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Bon Voyage, Friends!

World + Road Schooling

I'm so excited. This weekend, we enter our season of nomad life, where we are frequent fliers, road warriors, and camping creatures. It's the season of movement, where we return to our wanderer ways.


We have two camping trips and two long road trips in May, three road trips in June, and a birthday voyage in July (both boys wanted beach birthdays), and we are still building out our June and July camping. Spending so much time on the open road, wading in the water, hiking up mountains or in the woods, deep in thought and with a body full of deliciousness, exhaustion, and curiosity, fills me up. 




 

Shifting

As I've gotten older, the idea of living a completely nomadic life has gradually faded. Before our babies, my dream life consisted of traveling the globe solo (and later, after meeting the love of my life) with Mike. Even as a sophomore in college, I asked my dad to help me pay for a year or two abroad - perhaps backpack traveling post-college. It only made sense because 1.) I was an international studies and literature/journalism major - I had to get my start somewhere. And 2! I grew up with him and my mom's mantra: 


"We spend money on two things - vacation and education!"

Welp, I learned they meant family vacations because he laughed, thinking it was too dangerous and would mess up my post-grad opportunities. Not to mention, he was already paying for my university and had two children behind me. I needed to graduate and get a job, and at the time, I was moving in the "right" direction with a prestigious summer internship with P&G that would result in a job post-college.  So, after my dad said no


I asked my mom: "What about the Peace Corps or a service abroad opportunity offered to me in college?" But as her firstborn, it felt too much. 


And to be honest, it didn't feel worth the push. And even now, I have no regrets about not going. With my parent's support (lol, the other opportunities made them too nervous), I quit my internship the following summer and went to Philly/NYC with my aunt/uncle to intern at Vibe magazine. In NYC, I learned about Teach For America, which brought me to the profession the Creator formed me for - education. So Mike and I pivoted to let's get married, work hard, and then quit to travel the world for a year or two before trying to have children. But then life and fear hit us, and we happily settled on a state-to-state nomadic life with traveling during breaks until baby number two (lol).  


 

Once COVID hit, with a six-year-old and two-year-old in a new city, I fell in love with the idea of a steady, stable, and slow life. And now, with a growing business and a wonderful church home, the idea of chucking my daily routine, not spending my days teaching amongst the flowers, and forgoing the comforts of our abode (with our tiny gardens) makes my heart sad. 



So, for now, the balance for us is a home life complete with teaching, learning and creating, nature, long silent walks with Nina (dreaming of our adventures), a strict budget, homecooked meals, morning devotion time filled with prayer and visualizations, reading books that fuel my faith, my nature knowledge and my vivid imagination, and 15-20 minutes of YouTube expeditions (I particularly love information on teardrops, traveling campers, backpackers, and tent dwellers).


And then, on our breaks, we hit the road, learn from hands-on experiences, or simply rest. So far, we've traveled on all our breaks for the last three years - always leaving December for homestay. Honestly, though, as our boys get older - we toy with changing the December stay to a voyage-home combo. Especially after our most recent trip to Cartagena, Colombia; it was everything my eco-educator heart yearned for, pushing us deeper into our dreams of world and road schooling.  In fact, God willing, it is the direction we are taking for our oldest's middle school years. He is a traveler, a camper, and a wandering artist, so I've been slowly (very slowly - like it's still in my head and scribbled in my journal - slowly) creating a curriculum and flow that will pair well with our homeschool rhythm.



May I ask for three prayers: one for safety, another for my youngest, who craves travel but doesn't always love long road trips, and the third that we have the discipline to document our voyages (and create helpful resources—so no one has to re-invent the wheel)?


Shalom,

Shelby


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