It all sounds so perfect: You're taking your kids cruising to show them the beauty of the world beyond suburbia, the diversity of cultures, and a different way to live. What kid wouldn't love suffering only a few hours of school each day, then snorkeling or hiking, beachcombing, or just playing under the casuarinas? Many books, blogs, and articles imply that there are plenty of other cruising families out here, that you'll magically find one another, that somehow your plans, budgets, and timelines will dovetail perfectly, and that everyone-children and adults alike-will mix like dark rum and ginger beer. Most important, your children will make lifelong friendships born of a unique way of life. And to some extent, this is true. This really does happen, although in my experience, it mostly happens when you stay in one place for weeks or months at a time, which many of us either can't or won't do.