This is the question that everybody asks – perhaps in not such a blunt manner – but ultimately it’s what everyone really wants to know. The short answer, we are minimizing our time in more expensive locations and maximizing it in locations where the cost of living is minimal in comparison to home. More on this later…but that’s it in a nutshell.
Carefully. We’ve decided on a backpack each and a purse for mom. We are limited by what we can carry. Due to the ages of the kids and their growing bodies we have to be especially mindful of weight. We are trying to limit it to 5 outfits each, two pairs of shoes (one of which will always be on our feet), and toiletries. Then we have our school books, iPads, cameras, sketch pads, journals … those are the things that really add weight. We are mostly chasing summer so we are only taking a limited amount of cold weather gear. That helps! Backpacks are being packed in the next day or two so we’ll see how things turn out.
I’m thinking there is no better education than traveling RTW. Traveling affords opportunities to be with people from other cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and ages. I’m also thinking we’re up for an adventure. I want my children to learn to take advantage of opportunities and not do things just because that’s the way most people do them. I want to support them in thinking outside of the box. As a parent it seems I’m continuously telling my children no. While an extreme example, there really wasn’t a reason why we couldn’t do this. We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments, plans and compromises but I think they can see that with a lot of hard work it is possible to follow to travel RTW.
This also deserves a longer answer because it has changed as we’ve planned and most likely will continue to change as we travel. The kids call it “mommy school”. I refer to it as “world school”. It’s an international traveling version of homeschooling.
We’ll keep up with math lessons through a nonprofit website called Khan Academy. We’ve also researched books that relate to countries in which we’ll be traveling. The kids will research places we’re going and use our blog to help their writing, researching and communication skills.
Two years ago we were traveling in Australia and met a family that was taking the year to explore their country. One morning as we were leaving our campsite one of the kids posed the question “Mom, can we do that?”. I think my response was “I’m not sure but we can definitely look into it.” The seed was planted and ultimately that’s what led to our current journey. That and perhaps the fact that I think traveling is in my blood and I think, that of my children. If I’m not traveling, I’m thinking about traveling, or planing the next trip. Undeniably I think that’s when we are happiest.