From Hiking to Biking: How the ShiSky Family Finds Fun and Fitness in Nature
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Julia & Seth
Julia and Seth started For Something More to help travelers who are willing to explore different parts of the natural world.
23rd Feb | 8 min read

Table of Contents

    Julia and Seth started For Something More to help travelers who are willing to explore different parts of the natural world. This couple believes that it is not as much about how far they travel as it is about the details that surround them and the experiences they have while exploring. Julia and Seth also believe traveling helps people broaden their mindset, so it is better for children to travel, so this couple took their 8-month-old son Peri to trek Poon Hill in Nepal.

    For Something More is a comprehensive guide to off-the-beaten-track outdoor adventure family travel as seen through the ShySki family's eyes.

    Be sure to check out their Instagram and Tiktok to learn more about their latest adventures. 

    For Something More

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    How We Met

    Julia and I met each other while teaching abroad in South Korea.

    Both of us have been avid outdoors people, thanks to our parents, who introduced us to the great outdoors very early on in our lives. We keep adventuring outdoors because nature is our “medicine” and because we hope to instill in our own children a love for, appreciation for, and a sense of stewardship for our world’s wild and untrammeled places. 

    Worth reading: After Hiking The PCT For 2650 Miles In 2017 This Couple Was Bitten By The Travel Bug & Decided To Quit Their Jobs Two Years Later To Travel The World


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    How We Travel

    We adventure daily. In our typical life rhythm, where we RV full-time across the U.S. We were happiest when we towed our trailer way off-grid; thus, we could simply step out our front door into beautiful and wild places. We are usually out in the wild for 2-3 weeks at a time.

    If we travel abroad, we try our best to go for at least a month, as traveling without two kids means we have to move at a slower pace, and because we believe it takes quite a long time to become familiar with a place. 

    Worth reading: Aga & Chris Are Travel Lovers & Van Life Experts Who Have Traveled The World In Many Different Motorhomes

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    How We Select Our Travel Locations

    Most of the time, we decide where to travel by looking for places that are known for being great for outdoor adventures. If we’re traveling internationally, we try to find places where there is not a lot of English infrastructure, as often that means the location is quite a bit off the beaten path.

    We get ready for our trips by bringing only the essentials and making sure we have high-quality topographic maps for offline navigation. We choose our trips based on the terrain that looks interesting. 

    Worth reading: Kitti & Jon Are A Married Couple Who Love To Spend As Much Time Outdoors As Possible


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    Packing Lists & Travel Strategies

    Our mantra for packing is “less is more.” We often use our backpacks as our luggage (no suitcases for us), and we each only bring a few pairs of clothing. Some of our must-have items include our kids’ Ride Safer Travel Vests, as well as our updated GuruMaps apps - as being able to use this app to navigate even when we don’t have cell service or WiFi is a must for our adventures.

    Another essential item is our KindePack child carrier. If our kids get tired on the trails, it’s the only practical way for us to carry them over long distances. Last but not least, we rarely travel without our WooLove Merino wool base layers because they are so comfortable and useful. 


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    Our Most Remarkable Adventures

    One adventure that sticks out most clearly in my mind is when Julia and I did a section hike on the Via Dinarica Trail in the Balkans.

    Another is when we went cycling in Taiwan around the entire island. And another is when we did a Ghorepani Poon Hill trek in Nepal with our son who was 8 months old at the time.

    Some other adventures we’d like to do include thru-hiking the PCT with our kids and biking from the northern end of California to the southern tip of Chile, but we’ll save those for when our kids are a bit older.

    Worth reading: This Couple Is Constantly On The Move Exploring Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations While Also Demonstrating How To Travel More By Working Smarter


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    Inspiration Behind "For Something More"

    At first, For Something More was just an “online journal” for family and friends to keep up with us when we were living as ex-pats in Hong Kong. Slowly but surely, however, more people began reaching out to us with questions about our content, so we decided to transform it into the ever-growing resource that it is today.

    We help people by providing them with the information (and hopefully inspiration) they need to craft their own off-the-beaten-path outdoor family travel adventures. Our mission is to do exactly that! 


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    Our Favorite Memories Of Meeting New People 

    One of my favorite memories of exploring with locals was when we were in Sri Lanka.

    Julia and I were on a bit of an exploration through the neighborhood we were staying in, and off in the distance, we saw a group of folks working in a rice field. As we approached, they were all so inviting that we eventually took our shoes off, and, for the next couple of hours, helped them harvest their rice crop. As a thank you, they prepared a delicious home-cooked meal for us. We were very thankful for both the chance to help them and the delicious food they gave us.

    Worth reading: Since 2014 These World Wanderers Have Been Adventuring, Podcasting & Proving That Travel Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

    For Something More

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    Our Most Exciting Outdoor Experience

    One of my most exciting outdoor experiences was when my son Peri, who at the time was 3.5 years old, hiked the Pine Tree Loop Trail while we were on our Southern New Mexico road trip. While this might not sound particularly exciting to those who’ve never hiked with kids, considering that this trail is a rugged and challenging 4.5-mile loop trail in the Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces, NM, and given that Peri hiked the entire route on his own, I was massively excited and proud of his grit and fortitude. I'm always amazed at how traveling with children can turn the seemingly mundane into something memorable.


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    Safety Measures That We Take

    We not only look at the area's terrain but also at the plants and animals that could be dangerous. We also always research the nearest hospital/medical facility.

    Also, we always have updated topo maps on both of our phones, and again, we do this via GuruMaps. We always bring a first aid kit, plenty of water, snacks, and sun protection. We always do our best to share our planned route and timeline with a friend or family member, though when we’re way off-grid that’s not always possible.


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    Some Of Our Biggest Challenges 

    The biggest challenge we have in our full-time parenting and full-time travel lifestyle is finding enough time to create content to share about what we’re up to as well as continuing to develop other aspects of our business and brand. We make the best of our kids’ nap times, and sometimes have to burn the midnight oil, but all things considered, we’ve got no complaints!


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    Advice That We Can Share

    The main piece of advice I’d give to someone who is attempting to do a long-distance thru-hike is to pack lightly. The less you have to carry, the more you’ll enjoy the journey—provided you have all of the basics.

    The next piece of advice I’d give is, don’t try to feel completely prepared for a thru-hike. The only way to fully prepare for a thru-hike is to actually thru-hike. So, don't worry if you feel a little unprepared at the start of your thru-hike. Your confidence will grow by leaps and bounds over time. Last, but of massive importance, is, to start out with low mileage for the first 4 weeks of your thru-hike. If you think you’ll be able to hike 15 miles each day, reduce that by 30%, and instead only hike closer to 10 miles each day.

    And, even if you’re feeling strong after weeks 2 or 3, stick to the low miles at first. When I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, the main reason I observed people having to stop hiking was due to shin splints and blisters - two consequences of trying to hike too far too quickly.

    Worth reading: These Two Educators Make The Most Of Their School Breaks By Traveling And Doing Extensive Hikes Domestically & Internationally


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    Lessons That We Have Learned 

    The main lesson I’ve learned through all our travels is that the more I've experienced, the more I know I haven’t experienced. And frankly, I love that feeling.

    I think the world would be a boring place if I were actually able to experience everything the world has to offer. I’m confident that I’ll go to the grave only having experienced the tiniest fraction of the potential experiences on Earth, and that confidence allows me to travel slowly, to stop and smell the roses, and to not worry about the number of places I have experienced but instead to focus on and be grateful for the depth to which I experience a place.


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