When we decided to take an international work assignment in Switzerland in 2007, we knew it would change our lives, but what we did not know is how our lives would change.

This small country has offered our eyes visions that we didn’t know were possible.  We are still in complete “awe” each time we venture into the Alps.  There is magic in those mountains. The fields of wildflowers, the crystal lakes and the fresh air are unimaginable, even after all these years we still adore our new home. We also relish in our proximity to the rest of Europe and enjoy exploring this part of the globe. There is something so intoxicating, so educational about travel, it leaves a mark on you; it changes you and makes you a different person.

We are different people and we are raising our children differently as well.  We recall with giddy smiles, the times we met old farmers in small villages, watching the sun set in glory over famous Swiss peaks, walking through monasteries in Portugal, seeing the village where our ancestors were from, taking in the Tour de France with fresh eyes and sharing those incredible experiences with our two children. We have taken in crystal calm waters, felt completely engrossed with architecture, and spent countless hours in remarkable museums. We have learned more about our relationship as a couple, and learned more about ourselves as individuals by moving abroad.

Each time we enter a new country we feel transformed, and we are teaching our children what it means to respect other people, other cultures and other customs; all the while raising them in a multi – cultural environment that is Basel.

This experience is vast and joyful and that is why we have come to share it with you.


Many people wonder how we afford to travel so frequently.  The answer is simple, we make sacrifices on a daily basis to allow for this way of life.  We do not own cars, a home, send our children to private schools, employ a housekeeper, or purchase things we do not need; simply put, we would rather collect memories than possessions.


Find us on Instagram: Fresh Air Kids and RSchoutens

Or pick-up a copy of our latest book, Fresh Air Kids Switzerland –  52 Inspiring Hikes That Will Make Kids and Parents Happy!  Happy trails!


photo credit: HELVETIQ



35 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate your like on my Foggy Morning photograph. I am very excited to discover your blog and I look forward to reading your updates for you are doing what I dream of, and will do one day. I just haven’t figured out the ‘how’ part of it yet. 🙂 Here’s to exploration and adventures!

    1. Not sure what the picture is of…if you describe it, we will be able to provide the exact location. Our banner rotates, so being able to identify the photo might be a bit tricky. Sorry.

    1. Thank you for the nomination – we are truly grateful! We are so happy to hear that you are enjoying our blog! We will have a look and be in touch. Until then, happy travels! Melinda and Robert

  2. I came to see who you are after you commented on a recent post of mine. (Transitional Learning Curves). Thanks for your comment. I really like your site and your writing. So much good information, personally written. Keep enjoying.

    1. Thank you for your response and it appears as though the services you provide are very valuable to individuals in unique situations. All the best to you!

  3. Hi M and R,
    I am so jealous of what you guys have chosen to do. This blog, and your photos make me want to pick up and run to another country. Everything you say about traveling teaching you so much about yourself is true for me too. Since our ASB trip back in, oh jeez, 2000 maybe, I have also spent a lot of time traveling and it has certainly enriched my life and helped me understand who I am, what I want from life, and who I want in it. You guys are inspiring and I’m honored to have called you friends! Someday before you guys venture back to the US for good, I’d love to come see your home away from home :). Love your blog and the photos so much! Hugs


    1. Erin, thanks for the kind comments regarding the blog. We are grateful for this experience, and honestly, we plan to be here for awhile, so if a trip to Switzerland is in the forecast for you and your husband, please let us know. We would love to show you around and introduce you to some of our favorite spots. Keep traveling, keep exploring and definitely keep in touch!
      All the best!
      P.S. Yeah, spring break was rather epic and our group was incredible!

  4. Hi! I know this is out of topic but I have just published an eBook on Amazon entitled “Budget Traveler’s Guide to Manila, Philippines.” The book is an experience-based guide to traveling on a budget in Metro Manila for backpackers, travelers, and culture seekers.

    If you are interested in the book, you can download it through this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KNN4ZGE

    If it happens that you know backpackers who are interested and are planning to travel to the Philippines, I will appreciate if you will refer the book.

    Big thanks!

  5. We came to your blog because you liked ours. As expats in Chile we share your sense of adventure, lack of a car and keeping our purchases to a minimum so we can explore South America. We’re now following yours because Europe is on our list of places to explore in detail and you have wonderful pictures and very useful content on your blog. Thanks for blogging.

    1. Thank you for taking a look at our blog. Should your journey ever bring you to Europe, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. All the best with your adventures in Chile.

  6. Can you supply the photographer contact information for the beautiful photo of the toddler on the hillside with the blue sky and puffy clouds. Thank you.

      1. Yes, that is the page I am looking at and the first picture. My church has just updated its mission statement and this photo would be awesome for us to use on a banner we are currently designing. I would like to obtain permission to use this photo and get a copy that the printer’s can use. Thus, I would like to contact R. Schoutens to get permission and a digital file. Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

  7. I literally had goosebumps reading your words – I plan on moving to France in approx 18 months, for all the reasons you described. Sadly I do not have the luxury of having a work assignment and as an Australian without an EU heritage it will be difficult: however anything is possible if you believe. And your words are so apt ‘…We do not own cars, a home, send our children to private schools, employ a housekeeper, or purchase things we do not need; simply put, we would rather collect memories than possessions…’ I too collect memories, and yes it really is quite simple… Thank you for liking my post for it led me to your blog. Cheers, Jen

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you for taking the time to write. Your response was greatly appreciated! We wish you all the best with your new life in France (when you relocate) and hope a work assignment comes your way soon. Maybe our paths will cross at some point, which would be wonderful. Until then, be well and all the best with your collection of memories!
      All the best to you,
      More 2 Explore

  8. Hey. I love your site, so informative yet personal as well. You are an inspiration to so many people for what you’ve done. We are just starting out on our little adventure so if we can have a few of the experiences that you’ve had I’ll be more than pleased. I will certainly be following you from now on. Jon.

    1. Hi Jon, Thanks for stopping by and for your kind compliments. All the best with your new adventure…it is certainly a memorable journey! Enjoy and let us know if you have any questions. Be well!

      1. Any questions? I’ve got hundreds of them. We’re in the final stages of quitting our current life before jetting off on June 1st so just so many little things to do. I must admit that I am finding it difficult not to micro-plan our coming time away though. I’ve always done that for holidays and I’m desperately trying to be laid-back about as much as possible and just leave it to see what happens. Not easy currently. Jonno.

  9. Yes, there is always more to explore which is what keeps me, a travel obsessed mom of 4, going. I so agree with you putting experiences above possessions. We try to do the same as much as possible. I look forward to following you and reading more of your adventures. Cheryl from Canada but soon to be Cairo

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