The travelling Durant family has not only caught the imaginations of Cape Bretoners, but is now attracting attention across North America.
Lindsay Durant, 42, and her husband Cory, 48, sold their home in New Waterford and are currently in the middle of a year-long tour of North America with 11 of their 13 children.
“Whether we go to the grocery store or we go down to the playground, we do get a lot of compliments on our family because we stand out so much,” Lindsay said.
“Even though in the home school community families tend to be larger than other families, that larger is usually around five kids. No matter where we go we are normally the largest family around.”
The Durants, originally from Alberta, first came to Cape Breton in 2004 but moved back out West after eight months. They returned to Cape Breton in 2006, where Cory worked independently as a carpenter and Lindsay continued as a stay-at-home mom home-schooling the children.
Durant said they always planned this year-long trip. Their adult children still at home are ages 18, 19 and 21.
“They were really the reason why this year was the year that was chosen, as two of our children have already left (home),” Lindsay said.
“By next year three more are probably going to be leaving, or on their way to leaving, so it was either now or more kids were going to miss it.”
A daughter Zailynne Durant, 22, is married and lives in Sydney and a son, Kayleb, 24, lives in Prince Edward Island.
“Kayleb already took his full police training in Texas but decided that wasn’t the path he wanted to take. He is currently working and preparing for university but at Christmas flew into Orlando and joined us for 10 days.”
However, the family’s pets are also part of the adventure including dogs Quaker, Eva and Darla as well as cats, Askher, Swan and Freya.
Everything began back in July. Lindsay took the kids on a trip to Prince Edward Island so Cory could get the house ready to sell. In September the house sold and they hit the road in the 15-passenger van they named “Vincent Van’ Go” and their camper, “Trailer Swift.”
“The names were a family effort.”
There is lots of room for the huge family, including at meal time.
“The newer campers have a kitchen inside and also a kitchen outside,” Lindsay said.
Their adventure officially began in October. The Durant family travelled and toured down the East Coast of the United States and, once they hit Florida, stayed for November, December and half of January. Currently they are in Texas until mid-February.
Lindsay said the focus of the trip is sharing the adventure as a family but also for educational reasons.
“We’ve been going to historical sites and national parks,” she said.
“We go to an area and see what’s around there for us to go see. Then we go see it”
Where are the Durantlings?
- Lindsay and Cory Durant of New Waterford are currently on a year-long tour of North America with 11 of their 13 children.
- The family’s adventures can be followed on their travel blog www.wherethedurantlingsare.com or under Where the Durantlings Are on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.
A few of the many spots they’ve stopped at include Manatee Park in Florida and the Everglades National Park. They also toured Williamsburg, Va., a working historical town.
“It was one of the first big towns in America,” she said. “There are people who actually live there.”
The family also visited Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The park interprets the landscape of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
“We didn’t realize how absolutely huge it is,” Lindsay said.
“It’s spanning over hundreds of acres. We really felt rushed through there because it is so big. If we go back there we’re going to plan to be there for a lot longer.”
Next week the family plans to go to the Alamo Mission in San Antonio.
Lindsay said mid-February they will take a month travelling from Texas with a goal to reach British Columbia by March 15. The Durants plan to stay in British Columbia until mid-April and then make their way across Canada.
Lindsay said they will detour back into the central United States from mid-June to mid-July.
“The kids have a home school conference that they will be going to there for novel writing.”
The Durant family will then head back to Canada and plans to be back into the Maritimes by July.
Lindsay said they are a bit behind schedule as their plans to visit Florida “for a few weeks” turned into two-and-a-half months.
"There are a lot of families doing what we’re doing." — Lindsay Durant
Although family togetherness was the highlighted reason for the trip, it wasn’t the only one.
“It was also about missing winter,” she said.
“Once we got to Florida it was so sunny and so beautiful and so warm we stayed for two-and-a-half months. It was just what we needed.”
Everything doesn’t involve touring, there’s lots of family time, she said.
“We’ve gone to beaches and some days we stay around the RV park and the kids go swimming and we hang out with the other families in the parks. There are a lot of families doing what we’re doing.”
Durant said their kids of all ages will play with other kids of all ages, they get along with all families at these parks.
One of the more interesting questions they get asked a lot is whether they have a television.
“We do,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay said what they watch is usually by family vote. They are currently in the midst of all nine seasons of “Touched By An Angel.”
“I had found season two at a thrift shop one day and bought it because I remember liking it when it was on TV. It sat there for about six months before I got my way and we watched it. The kids loved it so much they all pitched in and bought the family all nine seasons for Christmas.”
Life on the road takes away the normal daily regular bills but with a huge family there are lots of costs on the road, she said.
“It’s all about the same,” she said.
Lindsay has a couple of online businesses that she continues on the road including personal mindset coaching through a 24-week course on her website www.moveintoresults.com.
“Helping people to achieve everything they’ve ever dreamed of,” is how she describes the course.
Plans after the trip concludes haven’t been worked out yet but for now people can join the family’s adventures on the road by following their travel blog at www.wherethedurantlingsare.com or under the name, Where the Durantlings Are on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.
Whether or not there will be more Durants, Lindsay said, “probably not.”
“You never know though. We had planned at stopping at 12 and now we have 13.”