Pearce on Earth

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Hi, we’re the Pearce family — Brandon, Jennifer, Emily, Marie, & Aysia. We’re originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve been traveling as a family for 9 years now, visiting around 40 countries, with various home bases along the way in Costa Rica (Aysia was born during our time here), Bali (Indonesia), Victoria (Canada), and San Miguel de Allende (Mexico). We enjoy traveling with friends, taking classes & learning new things wherever we are. We also enjoy hosting events such as the Family Adventure Summit & the At Home in the World retreats for families who value incorporating travel into their lifestyle.

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We are currently visiting Transylvania, Romania where we’re doing a beta run of the At Home in the World Family Retreat.

What do you love about this place?

There is such beautiful nature here, a really unique language & culture, fun traditions & festivals, delicious cuisine, beautiful gardens, and hardworking people.

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Anything you don’t like?!

Nothing specific comes to mind.

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What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

Only one, the language mainly spoken in this part of Romania is Hungarian, which is quite a challenging language to learn.

How’s the food!

We really enjoy their amazing bread, dumplings, cheese, fresh produce, and the variety of delicious soups & pastas.

Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

We took an overnight bus ride (which was our best & most economical option), an eleven hour journey, to get here, which felt a bit daunting, but we made it through surprisingly well.

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

Make friends with the locals; they’re your best resource.

Plan plenty of rest and integration time into your journey.

Attend local markets, festivals, and activities.

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Staying longer-term (at least 1 month) can significantly reduce accommodation and transportation costs. Brandon made a video and post with other tips for saving money on accommodations here.

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What do you miss, if anything?

There are certain people and classes we miss, but we really appreciate the variety of different things we experience in the places we travel, so we’re usually enjoying where we’re at instead of missing where we aren’t.

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What advice would you give to other families planning on travelling?

Allow yourself to simplify, focus on appreciation, connect to your inner calm, remember love is what matters most, bring as much sensory presence as possible to each moment (including your intuitive sense), and enjoy the journey.

Where can we find you?!

PearceOnEarth.com

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Smith Family Robinson

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My name is Ruth and I am travelling with my husband Mark and 2 kids, Wilf (10) and Megan (8). We live in Cornwall in the UK and have been travelling south from Cuba through central and South America since November 2017. We’re trying to make our trip plastic free wherever possible.-

My first big trip was in my 20’s with a friend across Australia, New Zealand and Asia and I’ve loved independent travel ever since. I love the adventure of turning up somewhere with no plans and seeing where fate takes you. 

Before the kids came along we travelled around Ecuador, and then Guatemala when I was pregnant with my son. We fell in love with the simplicity of life, and how kids can always be found tagging along or tied over a shoulder. It really influenced how we approached parenting and we decided then that we would return when the kids were old enough. 

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Fast forward 10 years and here we are! It’s involved a lot of hard work and some sacrifices along the way. We relocated and built a business from scratch which involved Mark missing out on much of the children’s early years, so making the trip happen also became a mission to spend time with the kids before they were too old. 

Fortunately our school thought the trip was a great idea, but we had to give up our school places. I’m a teacher so it’s easy for me to make sure the kids aren’t falling behind at school, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for school places when we get back. 

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We are currently exploring Lake Titicaca and just crossed the border from Peru to Bolivia. We spent 7 weeks exploring Peru - each country has taken so much longer than planned! There has been so much to see and the Peruvian Andes are beyond spectacular. It’s impossible to convey in images or words just how vast and beautiful they are. So far we have had only positive experiences with people in all of the countries we’ve visited and we’re pretty sure we have a better experience travelling with kids, especially when they speak in their best Spanish.

 

Unfortunately the culture and infrastructure is really struggling to cope with the volume of rubbish here, and even the most remote of places haven’t escaped the scourge of disposable plastic, which is really sad. I think in all honesty this has been the biggest challenge so far. With a bit of planning, a bit of Spanish and some flexibility we’ve managed to avoid any travel challenges along the way (although I suppose it depends on how you react to a broken down boat on the Amazon river or an electrocuting shower!). 

 

The last time we were here smart phones didn’t exist. I hate to admit it but whilst it’s made the experience different, I’ve definitely appreciated access to travel apps and blogs. 

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How's the food?!

The kids are adapting really well to being in different cultures and countries and they’ve both eaten things they wouldn’t have touched at home. We’ve had some really delicious food - spicy peanut Empanadas de Popayan in Colombia, Pachamanca in Huaraz, Peru and lots of street food. Surprisingly it’s been really hard to find drinks, although this is partly down to my refusal to buy plastic. There are lots of fresh juices but that can get expensive...the kids are happy though, they’ve had more fizzy drinks this year than all their years so far! We also have a travel water filter so we’ve avoided buying lots of bottled water, which keeps me motivated to filter enough water for 4 on a hike. 

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

We had some really special experiences in Peru, and the best ones started out as some of the most random! 

  • We visited a tiny mountain village called Leymebamba for its Museum of Mummies. We found an amazing trek purely by chance, and spent 3 days in the pouring rain walking and pony trekking to see the original mausoleum where the mummies were found. It was hard going, 3/4 of us fell off our horses and we were cold and wet but the kids were total troopers and we’ll remember it forever!
  • After a long boat trip down then Amazon we arrived in Leticia with no accomodation booked. We found a hostel with a very enthusiastic Colombian, who recommended a jungle lodge in a tiny village up the amazon called Puerto Narino. We did a quick search and the village looked great, so we said yes...arriving after a two hour boat ride there was no-one to meet us and we had no way of contacting them. The village only had a couple of ‘roads’ marked on a simple map, easy we thought, we’ll walk. Then the rain came. We walked further and further away from civilisation. After an hour of searching, soaked through and muddy we eventually found the lodges we had booked. The place was certainly a few years past it’s best, but we were the only people there, which meant we had boat trip to Laguna Tarapota all to ourselves. We went in the evening after the rain stopped and had the most magical time watching  river dolphins. There were Delfines Rosada passing under our little boat and the grey river dolphins gave us a personal show jumping and playing in the sunset. It was completely magical, and appreciated all the more when we saw the tour boats heading out the following morning. The return trip to Iquitos took over 18 hours after the engines failed on the boat. The Amazon river suddenly looks a whole lot bigger when you’re calculating the possibilities of swimming to the bank!
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Can you give us your best tips for making it work?

Best budget tips:

Consider independent trips rather than tours, there are lots of great travel blogs to help out with organising your own trips.

Look for accommodation with breakfast included, buying breakfast for 4 can make a big dent in the daily budget.

Opt for the ‘Almuerzo’ fixed lunch menu, often you can eat for less than buying the food in a supermarket.

Research bus prices as the price often changes at different times of day or bus company and you can save on accomodation with a night bus. 

Speak Spanish with a smile! Even basic Spanish helps to avoid being taken advantage of with taxi fares, shopping and tour prices.

Be selective about what your must-see activities are. Paying for four all the time quickly adds up so we’ve had to miss out on some trips, but a bit of planning and being open to tips & suggestions from locals along the way helps to make everything more do-able.

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Travel with kids tips:

Each of the kids has a little gym bag of very small toys, Lego has been a complete lifesaver. 

We asked family for travel presents for birthdays before we left, so they also have a Kindle each to keep up with reading.

Accept that it’s going to be a slower journey than travelling single. We’ve been able to do all the big adventures other travellers dream of but we factor in down time for the kids to be kids. Often this means being in one place for longer and having ‘nothing’ days, hanging out and playing Lego. This is especially true after early starts and night buses.

Our kids are school age so a year away from friends is a big deal. Video calls have been a great way for them to keep in touch and chat to friends and family. A SIM card or contract abroad can be really expensive. We’re tied-in to our contract deal at home but it means we can use WhatsApp or FaceTime with WiFi for free. 

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

I’ll be honest, I’ve had some heart-in-the-mouth moments on every form of transport, and I do sometimes question if we’re being foolhardy, but I balance my fears with the reality that this is how most of the world travels everyday. At the end of the day the experiences we’ve had totally outweigh the moments of fear...and the kids just think most of it is great fun!

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What do you miss, if anything?

The weather is amazing in Cornwall right now and we definitely miss home in the sunshine, but mostly we just feel so lucky to be experiencing new cultures and to have an awesome place to call home. We’re planning to go home in October, but I’m dreaming of new adventures for the future!

Where can we find you?!

Instagram @beachcleanerbeach 

Facebook page: beachcleanerbeach

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The Watkins Three

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We are Kate (30), Lee (36) & Toddler Z (1) currently 3 weeks into travelling Europe in a Motorhome.

Lee & I have been together 4 years & married 2. Both myself & Lee have always travelled, lived & worked abroad, we have never seemed to have found a place to settle as such. When we first got married we talked of wanting to travel Europe in a campervan in hopes of maybe finding somewhere to make some roots so we set about trying to make that happen. We found ourselves living & working in Dubai for just over 2 years to build up some travel funds, unexpectedly but happily we found out we were expecting our first baby, so our plans now just needed room for a little one.

 

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

Lake Wolfgang in Austria, this is country number three for us, we started in France then through Germany to here.

What do you love about this place?

Austria scenery is the most magical we have seen so far on our tour.

Anything you don’t like?!

Right now the torrential rain and thunderstorms are currently making adventures a little challenging to say the least!

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What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

1. Travelling with a toddler is a challenge for sure, everything seems to take a lot more planning & our adventures are very different than if we were travelling as a couple. That said having the chance to spend all of our time as a family & just seeing how much Z is thriving from the experience is enough to make us want to continue for as long as possible.

2. Trying to find the right balance of driving, working and exploring. We are only a few weeks in so we are still adjusting to living in a van. Unlike having a house with a spare room or an office to go to and having a set daily 9-5 routine, juggling getting things done living in a small space can be hard, especially when there is so much to see and do.

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How’s the food!

Meals out with a toddler aren't the easiest so we have fully embraced local markets in each country & enjoy cooking up local dishes. I have to say all of the bread,  cheese and wine in France was a favourite!

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

So far our SatNav has given us numerous interesting and anxiety inducing experiences.  From tiny bridges to steep hairpin mountain roads and cobbled streets, all of which aren’t much fun in a large Motorhome, must use the map instead.

Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

1. Keep to a rough routine, Z has always loved his routine, we have found that he is much more settled when we try & plan the day around him having his familiar nap & bedtimes & we don’t find it hinders our travelling or experiences at all.

2. Find that balance. Just like we have working schedules at home we have found that we need to try & replicate this a little while on the road. Ensuring that each of us can take time in the day to do some work or even just take time out to exercise and share the childcare.

3. Enjoy the moment. We are constantly wanting to explore the next place, the next country and we have really found that a slower pace is much more enjoyable and important to remember. For Z right now he just loves to be outdoors, toddling & playing, when we soak that up and just let that happen we have some of the best times.

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Our plan was to always have some savings behind us but to try and work on the road as we go. We hope that by doing that we do not have to have an end date for our adventures. We have given ourselves a budget & are seeing how we get on, taking advantage of free rest stops and limiting our eating out spending is certainly helping to keep us on track.

What do you miss, if anything?

Our extended tribe of friends and family. We are more than used to being away from loved ones with living in Dubai, it doesn’t make it any easier though. As mamas we always wonder if we are doing the right thing and I do worry that Z is missing out, so we have planned some trips back to visit family & are getting them to come & meet us along the way.

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their family?

Go for it. If travelling with your tribe is something that you really want to happen then find a way to make it happen. I had a lot of anxiety about travelling with Z and often felt that maybe we should settle in a house and have a ‘typical’ life, but my overwhelming feeling was that time spent travelling with him as a family would make us all much happier, so far I am right.

Where can we find you?!

Instagram: thewatkinsthree

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Those Girls Wander

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Hi I’m Amy and I have been travelling Australia for 18 months with my two children aged 6 & 10. We were living in Fremantle, Western Australia, a beautiful coastal city.

I set off with no real plans, barely any savings, and no time frame as to how long we would be gone for, just the desire to see the horizon stretching out in front of us and the longing for the freedom to chose the direction.

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There was no real planning when it came it leaving. It seemed that events conspired to propel us in that direction.

Our ‘ tiny home on wheels’ is a 4WD single cab Landcruiser ute with a unique custom made fixed camper on the tray section. It has solar power, a large fridge, plenty of storage. It is a 2 berth however we have added an extra bed to give us all our own sleeping space. The major selling point being that is was 4WD.

The girls were amazed and ‘wowed’ when they saw it. Its not like anything a regular mum would drive.

For starters, we set out sights on the Tamworth Country Music Festival 6 weeks and nearly 4000 kms away! I thought if at least we made it there, and it turned out that it wasn’t working for the girls, I would be happy to head back. But life on the road suited us. I think we had all had such a topsy turvy few years in the city, that having the open road in front of us, and making team decisions about where we went and where we stayed, gave us a purpose and the freedom we hadn’t had for a long time.

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We’ve swam on beaches of pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters, walked through the ancient Daintree rainforest, watched baby turtles emerge from their sandy nests after hatching and scurry to the waters edge, hiked to the top of waterfalls and swam in the water when we get to the bottom. We’ve been in the ocean with dolphins, camped in national parks and spotted wildlife in their natural habitat, helped on working farms and stations, splashed in puddles at the iconic Uluru as the rain fell to the dusty red earth. We’ve watched the sky present a show of pinks, oranges, red and purples as it showed off magnificent sunsets in isolated places with nothing to obstruct the view. Met people of many ages and backgrounds from dinner on a farm with young French backpackers, to sharing a meal of freshly caught fish with retired couples, we’ve spent time with farmers, widowers, bush kids, people with disabilities, other parents travelling with their children both from here and from other parts of the world.

The variety of people we have spent time with since we started this trip could not be compared with any other year in my children's life. All the good we have needed, we have found, all the kindness and generosity of the human spirit we have experienced.

When I got out of the space of living a life society tells you to live, I’ve found more acceptance of myself, situation and what brought me to this place in the first place that I was desperately seeking. I know that what we went through prior to travelling and the difficulties we faced and overcome were leading to bigger better things, I just had to trust the process.

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We aren’t travelling in luxury staying in resorts, hotels, airbnbs or even caravan parks. We travel cheap and stick to a budget. Doing house-sitting along the way has allowed us to live in a town and get to know it while looking after pets and gardens of the owners while themselves take sometime away. Help-X has been another way we have saved money and gained experienced. The system works on the basis of the host providing accommodation and food in exchange for so many hours of work a day. The kids pitch in and they have jobs to do, such as feeding the animals, collecting the eggs etc. Help-X has given us experiences that we would not have otherwise been afforded. The kids have had to milk the cow before breakfast if they wanted milk on weetbix, picking the veggies for dinner from the garden, watching the sheep being shawn and helping sort out the wool, to hold newborn piglets only to be eating roast pork for dinner that night, absolute raw real life stuff. They have experienced life without a Coles or Woolies to duck out to and grab dinner.

 

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A lot of our camping has been in free camps, cheap camps or national parks. In 18 months we haven’t yet racked up 3 weeks staying at a caravan park and the times we have been at one has been when a severe storm was coming, Cyclone Debbie. What I’m getting at is that travel doesn’t need to cost a fortune and there are many ways to travel cheaper. Its seeing it as a way of life, rather than a holiday.

 

What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

The advise I would give mums that want to get out there is do it! Go away on weekends and holidays. The more you do the more you figure out what does and doesn’t work for you, what you do and don’t need. If I hadn’t spent so many nights away when I had the caravan, Im not sure I would have packed and set off and throw caution to the wind as I did.

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Where abouts are you right now?

I am in Western Australia to visit family. We’ve spent the sometime housesitting in Margaret River and we have just spent 2 weeks in Broome. A friend had rented an apartment there but was not yet using it so offered it to us to use in the meantime. What an opportunity! Free accommodation! Being open to opportunities and saying yes more often lead us to enjoying the sun on the famous Cable Beach while we wait for our new passports to arrive and then we are off to travel New Zealand.

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What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

The three most challenging aspects of travelling are: financial worry - thinking about the budget for the fortnight and fuel, food and accommodation costs and meeting ongoing bill costs (eg car rego, insurance etc); doing absolutely everything on your own, not having another adult to make and share these memories with and having no back up to take the reins; in the beginning I would have said all the people that say ‘you can’t do that’, or ‘what are you thinking doing it without a male’ comments like that bothered me to begin with, however they now don't as it shows up their insecurities, or boundaries of their upbringing or how programmed by society they are. Which used to be me too. Looking at it from a different perspective I see it as a compliment. So now all I get is compliments! So either I’m only hearing what I want to hear, or because Ive changed Im attracting different people.

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Make your own meals, have a go to meal plan. My girls like food basic, which is great and easy. Clean simple meals don’t need to cost a bomb. Then when you do go out to eat it is significant and valued. Save for experiences. my girls are very aware of ‘experience not things’ and they don’t even want or ask for junk anymore, they want experiences.

Where can we find you?!

You can find us on Instagram @thosegirlswander

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Senah Somewhere

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My name is Ahnah Han. I am a Korean-American (born and raised in California) living in Singapore with my husband, Chris, and our 2 year old daughter, Senah. I was a 1st grade teacher before my daughter was born. Now I am a full-time mom.

My husband and I thought our traveling days were behind us once our daughter, Senah, was born. Little did we know that we would take her on her first flight when she was just over 2 months old. She is now 2 years old and has been to 16 countries! She’s been to the United States, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Maldives, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, India and Brunei. Senah and I try to twin in the traditional outfit of every country we visit. 

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When Senah was 11 months old, we visited Tirta Empul Temple in Bali, Indonesia. We were wearing matching dresses I found in a mall in Singapore. I put on a sarong before we entered the temple to cover my exposed legs and decided to put one around Senah too. After the trip was over, the photo of us in our matching sarongs at the temple was my favorite from the trip, and I was inspired to try to replicate it in our travels.

I usually find the traditional outfits by connecting with a local shop, with the help from my instagram/facebook community or hotel. Before our trip to Vietnam, I met someone through Instagram whose sister made pretty ao dais, and she kindly asked her sister to make one for me and my baby! We even met up in Ho Chi Minh City for coffee so she could hand deliver the outfits to me. I was extremely touched as it was Labor Day weekend and she had plans to take a bus down to visit her family, but she took the time and effort to help us.

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Before our recent trip to Chennai, India, I met a wonderful Chennaite woman through Girls Love Travel. She saw our twinning photos and graciously offered to help us plan our trip. Not only did she write out an itinerary for us, she came and met us to give us a tour of Chennai! She truly represented the kind and hospitable people of Chennai. She even gifted us the most beautiful accessories to go with our matching sarees.  

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We’d love to make this a fun mother-daughter tradition where we can learn about and explore many cultures. We would like her to be culturally aware and respectful of every country we visit. Senah will probably not remember visiting all these countries, but we hope these experiences will shape her to be a more open-minded, curious and adventurous person

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Can you give us your top tips for making travelling as a family work?

Research but be flexible: I do hours of research before each trip and create a list of things to do and eat. Instead of creating a minute-by-minute itinerary, we use the list during our trip to figure out our next activity as we go, depending on what time Senah made it to bed and/or how she's feeling. If we have to reserve an activity in advance, we try to pre-commit to no more than one major activity per day. 

Don't sweat it: we try to mimic our home routine the best we can, but we don't sweat it if things don't work out as planned. Kids will sleep if they're tired (eventually) and eat when they're hungry. Senah doesn't usually nap at home, but if she doesn't get her 12-13 hours at night while we're traveling, she'll often take a nap on her own during the day. 

Use a checklist: I use the same checklist to pack Senah's bag before each trip. This way I never forget to pack anything.  

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There's always a reason why it's "not the right time" to travel. Just do it! Traveling with toddlers is definitely not easy, but it's all worth it when I hear mine gasp, "wow!" while entering Bayon temple or chowing down on papadum with local children in Chennai.  

 

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You can find Ahnah, Chris and Senah on Instagram to see where they are twinning around the world next!

 

Tanya Parker

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My name is Tanya Lea Parker, my daughter is Quan Yin Lucía.  She was born in early June of 2012. My mother gave birth to me in early September of 1975.   

My parents are from Mobile and grew up in the surrounding areas of Alabama and Mississippi.  We are descended from a blend of immigrants who arrived mostly from the United Kingdom in the 1800s and settled in the southern United States, mixing with the Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw tribes.  My folks left the south in their early twenties to work for General Electric, and my father’s ensuing career as an electrical loads specialist in the burgeoning steel industry of the 70s and 80s led to a childhood overseas in South Africa, Australia, the Netherlands and Taiwan.

I was born in Virginia, halfway through their first overseas assignment.  My mother returned to the USA to give birth to me, and then at six weeks I took my first flight. My whole life since then has been in movement around the planet.

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We are soaking in the sun and turquoise waters of Riviera Maya, Mexico.  We left Colombia in November to visit family for the holidays, and came here on a whim in early January.

What do you love about this place?

What is unique about this placement that we haven’t had access to before is a community of other worldschooling families.  The discovery of this group of people is what led me to get a place and stay here for a while. There are families who live here full time, some who come back every year and others who are passing through.  We all have in common that we have detached from our home countries and come out into the world with our children.

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Anything you don’t like?!

I have zero complaints about this area.  Nothing negative that is happening here can be isolated to this part of the world.  It shares the challenges that all of the world’s tourist zones have in common: pollution, developing infrastructure and economic foundations with disregard for the local residents in favor of growth that builds tourism, environmental irresponsibility, etc.   We live here and everywhere as observers and participants who bear the responsibility of leaving a minimal footprint and contributing as we can to the local community. I hear and witness much criticism, mostly by retirees and other expats. It is my experience that on the whole, the new school of digital nomads and worldschooling families tend to have a higher regard for the communities we move through.

What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

For my daughter and I, the challenges are in what we give up in order to live this way.  

  1. The experience of growing up with animals

  2. Growing a garden

  3. Having a home to decorate and equip with creature comforts

I can do all of these short term in the places we stay, however there is a deep embrace that comes from a home that you return to over and over, where the plants come up every year, where you can learn and grow with the cycles of nature and have animals close by to love and learn from.

My daughter and I are on this journey partially because we love being out in the world and choose this over institutionalized education, but also because our resources at this time don’t cover the costs of living in the US!  As a single mother without support from my child’s father, choosing to educate my child at home (and therefore needing to work from home), my choice has been to use the income I have generated to live in a different economy, learn other languages, connect with other cultures and be free.   At some point as my resources grow, I would love to have both, especially if we can create that base in community with other worldschoolers who would like a nest to land in occasionally. But until then this is our life and we love it.

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How’s the food!

There are so many options because Playa is such an international smorgasbord of peoples.  It is one of the most cosmopolitan populations on the planet right now. When we first get to a place we taste everything and have a fling with the local food culture, but then we always settle into a homey routine that combines our favorites from the local flavors and ingredients with a way of eating that keeps us healthy.  I love to shop at farmers’ markets, and eat the local fruits. I try to avoid the standard grocery stores here and everywhere around the world as they are mostly toxic dumping grounds, I get a few basics from them. The ones here have a decent health food section, and there are also at least two stores I’ve found in Playa that offer a range of organics, superfoods, supplements, and natural versions of what we like to eat.

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

We started traveling together in 2014 and the words funny, interesting and daunting kind of sum up what life has been like. I stayed still with Quan Yin the first two years of her life for many reasons:  she is my side of the family’s only grandchild, and I wanted her to feel the strong foundations of family in her life before moving out into the world. I also had specific issues that kept us close to home, like needing donor breastmilk for a large part of our early breastfeeding journey and relying on a local network of moms that supplied it to us. Once we arrived at her second birthday, we started to release our attachments to the place she was born.  I had spent my pregnancy with her in transit from Hawaii to the states to Australia, where I planned to give birth, and ended up in the last hour coming to my sister’s home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I birthed Quan Yin in her living room. The first travel we did together was around the US on a tour for the Zulu Birth Project that I developed with my colleague Zinzile Seepie from South Africa. The next year we went overseas for the first time together for the Human Rights in Childbirth Summit in Johannesburg that we created with Hermine Hayes-Klein, international advocate for the rights of mothers and midwives. The following year we spent six months in Western and Eastern Europe.  I took Quan Yin to the places I lived as a child and in my twenties, and was able to introduce her to lifelong friends and meet their children for the first time. In 2017 we spent half the year in the mountains outside of Medellin, Colombia, where we loved our little cabin so much that I kept it and continue to pay for it until we can get back again. I would love to rent it out to other families who are trying out worldschooling, it is in a beautiful community and safe area full of flower growers, artisans and mountain folk, yet really close to Medellin and all its resources. There are plenty of arts classes to get kids involved in so they can learn Spanish and meet other families.

In between our trips we have spent time with family and rested, growing our resources and energetic reserves for the next adventure.  We will leave here this summer after Quan Yin’s sixth birthday and see what happens next!

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

Understand the international laws that govern where you can be and for how long.

Do the work to uncover and upgrade your personal belief system about what is possible.

Get your passports ready and connect with other families who are already on the road!

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Remote work is at a peak.  If you are disciplined and have some reserves to back you up, go ahead and work for yourself.  If you don’t have savings and want a stable income to rely on, reach into the world of location independent vocations and see what works for you.  It can be the very staid world of online English teaching, or the more cutting edge worlds of nomadic tech support, it can be investing, affiliate marketing, cooperative economics, tour guides, life coaching and mentoring, ad infinitum.  There is so much out there once you start excavating your own strengths and asking your being: ‘if I let you out of this cage, what will you do?’.

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What do you miss, if anything?

Can’t miss what we’ve never had!  I want a home, I want land, I want permanence, but maybe that’s not what this earthly life is about for us at this time.  

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

Learn the secrets of cheap flying, get travel insurance (Global Allianz is really low cost and covers everything from flight cancellation to hospital visits to emergency repatriation), and always travel with a set of basic home remedies that help you with the unexpected health curves that come up when you travel.  I travel everywhere with L-ascorbate vitamin c powder (for infections, viruses, etc.), vitamin d3 for enhanced immune support, probiotics, essential oils, and always always the Pegasus HOmeopathics bluebox, an all-in-one kit that covers over 100 common ailments and keeps us out of doctor’s offices and pharmacies.

 

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Where can we find you?!

I am at lovetanyaparker.onuniverse.com, a simple portal for people to reach me regarding all that I do.  If you would like inspiration and instructions on how to get yourself and your family out into the world, you can reach me there. Otherwise stay connected with us at

https://www.instagram.com/quan_yin_phuro

To book a stay at or place in Medellin you can find details here

Hope to see many of you out here!


 

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The Lazzes

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Hi, my name is Beth. I’m married to Adam and we have four children ages ranging from 1 year to 8 years old. We’re Americans originally from California, but moved to London for Adam’s work assignment in 2014. During that time, we travelled extensively including Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with our kids. Many of those were places I would not have dreamed of taking our family until they were older, but the opportunity was there so we jumped. We became very adept travellers and more fearless over time. Three years later when the assignment was up, instead of moving back to California, Adam quit his job and we took off on our family gap year. We’ve been traveling full time since August 2017. In that time, we’ve visited 13 countries and hopefully plan to visit many more in the coming months. There have been challenges along the way, but we’ve grown a lot as a family and haven’t looked back.

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We have just arrived in Hong Kong after three weeks traveling in Thailand.

What do you love about this place?

It’s not as hot as Thailand! There were days it was 37 degrees.

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Anything you don’t like?!

Since we just arrived in Hong Kong I don’t have much to share, but I can talk a bit about Thailand. We saw some beautiful beaches, but so many of them were covered in trash. On the resort end of the beach it’d be pristine, but at the other end it would just be filled with trash. It was hard to see. There’s a great program called Trash Hero where you can volunteer and help clean up the beaches throughout Thailand.

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What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

The heat! We’re moderate temperature type of people so 35+ degrees has certainly been a challenge especially for our kids. We’ve learned to cope though by heading out early in the morning, coming back in the afternoon for a break, and then going out again in the late afternoon. Though learning how to deal with a little discomfort is probably a good life lesson for the kids.

Homeschooling. We were never the type of parents who thought we’d homeschool and here we are. Things we thought would be easy turn out to be hard and things we thought would be hard are easy. It’s really a full time job and each child learns differently. We have a newfound respect for those who homeschool!

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Eating healthy. There’s this tendency to want to feel like you’re on holiday all the time, but if we all ate like we were on holiday for a year, the results would not be pretty! We try and cook often or make smart decisions when out. That said, it’s hard because everything is new and looks so delicious, or there’s the other end of the spectrum where you have hangry kids with only the least healthy option available.

 

How’s the food!

We struggled with the food in Thailand a bit. We have always loved Thai food, but we had just come from Vietnam where the food was a lot lighter with so many fresh vegetables. We found the food in Thailand tends to be heavier because a lot of it is fried. That said, we had so many delicious dishes like khao soi gai (coconut curry noodle soup), the most giant freshwater prawns that my daughter is obsessed with, fresh fruits like dragon fruit, papaya, mango, etc., and of course the sticky rice and mango!

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

Our kids were able to attend a small school in Fiji for a week. At the suggestion of Airbnb host, we walked into the local school and the kids were welcomed wholeheartedly.  It was daunting for some of our kids because they had not been in a traditional school for about 6 months at that point, while another one of our kids knew everyone in the school by the end of the week. It was a true growth experience for them and it tested their boundaries of comfort, which I think is important. They still talk about going to school in Fiji to this day. I believe it’ll be one of the most impressionable moments of this gap year for them.

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

  1. Don’t overthink it.

  2. Kids will cry whether you’re travelling full time or at home so take it in stride.

  3. Take a break if you need it (and you will need it).

Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Travel credit cards with perks are great. We have a credit card that gives us access to airport lounges in most international airports. This is the best perk because travel days can be exhausting but the lounges usually include free food, wifi, and a quiet space (as quiet as it can be with four kids). The credit card also gives us miles on purchases which we use to fund some of our airline tickets.

If you’re staying in an Airbnb and staying for more than a week, it never hurts to ask for a discount. We will often ask and the worst thing that can happen is the owner will say no. Even if they say no we’ll still book if it’s a place we like. At the end of the day it’s a transactional relationship and they won’t hold it against you for asking.

It’s also good to check to see if the place you’re interested in staying has an independent website if using an aggregator website. Sometimes (not always) it’s cheaper to book directly because Booking.com, Agoda, etc. all have a service fee.

We haven’t done this but a lot of people do house sitting or home swaps to eliminate the cost of housing. Our guide in Vietnam told us we should look into house sitting because his friends stayed in gorgeous houses all over the world and all they had to do was feed the cat. There are websites that will match you up.

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What do you miss, if anything?

We don’t miss our things, but we certainly miss our family and friends. It can be lonely on the road, but we make it a point to Facetime, email, and message as much as we can. Our kids also write postcards to their friends. We try and have regular communication days as part of our homeschool curriculum. We’ve been lucky enough to meet family and friends along our travels, not to mention new friends. The connections in life are the most important!  

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

  1. Don’t be afraid. It’s scary to leave everything you know behind, but if it’s something you want to do, it’s truly a life changing experience. We are closer as a family and I am pretty confident our kids will best friends for life.

  2. There will be times it’s difficult, but it gets better! In the beginning, we had trouble adjusting to homeschooling, spending every waking moment together, planning future travel, and just trying to figure out our groove. It was hard and we even questioned whether we made the right decision, but like anything else, it takes time to figure out what works.

  3. It’s important to learn from others. I have found online communities where there are other families doing the same thing.  It’s really helpful to read other people’s experiences, bounce ideas off of, or just share. Check out Worldschoolers on Facebook.

Where can we find you?!

We’re on Instagram and also on Facebook 

 

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Keren Threlfall

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Hey there, I’m Keren! Daniel and I have been married for almost twelve years, and have lived in South Carolina for most of our married life (when not traveling, of course!). Daniel was born and grew up overseas for much of his childhood (South Korea), and when we were first married we had planned to work overseas in a ministry. So I already expected (and looked forward to) raising our kids abroad. Life changed and we did not fit the ultra-conservative group we had originally planned on working with. But we still had a desire for our kids to spend a considerable amount of time overseas. Daniel and I have always loved to travel, but with young kids, most of our travel took place within our own country. We now have four kids, ages 10, 8, 5, and 3; three adventurous girls, and one energetic boy!

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In 2013, I found a great deal on plane tickets. At that time, we had a a 5, 3, and 12-month-old. We packed our lives into 2 carry-ons and headed off to Ecuador for 5 weeks. Those were some of the highlights of our lives! It was so good for us as a family, and so good for us individually. We headed home with plans to sell our house and relocate back to Ecuador. I ended up pregnant with our fourth child with some difficulty during the pregnancy, so had to delay those plans. Then, when she was just 5 months old, we headed to Mexico as a family of 6, and we all fell in love with Mexico!

We then revised our plans, established several rental properties, and made further plans to sell our primary residence and travel long-term for 18-36 months. We worked hard to make sure our lives could operate remotely. (Daniel has worked remotely for 8 years.) Then in April 2017, we had sold almost everything and put just a few items in storage. Our goal was to enjoy traveling, but also pay off all debt and accumulate hefty savings to invest into more rental properties (with the goal of early retirement).

We were making progress toward that goal and loving traveling through Latin America, when we learned that Daniel’s brother had an aggressive form of leukemia. We quickly made plans to get our family of 6 back to the USA from Ecuador. We had an emergency fund, but that pretty much used it all up. Upon our arrival, we learned that Daniel was the 100% bone marrow match, and would be needed as a bone marrow donor. We were also told (incorrectly) that he’d be needed for multiple transplants over the next 2-3 years. We quickly acquired housing and a vehicle so that we could be there for him. Daniel also lost his main job on the same day. The rest of his family was unable/unwilling to help financially during that season, so we ended up pushing our expenses in quite the opposite direction of what we’d planned.

It was an unexpected and sudden season of giving up our dreams and our savings, and then our credit. Thankfully, his brother is now 100% leukemia free and his stem cells are 100% Daniel’s stem cells.

And now we are working to re-establish ourselves financially, taking sporadic trips in the US, Mexico, and hopefully elsewhere abroad in the meantime. We hope to be able to jump into a long-term travel adventure again soon.

Where abouts in the world are you right now?

After traveling in Mexico, we had to make an emergency trip back to the USA when my brother-in-law had leukemia, and Daniel was needed to be his bone marrow donor. The transplant took place in Kansas, USA, and we have our home base in South Carolina, USA.

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What do you love about this place?

I’ll just go ahead and talk about Mexico, since we spent about 4 months there in 2017. We love the diversity of culture in Mexico. We have traveled through 5 different Mexican states, and each one could have been its own country.

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Anything you don’t like?!

Not much! The heat was challenging in some areas during some seasons, as some of our family members have difficulty adapting to the heat.

What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

Definitely adjusting to the heat as a top issue. Another was encountering scorpions throughout our travels. Let’s just say that after finding one in my bed and on my pillow, sleep was difficult to come by.

A third...as a family of six, we sort of cross the threshold into being a larger family. Transportation, housing, costs, etc...can sometimes provide challenging because in certain situations there’s not enough or we need to split up.

One of our daughters also struggles with encopresis. Thankfully, the baby has been potty-trained since before age two; but traveling with encopresis (lots of uncontrollable bowel movements) sometimes creates challenges.

We’d also love to be fluent in Spanish, but aren’t quite there yet.

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How’s the food!

Can you say taco? Or guacamole? We absolutely love the food in Mexico, and even experiencing the differences between regions and then price points. From dining in Enrique Olvera’s Pujol in Mexico City to dining in a restaurant overlooking the skyline of colonial San Miguel de Allende to beachside margaritas and guacamole in Playa del Carmen, to trying cactus (nopal), huevos de hormigas (ant eggs!) while visiting the pyramids at Teotihuacan, to trying crunchy grasshoppers, there is never room for boredom when it comes to trying out Mexican cuisine. In three words: we love it!

Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

As alluded to earlier, we had quite the interesting experience in our encounters with scorpions. One in particular was on the pillow of the bed where I had been resting with our (then) two-year-old. Another time, we found ourselves in a house with a scorpion infestation. In the particular house, the property was over 500 years old, and had been redone by an architect. He built all the bedrooms as separate-entrance and detached buildings. So, that made things a little tricky with young children.

After multiple scorpion sightings, we eventually relocated to an AirBnb in a condo with no scorpions.

Another unexpected experience was going to an older city with fewer tourists/gringos. We then were surrounded by students who wanted to take their photos with our family. Some of our kids were a little nervous at first, but then they warmed up and loved the special attention.

And then there was that time when I was accidentally stranded in the desert with 2 of my kids. Thankfully we found someone along the way after over a mile of walking, they called a “friend” who just happened to operate an over priced taxi, and we were rescued. Oh, the stories!

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

Pack light and minimalistically, try new food, but also allow your kids to eat foods they like and have some comforts from home.

Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Have an emergency fund, and then some. Know your specific family situation. While we sold our home and vehicles, neither of us have a really strong extended family support network. We had an AirBnb that we thought we could use to live in if we needed to return with advance notice...but it was booked during the time of our immediate return. So for us, having a home base proved to be more important than we realized.

We also thankfully had a small stream of income from our rental properties. While it was not enough to live off of, the small trickle of cash helped during the 5 months that our lives were basically on-call to help save my brother-in-law’s life.

Also, a big thing for me is travel-hacking. We were able to fly to Mexico for free (and pay taxes) because I’d accumulated so many airline miles. Then, we hacked a good bit of our accommodations by using home swaps and exchanges. When it did come time to spend a little more on experiences or accommodations, we didn’t feel guilty because we had saved so much elsewhere. If you can hack just one area, you can not only save a lot of money, but have some amazing experiences and use some of the money you save to put towards really special experiences!

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What do you miss, if anything?

Convenience of Amazon Prime?... Maybe. (Like, there were a few times I needed medicine, a blacklight flashlight to find scorpions with, or something I couldn’t easily buy in our location. At those moments it would have been nice to have 2-day delivery.)

Maybe climate control!

But I’d give that all up just continue traveling again!

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

Go with the flow. There will be crazy stuff happen, but more so there will be amazing things happen. (Besides, crazy stuff happens at home, too!) We didn’t get to travel as long as we had expected (and plan to travel more), but we realized our kids had grown and matured so much due to our travels.

I actually feel a lot more freedom to be myself or just do what works when we’re out of our country. Maybe you will, too.

Also, make time to explore by yourself and to practice self-care. Although we never had a babysitter or travel nanny, we did make sure to swap turns of who could go out in the evening, for a day, etc… And if you do have great options for a babysitter or nanny, by all means go for it! 

Where can we find you?!

Right now, I’m most active on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kerenthrelfall/.

Daniel’s account is here: https://www.instagram.com/danielthrelfall/.

We’ve shared some of our travels here: http://wanderfam.com/
 

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What to do in

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My name is Ágústa Margrét Arnardóttir. I was born and raised in a small fishing village with about 2000 inhabitants, with the rough Atlantic ocean on one side and Vatnajökull glacier on the other.

I only just realized how wild and free my childhood really was. Similar to other Icelandic children I got the opportunity to play outside without many limits or rules- that taught me responsibility and to take care of myself and others. It also gave me the taste of nature and built up my creativity. The town was expanding very fast, houses being built everywhere so there was great material, like timber, nails and all kind of stuff to make cabins and adventure area. Our garden was our place, where we played, built and created what we wanted.

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I also got the opportunity to observe the older, I watched one grandmother knit and the other make opera costumes. My mother sewed our clothes, made quilts, knitted and made our house a home. My father was most of the time out on sea, but when his boat was a shore we were allowed to work with him in the net- shed.

Around the age of 10, I went with my father for the first time on his fishing boat far away from home for few days. I immediately loved the ocean, even though I was sea-sick all the time.

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At the age of 13, I was working in a fish factory, in these days it was normal for kids to start to work at the age of 12-13 (thankfully). It was great to have the respect and responsibility, I loved cutting fish, put lobster in boxes, stack herring barrels and so on.

But at the age of 15, I realized that the salary and working type of being a “fishermen” suited me better. So I went on board a fishing boat and asked the captain to allow me to go with them to catch lobster in troll. He was happy to have me and a friend on board and my parents allowed this. This was the beginning of my 12 years of working on fishing boats.

The summer before I turned 16, I was very lucky to be able to go also with my father on his boat, that was my “wildschooling” experience with him. We sailed for 5 days to Smutthullet between Iceland and Norway. There were conflicts at that time over who the fishing area belonged to. The last day before heading home 2 Norwegian coastguards descended from a helicopter on board our ship and stopped us from fishing and leaving the area. After inquires and talk for few hours, we were allowed to sail back home….. I was hoping we would be sent to Norway ;) This was an adventure for a 15 year old girl.

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I always felt the best out on sea. I loved the waves, the weather (no matter how bad it was) the companionship, the work, the view and the freedom. I have not felt this type of freedom a shore. I was never very unhappy at home, I had great childhood friends and a good life but I didn’t feel “at place”. Most of the time I wanted something different and because of that I felt different and my confidence and self-esteem was low. I tried various types of education after graduating from junior high (16 years old) and lived abroad in between working on fishing boats. All experience, the good one and the bad one, has been great and got me to where I am today.

I haven’t been out on sea since December 2005. 3 weeks after my last fishing tour I got pregnant, I moved for a while to Italy and studied show- and accessory design. Came back home and settled with my boyfriend in his hometown and our first of five children was born September 2006.

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Since our daughter was born I have done my very best to “fit” in society, but there is always something missing. I have felt like such a loser for not being able to meet up with society’s standard. I have been in constant self-development, trying to fit better and feel better.

For the last 5 years I have been thinking that my ADHD, anxiety, fibromyalgia, addictions and more are the reason for my “different” way of thinking. But even though I have been working on all these aspects for the last years I do not feel fully content, it seems that I am just not able to meet all the social standards, I feel and imagine are requested of me.

After repeatedly thinking “what is wrong with me” and “what can I do” to make me and my family feel good about ourselves and “fit in” I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with us and don’t have to fit in.

There is a life style of homeschooling and different approaches to learn and live. We all feel our best when we are free, outdoor, creating something and growing from our own interest and values.

It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us, it means we are wild at heart and wild in action.

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It doesn’t mean we are bad or bad behaved. We are all good persons with great hearts, talk nicely to others, care for nature and life. Our parenting style is gentle, respectful and collaborative.

We are not fighting the society, we respect the people that fit in the frame but we want to make our frame ourself.

One year ago I dug deep for my true values, goals and dreams. That digging got me on the path I am on now. Only time will tell if this path suits me, my boyfriend and all of my children. Our lives will always be a mixture of seven different ideas, but the main goal is the same: happy, healthy, content, self-assured life and now we are on the mission: the “quest” of finding our most joyful, educational and for fulling path towards these goals.

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

Right now I am at our home in Djupviogur Iceland, going to Spain in March (at time of interview).

What do you love about this place?

It is safe, quiet, friendly and the nature is absolutely amazing.

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Anything you don’t like?!

The darkness over winter months and the weather, though it is fun to go out in snow, rain, storm and cold it doesn’t apply very well to me 7-8 month a year.

What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

  1. After the winter everyone in the family has become a little „lazy“ it grows into a habit to just stay at home and have a cozy time, so it is challenging to get every one out. But when we are out it is amazing and all of us thrive better, connect better and feel better.

  2. Cost, it is way too expensive here so it is very challenging to make things work financially.

  3. Finding harmony and balance between our wild life and the “main stream” life, especially from the school and educations system in Iceland.

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How’s the food!

The food is good, fresh and clean. Unfortunately I am not a very good cook and we do not dine out a lot here, so we are not really getting the best of the food here.

Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

  1. Working together WITH the kids, respecting their ideas, interest, ability, mode and daily form.

  2. These parenting approaches: RIE- respectful parenting, CPS- Collaborative Problem Solving and gentle parenting respecting “wild children”

  3. Keep an eye on the main goal and move forward, trust the process and enjoy.

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

  1. Simplify everything.

  2. Dont wait for the „lottery“ pot, to start reaching your goals. Most people answer the question „what would you do if you win the lottey“ by saying „ I would pay all my debts and go for a jurney, buy something, do something and enjoy life”. I recommend everyone asking „what if I never win the lottery- will I never enjoy and live my dreams“!

  3. Make a plan and stick with it. I am fond of the Dave Ramsay approch, it has helped me a lot to get clear vision on the financial matters.

What do you miss, if anything?

I miss the feeling of complete freedom and truly deep happiness/ contentness in life.

What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

Find your families true goals and values. Visualize where you/ your tribe flourish the best. Design a goal-getting ladder. Take down all the obstacles. Expect surprising steps, take these steps carefully, with serenity and certainty. Trust the process, trust your tribe and enjoy all the steps- even the hard and bad ones.

Where can we find you?!

https://www.facebook.com/whattodoin2017

https://whattodoin2018.wordpress.com

www.instagram.com/whattodoin2017

agusta.coach@gmail.com

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Adventures with Kids

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Hello! We are a family of four, Krister, Malin and our two boys Dante, 4, and Milo 2 years old. We come from Sweden where we had a house, large garden, car and a stable lives. I guess that’s what most people strive for it wasn’t for us. We didn’t feel completely happy with too much work keeping our family apart. One day we were pondering over how much time we spent on everyday routine things. After a rough calculation Krister were gone for 10 hours a day and only saw the kids the hour before bedtime. When he got home I started to work on my own business at home. The house, and daily tasks like cooking, the dishes, cleaning and so on took roughly 20 hours per week. Where were we suppose to have fun together, where were the fun in life?

 

So after long discussions about what’s important in life we sold our house and all our belongings except our four backpacks and a few boxes with memories. We started our journey in Borneo in September 2017 and life have not been better! Finally we have time for the family, we can show the kids the world (they've learned so much!), different cultures and habits and we live a much simpler life but so much richer.  

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We are now in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam but will soon leave for Thailand.

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What do you love about this place?

There is a lot to do and see. We’re also staying in a great apartment on the 18th floor with a great view of the city. It’s cheap too so we have the luxury to eat out to minimize dishes and cooking if we want.

Anything you don’t like?!

The traffic! It’s horrible and few people speak English which can make it a bit lonely if you stay for a long period of time.

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What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

  • To balance work and play, it’s easy to see it as a vacation and act like it is but it’s not. There is an everyday life in travelling full time too.

  • Get exercise in the routines, it’s not easy when you come to new places.

  • Get healthy food, when staying in hotels, the food is limited to restaurants and it’s not always healthy food or that have any vegetables they serve.

How’s the food?!

The base of the food here is rice or noodles, it’s good but we like it when there is more variation.

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

I think the biggest impressions since we started travelling is seeing pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys and orangutans in the wild in Borneo, the remnants museum and Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City. Those experiences have made most impressions on the kids.

Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

  • Decide on what to do, set a goal and work towards it. With the right mindset the possibilities are endless. If you see too many obstacles, find a mentor or join a mastermind to help you through it.

  • Find a balance between work and play, alone time and time together

  • Include everyone in the planning phase and while doing it when traveling, doing adventures and in everyday life.

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Avoid the tourist things, most things you can do by yourself instead of going on expensive tours.

If you rent for longer periods you often get it cheaper, book a few nights and then go out and look for good apartment.

What do you miss, if anything?

Except for the people Krister miss liver paste (a sort of spread in Sweden) and I miss rye bread.

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

Just do it! You won’t regret it! Join a mastermind with likeminded people that supports you. It’s invaluable!

Where can we find you?!

We have a blog but it’s in Swedish www.aventyrmedbarn.se

 

Äventyr med barn – med världen som lekplats

www.aventyrmedbarn.se

År 2017 säljer vi allt vi äger och vandrar ut i det okända. Den 5 september sätter vi oss på flyget till Borneo och vår livs resa. Målet är att stanna ...

 

You can also find us at instagram https://www.instagram.com/adventures.with.kids/

You can also find me at my business page where I help parents with their parenting without using punishments or harsh parenting methods. www.tutomparenting.com or https://www.facebook.com/TutomParenting/

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Starry-Eyed Pragmatist

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I’m Tami Stroud. I’m a stay-at-home mother to six children, ages 14-5. Our family is an American, nomadic, sometimes expat, family originally from Atlanta, Georgia, USA, currently living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. My family and I are Christian. I love chatting about natural learning, natural birth, and natural fertility. I occasionally work as a doula and childbirth educator, but most recently I’m focused on helping women learn to accurately and effectively chart their fertility as their fertility awareness instructor. My husband is the primary income earner for our family. He works in education and is currently the Head of Libraries for a private school group in Riyadh.

My husband and I have come to prioritize living in places that are unique to our native experiences growing up. We want a worldschooling education for our children. Our family started down a worldschooling path shortly after we began homeschooling in 2010 with our first international move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We moved from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, USA to Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE. So far we have traveled back to our Georgia “home base” every summer, but we also like to try to go on a unique travel experience at least once a year outside of where we currently live. Since 2010 our family has grown from four to six children, we have lived in three unique locations, visited 13 US states, and visited 16 countries.

We began to purposefully take a more unschooling approach to our worldschooling path in 2012, during our time in the UAE. We lived in Al Ain, UAE for three years before moving to the remote, Cup’ik Native Alaskan village of Chevak, Alaska, USA. After two years in Chevak we moved Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Now, after three years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we are moving on to our next adventure. This time in Tokyo, Japan!

Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We live in the city of Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

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What do you love about this place?

The hospitality is phenomenal. With our family of 8, we are accustomed, as Americans, to people shying away from inviting our whole family over for dinner. It feels overwhelming to lots of people. But in Saudi Arabia, and in the Middle East, in general, it is very common for us to get to chatting with new people and they just invite us (all of us) to dinner, or to join their picnic, etc. It’s a wonderfully hospitable culture.

It’s also very safe. In day to day life I don’t really have any fears of people stealing my stuff or harm coming to my children. It’s a very honest and family oriented place to live.

 

Anything you don’t like?!

Obviously, I don’t like the forced gender segregation restrictions, restrictions on what women can wear, restrictions on women driving, etc. All the usual things that people complain about Saudi Arabia. However, although I do wish there was more freedom of choice, in practical, everyday life, I don’t find the restrictions that burdensome. For example, I don’t really enjoy driving, so the fact that my husband has to drive everywhere is not really a burden to me. It’s been more a burden to him really.

People are often curious about how I have to cover up as a woman in Saudi Arabia. I usually do not wear a head cover (hijab) and I’ve never worn a face cover (niqab). However, I do wear an abaya, which is like a big black robe over my regular clothes, when going out. I actually love wearing my abaya. It is a wonderfully efficient piece of clothing. I never have to worry if I am dressed to go out, because I just throw on my abaya and I am immediately dressed appropriately for the world to see. I have absolutely gone out wearing nothing but pajamas under my abaya! If I thought I could get away with wearing an abaya in the rest of the world without constantly having the conversation about “Why are you dressed that way?!,” I would so wear my abaya all over the world. For me, it’s been a great piece of clothing.

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What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

  1. As a woman, even though I don’t like driving, it is a pain to have to schedule a ride every time I want to go somewhere, not to mention trying to do this during the day with six kids when my husband is at work. Also, when you are organizing an event with other women you have to be mindful that they also have to arrange rides as well. So that can mean expecting women to arrive late or leaving early to accommodate the constraints of their ride situation.

  2. Store closing during pray times can also be frustrating. In Saudi Arabia, every store is closed down during the prayer and there are five prayer times during the day. So, you always have to be very mindful of the prayer schedule when you are out running errands or you can end up sitting in a parking lot for 20 minutes while you are waiting for the prayer to be over and the shop to open back up.

  3. Since gender segregation is so common, I have learned to be very upfront when inviting people over for dinner at our home that we do not segregate meals. Men and women will be sitting together for meals in our home. If we are invited to someone else’s home, then we happily comply if they usually gender segrate meals. However, I “warn” people of how we do things in our home, so that they can choose not to have dinner at our home if it is too uncomfortable for them.

  4. Here’s an extra bonus challenge about life in remote, “bush” Alaska, which is very different from life on the road system in Alaska and very, very different from suburban life in the rest of the US:

Groceries are very expensive in remote Alaska. The biggest part of our budget while living in Chevak, Alaska was devoted to groceries. So I became very accustomed to meal planning for a year at a time and figuring out what groceries I can bring back with me after flying back from visiting Georgia, USA for the summer, or even just a short visit to the more “normal” city of Anchorage, Alaska.

One year we went to Aldi’s, which is a discount grocery store in Atlanta, Georgia and bought a whole bunch of canned goods, which we packed in big plastic 18 gallon totes as our airplane luggage. We had to keep all the airplane luggage under 50 lbs each. When our flight arrived for our layover in Anchorage, Alaska we got all of our boxed luggage and repacked it. This time we packed the canned goods into 75 lbs boxes. This is because we were now taking the canned goods to the post office to be mailed from Anchorage, Alaska to Chevak, Alaska, which is significantly cheaper than mailing from Atlanta, Georgia to Chevak, Alaska. So, we repacked all the boxes in the area next to the luggage weighing scale with all six of our kids in the airport.

Then we had to go shopping for perishable goods in Anchorage. This meant I had to calculate how much frozen meat, cheese, etc. I would need for a year. In Anchorage they have butchers you can go to and tell them you want 50 lbs of meat, in 1 lb blocks, frozen for the airplane. This means that they will box up the meat to a quantity that is just under 50 lbs while frozen that you can take on the airplane. Yes, you read that right: so that you can take on the airplane. In Alaska, when flying out to the bush they always ask you if your box needs to be kept frozen or refrigerated on the flight and they have stickers right on the check-in desk to properly label your bag (or plastic tote, as the case may be). I ended up buying items like sugar and flour off of Amazon with an Amazon Prime account (free shipping, but not 2 day shipping, more like 2 weeks), because it was cheaper to do it that way as opposed to the weight cost of carrying a year’s worth of flour and sugar in our luggage. Of all the places I’ve lived and visited, remote, “bush” Alaska has definitely been the most foreign to me!



 

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How’s the food ?!

The food is great! Saudi Arabia has fantastic food for very inexpensive prices. We love biryani. We also often eat fūl and curry, which are also commonly found locally.   

 

Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

We were on this long roadtrip in Saudi Arabia. My husband was driving us from the Farasan Islands in southern Saudi Arabia back to Riyadh, which is in central Saudi Arabia. It was very late at night and we decided to take a newer road that had recently been built and was showing up on one of our GPS maps, but not the other. My husband is very diligent about getting gas at almost every opportunity on these long roadtrips, because oftentimes it’s a situation where you don’t know when the next time you will be able to get gas. Well, despite our best efforts we still found ourselves very low on gas in the middle of nowhere Saudi Arabia. We tried to find a number of different gas stations on the various GPS devices we were using, but we kept finding places that were either out of business, closed, or we weren’t sure which of the two it was. Finally, we decided to just find a place to park the car and wait until morning to figure things out. So, we decided to park the car at a gas station that was on this dirt lot that we thought might just be closed and not out of business, but honestly it was really hard to tell. There was a mosque nearby with a light. So, we thought maybe we’ll catch some people going to prayer in the morning. I remember the gas station also had an ice machine that was plugged in and humming along. So, we thought that was a good sign that the gas station is not out of business. Well, we had been parked there for maybe 20 minutes when this Arab guy in traditional Saudi dress drives by us in his pickup truck off into the desert on some desert road. Then we see his truck lights off in the distance turn around and head back towards us. And we’re like “Is this a good thing? I don’t know!” All sorts of awful, stereotypes were running through my head in that moment. The guy parks near us and my husband gets out of our car to meet him. The guy barely speaks English and we don’t really speak any Arabic. I watched my husband and this guy trying to communicate through mostly a series of gesticlar motions. Finally, somehow my husband manages to communicate that we’re out of gas and need to find a gas station.  At first the guy suggests that my husband ride with him to the gas station, but my husband thankfully manages to communicate that he doesn’t want to leave his wife and six children in the middle of nowhere. So, the man gestures for us to follow him in our car, and we hope for the best that we have just enough gas to reach the gas station we assume we are being led to. Amazingly, we make it to a gas station that is a very brightly lit oasis among a dark desert surrounding, but still nowhere to be found on the GPS. My husband thanks the local man in the pickup truck and he drives off, presumably back to whatever he was on his way to do before helping us. This experience is overwhelmingly indicative of the kinds of experiences we have had in the Middle East. People have been so kind and helpful to us in our time here.


 

Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

  1. Relax. Things will go awry and mess up your plans. That’s ok, just go with it.

  2. What you think is amazing or awesome about a place will probably not be your child’s most treasured memory of a place. Let your children enjoy a place on their own terms and in their own way.

  3. Many kids do not appreciate long museum visits with lots of historical background. My husband and I love that stuff, but over the years we have become very mindful to incorporate more natural sites or sites that invite very open exploring by children into our travel agendas. Everyone is happier when we do this.


 

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Look for how locals save money: Where do they shop? What do they eat? What kind of housing do similar size families have?

If you’re an expat relocating for a job, then what benefits can your employer include such as flights back to your home country, housing, utilities, visa costs, moving allowance, furniture allowance, etc.? Is this benefit paid in cash, through the school buying it for you, or through reimbursement? It’s important to understand and negotiate those details, because those kinds of benefits can make a big deal in how much take-home pay you actually get to keep and how you budget your money.

If you make money from an internet business, for example, I currently teach online fertility awareness classes, then be sure to research what kind of internet connection and the cost of that connection you can expect to get in your new location. I know it’s tempting to think that cheap high speed internet is everywhere, and it is in most locations, but it would have been extremely expensive (and glitchy) for me to do online video conferencing with the internet packages available to us when we lived in the remote village of Chevak, Alaska, USA. So, wherever you go, you want to make sure the infrastructure is in place for you to maintain your various streams of income.

Homeschooling also saves us a lot of money. Lots of places do not offer a free public education for expats. We prefer homeschooling regardless, but if we had to pay tuition for a private school education for six children, it would get very expensive very quick. Home education is a much more efficient use of our funds.

 

What do you miss, if anything?

There’s always trade-offs no matter where you live. I’ve found there are things I love and miss from every place I’ve lived, as well as things I’m happy to say goodbye to when moving on. In general, living in the desert, I do miss the lush greenery typically found in Georgia, USA, where our family is originally from. I miss meeting with a congregation of Christians (beyond my immediate family) to worship with every Sunday. I miss goofy things like eating at Chick-fil-a, shopping at Target, and ordering things off of Amazon. I certainly miss getting to connect with friends and family back home more often.  

 

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

When you’re out and about exploring a new area take it slow. Don’t try to pack in seeing everything all at once. Things like going to the grocery store, going to the park, visiting a natural sight out in the country, or just driving around are all really cool experiences in a new country. When everything is so new, small experiences have a big impact. It’s really easy to overwhelm the senses and just push yourself towards culture shock in a new location. It’s important to take it slowly and be mindful of keeping familiar comforts with you along the way.

 

Where can we find you?!

My website is Starry-Eyed Pragmatist. I talk about my life, my thoughts, and my passions, which is mostly large family life, a bit of travel and expat life, homeschooling/unschooling/worldschooling, and fertility awareness. If you’re interested in learning about fertility awareness, then you can find more information about the classes I offer here .

I have various social media accounts, but I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook. If you’d like to see travel photos, follow me on Instagram  and if you’d also like to see links around the web that I find interesting, then follow me on Facebook !

 

50 States Challenge

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We are the 50stateschallenge family. Jennifer (mom), Alex (dad), Marissa 11 and Vanessa 7. About 2 years ago our oldest, Marissa, told us she wanted to visit all 50 states before she graduated.

It all started when we took a road trip to North Carolina to go skiing. She was amazed how different everything was from where we lived. I showed her pictures of New York, California, the mountains and explained to her that the world is much bigger than where we live. After that my husband and I decided to take on her challenge to see all 50 states before she graduates.

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

 We currently live in Pembroke Pines, FL. We are a part-time travelling family. We try and plan a trip every 3 to 4 months with lots of exploring within the state of Florida in between. We are an outdoors family for sure so we like to go and adventure any chance we get.

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What do you love about Florida?

I would have to say the culture in South Florida. My husband and I are from Hispanic (Cuban) backgrounds and you don’t have to go to far to see how much Cuban influence there is in South Florida. From the food to the music to the languages spoken here. My second favorite is for sure the beaches. You can travel in any direction and be at the beach in no time.

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Anything you don’t like?

How fast pace everything is. Everyone is always on the go. Makes it hard to enjoy the simple things.

 

 

What are the most challenging aspects that stand out?

Defintely our schedules. My husband and I both work full time and our kids both are in elementary school. Throw in travel soccer for Marissa and finding the time to make it all work gets a little tricky.

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The financial aspect. Traveling is pricey even more when it’s a family of four. We have found that taking roadtrips works better for us. Our kids do awesome they don’t seem to mind being in the car and it allows us to cover more ground on less money. We are always on the lookout for deals on flights, hotels and rental cars. Whenever we see a good one we jump on it.

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Hows the food?!

The food in South Florida is amazing. Whatever you are craving you are sure to find it in South Florida. We have had some places like Wynwood that have blown up lately and have become must stops for any food enthusiast.

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

  1. Know what your family likes and incorporate it into your travels. My youngest daughter loves rocks, minerals, fossil even dirt. Whenever we travel we make it a point to find a “special rock” so she can add to her collection. We have also done mining tours. My oldest is an adrenaline junkie, rock climbing and hiking are always on our list.

  2. Research. Before we pick a destination we always research. My favorite is Pinterest. You simply type the city or state that you are interested in traveling to and so many options pop up. Blogs from other families and pictures.

  3. Have fun. It shouldn’t be a stressful thing. Try not to overbook yourself so you can enjoy the moment. Especially with kids you don’t want to tire them out to the point that they become cranky. Yes even at 7 and 11 years old they get cranky!

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

Don’t think about it too much and just do it. It doesn’t matter how old your child is they will enjoy it as long as they are with you. Also don’t limit them. We use to put off traveling or doing certain things while on vacation because we thought they were too little or couldn’t handle it. They are much stronger than we all think. Just last year we went on a 7 mile hike with them and I was so nervous. I didn’t think they would be able to make it, I though it was going to be a waste of time. Boy did they prove me wrong. They loved it. Now they wont stop asking me when we are going again.

 

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I am a strong believer in learning through experiences. If your kids are learning about something in school  try and incorporate it in your travels. You can tell them about 9/11 and the World Trade Center or you can take them to New York and show them. You can tell them about Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue or you can take them to Massachisettes and show them Plymouth Rock. Our country has so much history and so much to offer. I feel like its up to us to show them. They will remember it for ever. If they just read it in a book it wont matter as much to them

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Where can we find you?!

Instagram- @50stateschallenge

Website (blog) - www.50stateschallenge.com

   

 

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LetGo Grab Opportunity

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I, Robin, am an educator and research scientist by training. I am passionate about bridging the gap between research and practice to improve the lives of children and families. I spent years coaching youth and young adults on how to achieve their dreams. A lot of things lined up and we knew the time was right for me to “walk my talk.”

We were constantly asked, “Why are you doing this?”

So, we wrote a blog post about it here

We left Seattle in August 2017 to begin our world schooling adventure. My son is 14 and although apprehensive at first, he is starting  to enjoy traveling the more we experience. My husband is documenting our journey using his extraordinary photography skills. Our two dogs are having the time of their lives!

This year,  I am focusing on blogging, crafting my first young adult novel, and creating a career as a non-academic writer. A main goal is to translate my academic articles into content that reaches a wider audience – particularly parents, teachers, and social workers! I also just started providing 1:1 parenting support (available via video-chat to parents/caregivers anywhere in the world).  

Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We are currently traveling around Mexico. We plan to be here at least another month or so. The beautiful thing is that we don’t actually have to decide. We plan on heading to Europe next because I haven’t been to many countries there; but we are also feeling a pull towards experiencing Belize, Costa Rica, or perhaps Guatemala before heading across the ocean.

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What do you love about this place?

There is so much to love about Mexico. I love how friendly everyone is and that even the youth look me in the eye and say “Buenas Tardes” as we pass each other on the street. It warms my heart to see multigenerational families spending time together in the parks, at dinner, and during festivals (which are plentiful). Too many people in the US are suffering from a deep lack of connection. Family and spending time with those you love is a priority for many here!

The food is also amazing. There is music constantly. I also love the crowing roosters and braying burros. Mexico is also the most colorful place I have ever been; many of the houses are painted in bold colors. There is art everywhere. The longer we stay, the harder it is to leave.

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Anything you don’t like?!

I will admit, I do not like the scorpions or lack of hot showers in many places we’ve stayed.

What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

The biggest challenge for us has been finding consistent internet. As I try to build an online business, internet is critical. Our US phone company said we were “roaming” too long and even though we upgraded to the International plan they suspended our service (Yes, it was T-mobile).

The second biggest challenge is travelling with the dogs. It limits our choices when it comes to places to stay and ends up costing more. We also travel by van because they take up a whole row, so extra room was needed. However, they are family so leaving them behind is not an option.

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The last challenge is making sure that my son has his social needs met. Although my husband and I are fine just hanging together we realize that my son might get tired of us and like to see some people his own age from time to time.

Tell us more about the food!

Farmers markets and roadside stands make getting fresh fruit and veggies incredible easy. Since the produce isn’t trucked thousands of miles it tastes garden fresh. The sweetness of the berries, mangos, pineapples, and guayabas are unbelievable. I love getting to know the people that grow our food and coffee! We have also found many “favorite spots” where dining is affordable and the food is exceptional. It is also fun learning about the regional differences in the way dishes are prepared.

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

Some of the most daunting experiences have been when trying to maneuver our van through the extremely narrow streets in small villages. One time the road ended abruptly and the street was so narrow the only option was to back up!! And there was that one time that we made a wrong turn and ended up IN a parade with no way out have a look!

Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

  • Communicate! Talk to each other. Do not assume. Traveling can be stressful and difficult! Make sure you are checking in with each other and that everyone has an opportunity to express what they need for the journey to be successful.

  • Everyone gets a turn! It is impossible to find places and things to do that everyone in the family will love all the time. We take turns picking out activities, places to stay, and where to visit. Everyone agrees that even if they don’t love it… when it is not your turn, it is not about you. Don’t steal the joy from the family member that is digging it!

  • Don’t set huge expectations. If you remain open to whatever you experience instead of having your heart set on things being a certain way, you are much less likely to be disappointed. And more likely to be pleasantly surprised.

Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

You can live with far less than you think you can. Get out of your comfort zone, don’t waste money on things designed for tourists (resorts, swanky restaurants, overpriced tours). Eat where the locals do. Stay places that have a kitchen. We generally eat breakfast and dinner at “home” and go out for lunch. Travel with small bags or backpacks; then you won’t be tempted to buy unnecessary things because you have no place to store them! Make sure you have a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

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What do you miss, if anything?

I miss the rain, gray skies, and snow covered mountains of the Pacific Northwest. I also miss drinking water straight from the sink. And I miss my daughter, who launched into adulthood and is following her own journey in the UK now.

What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their family?

(Note: I removed tribe from this question. I have tribal ancestry and many friends are current tribal members - the connotation means something very different to me. There was a time when our ancestors truly travelled with their tribes, then there was genocide, relocation, and reservations…)

Follow your heart and your dreams. Know that some days will be hard, just like when you aren’t traveling. Sometimes you will all be tired and sometimes it will be awesome. It is not a lifestyle for everyone, but for some of us it is what we need. Both are ok. Let your children lead sometimes and watch the world unfold through their eyes. Children can be our best teachers.

Where can we find you?!

LetGo: Grab Opportunity

website: lifeeducationtravel.org

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letgo_grabopportunity/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LetGo.GrabOpportunity/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/LETgo_GrabOpportunity/

 

Mama travels two

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I'm Erin, mama to E (8) and Im (6). (The kids have chosen to not have their faces or name on the internet.) I'm a homemaker from Minnesota and the kids have always been homeschooled, so we have as much time as we want to travel. However, we love MN so we don't plan to travel full time anytime soon.
 

I shattered my ankle in 2016 doing an obstacle course and needed surgery. While lying in bed unable to walk or go anywhere on my own, I had a lot of time to evaluate what I wanted in my life. Travel with kids was one result.

Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We are in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico right now.
 

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What do you love about this place?

We love how friendly and helpful everyone is. They love and respect children. There are beautiful places to be in nature.
 

What are the most challenging aspects that stand out?

One of my biggest, yet silly challenges is always needing to have small cash bills. The ATMs give big bills and most places don't have change. A good local tip I learned is to ask the beer delivery truck drivers to break big bills.
 

The emotionally exhausting paradox of being sad to leave a place and people, yet being excited to move on is a challenge for me.
 

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?
 

We've had to walk through blockcades several times here  Nothing scary, but interesting, different and conversation starters.
The 6 year old was dancing out of a store backwards and nearly ran into a federale officer's giant rifle!
 

Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?
 

Slow travel is best for our sanity. We've stayed a month or longer in each place. This allows down time. Kids need lots of time to process all of the new experiences. They do that through free play and getting enough sleep.
 

Get enough rest yourself.
 

Pack light. No, even less than that!
 

Travel with very few expectations except that you'll learn and grow. Unexpected things happen all the time and it's best to be able to take things well as they come. It all works out in the end.
 

Do you have any financial tips for travelling?
 

You can usually save a bunch by renting a house or apartment for a month or longer.
 

Eat one or more meals at home. Pack snacks for going out. Use reusable water bottles. In Mexico I've found that most places will refill your water bottles from their garrafones for a few pesos. Much cheaper than buying plastic water bottles, plus better for our world!
 

Take the local bus, colectivos, or walk when possible.
 

 

What do you miss, if anything?

Our friends
 

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?
 

Just do it. You can make it happen. Ask for help. Most people in the world are good. That all sounds generic, but really everyone's travel style is different. You have to just go and figure out what works for you.
 

Where can we find you?

Instagram @mamatravelstwo

 

Rollin' with the flo

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Hello! We are the Flodeens: a family of 5 traveling around the country living in our 5th wheel trailer which we lovingly call “home”.  We have been living in this home since May of 2017 and have decided to start sharing our adventures and experiences of living life small and simple on the road.

Most recently, we lived in Washington State.  We’ve always had the love to travel and have been on a long journey to simplify and minimalize.  The concept of living tiny or in an RV has been talked about for some time when we finally decided take the plunge head first.  We knew that we could be comfortable financially off our investments for at least a year or two without having to worry about it affecting us long term.  

So we jumped in!  Zack quit his job.  We sold just about everything we owned that didn’t fit into the RV (if it didn’t fit, it didn’t come).  We traded our cars for a big truck (The Beast), and we purchased a 5th wheel travel trailer.  Our maiden voyage started on Memorial Day weekend 2017 and we have been growing with the experience ever since.  

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This experience has really opened our eyes to traveling with our kids and really chasing our dreams.  Who knows what will be next in our adventures, but we are excited at the journey ahead of us!

Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We’re currently in Gulfport, MS and will be heading to the gulf coast of Texas soon.

What do you love about this place?

We love it here in Gulfport since we’re right on the ocean and the beach.  Our campground is right by an amazing park that the kids play at every day.  Having a playground close by is very important when traveling with three young kids.  

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Anything you don’t like?!

We haven’t liked the weather lately.  We came south to chase summer.  We were expecting warmer temps since we’re right on the Gulf Coast, but it’s been pretty cold and below freezing some nights.

What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

  1. Finding our next destination is both daunting and exciting. Most of our destinations are places we’ve never explored before. So it’s exciting since we get to explore the new area together but also daunting since there are so many choices for places to go.  We also like to find a place to stay for a month at a time since it helps to save money.  

  2. Our RV is on the larger size since it’s about 41’ long so it can make it very challenging driving on small country roads or if we encounter low bridges. We’ve had some close calls that probably gave us both some gray hairs.

  3. The learning curve that comes from owning an RV.  We’ve never owned an RV before so everything is brand new to us such as dealing with different electrical situations, maintaining the plumbing, and understanding the special appliances.

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How’s the food?!

We’ve enjoyed the sushi along the coast!  We have not had much luck with fresh produce.  The selections are not that great at the stores and often way overpriced.  We were used to getting farm fresh produce from local farmers markets when we lived in Vancouver, WA.  I guess we got a little spoiled.

Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

Ahh! Yes, there are way too many to list.  This whole adventure has been a complete learning curve since we have never owned an RV before and on top of having 3 kids 5 and under there is never a dull moment.  We’ll be detailing some of our crazy experiences on our website rollinwiththeflo.com.

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

  1. Roll with the Flo…  You can’t get too bent out of shape if plans don’t go accordingly or if your plans completely change.  It’s bound to happen when you’re traveling on the road and especially with kids.  It’s important to embrace being flexible even if it goes against your grain.

  2. Laugh, laugh and laugh! Be able to laugh at yourself, others or anytime something goes wrong.  Living in a tiny space with 5 people can get stressful at times especially with 3 young children.  If you’re able to laugh it really helps lighten up or diffuse any situation.

  3. Try to see the bright side of anything and everything.  Like say you have 2 tires blowout on your trailer in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday night, and no places are open to help.  Maybe it happened so you’d stop – preventing you from having a future accident.  Who knows!  And it is great when a Good Samaritan comes by to help, saving the day.  Just always try to see the bright side it can really help when dealing with any stressful situation, and things really do work out alright in the end.

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

We’re always on the hunt for free entertainment and free things to do. We rarely shell out cash for entertainment and if we do it’s not much. There are so many free things you can find by searching online or talk to the local people for suggestions or even check out the town’s visitor center.  They are always very helpful there.

We save a lot of money by prepping and preparing all of our snacks and meals from scratch. A lot of people are surprised that we do this while living full-time in an RV but it’s totally doable. It save us a lot of money by not eating out and it’s healthier for you.  

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What do you miss, if anything?

We don’t miss much since much since this minimalist life really suits us and our family goals.  We do find ourselves missing old friends we’ve made, and the kids miss their old friends as well, but we all have made many new friends on the road during our travels.  And after all, we can always travel to visit our old friends while on the road.

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

Don’t fear the unknown of travelling!  It can be daunting and very trying at times, but the excitement of the journey and growth you’ll see in the kids (and the family as a whole) are well worth the challenges you encounter on the road.  Traveling with your tribe is a truly empowering experience!

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Where can we find you?!  

Check us out on our website Rollin' with the flo, as well as Rollin’ with the Flo on Instagram and Facebook!

 

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All we do is wander

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I'm Nadie and my husband Dion, our four children Kaya, Keyon, Emen, and Zane. We were 'regular' with a side of homeschool, deployments and moving every 3 years.. Ok! Ok!  Not so regular but it was our life for 11 years. I was employed with the local school system for special needs students and did homeschool lessons after work. Dion was a solider and we balanced life like most families, but this wasn't the life we wanted, we wanted to live!  We wanted more time with our children and each other and didn't want to wait until retirement to get it. 

We are now wandering the world exploring and sharing each new adventure with our children. There is something unique about traveling, it provides a view of the world unobscured by movies, or stereotypes. It was important for us to make the world bigger than our neighborhood, our state, or even our country for our four children. We wanted them to embrace the diversity in the world without the filter of judgement.

So, we chose to sell EVERYTHING we owned, to live out of suitcases (carryon only), to travel to places that speak languages different to us, eat different foods, have different beliefs from our own. We decided to LIVE without borders!  

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Where abouts in the world are you right now?

We’ve recently finished a month of solitude in the mountains of Southern California. We are headed off  to Mexico City for a month!

What do you love about this place?

Twin Peaks California was a haven of serenity, we had amazing views of snow covered mountains, and almost no neighbors. As far as Mexico City we are excited for this new adventure to explore an urban latin city, one that is the largest in North America.

Anything you don’t like?!

The Wildlife!! I’m not against wildlife and love it from a distance, however we’ve had a few run ins with some wildlife that sacred us to death.

What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?

Budgeting is always a challenge with a large family

Caring for homeschool lessons for each child, and making sure they are learning at their levels.

Overcoming the language barrier. The local people are always super nice about us destroying their native tongue, but I am always nervous initially.

 

How’s the food?!

California’s cuisine is vastly diverse but we’ve enjoyed homecooked meals most of our time there. As for Mexico City the latin palate is modern and traditional, it is an explosion of culture. We can’t wait to immerse in what Mexico City has to offer.

Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

Yes, our California BNB we were greeted by a family of raccoons who were not interested in sharing. We all ran back to the car until we could devise a plan to run them away.

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

Its all a part of the journey, even if you get it wrong.

Be flexible with time, destination, and experiences.

Check in with your resources, facebook groups, many people are more than willing to help.

 

Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Use Skyscanner for flights

Send invites for AirBNB to get those coupons

Use affiliate links, Ebates or niches to add passive income.

 

What do you miss, if anything?

Nothing! We facetime family often … really daily and we have each other.

 

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

Just do it! Whatever, however, whenever you can get out there to see the world do it. It will change your tribe’s life, their perspective, their humanity in beautiful ways.

Where can we find you?!

www.allwedoiswander.com

Instagram @allwedoiswander

 

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3 cases 2 kids 1 dream...

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Shri and family, thankyou so much for being the first in our WORLDSCHOOL TALES series line up! As you know I am so excited to hear all about your adventures. Please tell our readers a little about your background!

We are a fun loving family of four, with mama Shri, Papa Kei, eldest daughter Keshra (12) and youngest son Kalan (6). We are a home educating family, originally from the south Wales valleys.

Fed up of the traditional 9-5 and renovating houses we always felt like there was something better out there for us! A huge driving factor for us was our daughters severe chronic eczema. For years we had doctors telling us that if we could make it to Mediterranean climates it would make a huge difference to our daughters life! That coupled with tales of other families world schooling with their children inspired us to pursue our dreams. So, on the 16th February 2017 we sold everything we owned and fled the UK with just 3 cases, 2 kids and 1 dream, to embark on a world schooling adventure and seek location independence.

Where about are you right now?

Well, right now we are back in the UK, visiting loved ones, reconnecting with friends and planning our next year long adventure! Over the course of this interview we have travelled from San Miguel de Salinas, Spain and ventured through France for a short stay then back to wet and windy Wales... it's nicknamed the 'wet Country' for good reason!

What do you love about Wales?

The nature, the people and of course the lush green forests!

Anything you don’t like?!

The rain! It's never ending here! Autumn, winter and Spring it just rains rains rains! Summer is almost non existent and it's almost impossible to make plans for anything outdoors unless your well equipped with waterproof clothing and good old fashioned Wellington boots!

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What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out when travelling to unfamiliar places?

Constantly assessing!! Are we in the right place? What does that sign mean? Who can we ask for help? You will find when travelling a foreign country with kids that you are constantly assessing your surroundings, people and situations!

Learning to really trust your gut! Your gut feelings are your sixth sense. Learn to trust your gut feeling! If a situation doesn't feel right or if you aren't so sure about what someone has said it's probably your gut feeling letting you know something isn't quite what it seems!

Learning to adapt! When your on the road everything is constantly changing! Between language barriers, changes in culture and food adaptation becomes integral, for adults and children alike.

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How’s the food?!

Not as good as Spain! The fruits and vegetables were soo fresh that even a mandarin seemed almost too sweet. We have had to re-adjust again since being back in the UK! Even the children are craving fresh olives, dried mango and missing foraging for the nuts we came to love.

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Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?

Too many to mention, but here's a few that come to mind!

Daunting – having pickpockets trying it on while standing at the train station in France! There wasn't just one either! After a long and arduous day we must have looked like easy targets, but, they didn't count on us being so aware! My partner Kei had to knock a hand away from his pocket and we made sure that they knew we were on to them!

Interesting – Meeting other world-schoolers! It's amazing how when travelling any friendships formed are quite intense, especially if there's an instant connection. While in San Miguel we met a Danish family who were escaping the Danish winter in search of sunnier climbs while road tripping in their VW camper van! They taught us so much in terms of mindfulness, pursuing happiness and helped us realise that our possibilities and realities in life are only restricted by our beliefs. Change your beliefs and challenge them. We are the creators of our own reality!

Funny – Our journey back to the UK went horribly wrong from start to finish! Travelling over the new year is not advisable! We pulled up to our second night stop at a reserved Gite in rural France. We got out of the car and the owner took one look at us, probably though 'oh dear, it's some hippy types' and decided that we were not worthy of the renovated gite but would prefer for us to stay in her house, with no locks on the door and a shared bathroom right next to the proposed room! It wasn't what we had booked so politely told the owner this wasn't acceptable and decided to carry on with our journey. By the time we found somewhere adequate for us to stay we were that dog tired that we were talking to the French hotel staff in a language we can only describe as French - Spanglish! The best part was, they understood every world!

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Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?

Wow where to start! After much consideration, I believe the the 3 greatest things anyone can do to pursue their ambitions, be it travel or otherwise are...

Stay positive – a positive mental attitude can really shape how you view situations and opportunities!

Ask for help! - Nobody on this earth knows everything! Sometimes, to push yourself out of your comfort zone you need a little help.

Challenge your beliefs! - Travelling really opens your eyes to the fact that other people / cultures do things in different ways! And that people are inherently good! Embracing these differences really help you, and your children, to understand that regardless of race, religion and stature, we are all human!  

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Do you have any financial tips for travelling?

Yes. If your plan is long term travelling don't get lost in holiday mode! We learnt this the tough way! Remember that you are there to experience culture, and get on with life. When the sun is shining and your walking on the beach and the waft of freshly BBQ'd fish fills the air it can be hard to resist eating out far more that you should! Avoid the tourist traps and don't feel pressured into handing over money! A lot of the time locals are trying it on, knowing your not from those parts and can literally add 100 percent on to the prices that they would charge otherwise.

So essentially our golden rule now is 'live life like a local.' We shop at markets, visit the local bakers and always shop within the community! That way you know your money isn't going to major corporations but into the local community instead.

What do you miss, if anything?

Well right now we are catching up with loved ones that we missed along the way. Other than people we didn't really miss anything. We preferred the food in Europe, saw wildlife, flora and fauna we have never seen before and even started a raw food diet! Though, during the 'Lucifer heatwave' in August 2017, I did find myself craving some lush green foliage and a rain! It's amazing what the heat can do to you!

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What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?

You CAN do this! With the right mental attitude anything is possible! Believe in yourself to the point where it could be considered arrogant! For you are your greatest ally, but also your greatest foe! You are only limited to possibilities dependent on your beliefs! Dream big, trust your instincts and do what really excites you and your family! Jump, take that leap, and you will find that it is you that will catch yourself!!

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Where can we find you?!

Numerous places! We are all over the net right now! You can watch our adventures, trials and tribulations on our YouTube Channel, chat with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and this year we launched our world-schooling Family Travel Blog. We also have an eczema blog passing on information that we have gathered over the years in treating eczema naturally.

YouTube – www.youtube.com/3cases2kids1dream/

 

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