Crafton Family of 5 Now Back on Land in Maryland After Sailing Around World for 7 Years

"We tried not to leave footprints as we traveled," he said. "I think they had more to teach us than we could teach them."

The Craftons bartered for food. In a world where everything was biodegradable, a single plastic bottle could get them bunches of bananas and a sack full of fish. At times, they survived on canned food. One time, they ate canned tuna for 43 days.

The family spent the greatest amount of time in New Zealand, falling in love with the country's massive sand mountains and the people. They called it home for a year and a half from November 2006 until May 2008.

It was in New Zealand that they decided to begin heading back towards the West.

"We made a conscious decision to be with our parents, who are getting older, and have them know our children," Kathy Crafton said.

Sing-Sing Festival in New Guinea

The family admitted that it was hard to miss holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Tom Crafton lamented that he wasn't there when his brother's only daughter died.

The family realized that, now that their children were approaching adulthood, it was time for them to return to the United States and create their own lives.

Their trip back was just as adventurous as the outbound trip.

The family visited a sing-sing festival in Papua New Guinea, where 30 tribes in a remote village sing and dance for three days. They were the first white people ever to see the ancient ritual.

As the family inched closer to home, they heard an odd noise: planes overhead. It'd been nearly a year since the family had heard the noise of planes.

Craftons Return to the U.S.

The family docked where they began their journey -- in Severna Park, Md.

They've begun the process of adjusting but can't let go of their beloved Nueva Vida. They're still living in the same tiny boat where they grew closer over treacherous seas and in foreign lands.

"It like a cocoon to us. It's so comforting now," Tom Crafton said. "She's kind of like part of our family now."

The biggest lesson from all of their travels is that the people who owned the least smiled the most.

"We wouldn't change a moment of it," Kathy Crafton said. "We often laugh that our only regret is not doing it earlier. That's our only regret."

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