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Can Globe Trotting Location Independent Kids Have Friends?

May 18, 2010

hugging girls spain, globe trotting, location independent, global nomad kids! TCK,


One of the big concerns about long term family travel, location independent living as a family, extended family sabbaticals abroad or round-the-world trips with kids seems to be a worry about how that will affect their friendships and the social life of both the kids and the parents. So far, this has not been a problem for us and in fact, we find our global nomad lifestyle enhances all of our relationships. We see it as a great advantage to us as a family and for our child. Vagabonding with kids rocks!

"Travel, particularly international travel, exposes families to different lifestyles that, intrinsically bring families together" Dr. Nicholas Levy M.D.

Being a global nomad family DOES take a different perspective about life than the typical status quo, but if you are a natural non-conformist, you will embrace it all and see the many advantages for your kids. It is really about choosing freedom and understanding time is wealth. I love this old quote by Paul Terhorst, author of Cashing Out on the American Dream,  who has been a permanent traveler for over twenty five years.

In summary: if you distrust government and other institutions, can live without lots of stuff, and like the freedom of E-mail and the internet, you may well be a candidate for PT ( Perpetual Travel).

Today's world is very different than the so called  "third culture kid's" that was coined by a woman who raised kids in India in the fifties. Technology makes things very different today when even very young kids can webcam-call relatives and friends around the world  for free from their laptops or smart phone and ubiquitous worldwide pop culture permeates even remote areas of the globe. Many global nomad travelers and expats today are not just military, wealthy business people, or missionaries (who usually stayed quite separate from the cultures they lived in), but a whole new breed who are finding new ways to live abroad!

Cute BFF! Spain, globe trotting, location independent, global nomad kids! TCK,

PJ party Spain, globe trotting, location independent, global nomad kids! TCK, 


2 cute kids in white village Spain, globe trotting, location independent, global nomad kids! TCK,

Some people commenting on the New York Times ' Frugal Traveler's article about us wondered if Mozart had any friends and some parents think you can't do extended travel unless you go to an expensive international schools, spend a fortune and basically try to recreate the exact same life that you had at home.

Really? If I wanted to create the exact same life that I had at home, why would I travel abroad? It's funny because I see a "normal life" as a much bigger threat to my child in today's world. There are just so many different ways to view life and what is best.

Do you think after waiting nine long years to have a miraculous child and choosing this lifestyle primarily for her benefit, that we would continue this lifestyle if it wasn't amazing for all of us? Why? We can live anywhere and being together, as well as her education are the primary reasons why we do this. For us, it's co-creating heaven on earth together. We are thrilled that we can also live large on just 23 dollars a day while we do this and add to our nest egg as we roam. We're thrilled that it has been even better at educating her than we expected and awesome for her social life.  I liked Amy's wise comment:

"I expect she's got playmates and penpals all over the world.I really can't say I see any terrific advantage to what my daughter's got, which is the oppressive Hannah-Montana-flavored pecking-order of a midwestern elementary school, with all the popularity contests and the drama of suburban kids who are your friends one day and mean the next. They don't teach her to behave brilliantly, either. Frankly, I think my daughter might well prefer the serial friendships of new playmates. I can't think of anyone from childhood I'm still tight with either."


GetAttachment-5
She Skyped Grandma in California to send Best Friends Forever bracelets to Spain and together they created a special ceremony at a sleep over in Spain with UK friend who has also lived in South Africa.

GetAttachment-1

Deciding to make their hair like twins to fool people into thinking that they are sisters

Sheep, young girls, horses in Spain, globe trotting, location independent, global nomad kids! TCK,
Walking home from school in Spain, you never know what you will see.

"In today’s busy world, days can go by without the entire family sitting down together. Mom and Dad are working, there’s play rehearsal, soccer practice, doctor appointments—and we lose touch. Traveling together gives everyone a chance to get reacquainted." Cynthia Harriman

I think schools are in trouble today and we wanted an alternative lifestyle and education with all the advantages of a fluent multilingual & multi-cultural childhood education and greater bonding time. I  have some real fears about the over consumption, non-connected Hannah-Montana-flavored-pecking-order no-time culture and what it does to kids and families. I think schools tend to breed mediocrity and teach compliance. I agree with Seth Godin's posts about schools, like "It's easier to teach compliance than initiative".  We study trends and try to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the future.

"The future belongs to a very different kind of mind--creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people--artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers--will now reap societies richest rewards and share it's greatest joys." Daniel Pink

Interestingly, as I was writing this, my Facebook friend Abby sent me a video link and said, "This movie trailer makes me wish every child could have a Mozart-style education." This is an important video "Race to No Where" made by many experts on education and this is exactly what I do NOT want for my child and one of the reasons we left and purposely choose to do things differently.

 

 

    3 kings festival Spain, globe trotting, location independent, global nomad kids! TCK,

Celebrating and participating in festivals with school mates in Spain is multi-cultural lessons at it's best!

 

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Teaching her English best friend about American girl dolls at one of many sleep overs in Spain.

GetAttachment-3 

Making art for their Best Friends Forever ceremony. Yes, that is a world map on our unwatched TV. 

 

Can a child who lives a travel lifestyle still have friends and a stable life?? Of course!  

It is truly a false fear and totally absurd to think there is only one way to raise a child or that you must live in one place forever. Some people do that and enjoy it which is perfectly fine too, but not everyone thrives on the Hannah-Montana-Little-League-soccer-mom-mini-van-fast-food-iphone  existence. We wanted to escape the downsides of such a life and to choose freedom and more time to experience the joys of life together while exploring the world.

You don't have to do global travel to move around, many American's do that and still have friends and a stable life. I moved around when I was growing up, often after just six months or a year in one place and I really thrived on it and enjoyed that. All four of us kids really liked the moving and feel it was a positive influence in our lives and made us all more independent, adventurous and contrarian thinkers. Hard to tell what is nurture and what is nature, but my lifestyle growing up helped me be a bigger risk taker and adaptable which have served me well in life.

On the other hand DaVinci grew up in one place his whole life and went to school with the same kids from first grade through senior year at a parochial school. He was very active in sports from five on ( lettered as a freshman and has gobs of medals and trophies), in his community and with his big extended family. Nevertheless, he could not wait to get out and dreamed about it since early childhood, then left as soon as he finished high school, never to return, except for family visits. He has dear friends that go back to early childhood, but they have played no significant role in his life in the twenty years that I have known him.

I think it can become a harder choice for some as children get older and more addicted to the peer-oriented school & always busy life ( that Dr. Neufeld talked about in the book Hold Onto Your Kids) but we are attachment & unschool parents, so don't think it will challenge us in the future. I moved out of state myself in October of my senior year of high school after living four years in one place.That was devastating at first, but turned out to be the best possible opportunity that greatly strengthened me and added to my life. Challenges do not necessarily have to be a bad thing. I had been very popular in high school, but felt my early jolt into reality through the move, freed me in ways from my limited high school thinking, and pushed me ahead of peers into life which was a great advantage.

When we began, I thought we might settle down in one place when Mozart hits her teen years, but now I'm not so sure as I think the whole middle school and high school years are the biggest waste for most and socially dangerous. To me, most schools looks like the worst possible choice for a bright 21st century global citizen. There are tons of expensive programs that parents pay a fortune for to give travel education to their teens or tweens and we can have all those advantages without the costs or separation.

"Interestingly, home-schoolers are now the favored applicants of some big-name universities. According to Jon Reider, admissions official at Stanford University in California, they are desirable applicants because "home-schoolers bring certain skills - motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education - that high school don't induce very well." Dr. Gordon Neurfeld

Maya Frost traveled and moved abroad with four teenage daughters and despite having some challenges, it turned out to have had spectacular results for each child and the whole family that led her to write the fabulous book, " The New Global Student- Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education". I also really like Blake Boles ideas and experiences in "College without High School" and think Mozart will do well designing her own educational journey. Friendships never seemed to be a problem with all of the out-of-the-box teens that I have known or studied. I think Mozart learns MORE about friendships and relationships in our travel lifestyle than she would have if we stayed home and she also gets to do it in several languages!

"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw


 

GetAttachment

Nail painting time and giggles!

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Two best friends forever who both play the violin!

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Playing at the Koi pond fountain on the playful walk home from school, the highlight of my day!

music, piano, violin, 2 girls, Spain, globe trotting, location independent, global nomad kids! TCK, 

Playing a duet for fun!


"The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic" Drucker

We had no idea how all of this would play out when we left in 2006, but I did lots of research and tried to make a plan that would best serve Mozart's ( and all of ours) needs in every way. We did consider friendships and consistency and that's why we chose to have a "base" for part of the year that we would return to for several years. It's worked great in our little village in Spain, better than we ever imagined. I also had the advantage that I had lived in Europe before for a year in my twenties ( when I modeled for Ford Models while living in Italy) so had personal experience of the pros and cons like the cold, rainy winters in northern Europe that I wanted to avoid this time.

The school hours are short, the community is welcoming and small and there are a few other expats  in the school which turns out to be a good thing because they share a common bond of being from somewhere else ( England, Scotland, Italy, Morocco, Denmark, Netherlands). It would have worked fine with out any expats, but this way she gets to see kids who come to school knowing none of the language and witnessing their progress seems quite normal to her now.

There is just one expat in her grade who happens to be a boy, but  at first I did not like the idea of ANY expats, yet now I see it has been a positive. She has bonded deeply with the Spanish kids as well as the few expat families. It has been good for her to know other multi-lingual kids and she has learned about other cultures through them along with the Spanish culture.

I've heard of some families doing one year around-the-world trips who almost never ran into other kids, which always seems so odd to me. Since we mostly use our RV for travel, we always meet LOTS of kids where ever we go and Mozart really enjoys those friendships too. This experience has taught her really great skills of going up to strangers to connect, even with no language in common and letting go easily when it is time to go, whether that is after an hour, a day or weeks or months. Playing with kids from many different countries that speak many different languages in many diverse locations  over the last four years has enriched her life and global understanding immensely. Her connections also help us meet others, as families tend to connect through their kids.

IMG_3239 

GetAttachment-2

They happily made "twin" pony tail hair do all by themselves.

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"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart." Elisabeth Foley 

Mozart has had several best friends since we have been on our world tour. Sometimes, they happen very quickly, like she is still very fond of the friend she met in Denver, even though they had just a few days together. I was surprised that on the very first day of school in Spain that she met a best friend and had her first playdate the first week. Soon she had another best friend and her first sleep over. She has met some really fantastic friends along the way, although I rarely write all the travel friendship stories, there are just too many.

Sadly, her two best friends moved away, which is the way of the world no matter where you live, although other kids come and go and I can't always keep up with the latest best friend or mean kid. She has had both Spanish best friends and expat best friends from several countries. She does a ton of sleep overs and birthday parties in Spain and on the road. She has enjoyed some after school classes like flamenco, horseback riding and ceramics with other kids, but I think family time and time for her to play on her own should be a priority, so gear our life in that way.We prefer an un-busy balanced life and also teach her skills like meditating, mindfulness and the value of NOT following the pack, but listening closely to one's own inner wisdom.

A few years ago, Mozart met a special friend in the park before she moved here and she has been her best friend ever sense and they do really enjoy each other's company.They even made a little ceremony to celebrate and cement their Best Friends Forever status.They both have other friends, but really enjoy their special bond. She lives on the other side of this village, so already they do some of their communication online or on the phone via Skype.

Just as we have nurtured her best relationships back in California, we hope to continue to nurture this relationship via webcam calls, emails and yearly visits. Will they be Best Friends Forever? We'll see. She might even come visit us in Malaysia.

Mozart is excited about going to Malaysia and starting a new school in a new language. I wonder if it will be harder this time because she is older. We will just have to see how that unfolds. If the school doesn't work out, we will just get a private Chinese tutor and connect with the homeshool group and after-school things for other kids to play with. When there are less kids around, we play with her more, so that is always nice as well. We're all pretty flexible and this lifestyle as made us even more so.

GetAttachment-4

 

 

Four years into this global nomad lifestyle and my verdict for my child is super positive, as far as  friendships and the lessons she has learned about them and relationships in our travels. They are FAR superior to what I think she would have had if we stayed at home. It is a different life, but in many ways, not so different in basic ways because we travel as a family and families take a certain grounding and routine. Sometimes I wish that I had never put her in any schools, but they have also given us some benefits, especially with the language immersion and an easy way to connect deeply to a community.

My hope is that she retains all the best things of a life in one place, few of the less good things and is enriched tremendously forever by this worldly lifestyle. So far so good ( and we do work at this goal every day) but who knows what the future brings. I believe strongly in "if there is a will,there is a way", so I think we will find a way.

 

What are your thoughts or experiences?

IMG_4193 

Enjoying  a friends Karoke birthday party

IMG_1677

Participating in this year's Carnival in our village where a whole group of school mates dressed as Indians.

   IMG_5045
Last year's going away/early birthday/pool party for Mozart with two best friends

 


 

 

 


 

 




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Mary

Hi,
I have been following you guys for quite a while and I really enjoy reading your posts.
I think that travelling the world is very beneficial for kids and teaches them a lot about history, languages, art, geography ...... but I was wondering how you teach math, physics or chemistry.
Thanks
Mary

soultravelers3

Hi Mary- Thanks so much for following us & we really appreciate hearing that you are enjoying it!

Good question! We teach Math by using Singapore Math which works really well for my daughter, is cheap & very portable. It's the same curriculum that they use in Singapore where they have the best math students in the world. She is several years ahead of age peers.

Of course, we discuss it too & have her participate in living math often as we go through life, calculating things like miles or buying things in many currencies etc. She gets it in Spanish as well when we are in Spain, although it is quite easy for her as she is years ahead, but they do many things differently, so good for her to learn those ways too and all the terminology in another language. She also does math in Chinese..also benefiting from that perspective.

For science, we use a wide variety of ways as well. Many online, through books, dvds, & hands on etc. We go to many science museums etc around the world & learn a lot there.

We use the Core Knowledge series as a base to have a good understanding about what she should be learning. We've used Real Science 4 Kids ( Chemistry & Physics). We use Standard Deviants DVD's like learn Chemistry. We've used popular Mechanics videos, PBS videos, Magic School bus, etc to name just a few. We use BrainPop, Educational CD's, Snap circuit, work on programming with MIT's Scratch & find fascinating things online.

You'd be amazed how much she learns from her many books including fun ones like Grossology! LOL! We also use libraries a lot in person & online.

We discuss, do projects,do experiments, read and research.

Did you know that there are free high school & college classes online?

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/online_hs.htm#science

She also takes classes through John Hopkins University CTY online program which are wonderful, although she hasn't taken physics or Chem there yet...she might.

And we meet fabulous people in person & online that we use as resources. She learned a lot from the marine biologists ( about 8 that she had all to herself) when she swam with the dolphins in Portugal & learned all about them with some science study beforehand. We've also met some great teachers in several places & archeologists working in Greece.

We're eclectic unschoolers & life long learners who like to follow our passions & hers and think one learns best that way.

Sorry, such a long answer. I should have made a post out of this question & perhaps I will when I have time, because I have a lot to say on this subject! ;) Hope it helps!

Family on Bikes

I think the concerns about social development are very valid. In a "normal" childhood, kids will go through the whole cycle of friendship - they'll meet and go through the honeymoon stage where they play together all the time, then get in a fight and not talk to each other, then figure out a way to reconcile differences, and eventually move on to other friends. Traveling kids, although they meet many more people while traveling, don't get that opportunity. Yes, they meet kids of all ages and all walks of life and of every color under the rainbow and those who worship various gods - but they don't have the chance to move beyond the honeymoon stage very often.

We've been traveling with our children for years now and are concerned about the lack of long-term friendships. Yes, they can talk via Skype and such, but it isn't the same. However, we've come to the conclusion that there are advantages and disadvantages to every decision we make - there is no perfect world.

We could have stayed in Boise Idaho and our boys would have had the chance to play on the playground during recess and play on the soccer team and swim team. They would have known one set of kids for the whole school year and developed friendships with those kids.

Or we could take off on our bikes to travel the world and our boys can climb on Mayan and Incan ruins, meet marine iguanas face-to-face in the Galapagos Islands, swim with turtles, fly over the Nazca Lines, see mysterious carved rocks by some ancient civilization, participate in parades for Carnival in Ecuador, visit the Panama Canal, see bison, bighorn sheep, and caribou on the side of the road, swim in natural hot springs, learn about the Alaska pipeline, watch the Voladores in Mexico...

We chose the travel. For our sons, we felt it was the right choice - but each kid is different and it may not be the best thing for another child.

Nancy
www.familyonbikes.org

soultravelers3

Nancy, I respectfully, but thoroughly have to disagree with you here because I think it mostly depends on HOW one does the travel and what are ones goals during a long term family trip. My experience is based on our 4 years of travel and other people that I have talked to who have had similar goals as we have. I don't believe in your "honeymoon" theory, but our child has had 4 years with the same kids WHILE traveling the world.

I do agree that each child and each family is different, so each long term travel trip is unique. Like you, we love the benefits like our 6 year old riding into the deep Sahara to play her violin for 60 Berber kids, swimming with dolphins in Portugal at 8, learning to fly at the real Hogwarts in the UK, sailing the Turquoise coast in Turkey, visiting ruins like Pompeii, Ephesus & Troy and talking to archeologists there and even doing some digging with them, walking the ancient walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia or Rothenberg Germany, riding in Gondola in Venice, watching Shakespeare at the Globe in London, picking grapes at harvest time in France , watching operas in an ancient coliseum in Verona, eating reindeer meet in a kota in Sweden etc etc etc.

BUT it was also VERY important to us that while we did this we would also support her long term friendships, consistency and help her become fluent as a native ( reading, writing & speaking) in two other languages and get to deeply know some other cultures. So we planned our open ended tour accordingly. My point being that there are MANY ways to do long term travel and IF ones goal is to keep consistent friends it IS possible and rather easy to do that.

BUT, if one doesn't want to do that, I don't think any harm is done as I don't believe there is any "normal". My goodness, people who don't travel, often move a lot and even switch schools several times without moving. Few adults have the same best friends from early childhood for life. We learn most about relationships from parents and family, not from recess. Homeschoolers, military families, diplomatic families, divorced families ( sometimes several times over), adopted families , sailing families, full time RVing families etc have long had out of the "norm" upbringings and do fine. Even with our travel lifestyle, my child has had less "moving" than I had as a child ( she has spent 1st through 4th grade with the same kids in her 2nd language, deeply immersed into the culture of our small village and will see these kids twice a year for many years.)

Your goals make perfect sense for your family, but I think the reason you have your view is because of the style of your trip which is much less conducive for friendships than the way we or some others have done it. Long term friendships was never part of your plan which is the logical choice for you.After all your boys have each other and are not fluent in most of the countries that you are visiting in South America.

You are on an approximate two year trip, a linear journey from point A to point B, never spending a long time in any one area, using one mode of transportation ( bikes), you have boys, 2 siblings close in age ( twins), you are not interested in your children becoming very fluent ( reading,writing) in another language or two or deeply immersed in a particular culture and you kept your home to return to.

On the other hand, we are 4 years into an open ended journey with no plans of stopping ( the longer we travel, the more we want to do it), we spend winters in the same place ( small village) for many years as a base, we travel for 7 months and immerse deeply for 5 months, but even when we travel we return to favorite places ( like 10 times to Barcelona where we often stay a month or more & have many friends that we see again every year & will continue to do this for years), we use many modes of transportation which makes it easy to meet folks (RV, biking, trains, walking, mass transit, sail boats, ferries, cargo ships etc), we have a single child and a girl ( females tend to be more relationship oriented than males), we are interested in our child becoming as fluent as a native in her 2nd and 3rd languages partly because we think one can know a culture most deeply through the language, we sold our home and everything and do not plan to return. Plus we also wanted to continue kidlet's violin and piano lessons as we roamed the world.

Thus, we have 2 very different family long term journeys & there are infinite other ways of doing it. Before we began, I was not sure if we could meet our daughters needs around friendships as she is a very social child, but now I know it can be done. AND I'm so happy with the outcome, that we don't plan on stopping.

Not everyone is going to want to do our trip or your trip, but make up their own plan. IF one wants to answer the long term friendship concern while traveling, it CAN be done. The key is not about timing so much as having a base or bases to return to. In a way you do that too as your base is Boise, just as one of our bases will always be Ca where we began, have family and regularly return to...where kidlet picks up with old friends like she never left.

It happens that I returned my senior year to the elementary school where I started. The kids still there were exactly the same as they were in kindergarten!! The class clown was still the class clown etc. I had lived in many places as I grew up, often moving every 6 months ( I saw this as a real advantage and loved reinventing myself). I fit in like I had never left, but I think my experience enriched me in ways that those who had stayed in one place did not get. Soccer and swim team etc, one can truly get any where today.

Long term travel is not for everyone, nor will it meet every single need or mean your life will not have any challenges. Based on our experiences, I just don't think one has to worry about "socialization" needs. I've met and talked to too many adults who thrived on such an existence.

Family on Bikes

I agree - "Long term travel is not for everyone, nor will it meet every single need or mean your life will not have any challenges. Based on our experiences, I just don't think one has to worry about "socialization" needs." I don't think you need to worry about it, but it is something to take into consideration.

We've been traveling with our children since they were six weeks old. For the first 7 years of their lives, we did much as you are doing - we had one base and traveled from there. Since they were 8, we've been traveling on the bikes. They are very different experiences, but both good.

Our sons are quite fluent in Spanish now (after cycling to Bolivia through Mexico, Central America, and S. America). Learning the language was one of the goals we had for them and they are doing very well with it. But still - it's different for them than it would be if they were 'home'.

I am just saying that there are a lot of things to take into consideration when planning an extended family trip. You and I both know it is a fabulous experience and it greatly enriches our kids' lives. But it's not all roses, gum drops, and puppy dog tails. There are some disadvantages to this lifestyle as well.

soultravelers3

Nancy - Of course, no life is perfect, but I think one CAN make a traveling life, INCLUDING friends, just as valuable as "home" ( more so in our opinion) if your "home is the world".

Because of the way we have done our travel lifestyle, it has been BETTER in the friendship department. I know it has not been the same for you, but I think that has to do with the style of your trip which is fast moving through places from point A to point B, since that is your primary goal.

Spending extended time really is the key and in a faster trip through places, one is just not going to get that, nor the same kind of deep immersion into the language ( reading and writing like a native besides just basic speaking) and culture.

Lots of people and many countries or parts of a country are exciting, but there is also great value in returning to one small village, going to a local school and knowing people intimately over years.

There is a lot about the simplicity of a small, rural village in Spain that we find a better quality of life than one finds in America and more freedom for kids.

You are talking about a trip experience & I'm talking about location independence and a global nomad lifestyle.

Mozart writes like a Spaniard. Can do extensive writing assignments in both Spanish or English, can read Harry Potter equally in English or Spanish. Has experienced the local festivals over and over year after year in our village with her local friends. Absorbs the culture by truly being a part of it.

I can see a huge difference in our child's Spanish ( which is like a native) and my husbands ( which is good now, but no way can he pass as a native, despite his parents being fully bilingual). Mozart is the translator when we get stuck & I think that position is good for her ( self esteem) and her brain too. She is often the bridge between English speaking and Spanish speaking kids and translates so they can play together in places like Barcelona, which is also beneficial.

It is hard to get deeply fluent by just passing through a place. Language helps one connect. If you don't have the language deeply fluent like a native ( including the slang of an area) , it is hard to really connect in relationships. I'm not saying your boys aren't good at Spanish, just that levels of fluency really vary & makes a HUGE difference on depth of relationships.

It's very obvious to me because we have 3 levels of Spanish & that impacts our relationships with locals. The better the language the deeper the friendships can be.

Going to a local school for 5 months during 4 winters in Spain allowed our daughter to deeply connect to friends and the community.

It makes sense that for your boys it is different for them than at "home". But for Mozart, Spain IS one of her homes and there is no difference in the quality of her relationships.

She will continue with these relationships for many years just as she will continue with the ones in California...because we will continue to visit and also keep in touch digitally.

We're in France now, but she just talked by webcam to her best friend in Barcelona ( in Spanish of course) and they excitedly planned their upcoming get together for Mozart's birthday this fall.

Sorry, I have to disagree with you again, but from my point of view, I just don't see the disadvantages to this lifestyle. If it was not a much better life, we would not be doing it.

There is no perfect life, but this one works for us better than any other that we have found & we're pretty good at finding heaven on earth. ;)

The whole point of this article was to tell OUR experience of how it has been a great advantage with friendships. IF that is important to someone who wondered how to do it during a travel lifestyle, it is all in the planning.

I also think there is great value in the short time relationships that kids make when traveling, even when they have little or no language in common. Here in the south of France, Mozart has been playing with kids from France, Germany & Holland.

No she won't connect deeply like she does with kids that speak her 2 very fluent languages, but there is MUCH to be gained by play (& world view perspective) without language in countries where one's native tongue is not spoken. Playing soccer or at a playground or pool,beach,museum etc doesn't take much language skills.

Europe, besides it's amazing history, is one of the best places in the world to learn the value of multiple languages first hand. You can't learn that in the same way where your native tongue is dominant.

Thus, we have found the extensive travel combined with long stays, local schools and digital resources invaluable for learning AND relationships. For us, it's been far superior to what she could have had just staying home. ( Although we also went out of our way to find multi-lingual, multi- literate and multi- cultural opportunities even at home).

PLUS, we can do this so much cheaper and more luxuriously than we could at home.

Explorerdad

Great post and gives confidence to us. Our 3 kids all under 7 have enjoyed our nomadic ways so far but the oldest in particularhas started to question moving once she has friends in a place. However she is also getting comfortable with using skype, email..etc to keep in touch with friends. My wife worries more about the moving but I think the kids have adapted great, and learn so much better when exposed to different cultures, places.

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