Families on the Move – Meet the Family Behind the blog Exploramum & Explorason
Families on the Move
We have been blessed to connect with many amazing families online, all of whom have adapted a travel lifestyle in one form or another. We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to them here and highlight the positive aspects travel has had on their families. Welcome our interview series called Families on the Move. Miro & I are honored to a part of this global community we consider our extended family.
Meet the Family Behind the blog Exploramum & Explorason
Mum- I am a 51 year old single Australian Mum and I enjoy gardening, art, interior design and of course, travel. I like collecting cork screws, bar memorabilia, and interesting Christmas tree decorations from around the world. I like a good glass of wine at the end of the day.
Son- My son is 8 years old and started traveling when he was 7. He loves Minecraft, Club Penguin, Captain Underpants books, and drawing. He loves collecting Disney Cars, Lego Mini figures, and Trash Packs. He has a quick sense of humor.
Where are you now, where have you been and how long have you been traveling?
We are now in Bolivia. We started traveling one year ago. So far we have explored Fiji, Hawaii, 10 States of USA, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and are now back in Bolivia again. We try to go to to unusual places – a little off the beaten track, and in South America – off the Gringo Trail.
Why do you travel as a family?
My son says “Well I could hardly stay by myself in Australia”! We decided to travel when life was going tough for me as a single Mum in Australia. Interestingly we were invited to stay with friends in New Zealand, and 2 lots of friends in USA.
We never ended up staying with any of them – the trip just evolved differently.
I did make a conscious decision as an older Mum to spend time ‘living life” now, when my son wants to spend time with me.
It has been the best decision, and I am so pleased we decided to change our lives, and take this journey.
What are some of the benefits your family has experienced as a result your travels?
We have really enjoyed Couchsurfing when we did it. This allowed us to stay with different families in other cultures and has been amazing. I think immersing ourselves in a culture has really helped us to grow and mature.
I have also learnt to be more thorough in booking and ordering things – as what I think, and what they think can be so different.
I think we have learnt to give freely, and to love and accept people of all cultures.
What inspired you and your family to incorporate travel into your lifestyle?
I read your blog, and another single Mum who did long term travel with their sons. Each day I read new blogs, and this seemed to charge me with a ‘can do’ attitude.
I also placed motivational comments around my home as I was preparing to sell up, and change our lives.
I felt God inspired me with promises, and I have inner dreams I refused to let go of.
How do you address education while you are traveling?
At first my son was going to school in Fiji. But that didn’t work, so we started home-schooling with other kids on the yachts.
Then we Couchsurfed with a family, and she told me about un-schooling.
So I changed my thinking.
I used to try to be vigilant on him doing a journal every day, or other learning. Then one day we had just finished trekking the Amazon jungle, and he had a complete meltdown. I realized I had to let go.
His learning was happening – it just wasn’t conventional.
I do have structured times of reading, art, book and on-line time. He is fabulous at drawing, he is great with photography, and some on-line programs. We also use our daily budget and currency conversion for maths. We would learn fractions with pizza.
We will study termites when they are in the room, head-lice when he caught them (a gross time), and Inca history
How do you and your family experience being global citizens?
I am surprised how little we worry about what is happening in the rest of the world. We rarely see the news, but we did find ourselves avoiding the riots in Brazil. We have been delayed with border crossings when disputes are on. Quite a few road blocks have changed our plans in Bolivia.
We try to emerge ourselves in the culture of the country we are in. This means different types of accommodation, foods, shopping can be a challenge, and definitely we find cultural differences in lifestyle.
Can you share one of your family’s most memorable experiences?
It would definitely be raising funds to help a village in Fiji.When ‘L’ first became friends with the kids, we bypassed having to get permission from the chief to enter the village.
We met him later and gave him a walking stick – he loved it – and needed it.
The families were so poor the ladies had no underwear, possibly one flip-flop shoe, and the kids had ripped clothes.
We were able to raise money and share out own too
Then went back with a 4WD and gave it all out – it was a fantastic day!
Can you share one story from your travel experiences when you and your family had an “aha moment”.
For me it is sitting on a roof-top restaurant in Quito, Ecuador in the old city – I felt like I was in Italy, not South America.
I was so happy.
For my son – it has to be California Adventure Park and the Cars ride.
We don’t really plan that much.
We both made an agreement if either one of us wasn’t happy then we would move on. We love the sun, so I guess we will head to sunny places. The hardest thing is you can’t see the whole world. Even traveling slowly like we do, we often feel like we are racing.
We need to stay within our $60 a day budget, so it won’t be anything too expensive, unless we start to get some support. Right now any funds we get go to our ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ where we give out food, clothing, toiletries etc to the poor. We both love children, and would love to spend some time helping at an Orphanage at some stage too.
Name: Ruth & Louis
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