When I first started homeschooling I had a rough plan of what the teenage years would look like. It’s funny to think about that because when you are a young parent, and you think about the teenage years, you really have no idea what it is going to be like. I did however have one goal for the late teen years that I still have today and that is to travel with the kids extensively. I wanted them to experience the world and to build up some memories with them before they leave home.
I have tried to implement this plan numerous times over the past few years, but I haven’t been successful. There are many reasons for this, but the primary reason was that we needed to stay where we were for health reasons. This is something I did not plan for when my kids were young, but it was something that we had to deal with. Today though we are finally in a place where we can leave our area, pack up everything, and start transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle.
What does this transition look like? First we are boxing up all our belongings and putting much of it in storage. This is a huge job and sometimes, as I am filling box after box, I do question whether this is the right choice. At the end of the day I always feel that it is and so I awake the next day and carry on with the filling of boxes. We are hoping to be done with this stage around the end of August, and then we will be moving out of our apartment and the city we have lived in for most of my children’s childhood.
Where are we going? Well we definitely need a place to live while we save up money and plan our adventures. Luckily for us that the grandparents live in a big house with lots of extra room. It works out nicely because we will have our own space separate from everyone else which is a must for everyone’s sanity. Also they live up in the mountains in a wonderfully peaceful setting which is good for us.
So what comes next? First off we have to save some money. Being a single parent family means we live on a very tight budget. Moving out of our apartment frees up a large chunk of money that we will now be able to save. Our end goal is getting to Europe and that is costly, so it is necessary to save up for a while. The kids also have online classes they are tied to, so we can’t just immediately go trouncing around the world.
In the meantime we are doing two things. We are planning many little trips to take. California and America are great places to explore, so we are going to do just that. Also the kids and I are planning our European trip which is fun and exciting. My youngest is very involved in this process due to the fact that he has more free time than the twins and because he has some anxiety about traveling. By giving him some of the planning responsibility I am hoping to ease his anxiety. It is also a great long-term homeschooling project. He will be learning about finances and creating a budget, how to make an itinerary, and how to research along with a host of other skills.
Our Great Travel Plan, as I like to call it, will take time. Time to save up money and time to plan properly. It is not something we thought to do on the spur of the moment, nor is it a plan that we are naively entering. I have been thinking about doing this since the twins were babies, waiting for the right moment in our lives to implement it. It is exciting and scary, but I am so thankful that we have the kind of lifestyle that allows this. The kids are not tied to any school because we homeschool, and I have an opportunity to provide them with one last adventure as a family before they go off and begin their lives. This is the time, this is the moment. The Great Travel Plan has begun.