INDIANAPOLIS — The Clarkson family knows how to make every day count.
“You’re in the good old days right now for the future,” Adam Clarkson said from the family’s temporary home in Bangkok, Thailand.
It’s the latest stop for Adam, his wife Lindsay, and their three daughters, Lily, Coral and Harper. The Greenwood family embarked on their journey around the world in May of 2022.
It’s a trip they began plotting as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe.
“It was in the middle of COVID,” Adam said. “We were both working from home and we were no longer taking the girls to day care and things like that. We've always kind of dreamed about doing a big trip.”
A big trip would require big changes. The family saved and sold everything they could, including their home.
“We're really lucky in that our parents and siblings and everyone we knew was super supportive,” Adam said.
Support is something that goes both ways for the Clarksons.
When Lindsay’s best friend Autumn Carver was hospitalized for 100 days with complications from COVID-19, they jumped in to help by organizing a jump-a-thon fundraiser.
“It opened our eyes, and we realized that life is really short,” Lindsay said. “Once she got better, that's really when we started talking like, 'Like life is so short, if this is what we want to do, then we should do it because you never know what tomorrow holds.'”
The Clarksons have visited 19 countries in the 15 months they’ve been traveling. While each offers different experiences and cultures, day-to-day life is pretty routine.
“A lot of days are spent inside and we're working on doing school and things like that, but then we do get to go out in the evenings and we have this whole new world to explore.”
That exploration is documented on the family’s YouTube page, from festivals to getting around and of course, food.
“Food. People like to see the different foods around the world. That's probably the number one thing people like to see,” Adam said.
“Here in Thailand, we love khao soi,” Lindsay said. “It's like a really spicy curry.”
And while worldly cuisine typically can’t be beat, sometimes you crave what you know.
“I miss Chick-fil-A,” Lindsay said. “There are like no Chick-fil-As anywhere else. I looked it up, there might be some in South America, but we haven't been there yet.”
Up next for the Clarksons: the Philippines.
“It's a different beast now that we have to work and do stuff on the road,” Adam said. “We usually try and stay longer in a place. We like to slow down and just kind of immerse ourselves in it a little bit more.”
Immersion Adam and Lindsay see their daughters embracing.
“It's amazing watching them learn and experience these things and talk about them to their family and friends back home about what they're doing,” Adam said.
“They have seen ancient artifacts that kids don't, it's just been amazing,” Lindsay said. “We still do our traditional reading, language arts, math; but seeing the different cultures and everything has just been awesome.”
The Clarkson family began their trip with the goal of traveling for one full year. With that milestone behind them, they say they’re going to keep going while they can, and they encourage others to act.
“If you want to go see the Eiffel Tower, go see the Eiffel Tower. It can be as simple as that. If you want to take an RV and drive it across the country, then take an RV and drive across cross country. Find the deal like we did, it's $1 a day you could do it pretty cheap,” Adam said.
“Don't waste your life because it's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day.”