The fact that now, after our first year of unschooling, I don’t ever see my children attending public schools has me questioning a whole lot of other things in my life. I have gone from a mainstream view of education to what some might say is a radical one. What else in my life deserves questioning? What are my pre-conceived views about my role in this world? And do these views reflect what is in my heart or do I carry them because that is what is expected of me?
I have always had things in my life that were unconventional. Instead of saving to buy things we have always saved for the next big trip. Giving up our jobs to travel was not some far flung dream, it was our reality. And now, selling our house so that we may travel with our children is far from “normal” and I recognize that our family’s lifestyle fits somewhere outside society’s box.
But if I can go from a mainstream educational philosophy to an unschooling one, and from a traditional view of family travel to my new goal of Worldschool Adventures, what else in my life deserves examination?
Could we take our two year Worldschool Adventure and make it a lifestyle? What would we need to do to make that happen? Is there a way for us to fund a nomadic lifestyle? If we start our adventure and find out that we don’t want it to stop, who says we have to? There is no one telling us that we have to come home and buy or build another house, put the kids in school and save for retirement, it is only societies expectation that we do so. But would that make us happy?
Do I really need to own things? This year we became a one car family, something I thought would be so inconvenient and guess what? It has been totally fine! Apart from a few lonely cold winter days when we were stuck at home, it has forced us to really plan our outings with the truck and its gotten us out walking and riding our bikes more! How do we let our “stuff” define us? How much does it weigh us down? What is the true cost of ownership? Stuff is money. We pay to buy it, to maintain it, to insure it, to clean it, and then to replace it. Our lifestyle already leans towards minimalism but I still feel trapped by ownership.
Lately we’ve been dreaming of only owning a truck and travel trailer. Something we could live in when we come home to Canada to visit, a home that we can take with us to visit friends and family with the freedom to camp all summer long. This is something Mike and I have been talking a lot about lately, traveling overseas in the winter and camping our way through Canada and America in the summers. If I could choose the perfect lifestyle for our family, I think this would be it.
How can I align my values? How can I make our green lifestyle greener? What are the things I can forgo while still providing a level of comfort and security? How can I do more? How can I give more? What do I have to give?
I guess it all comes down to asking, What kind of life do I want to live? I have been lucky enough to be born in a country where government and poverty do not dictate my lifestyle choices. I want to make this life extraordinary, but do it on my own terms. I don’t have all the answers, but for now, I think it is enough that I am asking the questions.