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May
29

The Best Of Both Worlds

What would your perfect life look like?

I’m not talking about winning the lottery, I’m talking real world.

If you could set yourself up to live your dreams, what would that look like?

It is a question Mike and I have been asking ourselves for the last six months and we have come up with our answer.

Our perfect life would of course include traveling.  In our perfect world we would travel and explore for six months of every year, missing winter here in Canada and slow traveling someplace warm.  We would use the world as our classroom.  We would stop and stay awhile in the places that call to us.  We would immerse ourselves in new cultures, discover new foods, make new friends, learn more about our world and ourselves.

The other six months would be spent here in British Columbia.  We would have a huge garden, maybe some chickens.  We would eat local and organic as much as possible.  We would camp.  We would be involved in our Learning Circle.  We would be connected to our extended families.  We would host potlucks and bonfires, make music and dance.  And of course in and amongst all of that we would work to fund this lifestyle.

This is our new goal.  We are going to create our own perfect life.

Originally the plan was to travel for two years and then come home to start over again.  But now we don’t want to start over again.  We want a permanent lifestyle change…and we think we can pull it off.

Of course we are still working out the details on all of this but we have set our intentions and miraculously things are starting to fall into place.

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22 comments

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  1. Jess Draus says:

    Funny I have been dealing with that same question for the past year+ and have come to a similar answer. We haven’t quite gotten to 6 months of travel a year yet but in our plan it is 6 months “off work” with a good portion of that devoted to travel. I am definately tied to the earth beneath my feet here (in easten Pa, USA) and am loving watching it grow and grow other things as well. If you ever get down our way, come and stay and explore rural Pa. a while. I am finding such depth to the culture here. Yay for you all on defining what it is you want and taking those steps.
    Jess

    1. worldschooled says:

      Thank you Jess. We are really excited about our new lifestyle and really feel like it does give us the best of both worlds. I think it will be really good for our children to be rooted to a place with a great community and family support but to also show them the world which has been our goal for so, so long.

  2. Diana McKinnon says:

    My husband and I are trying to work out this puzzle as well. He is a helicopter pilot and works seasonally in the spring and summer months, and winter is usually a bit of a struggle anyway because it’s so quiet work-wise. I’ve been trying to come up with a plan for years to give us a way to do some traveling and/or living abroad. But I just couldn’t quite bring myself to move permanently, leaving family and life in Canada behind. We just recently realized that six months a year away would probably be perfect. We could go anywhere we want to during the winter months and then return to our friends and family here for the rest of the year – giving up nothing except the roots of a permanent home structure. (which really was only promoting the need to aquire more and more “stuff”, and become de-sensitized and ungrateful to the fact that we, by historical and planetary standards, are very wealthy )
    I had an epiphany while thinking about all of this…..I realized I watch TV while eating chocolate because I’m not taking photos of colonial Mexico while teaching my daughter about the art history of the region.
    TV and chocloate are sedatives. I sedate myself with these types of indulgences because I know I’m not where I want to be, because I haven’t followed the call in a bold way. I end up needing what everyone in our culture needs – a perfect body, an expensive coat, watch, bag and shoes, a bigger, nicer car, a bottle of wine at the end of every nullifying workday, success and fame, to be constantly bombarded by titillation in the form of “entertainment” and tabloid news….even the trappings of modern environmentalism (eco-chic living) have become just another function of this rat race, just another reason to consume MORE and BETTER.
    My Father has Huntington’s disease and although I have not been tested yet I think of my journey in these terms: I have approximately twenty five years of normal life left. Do I want to spend it working to be able to afford a weekly spa visit?
    This is not my life.

    A couple of years ago while looking into living in Panama I discovered that many people were using medical transcription work to fund their travels. I am currently researching that as the potential answer to the need for financial stability on the road.

    I took my daughter out of school two weeks ago and I’m ashamed to say it took me almost two full years of public eduation to get to the point that I was ready to heed my inner voice, and do what I know is right for her – and for me.
    It will probably be two years more before we are buying tickets – but I want to thank you so much for paving the way. xoxo Diana McKinnon

    “It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.”
    Roy E. Disney

    1. worldschooled says:

      Diana, I want to thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. You are so eloquent with your words, you made me tear up. I think this is a problem that so many people struggle with. We know there is an authentic life out there for us, we even may know what that life is. But all of the pressures of grown up life pound us down, restrain us, make us think that leaving the norm even just a little bit is too much of a risk. We work our whole lives to prepare for retirement but we are missing out on the best years for ourselves and for our children.

      Congratulations for taking your daughter out of school. That is such a huge step and I am sure it will be a life changer for your whole family. If travel is what you want then you can do that to. There are thousands of ways you can support yourself while on the road or maybe you can just pare down your lifestyle at home enough so that you can save money while your husband is busy working in the summers.

      My husband is a carpenter and is self employed so traveling for six months a year makes sense for us. He barely works in the winter anyways and has to turn down jobs in the summer. We think that if we play our cards right we will be able to finance our dreams through his working half a year or less. This means of course that our lifestyle will be frugal, but frugal living aligns with our values…we don’t feel like we are giving things up, we feel like we are gaining everything that is good and right for our family.

      I wish you all the luck in your journey. Please keep us updated and thank you so much for connecting.

  3. Liz says:

    Wonderful words and plans ! I admire you all – ( Diana too ) !
    The world is an amazing place and I agree – we all need to put some of our materialistic ideas behind us and experience other cultures … someone recently said whilst in Bali “These people smile all day and they have nothing” … Yes, they don’t need material possessions – they have freshly food, their art, their music, their families – ‘just one of the amazing places on our planet I hope you also get too one day! … I count my blessings .. I was born with the genes to explore the world, but you ALL sound inspirational!
    I wish you all a wonderful journey through life ..
    IF you ever get to Australia please drop me a line!
    Liz

    1. worldschooled says:

      I agree about the people of Bali, they are happy. I think more and more people are waking up from this dream/nightmare that success and happiness comes from having more stuff. It doesn’t, and I would say that the more we buy the less happy we become.

      We would love to make it to Australia. My oldest son is in love with Australian animals so we really want to bring him there so he can learn at the source!

  4. Daniel says:

    Your plans and my familie’s plans are very similar! We too are embarking on a course of slow travel, home schooling, and location independent living.

    I’m a self employed web developer and my wife cares for our three kids, so we can live anywhere there is Internet. Our last hurdle to travel is being out of debt and having 6 months of expenses. We should be there by the beginning of next year and are excited to hit the road.

    1. worldschooled says:

      Wow that is fantastic! Great to hear of how other families are doing it!

  5. Jill says:

    Well, we just hit our 6 month annivesary of doing exactly this ( except we are going for longer than 6 months this time) Still in Asia.

    ‘Perfect’ is not a word I would use….
    ‘wonderful’ might be a better word.

    To be truthful, even if our trip was ‘challenging’ or ‘hard work’ or ‘intense’ all of those things are sooooo much better than our life at home, which was both boring and stressful.

    Diana, I loved your comment about the sedatives…. I understand!

    Jill

    1. worldschooled says:

      Well I guess perfect is pretty hard to obtain, not matter what you are doing. That is what makes it all so interesting.

  6. Nadine Hudson says:

    Dear Amy and your wonderful family
    I am so happy you came to this point and you have thoughts about how to make all of you happy.
    May I just give you one very sincerely meant advise? Stop planning and thinking so much. Who knows what will happen in a few years. You might all be longing to have a house and a stable life, your children might want to go to school and might like to stay home with friends. Or they might not. Nobody knows. Life sometimes takes strange turns and for us, we always felt it was best to just head out into the world without any plans and see what comes. When something came up, we made the best of it all. Like now, when our children want to go to school and I cannot tell you in words how much they blossom and how much they enjoy a settled school life. This might change again, I am sure it will, and we take every day as it comes and enjoy what ever.
    So please, just enjoy your flight to Hong Kong, take an overnight train to Guilin from there, stay at the Outside Inn near Yangshuo (the hotel we used to run :-)) and travel where ever the mood and destination takes you. And when you are ready, go home and when you are ready again, set out again. Like Alfred Hitchcock said: Things never turn out the way you expect.
    I often try and work out details myself, try to figure out how to live the next few years, and each time I have to remind myself that a) we are four individuals and not just one and b) things never happen the way we plan them anyway. So lets throw it all over board and just go and enjoy life. And you will! Asia is waiting for you. Good luck and enjoy! With you in warn thoughts… Nadine

    1. worldschooled says:

      Me stop planning and thinking? That is like a fish not swimming! I have always been a planner but I count it as one of my virtues. Its how I get things done, how I work through problems, how I set goals for myself…if I am not planning something I am bored!

      I understand your point though. Things will change for us as they always do. At that point I’ll make new plans. Nothing is permanent. :)

      1. Nadine Hudson says:

        I am sorry Amy, I didn’t mean to suggest you stop planning and thinking. I do it myself, too. We usually have 5000 plans and end up with plan 5001…
        All I wanted is to share our experience that sometimes, our plans won’t happen the way we want them to, especially when our children are involved and that at some point in life our children might have different ideas and likes than us. Like our boys who temporarily (I hope) had enough of a nomadic life and road schooling and wanted to have a home and a life in a “normal” public school. However, I don’t want to say that every family will come to this point, we are all different. We’ve also met families who ended up going home early, because they didn’t actually like travelling anymore, once they set out to do it and we met others who wanted to just stay away a short time and ended up staying away forever.
        But I realized, and that’s why I would like to apologize, that I don’t have to tell you this, because you know and because you are flexible enough (and really nice too!) to make new plans when things change. So…. sorry. :-)
        And don’t forget to visit when/if you come to Switzerland…
        Nadine

        1. worldschooled says:

          Ah Nadine, no worries at all. I didn’t take offence, I know you are always trying to help me and I love you for it!

  7. Diana says:

    I’m just incredibly happy to find a community of people that I can identify with, and I’m so inspired by the people that are literally living the journey I hope to make – I’m thrilled!
    My next step is connection and a whole new phase of research, which I plan to incorporate into my daughter’s worldschool/unschool curriculum. :)

    I’m in Nanaimo, BC, by the way.

    1. worldschooled says:

      Nanaimo? We may just be up your way this summer! Would be great to meet you!

  8. Diana says:

    Oh and, thanks again Amy – I heart you.

  9. marci livingston says:

    So Cool! We are doing just that too! We will be home March-August for my husband’s busy season of work and then travel the rest of the year! So excited for you guys!

    1. worldschooled says:

      Awesome! So great to hear of other people planning the same kind of thing. Good luck you guys!

  10. Lisa Wood says:

    I love the idea of travelling and exploring for ever. We have the same plans and goals! We want to explore slowly and try new foods/new culture/new areas. We cant ever imagine living in a house again. Its not what we want and nor will be looking at any time settling down.
    How exciting for you and your family – exploring the world!

  11. joy says:

    i find this so inspiring as well. i am trying to figure out how to do this but with debt, being a single parent and a teacher i haven’t figured it out yet! i am working on it though with living in asia and swiftly paying it down. when i leave here i hope to be nearly debt free and ready to do what i want with my life. kudos to you!

    1. worldschooled says:

      Debt is such a dream killer. Good for you for focusing on getting out of debt. I can’t wait to be debt free at the end of June. It is going to feel so good!

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