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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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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