LONDON, ENGLAND – I knocked an item off my bucket list last month when we were in Alberta.

I took the boys to a ski hill, where they had their first lessons. Then we spent the rest of the day riding the chairlift to the top of the mountain and snowboarding back down.

Here we are about to bomb down the hill…

ChartReady to go down the Alberta slopes with Miles (left) and Dusty (center)

Hobo Family

Greetings and a Happy New Year!

We are a modern hobo family with three young children ages 12, 9 and 7. 

We drift from town to town, country to country, staying in cheap Airbnb apartments, one-star hotels, and occasionally – when we get invited – in the guest room of a friend or family member’s house. 

We live out of a small suitcase, which we drag everywhere with us.

We travel by public transport.

The kids don’t go to school. We’ve been homeschooling them on the road, using an old iPad and some textbooks we carry with us. 

We keep our costs down by spending as much time as possible in CHEAP countries, where our lifestyle burn rate is about a third of what it used to be when we lived in Florida. At times we earn a small income. Other times we live off savings. 

Since we started living like this 19 months ago, we’ve circumnavigated the planet, visited 29 countries, and slept in more than 150 beds. 

We’ve had the time of our lives, seen some of the world’s “wonders,” and we’ve never felt more connected as a family…

Writing From London

We left Canada a few days ago and now I’m writing to you from London, from my mother’s house, where we’ll be staying for the next couple of weeks.

The kids are nearby watching a movie and I’m sitting at a long, oak dining table, with a cup of tea next to me, writing this letter to you by hand.

I thought I’d have lots to write about after all our traveling, but it’s my first time writing in about two weeks, and when I don’t write for a while, writing gets harder, not easier. I find myself feeling a little depressed and lethargic, and words aren’t coming easily to me today.

Not much to report here, anyway. So I’ll sign off today and write more tomorrow.

– Tom Dyson

P.S. We come from America, but Kate and I threw everything away there 19 months ago. Now we have no home, no possessions, and no place to go “back” to. We don’t have a plan. We’re not even married. So 2020 will be a pivotal year for us… and the beginning of a new chapter for our family. 

P.P.S. Gold is creeping up again. It’s at $1,530 as I write… and looks like it will soon challenge the seven-year high it set last September at $1,560. The Dow is also rising, and setting all-time highs again. The Dow-to-Gold ratio (which I first wrote about here) begins 2020 at 18.75.

Like what you’re reading? Send your thoughts to [email protected].


A few readers turn to Tom’s train-hopping days (catch up here and here)… Penny’s eight-foot drop from a bunk bed in India… and Tom’s chilling reports from Rwanda and Serbia

Reader comment: It bothers me that you did a lot of illegal things and even have the audacity to write about hygiene, no showers, etc. Absolutely not my cup of tea.

Reader comment: That had to be fun, riding freight trains through Mexico!

Reader comment: I’m so happy your daughter Penny is okay after her fall from the bunk. Hearing those kind of stories makes a parent cringe. Having said that, it actually saddens me when people write in and suggest that God intervened in "softening" the fall of a child. This implies that in other instances where the outcome was less positive, God decided not to intervene.

How would a parent who lost a child react if reading this? Did God just let all those children in Rwanda be slaughtered? Sorry for the unusually negative post. I have really enjoyed your writing.

Reader comment: I beg to differ with the reader who said not to take Penny to a chiropractor. Many years ago I had chronic headaches that were eventually cured by a series of sessions with a good chiropractor who straightened out my crooked spine. I believe my good health today is due to regular adjustments by a good chiropractor.

My sister as a small child was cured of what doctors called “asthma” and “allergies” by a chiropractor who aligned her hips back in place, removing the hip joint from a nerve that caused the “asthma” attacks. There are good ones out there.

Reader comment:  I, too, enjoy your adventure reporting. One thing I noticed is that you seem to stay superficial, probably comfortable, as you encounter hard topics. Like glossing over the Rwandan Genocide that Clinton could have done something about, but did not. And after his famous affair, he attacked the defenseless Serbs to cover it up.

You noticed the 20-year-old ruins/monuments to that in Belgrade, Serbia. Did you not dare dig in? Why are they not repaired after 20 years? You flew by, not noticing the Clinton crime? Maybe eventually you learn something about the criminal empire you are coming back to. I wish you well.

While others weigh in on the pros and cons of an adventure like the Dyson family’s… and on Tom’s gold coin preferences

Reader comment: I am also one of those folks who enjoy reading your postcards. There’s a Frank Sinatra song that goes “the trouble with Hello is Goodbye.” But I hope you guys can continue somehow, regardless. Best of luck to you and your kids in 2020 (2020 sounds kinda cool, doesn’t it?).

Reader comment: I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your notes from the road these past few months. Likewise, I appreciate your honesty in divulging the real suffering from whence your wanderlust originated. Your soon-to-be wife must be an exceptional person, as you surely are.

I have a movie recommendation for you (and your readers) while you are resting and relaxing this holiday season. It’s Sullivan’s Travels (1941) by one of my all-time favorite film directors, Preston Sturges.

I am sure you will be able to relate to this funny, and ultimately moving, story of a man who also took to the road looking for one thing, and finding instead what he needed to find. Love, peace, and joy to the world.

P.S. Your children are adorable and lucky to have these experiences with loving parents.

Reader comment: I just wanted to drop you a note after hearing you tell subscribers you like to purchase pre-1933 gold coins due to their having lower premiums. Personally, I actually find buying random-year, BU (Brilliant Uncirculated) Eagles or, for a little more, premium BU Buffalos actually have cheaper premiums in the long run compared to, say, (BU) $20 Double Eagles, whether Saint-Gaudens or Libertys.

First of all, to fairly compare different coins, they must be rated in the same condition. I chose BU condition on all the coins. The reason I find the premiums to be lower on the modern Eagles and Buffalos is because of the difference in gold content. Eagles and Buffalos contain 1 ounce of gold, while Saint-Gaudens and Libertys contain .9675 ounces of gold. You will find the modern coins normally $10 to $20 dollars cheaper per coin when calculating in this fashion.

Tom, it’s quite possible you like owning the pre-1933 coins, even with the slightly increased premium, due to fear of confiscation, or just the nostalgia factor of such iconic old coins! Either way, you can’t go wrong owning God’s money!

Loved your postcards on your world tour. Take care, get remarried to your beautiful wife, and mentor your wonderful children! 

Tom’s response: Thanks to everyone who wrote in! Kate and I read every one of your notes. Please keep writing us at [email protected].