautiful and I actually want to give it another chance but I experienced so much racism that our trip ended really early and I have yet to return.
What would be the best travel advice you would give other moms? Just go for it. Stop waiting for the perfect moment and go. This is your one life to live so you might as well live it well.
What has been your most rewarding travel moment? Hiking an active volcano with my three daughters in Guatemala. It was the toughest hike I had ever done but my teens took turns with me carrying their little sister up the volcano on our backs. It was grueling but so worth it because we got to the top after a couple of hours feeling beyond accomplished and then got to experience the silence of being that high in the air with the only noise being the crackle of exploding lava. We roasted marshmallows on the lava. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Share a favorite photo during a recent trip! We were just exploring Lake Atitlan mesmerized by its beauty. We sat down at a restaurant with beautiful views, took in the scenery, and ate food.
What’s something you wish you would’ve known when becoming a mother? I wish I would have known sooner that there was another way to live besides a typical 9 to 5, mortgage, student loan debt, and public school for my kids.
What’s the best part about being a traveling mother? Freedom. It is pure freedom.
What are the struggles you’ve faced as a traveling mother? Judgment from others.
Tell me about your journey with unschooling and worldschooling. How does it differ from homeschooling and why did you decide to go that route? How are the kids enjoying it? My journey with unschooling and worldschooling has been wonderful. It differs from homeschooling because it is self-directed by the kids. They follow their passions and I support them. I decided to go this route because it allowed my kids to truly be themselves without society or even myself trying to shape them into something they weren’t. My kids enjoy it for the most part.
To learn more about Amoya and her life as a traveling mom, visit her website, follow her on Instagram, join her community, and (most importantly), get on the waiting list for her Single Moms DO Travel Academy!