BLOG | WE SHARE OUR THOUGHTS ALONG THE WAY

We’re certainly not the only family who have left the rat-race to travel the world, but might be one of the few who did it with older kids and a tag-along-teacher. Our travels caught the attention of blogger and podcaster Jason Jenkins of An Epic Education. In his recently published podcast we discuss travel resources, spreadsheets, coffee makers, Rick Steves, library cards and the challenges of family travel with teens.

 

 

 

Some highlights about world-schooling while traveling (cited from An Epic Education’s show notes):

 

EPIC INSIGHT
They knew they were coming back, so researched their state’s laws regarding homeschooling.
Enrolled Bella into specific online courses associated with...

This post is going to be like that "Sound of Music" song. You know, the one with the whiskers and kittens and warm woolen mittens? Only without music. Or Julie Andrews. Just a few of our favorite things about Buenos Aires... 

 

Cutest Porteños

 

Heather, Rodrigo and I managed to take several long, exercise-paced walks through the Recoleta neighborhood. We were charmed by at least a dozen dogs who followed their masters obediently throughout the city. In contrast, there were also dog-walkers who picked up their charges, then tromped together along well-worn paths through parks and beside sidewalk cafes. These adorable pets made us homesick for our own (not-so-well-behaved) pups.

 

Spookiest sight-seeing

 

Rec...

It was early on our last morning in South Africa. I sat in the cool brick patio of our Johannesburg guesthouse, editing photos of our amazing safari at Kruger National Park. Still sleepy, but slightly panicked, Rodrigo came out, “oh my god,” he said, “I think I need a visa for Dubai!” A quick scramble on the internet revealed that we’d failed one of the most basic tasks of travel planning. Indeed Brazilians DO need a visa to stay in Dubai, so we had to very quickly change our travel plans, including a spendy re-routing of our flight (5 people means even smallish change-fees add up!), and adding a full week to our visit to Athens.

 

Lucky for us, the Athens apartment that we’d rented for our originally...

We’d been driving along South Africa’s gorgeous southern coastline and the famous Garden Route for 10 days. Heather was my trusty navigator, spotting road signs, tracking our mileage, and guiding me through the turns. I’d gotten comfortable driving on the left side of the road from the right side of the car, but still appreciated her reminders to “hug, hug, hug the curb” when turning left.

 

Approaching Port Elizabeth we veered north, following signs for Addo National Elephant Park. Heather read our travel agent’s instructions aloud, guiding us towards River Bend Lodge, a private game reserve where we would stay for two nights and three days. We finally reached the massive gates and buzzed for permissi...

Our teens are great travelers, but they’ll be the first to tell you that they hate being tourists. They cringe when they see package-deal-holiday busloads unloading at site entrances. They’ll skittle away from groups in museums, lest someone think we’re with them. After almost a year traveling around the world with a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old, we’ve identified three types of not-so-touristy teen travel by tapping in to our kids’ passions and focusing on immersive activities.

 

First, consider language learning. In almost every major city we’ve been, from Mendoza to Madrid to Montpellier, we’ve seen language schools for older kids and teens. Many of these offer 1- 2- and 4-week summer camps with opt...

I hesitate to include a budget report about South Africa, as it was the only country where we stopped being independent travelers and hired both a travel agent and a safari company. Determining a plan for Africa took longer and was more difficult, somehow, than the other countries on our itinerary. Perhaps this was because Africa felt more unknown and dangerous than South America and Europe. (Read my blog post “South Africa: we are already looking forward to the day we return” for more details.)

 

Subsequently, South Africa was far more expensive than any other country and is not easily broken down into the categories I normally report on. That being said, a financial accounting of our trip would not b...

I shared our RTW plan with a long-time friend and mentor over coffee one day. He was surprised, incredulous even. His response was something like, “What?! You’re going to do what? That’s crazy! Aren’t you afraid you’re going to screw up your kids?” It was the first time someone had expressed doubts about what we were doing, he was genuinely concerned that quitting school and traveling for a year would negatively affect our tween son and teen daughter. “No way!” I replied confidently. “They love travel. They’ll be fine!” 

 

Well, the truth is, it’s been harder on them than I expected. The bottom line is that they ARE fine and they HAVE learned a lot and they WOULD tell you the trip was worth it. But the...

I handed our hostess two stacks of bills, one of dollars, one of Argentine pesos. We’d withdrawn money at the Buenos Aires airport to pay the remaining rent on the apartment we’d rented in the Recoleta neighborhood. She looked at the second stack disappointedly. “Oh,” she said, “I thought I told you I only take cash.”  I glanced at Rodrigo out of the corner of my eye noticing that he was looking as confused as I felt. I hesitated, “that is cash.” “No,” she said. “I don’t accept Argentine pesos.”

 

Thus we were introduced to Argentina’s dollar-hungry, blue-market, ever-fluid economy. We learned very quickly that expenses were sky-high unless you could pay in US or Euro cash. Food, lodging, gas, replenis...

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