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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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/