Worldschooling with 4 kids:
My Travel Origin Story (Part 3)
Planning an Around-the-World Trip
I know what everyone really wants to know is… HOW?! We get this question (or something like "how can you afford this?") ALL the time. It's what prompted me to start writing my story.
I have time, our first flight is 4 hours and 40 minutes, with no in-flight entertainment! Ha ha. So here I am.
I’m already amazed at the amazing-ness of humans… we are sitting beside the nicest young man who switched spots with my daughter, eager to see out the window- shared his candies, and helped me struggle to get the wifi/movies to work on my cellphone so that she would have something to do the whole flight. Humans are sooo good. One thing I’m looking forward to is meeting more amazing humans. Connection is my jam.
How We Got Here
The idea to go somewhere for the winter was actually from my husband, JD. He had a dream to winter in South-East Asia one day, somewhere he had gone to as a youth and fallen in love with. What he really wanted was to spend the winter on an island that you could find in a James Bond movie, minus the villains haha. We didn’t actually think it would happen… but as we looked more into buying a house and settling down, nothing felt right.
We spent a good chunk of time in Hawaii this winter, the first flight all 6 of us had taken (did I mention that I have 4 kids? At the time of writing the post on this flight there are 3 boys- 16, 14, and 10, and one little girl- 7). Travelling went pretty well, rough patches for sure, but overall it was a great experience. As we travelled slowly to Alberta and BC for the last 2 years, and thought some more, nowhere permanent seemed to feel right to settle down yet. We printed off a map of North America, researching what was most important to us (church, home-schooling community, weather, nature), and still, it didn’t sit right. The more we looked into it, the more confused we felt.
The Answer Comes
One night as we were chatting, the thought occurred to me that if we didn’t travel this year, we’d have to do it without our oldest, as he is in grade 12 this year. That pretty much cemented the idea of travelling full-time (and internationally) for the year. Our goal initially was just South-East Asia (like JD had wanted for so long), but it’s ballooned into so much more than that- circumnavigate the entire globe for the whole school year- spending about the same amount of money to live as we do right now (which is a pretty lofty goal, but we'll see!).
This was a pretty big idea- but things started falling into place as soon as we made the choice. I tracked flights on Google Flights and Skyscanner, I looked for countries with easy visa requirements and low cost of living compared to Alberta. I joined worldschooling FB groups and connected with dozens of people around the world doing the same thing as us.
We started planning our journey bit by bit, and are allowing it to come with ease and flow… we aren’t rushed in trying to “make it happen”, but we are taking it as it comes, and leaning into our intuition (like always). Not everything has been a breeze… but we’ve found cheap flights, great longer-term rentals, train rides, and excursions that will be amazing.
My Accommodation Tips
My Airbnb tips: I look for a place within an hour or so of an airport. I look for something that can house 6 of us, with good wifi, and close to public transportation, but about an hour or more outside of a bigger city center… to get the best deals. I message the host and get them to do an Internet speed test and send me their speeds, to guarantee it will be enough for our online work (which I did NOT do for our first privately found rental, and that was a bad idea). I also search around the area and make sure that we’ll be able to take public transportation pretty easily, so we won’t have to rent cars as often (hopefully barely at all). We also look around for private rentals through worldschooling communities, because they tend to be much lower than Airbnb/VRBO. I make sure that the Airbnb has a good cancellation policy, in case something private comes up that I would rather pick.
Our Plans For Travelling, Homeschooling
4 Kids and Working
We plan on working a few days out of each week and homeschooling on those days too (I’ll be strictly adhering to my 10-hr work week, on Mondays and Tuesdays and homeschooling the other hours of those days). The rest of our education will come through learning by living: history, religion, geography, art, etc as we travel. I can’t wait for this part! It’ll look really different than what school at home looks like- and I’m excited for that adventure alone.
We are planning on staying in most places for around a month, and we don’t book flights until a good deal comes up. We plan the general month- where we’ll be and a few bigger things we’ll do- and then let the rest of it go. We are heading to Europe first- during the off-season, which helps, and plan on being there until December or so.
And We're Off!
The cheapest flights to Europe we could find were out of NYC (when we were looking, there have been some amazing deals since then directly out of YYC, so we for sure could have waited)- which works well for us, because we have family there we’ve been trying to visit this year- so that’s where we’re starting! We love hanging out with them, and we love the sights and museums of NYC... it's a super fun place to start our grand adventure! Watch out for next week's post all about NYC.
I’d love to answer more questions for any of you, as they come up, so feel free to email me at [email protected], and I'll respond or make a blog post or podcast episode to answer.
Our current itinerary: NYC for 6 days, London for 3 on the way to Athens for a few days. Train/bus to Patras, where we’ll be staying for the rest of October. Italy in November based just out of Rome. At the end of November, we’ll head to a few other countries. Stay tuned for more, as we continue to plan our trip as we go!
Regulate Your Emotions While Travelling (and life-ing)
Emotional regulation is hard to teach if:
1) You have a deeply feeling or Neurodiverse kiddos that has a hard time with big feelings.
2) You haven't been taught how to feel your own feelings (in childhood if your own big emotions weren't talked about, safe to be expressed, understood, or validated this can feel especially tough).
To help get you started on your own journey of feelings, and to help you teach your kids about emotions... I've designed a custom Feelings Wheels that helps you recognize and identify what emotion you are feeling. Put your info in below and I will send it to you (and I'll email over a quick list of tips to get you started)!
Awareness is the first step to self-regulation and co-regulation with your children.
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