An american family
escapes, explores and exhales in southeast asia
Who are we?
Tom, Melissa, Big-sis (10), Bro (7), Lil-sis (4). Tom is a high school English teacher. Melissa directs a performing arts camp. We are from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Word to the city of brotherly love!) We love our home and our people, and we’re discovering that we also love traveling far and wide on a shoe-string budget with our kids. This blog is our scrapbook, and a way for us to share our thoughts, experiences and creations on this adventure with others. The world is magnificent! We feel honored to be catching a glimpse of this corner of it with our children. Thanks for joining us!
What are we doing?
Tom teaches 9th grade World Studies, and is on sabbatical (his blog) to explore Hinduism, Buddhism, ESL teaching, and human rights in SE Asia. We are worldschooling/homeschooling our kids, and making sweet music wherever we go. We started in Bali, and plan to journey through Thailand with possible trips to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, who knows? This is our first world traveling journey as a family – hopefully not the last.
Why are we doing this? (As if we need a reason)
To Escape – We are getting away from our over-scheduled, overstimulated, urban-American lifestyle. A break from school, work, lessons, meetings, events, housework, and people (you know we love you!). We are escaping the stresses that clouded and weighed-down our daily lives. It had become clear that we weren’t our happiest selves, that the kids were growing up too quickly, that we needed to change our path and pace. So we left what we knew – to see life elsewhere – to get a grip. Maybe you can relate?
To Explore – We are discovering a corner of the world together that is foreign and exotic in many ways: culture, language, religion, climate, landscape, food, wildlife, people (the people are the best part). Everything we do is an exploration of something new, from the sighting of a weird bug on the wall to trying to communicate with a cab driver. Each experience is informed by the 4 year old and the 42 year old’s perspectives. We’re not only exploring new lands, we’re also exploring parenthood, our marriage, ourselves. Imagine having time for that.
To Exhale – We are living fully and breathing deeply. We are, dare I say, relaxed most of the time. We don’t think much about what’s already happened or what’s happening next. Our plans are flexible, and our schedule is clear – for months and months. It usually takes us a minute to figure out what day it is. When we’re hungry, it’s time to eat. When the sun goes down, it’s time to sleep. When we’re bored, it’s time to travel onward. When we’re cranky, it’s time to slow down (and eat ice cream). We’re in a part of the world where meditation is practiced and massages are plentiful.
Taking this trip was not a small decision,
but it was an easy one.
- I’ve often thought personal blogs were self-indulgent and narcissistic. I guess I’m coming around on that.
- I’m the head honcho of this blog.
- I’m an over-sharer.
- I’m secretly (oops) scheming-up ways to continue traveling the world with my kids in the future.
A request: We’d love to read your comments and answer your questions! Since many of you know us personally, we ask that when you comment you use the kids’ blog names: Big-sis, Bro, Lil-sis. Until they’re old enough to decide whether or not to publicize their names, we’d like to maintain their privacy. Thank you!!!