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Big Crazy Family Adventure is parenting done well and travel gone extreme

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2 Parents + 2 kids +13,000 miles in 3 months = one amazing family vacation

Planning family vacations is harder than ever, and thanks to handheld electronics, kids' attention spans are shorter than ever. Travel expenses continue to rise. And parents feel more guilt than ever about taking time from work. But one family found a way to scoff at the circumstances and make it through an extraordinary adventure.

Meet the Kirkby family: Made up of mom, Christine Pitkanen; dad, Bruce Kirkby; and two adorable kids, Bodi and Taj. After years spent on the road and in foreign lands, Christine and Bruce saw travel as a chance to expose their children to more and bring their family closer together. In a recent conference call, Bruce talked about how the family never really stopped adventuring.

How do you go from taking shorter trips with your kids to final destinations to planning a lingering journey across the globe... without the aid of air travel?

"I think we all have these kind of dream trips or big plans in the horizon," Bruce explained. "And one for Christine and I had been living at a Buddhist monastery, which was the ultimate in disconnection. I’d spent a lot of time in the Himalayas on different expeditions, and Christine had studied Buddhism and also been to the Himalayas. And sometime during the winter we just looked at each other and kind of figured if we don’t do it now, you know, when's there going to be a better time?"

Christine made one mention of avoiding airplanes and Bruce latched on. His father had come to the Kirkby family's homeland of Canada from England, and he came on a boat. But no one travels by boat anymore. Was it even still possible?

In this exclusive clip, Christine and Bruce talk about booking their journey on a cargo ship and show viewers their living space while rolling across the ocean.

Could you live like that? From what we've seen of the Kirkby family's awesome adventure, that might have been the lap of luxury compared to some of the other transportation methods you'll see during the series that follows their trip around the world.

The journey seems both daunting and brilliant all at once. During their adventure, Bruce will come face-to-face with the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the family will kayak and camp and Christine will attempt to navigate the busy city of Seoul with two young kids and no extra help. We're tired after a day with one kid at the flea market — anything more sounds overwhelming.

Yet as we struggle for attention over the iPads and ache to see our kids exposed to something besides their own friends' entitlement, we can't help but start thinking about how awesome it would be to throw technology in the trash, grab some maps and snacks, take the kids and head out.

Before you start booking your cargo ship suite, though, tune in to Big Crazy Family Adventure on the Travel Channel, debuting on Father's Day at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. CT).

More on family travel

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