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Why travel with children?
After planning for over two years we have made the decision to both quit our jobs, take the kids out of their respective schools, sell our house (and majority of our possessions) and travel around the world for up to 18 months.
There is no one answer to this question.
- As we get older we realise that time, not money, is what we measure wealth by and time with our children is very important to us.
- As a family we would like to spend more time with the children. They will only be children for a short period of time and every moment spent with them at this young age is priceless.
- We are passionate about traveling and seeing the world. There is too much of the world to see simply by taking vacations.
- We would like to share this with the children, show them other countries and cultures and trust that they will naturally learn from the experience.
- We want to show the children that there are always choices in life, and that if you are brave enough to pursue your passion then you can live a life that you choose, not one that is chosen for you.
- We want to teach them that you can still live and have fun without the many material possessions and technology that exist in our society.
- We want to have no regrets about not following our dreams.
- We want to inspire others to do something too, maybe not on the same scale but to at least visit somewhere new with their children and believe that they can do it with kids!
Despite all of the above; we are not going into this thinking it will be anything less than very hard work. Looking after kids is challenging at the best of times, but in strange lands and being together for a long time will certainly take its toll. There will be bad days that’s for sure. However there would be bad days if we stayed at home too, so we will be taking the risk and going.
What about education?
As parents we are ultimately responsible for our children’s education. We are not qualified teachers, and we are not going to attempt to replicate a teachers job while we are away. We believe that English and Maths are the two key subjects that we will need to keep the kids up to speed with.
The children are already subscribed to Mathletics, which also includes great worksheets we can print off to compliment the online work. In addition we will use Khan Academy too. Away from the formal maths websites we will be using every opportunity to fit maths into every day travel life (currency and money transactions, estimating distance and time, pizza and fruit fractions!!).
Our daughter is beginning to learn to read and we will be taking on this challenge while away. To this end we will be reading as much as possible with her and will also subscribe to Reading Eggs to assist whenever we can get online. The children will write a journal each day – this is the one thing we are keen for them to do.
The children may even pick up Spanish as we travel through South and Central America!
With Maths and English our main focus we will leave the trip itself to educate the children along with their curiosity in other aspects. It’s a concept called Worldschooling. To learn from the world around us.
Geography and History will be all around us in each place we visit. We would like the children to be able to name the capital city of each of the countries we visit. What better way to assist learning about a volcano than visiting one? Or wander around Machu Picchu for a day and imagine how the Incas lived?
Learning about the natural world will come easily on our trip. We hope to view blue whales, the largest animal to exist on the planet, while in Sri Lanka. To stand each side of the equator while in Ecuador and marvel at mountains and glaciers in Patagonia. You get the idea!
Where are we going?
There is a plan, however with most travel plans we know that things may change along the way and we will be flexible. Just buying one way tickets where possible, to allow for any changes will give us this flexibility.
The plan at the moment is to travel for up to 18 months – though we don’t have any set timescale. We aim to visit Sri Lanka first followed by South East Asia. We will then go to Australia where we have friends and family before heading to South America. We aim to take the kids to Easter Island before travelling up through South America and into Central America. We will continue north until we reach Mexico where we’ll spend a bit of time.
Depending on how we are doing at this stage, and assuming we’ve even managed that, we may also head up to Canada to visit friends.
Do you have any concerns?
Yes. Lots. If we didn’t have any concerns in selling everything we own and heading off into the relative unknown with our children in tow we’d need our heads examined.
Sickness, crime and natural disasters are some of the things we constantly worry about. We also worry about what we are leaving behind – family, friends, good careers and a house. We worry about the children’s education, will they fit back into school okay?
Ultimately we have weighed it all up and have still concluded we should take the risk and go. Family and friends will be here when we return. We are backing ourselves to be able to get good jobs again. A house is just another possession, we know that we can rent if we can’t own when we return. We believe the children will learn so much from the experiences on the trip which simply can’t be replicated in the classroom and return more confident. We will continue to support them both in their education on our return as best we can.
Currently our son feels he is behind at school because he isn’t meeting the age group standards set by the government. His teachers do an amazing job, but we hope that by taking him on this trip he will learn that he is an individual, that all children in his age grade are individuals, and that he should aspire to simply do the best he can and not feel that he is a failure because of a benchmark set by someone who doesn’t know him.
Wow, you’re brave!
However in conclusion we only have one life and we are choosing to live this life to its fullest while we can. It may all go badly wrong, but we are going to give it a go anyway! We welcome you all to follow our journey over the coming months…..