To outsiders, Faye and Matthew Gooding and their five young sons appear to have perfect lives.
Indeed, more than 32,000 people follow them on Instagram, where Mrs Gooding posts beautiful photos of life in their four-bedroom detached house in a sought-after village near Lincoln.
For the couple themselves, however, this ‘materially perfect world’ was lacking something – so now they are giving up all their possessions to travel round the world with Ralph, nine, Judah, seven, Hunter, four, and twins Freddie and Jasper, ten months.
This was the last Christmas that the couple, who run a mortgage broking business, will spend in their home, which has already been sold. Most of their belongings have gone too.
Shortly their Ford Galaxy car will be sold – and the family will take just one backpack each.
Mrs Gooding, 33, said: ‘Some friends and family think Matt and I are mad to be giving up so much. It’s been incredibly difficult getting rid of so many possessions – Christmas was strange as we didn’t exchange lots of presents as we usually do.
‘Selling our house, which we’ve completely refurbished over the past couple of years, is sad. But getting rid of so many possessions has been liberating.’
The couple made their decision after Freddie and Jasper were born.
‘Getting pregnant with the twins was a shock,’ said Mrs Gooding. ‘Yet rather than enjoying spending time with the boys, I found myself cleaning the house all day. The older ones were at school and I thought, “I hardly see them”.
‘I admitted how I felt to Matt. He agreed it felt as if our lives revolved around material things – both of us working to pay the mortgage and keep ourselves in our materially perfect world.’
Last summer the couple put their house on the market. And in September the older children didn’t return to school, with Mrs Gooding teaching them at home instead.
‘When we told the older boys they were so excited they were going to have so much time as a family. It made us realise no amount of toys or material possessions compensates for time spent with your children.
‘They’ve had to give away many toys, bikes and books. However, although they can only take a small rucksack each of possessions – we gave each of them a rucksack for Christmas – they can’t wait to go.’
They will leave this month and plan to start their travels in Sweden where they have friends.
Mr Gooding, 36, said: ‘The older boys will plot where we go next but we hope to see Europe and over two years travel as far as Japan, America, Bali and Thailand. While they won’t go to school, Faye and I feel they will learn more than ever on our travels.’
The couple have taken on extra staff in Britain and plan to run their business from abroad.
Mrs Gooding, who posts on Instagram as mother_of_five_boys, added: ‘People have said “aren’t you worried about stability and security?” – particularly as we have five small children. It is a risk because we are giving up so much. But we can’t wait to spend more time with our sons without the stresses of everyday routines.
‘We don’t know what will happen, but we do know if we didn’t do this we would always regret it.’