This spring, living on our boat in the Bahamas has noticeably changed us once again. It is palpable; we can feel the change in our ways and attitudes. When we are traveling, I imagine we radiate a sense of free-spirited calm.
Our time in the Bahamas was a slow-burn-balance of extreme beauty, quality family time and nature. We found it necessary to re-adjust our expectations in the areas of weather (most unpredictable), school time and overall pace.
I have written before, that boat-living requires patience. This is an understatement compared to the patience required for island living, in another country and on a small boat. In particular, when the weather gets rough – which changes everything – life can be exacting, living onboard. This being said, I have never felt more safe than I do now on Cortado. We have tested her in so many ways over the past two years and she is one solid, well-built boat.
Regarding Education. We are creating an environment for our kids that is allowing for maximum learning and discovery … we are writing the book as we go, yes, but thankfully we have the Calvert School and IXL as our scholastic/software base. While I am using these programs specifically for Math, US/World History, Writing, Critical Thinking and Language Arts, I am creating our own courses to study in Literature, Poetry, Art, and Ethics. We use Duolingo for Spanish and Science is a hybrid of Calvert Science and our own program. While homeschooling has its inherent challenges, our children are voracious readers and are open to the concepts of higher learning. Their positive attitudes allow us to go further in our studies than we ever thought we could. * This is key.
Adrienne Rich writes “Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.”*
Tony and I are aware that we have found something that works well for us, and our family. Tony’s career of grand prix racing and managing clients’ yacht racing programs is full and prospering. This means sometimes the kids and I are alone onboard somewhere–no different than being in a house on land, really. In Travel-Schooling, we have found both an educational and life path that cooperate with one-another, as opposed to being in constant conflict.
We operate at a comfortable pace. In addition to school work, the kids fish, swim, draw, read, play with legos and make homemade play-dough on rainy days. So, what is the future of our current nomadic life?
We hope to continue our commitment to Adventure School as long as
- we can afford it
- we are each, individually, happy and thriving
- the kids are learning to the best of their ability
It has to work for all of us, in order to work. There are many uncertainties and obvious challenges. Travel-Schooling is not for everyone – it is not easy and no, we are not on vacation! – but for those who are able to make it work, the rewards are significant. It is our passion for life, travel and our small family that keeps us going. We love being together – growing, learning, changing and supporting each other. We are embracing an unfamiliar path and surely risking something (though it is not exactly clear what…). In the spirit of adventure, we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, try new things, meet new people, go new places and we are happy.
Could this type of educational path work for more families? I say, emphatically, yes.
Author and artist, Debbie Millman wrote*, “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now.