I think this trip is a good idea, and it is going pretty well so far. There are things about the trip that are great. We’re definitely getting plenty of time to relax here. We need it. We need to figure out how much things cost in US $, and the conversion changes in every country. I like doing that math. I’ve noticed that we have different safety precautions here, like riding a motorbike instead of a car. Not that I mind. I think learning abroad is really fun! You don’t do nearly as much school, and you take “field trips” almost every day. I LOVE that.
We are worldschooling here, and I am learning a ton by just going to temples, or talking to locals, or even looking around myself. We do homeschool too, but I think I’m learning most by worldschooling. Homeschooling and worldschooling are different in ways, but also fairly similar. Homeschooling is basically like going to school at home, usually with a parent as the teacher. Homeschooling can follow what regular schools are teaching, or it can be whatever the teacher wants to teach. Worldschooling is learning by traveling, by experiencing and learning different cultures. In my opinion, learning by experiencing is the best kind of learning. It has worked out great for us so far.
Traveling can be hard, complicated, frustrating, and stressful. It’s not all rest and fun. We need to get used to getting used to new places. I find that getting used to places is harder than I thought it would be, especially sleep-wise. Being the oldest kid while traveling means some more responsibility, like helping Lil-Sis in and out of the taxi trucks (songthaews) and carrying all my own gear when we relocate, and even household chores like doing the dishes when we rent a house. I kind of mind that. I think we’re having the most trouble communicating with people in different countries. Learning new languages (especially Thai) has not been easy. My mom is relying on me and my dad to speak some Thai when needed. Now I’m communicating to the drivers instead of her!
I admit that because we’re moving around so much, I haven’t been sleeping well enough. I’ve also been feeling a little homesick at times. Especially when I’m mad or tired. I love all my people at home!!! I don’t like being around tired, cranky, frustrated parents at all. When one person is cranky, it ruins it for everyone. My parents mostly get stressed at the end of the day when it’s “their time”. Also, being around my siblings 24/7 is not what I’m used to, and I get really frustrated when they won’t leave me alone, or annoy me, or tantrum and ruin my peace.
There are comforts that we have at home that we don’t have here, but I don’t really miss those comforts on a daily basis. I can be perfectly happy without all the extra conveniences from home like my comfortable bed (I’ve noticed that beds here are just plain hard!). Even though the beds are hard or the toilets don’t always work, the fun stuff we do, like playing with elephants, makes up for it. I don’t like some of the new responsibilities that I have. They can take up my precious reading time. I sometimes think that Lil-Sis keeps us from doing crazier, more advanced activities. No offense to her, she can’t help being 4. The places that we’re staying in are small, so I have to share a room with Bro and Lil-sis. I don’t really like that.
Before we started traveling, I didn’t know that I would learn so much by worldschooling. I am a little surprised at how much information I have gotten from talking to local people. I also didn’t expect people in Bali and Thailand to be so friendly! I mean, I’ve seen numerous strangers pick Lil-Sis up and twirl her around, or shake Bro’s hand, or even give out a little candy to us. I’m amazed at how safe and friendly these countries are.
I’ve been traveling for about 4 months now, and I feel like I’ve really gotten the hang of it. (Well almost.) Some of the discomforts and homesickness still bother me, but I don’t let that get in the way of learning and having fun. I am extremely glad that I got to do this as a kid, and I think because of it I will want to travel more when I get older. I think we definitely needed a break from life, and I’m happy we got it. The world is a lot bigger than I thought it was. There are so many different cultures and religions that I didn’t even know existed. It’s amazing for me to learn about a different part of the world. I hope my next travel adventure will be to Europe!
Thanks for reading! Feels good to get that off my chest.