I’ve always known there is more than one way to live but it’s in the last five years that I’ve actively searched for those who choose, thrive and flourish in whatever ‘their’ way is and I crave learning more. As a public school educator in New York, my school was a traditional setting. I always knew there were many who chose an alternate route, but until searching there weren’t too many people in my everyday life who did. With a minimal look, I’ve found a community of travelers who have chosen other ways to educate their children and many use the world as their classroom. While teaching, I often tried to weave my travels into the curriculum. For ninth graders, pictures of the pyramids and stories of what the Acropolis looks like up close fit perfectly and for eleventh graders, sharing information of how students in northern Vietnam view the war worked well. But, I have always felt there was so much more to learn from world travel if only we were exposed. Stories and photos travel well, but others, like the tactic of bargaining at a market, the smells and experience of talking with vendors and eating street food in well anywhere, discussing economic and social policy with locals or even how the toilets in Australia don’t really flush ‘backwards’ are better viewed and learned in person.
I met Lainie and Miro online. In conversations and posts about world and unschooling, I became interested to see how her son (the same age to many of my high school students who sat in my classroom in New York) was experiencing and learning through their travels. Here she shares her story of a shift in values, looking fear in the eye and seeing the world as a classroom. Read the rest of this entry