In my last post, I wrote about three of the most common questions people ask when they find out our family is about to take a nine-month trip around the world: Are we taking the kids? Where are we going? How are we getting there? You can read my answers here by clicking here.
In this post, I answer three more questions people ask.
1. How will the kids keep up with school?
Figuring this out was tricky, but we did it, thanks to many great people and resources, as well as kids who stayed open to alternatives. Riley is in his junior year of high school, and Allison is a fifth grader. Understandably, Riley was our last holdout on whether or not to take the trip. Your junior year is critical for many reasons. Once he weighed the benefits and opportunity, he knew it was what he wanted to do. He jumped in with both feet. If you know Riley, you know he’s pretty good at jumping in.
So the big question was how to keep both kids on pace with their peers at home. We agree with those who have told us that travel is the best schooling. We also know that keeping up with math, reading, and writing is critical, especially for Riley’s college applications.
After a lot of discussion and agreements with both kids, we watched a remarkable set of solutions emerge in the form of teachers, programs and technology. Each of the kids have individual teachers who will direct them each week on what they need to complete in order to meet state requirements, and a wonderful mix of internet, blogging, writing, and online teaching programs will help them do it.
2. What is this trip going to cost you?
Four people, nine months, and at least ten countries. We had no idea what it would cost, but we were committed to making it affordable. I Googled my way to books, articles, blogs, and sites to learn about how others do it. This helped us know how long we could be gone and what locations were affordable. For example, we will do short stays in more expensive cities like London, Paris, and Sydney and spend the bulk of our time in places where our dollar can go further, such as Turkey, Morocco, Thailand and Africa. We decided to stay in hostels and use homestays, choosing to spend our money on the adventures. We expect our costs to be anywhere from $20 – $60 a day, per person, depending on where we are.
3. What are you bringing with you?
We will bring only the essentials. I usually pack way too much stuff. For this trip, our family has agreed to bring one carry-on. We understand carry-on rules are very strict overseas, so we will comply with international carry-on regulations. We will each have a backpack for day trips. Other travelers remind us that if we need something, we can buy it there. We will be traveling where it’s hot, so we can leave bulky winter clothing behind. We will ship any purchases home. So, what will we bring? The bare minimum of clothes, medical supplies, technology in the form of phones, a laptop and tablet, and an adventurous spirit.
There are many questions I can’t answer. There is so much we don’t know yet. I am learning I don’t have to have all the answers right now. They will come. I am also learning I can’t control every detail as much as I would like. I’m letting go. I’m putting myself out there to meet people who I’ve never met to ask questions and learn from their experience.
Every time I do that, my confidence grows a little more, and with it my courage to take the next unknown step. I am more convinced than ever that this is the right move for our entire family.
Have more questions? Feel free to post them here, or go to Facebook and like The Courage Vibe and post them there. I’ll be happy to answer them.