A couple of years ago, my wife and I hatched a crazy plan: We’d abandon our D.C. suburb and spend a year traveling around the world with our daughters, living in four very different places—New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and small-town Kansas—to explore what family life is like outside our parenting bubble. We were feeling really frustrated by how insanely busy our life was and how cloistered our kids seemed, and we thought we needed to do something about it before it was too late.

This is the story of that trip, the various ways I screwed it up, and what we learned.



Here are some things that reviewers have said about the book:

”A hilarious and honest book about how wherever you (and your kids) go, there you (and their screens) are.”
–Real Simple

”Kois is a self-aware, menschy, and amusing guide to this adventure, picking apart what you can leave behind, what you can pick up along the way, and what will follow you wherever you are.”

”Delightful … This ‘foolhardy jaunt’ into experimental family life-hacking consistently pleases and surprises.”
Publishers Weekly

”Refreshingly relatable.”

”Discuss this book with people you care about, who also care about you.”
Los Angeles Times

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I didn’t include footnotes in the book, but I’ve made a list of the articles, essays, tweets, books, reports, and 1990s shoe-store jingles I used in reporting and writing How to Be a Family here.


I also recorded an audio version of the book, with the help of my wife and kids. If you would like to listen to us talk for like nine hours, please enjoy.


While we were on the trip, my children created a YouTube channel called “GloboGirls.” Feel free to enjoy all their videos and join the channel’s 48 subscribers.