When my family left Mississippi to travel the world, we shared our journey on TikTok. The response made me realize how sheltered many people are.

When my family left Mississippi to travel the world, we shared our journey on TikTok. The response made me realize how sheltered many people are.
Tiffany Werner and family.

Tiffany Werner is a 42-yr-aged mother residing in McHenry, Mississippi.Tiffany Werner

  • Tiffany Werner, 42, almost never got the possibility to vacation when she was increasing up.

  • Previous yr, Werner took her little ones traveling for a year to give them an option to see the earth.

  • This is the story of how she documented it all on TikTok, as advised to Charissa Cheong.

This as-informed-to essay is based mostly on a dialogue with Tiffany Werner, and it has been edited for size and clarity.

Growing up in Mississippi, exactly where I’ve lived all my lifetime, I did not have much of an option to vacation outside the house of the US.

Families about me rarely left the nation and took most of their holidays in sites like Florida or in other places on the coast. The 1st time I went abroad, I was in my 30s and went backpacking with my mother in Europe for two weeks.

Even now, most people today I know tend to opt for cruise ship excursions that adhere rather close to the US when heading on family vacation, and for a when, so did my household. In 2012, we took our two kids, Reagan and Carson, on cruises to Mexico and the Caribbean, but then in 2019, I took them to Europe for the 1st time to visit Paris. I was fearful that my little ones would develop up sheltered and never get a opportunity to see the environment, as several Individuals do not get options to go away the place.

At the start out of 2022, I built the drastic selection to pull my kids out of school, and vacation around the environment with them for a 12 months, booking the most inexpensive flights I could come across along the way when also navigating lingering vacation restrictions brought about by the pandemic.

A picture of Werner and her children

Werner and her two youngsters, Reagan (15) and Carlson (14).Tiffany Werner.

Our very first prevent finished up getting the previous Soviet place of Georgia, thanks to flight availability, and immediately after that, we frequented Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Greece, and Italy — being in each individual put for several months to truly become immersed in the culture. We didn’t want to just be vacationers, we required to definitely get to know these spots.

I documented our ordeals on TikTok, filming the places we went and factors we discovered about the nearby folks, to demonstrate Americans again home how great it can be when you might be in a position to be versatile with travel and are inclined to get outside the house the box of your individual tradition.

Our household was uncovered to so a lot of new chances in each and every of the international locations we frequented

We have been incredibly fortuitous that my spouse was in a position to operate remotely while we traveled, so we could aid ourselves in the course of the yr. I come to feel that in The usa, so many of us are married to our jobs, but distant functioning shifted that for us and gave us new possibilities to knowledge the planet.

I commenced putting up about our travels on TikTok because I needed to clearly show my fellow Americans how awesome lifestyle is in other international locations — specifically the foodstuff. It was unbelievable to have normal entry to new fruit and veggies from tiny marketplaces in spots like Malaysia and Thailand, and it helps make me unhappy that I’ve gone back again to purchasing at Walmart now that we are back again house.

A picture of Werner's family on a motorbike.

Werner’s relatives in Bangkok, Thailand.Tiffany Werner.

My young children overlook so lots of things about residing overseas much too. They cherished skateboarding and browsing on beach locations, and even though we ended up in Georgia, my 15-year-aged daughter, Reagan, acquired a task in a espresso store, which was an incredible accomplishment for her and authorized her to get firsthand knowledge functioning in a further state.

We acquired so quite a few issues about other cultures that stunned us. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February past year, we had been in Georgia, which was invaded by Russia in 2008. I was 28 several years previous then, and I had no thought that it even transpired.

I consider a large amount of young older people from the US will not have a tendency to shell out interest to what is heading on in other components of the earth. We observe our area information, and probably a minor bit of environment news, but essentially becoming in Ga, wherever problems about the war were really genuine, gave us a better insight into a circumstance that we might have been much more oblivious to otherwise, and we were being even capable to show up at some anti-war protests and rallies there.

I really feel sad that many Us residents you should not get as a lot of opportunities to vacation as we did

As viewers in The us watched my TikToks, I could see from the reviews that some persons considered a large amount of misconceptions about what other countries had been like.

For illustration, when I started filming in Turkey, a whole lot of commenters mentioned they thought the country was perilous and that we shouldn’t be traveling there, but I imagine which is this kind of an out-of-date stereotype, as Turkey is a seriously well known holiday break vacation spot and we felt absolutely safe while we had been there.

When we ended up in Georgia, really a number of men and women basically explained they didn’t know that Georgia was the identify of a nation and not just a point out in the US. It is surprising to me that they did not know where we had been geographically in the world.

I am truly saddened by the realization that in several other elements of the earth, the US passport symbolizes liberty, with a lot of people seeking to occur and practical experience daily life below. Still, so many American folks will not really get the opportunity to leave the place and travel, due to economic instances, as well as the reality that many of us will not in fact have passports.

A picture of Werner's family standing on a bridge.

Werner and her household in Tibilisi, Ga.Tiffany Werner.

Other people today are chasing soon after the American passport and the American aspiration, but in the US alone, folks are seriously having difficulties to make a excellent life, and are not residing out that dream by themselves.

I’ve done a large amount of reflecting considering the fact that our spouse and children arrived back in the US at the commencing of this yr. Above all, I’m so grateful that I was in a position to get my kids out of their bubble, the place they could see other cultures that likely extremely couple of teenagers in The us will get the prospect to see. I imagine we’re a great deal much more cultured men and women now due to the fact of it.

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