Welcome to our blog! I thought I would start this some time ago and there’s
so much I wanted to already put on here, but in time... it will come. Life has
been going at a very fast pace for us the last 2 years as we prepared for this
adventure of a lifetime. We will not have full internet access between
September 2nd and November 1st so bear with us as we learn and grow
thru this process. We hope

to share some of what we have learned with you and have great educational
resources for the kids and families reading here. We hope the spirit of our
odyssey will uplift, expand, touch & free us in profound ways & that all who
read and interact with us can share in that glow. We want to keep you close,
wrapped in our hearts, as we go and we hope to keep this always as a record
long after we are gone from this planet. To keep our child’s privacy we have
decided to take the  nicknames of some of our heroes; DaVinci for the multi-
talented artist dad of the family, Jeanne D'Arc for the passionate spiritual
warrior mom, and Mozart for our very musical and creative child. I think I
may soon shorten them to the first letters.;)

We have been through a tremendous transition here already and are about to
set out on a many years long trip around the world! Wow! That still sounds
surreal to me. We sold our beloved home and small vineyard and decided to
retire early and see the world why we are young enough to enjoy it. Ms Mozart
is 5 (we will celebrate her 6th birthday at the Eiffel Tower in Paris!) and you
all know how fast time flies with a child and as older parents, we do not want
to miss a moment of it.
We have always been on a bit of a different road with her since she started
walking and bilingual talking at 6 months (much to our surprise!), but we
adore her and she is the light of our life. She taught herself to read at 2,
her preschool teacher tested her as reading at 3rd grade level at barely 3
and she was reading Harry Potter at 4, so regular school will probably never
be a perfect fit. She went to a wonderful private school Kindergarten at 3
(soon turned 4) (Hi all
there!;) and last year to a lovely top rated public school in 1st/2nd grade
class (doing mostly 2nd grade work) (Hi to all there!) even tho
her age peers will just start Kindergarten this fall, but it still was not enough
academically tho she enjoyed her friends and teachers. She is a lover of people
of all ages and freedom. Homeschool is really the best fit for us, so we
thought why not do it on the road! We are really big believers in learning
thru experience & this is the field trip to beat all field trips.;) Life as a fun
field trip..what a concept!
“Experience, travel-
these are as education in themselves”
For some time we have been reading about some early retirees who have
chosen “perpetual travelers” lifestyles
and families that have enjoyed
fulltime RVing for years while homeschooling both in Europe
   and in the Americas
  (can't list them all here)
  and world travelers
and have been inspired by the freedom, adventure, simplicity, spirituality and
loving in their lifestyles. Ms. Mozart is a child who thrives on change and loves
exploring new places, travel,other cultures and languages. We have long wanted
her to spend time in the culture of her fathers ancestors and where her second
language is dominant. DaVinci has always been working  too hard, so has not
traveled as much as he would have liked. I am always up for an adventure and
there are places I still want to see  or visit again with my two “best beloveds”.
We are happiest when we are together, thus the idea was born and the timing
seemed right to seize the day. It just seemed like now or never.
As many of you know, we so looooved the home, garden and vineyard we
created and thought we would be there forever, so that one was a hard
decision. We sold right at peak last summer and now are so grateful that we
did. It’s been so much work,but also so freeing in letting things go. I once
helped a 90 year old neighbor's family deal with her belongings after her
death and our experience kind of reminded me of that. Or that book that
shows what people own around the world.
So much clearing out and lightening up! We are not shoppers or consumer
types,but boy you sure would not know it with all the “stuff” we have gotten
rid of. It was good to see Ms Mozart do just fine with less clothes and less toys
this year and we are hoping to experience lifestyles that are less consumer
oriented and more heart oriented. I really want her to know societies that
live happily with very little and have first hand experience with many of the
wonders of this planet and the different kinds of beauty and nature. We
have very little left in our rental house now and soon will sell our vehicles.
We leave on September 2nd and will spend our first night on a houseboat in
the middle of Amsterdam. We bought an RV there last spring and will pick it 
up and get oriented to our new lifestyle & then make our way to Paris for
Mozart's 6th birthday. She is at such a perfect age for this trip (I had hoped
this would be true, but did not know for sure when I started planning it).
We have been doing lots and lots of reading this year about history and
art and such to prepare her and us for the trip. Our focus for the first two
months will be France and more importantly Northern Spain We have been
to France and love it, but have not yet seen all the delights of green Spain.
We are looking forward to exploring wine regions at harvest in both
countries and excited that France allows RV's to camp overnight at vineyards.
We have found a 4 bedroom rental home in an exquisite 15th century white
village in Andalucia where we will spend the winter from Nov 1st thru April 1st.

We will explore southern Spain, Portugal and Morocco from that base and have
enrolled Ms Mozart in the local school to immerse in her second language and
culture. (We will also continue to homeschool her in English). Its known as
one of the most beautiful villages in Spain and the 2000 inhabitants live an
“authentic Spanish life” like their ancestors. It will be fun to experience all
the festivals while there and the narrow winding cobble stone streets don't
allow cars,so it will be a good place for children to play & easy for us to meet
our daily needs by walking to the various stores. Its also just 6km from a
La Jolla like beautiful town of 10,000 and gorgeous beaches and ancient
caves and less than an hour away from Spain’s 3rd largest city (and major
airport), Malaga  as well as within reasonable driving distance to Granada,
Seville and all of Andalucia. If it works well this winter we will return every
winter during our European tour leg and make this area our home away
from home.
Our biggest concern was meeting Mozart's musical needs as she is quite
advanced at both violin and piano for her age. (She started violin at 23m and
piano at 3 and really enjoys them both as well as singing and dancing and
making up songs as she is a natural performer with an exuberant, creative 
personality). Amazingly, we will be able to do both via computer using skype
webcams and probably will find some local "hands on" help when we are
in Spain. We are very happy to find Mark for piano (quite by accident)
and we just started these lessons via webcam and love them so far!

I was inspired by a young violinist here (who Ms Mozart loves & has
shared a stage with) who
went to Julliard who lived very remotely when young so only took lessons
every 2 months for her first 7 years of lessons,which helped me realize all
things  can be possible & opened my eyes to the possibilities. Her violin
teacher Lisa Barca Hall is one of the most amazing teachers (& people)
on the planet (with 7 great talented kids of her own!) so connecting with
Mark gave me the idea of keeping Lisa with us as we go!
Its amazing what one can do these days via internet and computer! We bought
two laptops for the trip & will pretty much do everything from them from
banking to homeschool and researching our trip as we go. (Thats going to be
quite a learning curve for a computer illiterate like me who has never even
used a laptop before). We will have both a blog and a website for you to
keep in touch and follow our path and a place for us to record the epic
journey and leave resources for others. I highly recommend that you go to
skype and join as it’s very easy and allows one to call around the world for
free. We will be keeping in touch daily with family and friends thru Skype
webcam We will also be putting videos from time to time on the blog and
are going to do a special one where Ms. Mozart will play violin in various
spots around the world ( as a take off on a popular world tour dance video
called where in the hell is matt
We have learned so much during the last two years and are hoping to
eventually put lots of these sources and information online to help others.
I am sure we will keep learning as we go.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and
is not intent on arriving”.
Its basically a really open ended trip that we will play by ear once we are there,
but we do have a basic plan. We will pretty much follow the weather when in
Europe, so when we leave our rental on April first we will head to Italy and then
onto Greece and Turkey. We also want to do a quick fly or cruise in to Egypt
and the great pyramids probably from there, but we will be watching the unrest
in the middle east. Our first summer we want to focus on eastern Europe like
Croatia, Budapest, Prague etc with a quick fly into Russia so I can share Moscow
and St. Petersburgh with  DaVinci & Ms Mozart. Then we will make our way
back to southern Spain again to our village for a warm winter and will focus
more on France, Italy, Scandanavia and Ireland the next spring and summer
again by weather and whim.
We know we want to spend some time in South Africa and do a safari and that
is not too far from Spain (as the bird flies) so may do that our third winter.
We will probably pick Thailand or Buenos Aires as our next leg as base places,
and I am thinking at this point that it will probably be the Far East and Australia,
New Zealand area after Europe. But that is some time away and travel changes
one,so we will make that decision when we get closer to that date. We would
like to end with extensive travel around this great country, Canada and Mexico
by RV.As long as it is working for us and we are enjoying it we will continue
with life on the road. I liked this from another world traveler which says it
better than my words:
So please keep in touch, send us an email
soultravelers3[at]hotmail[dot]com call us on skype, follow our blog
(soultravelers3) and come visit us anywhere along the line. We have room this
first winter in Spain for guests and most campgrounds in Europe are quite
sophisticated (as its the main mode of accommodation for middle class European
families) so if we plan ahead of time we can meet you at one that has rentals or
cottages. We have already set up tentative meetings with some of our fellow
RTWers and travelers:
(can not list them all) and a get together at a gorgeous B&B in Provence with
some wonderful people (like Kaydee mentioned above) from Slow Travel and a rally with some cool RVing Brits (I have met
online) in southern Spain this winter
to mention meeting up with some of our wonderful friends who live in Europe.

Carpe Diem!

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