Today’s bonus edition of our blog is from Geoff, one of our Accounting Specialists.
Do you like the movie Office Space, the TV show The Office, or any of the many shows about the absurdity of the 9-to-5 (or 8-to-6 as it seems to be these days) office worker lifestyle? The characters in these shows often find themselves wanting something more, but they feel powerless to do anything about it because they don’t know how to change.
What if I told you that there’s a different path, a movement even, and that there are many friendly faces who are eager to guide you towards a different, nomadic life, whether or not you have children?
In October my family had the pleasure of attending a five-day conference called the Family Adventure Summit. It’s a way for worldschooling families to learn how to break out of the mold financially, ethically, and responsibly while still having plenty of fun!
What is Worldschooling?
Worldschooling is an educational movement that espouses the belief that the best way for children to learn about the world is to see it. The name is new but the concept is not. People have been traveling the world for centuries, many of them with families in tow.
The Kids Are Alright
Sometimes my wife and I ask ourselves: do we really know what we’re doing, flitting around the world with kids in tow, teaching them at times but also letting them do their own explorations? Do the upsides of world travel with kids outweigh the downsides?
One of the most inspirational things we were able to see at the summit was the teen panel, to hear the unique first-hand perspectives of those who grew up in the traveling lifestyle. Many of them started their own businesses and/or are published authors. With so much time to pursue their own interests, they were able to follow their dreams.
Perhaps you’re wondering if these teenagers were not well-rounded because of the lack of a balanced institutional education. On the contrary, in our experience. What we saw is that the students were able to learn diverse subjects in ways that excited them. With frequent trips to the library and an internet connection, the limits of free independent learning are pretty close to the limits of accumulated human knowledge at this point. Many worldschooling students do go on to college.
Is Worldschooling Only for Rich People?
Not at all! In Bellingham, Washington, my wife and I were living comfortably enough but struggling to save while we both had full-time jobs with insurance. Rent, child care, food, and household goods expenses sucked away just about everything we earned. We did eat out more than necessary, which had a lot to do with having two toddlers plus two full-time jobs.
We have savings from selling our house, but we’re finding that having just one parent with a part-time job is enough to cover most of our expenses while traveling the world, and if we slow down to only flying once every two or three months, then we’ll be very close to equilibrium…as long as we mostly stick to low-cost-of-living countries.
We met families of five, six, and even seven who were able to travel the world together and somehow afford to do so — if it’s important enough to you and you’re willing to sacrifice some comforts then you can probably do it too. We saw parents of all ages, single parents, same-sex parents, parents traveling with their parents, prospective parents, and parents of children with disabilities. All of them were able to make their world-travel dreams come true for them, in ways that inspired us.
If you feel that this is something you want to do, and you are willing to be flexible, change, and make sacrifices in order to make it happen, then there is no better time than now to rise to the challenge.
World Travel, with kids? Well, I definitely Couldn’t Do That!
Sure, it can be tough to accommodate your children while traveling the world, making sure their needs are met while not breaking the bank. What we learned at the Family Adventure Summit is just how diverse the families are that were able to do this. This movement takes all kinds of different families, and if you are up to it, we look forward to seeing your family at the next summit!
TL;DR: My family traveled to the Family Adventure Summit in Bali, Indonesia and met many different kinds of families who cast off the mold of how they were expected to live, left their possessions and lives behind, and struck out into the world. It’s not easy, and you might not have all the answers beforehand, but chances are that you could travel the world too, even if you have children!
Learn more about our families travels on the Cutting the Tethers website here!
If you’re interested to learn more about Family Adventure Summit or even sign your family up for the next event, check out their website here.