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 Amazing Family Behind And Off We Went
Could you tell us a little about your family.
Michelle Tupy – Age 42 – Michelle is a ghostwriter who loves to read, travel and relax with a good movie.
Matt Tupy – Age 57 – Matt is a hotel manager and English teacher who enjoys travelling and playing the guitar.
Emilia Tupy – Age 9 – Emilia enjoys singing and writing poetry and loves chocolate milkshakes and chocolate cupcakes.
Matthew Tupy – Age 4 – Matthew is a huge Michael Jackson fan and loves to show off his moonwalk and zombie dancing skills.
Where are you now, where have you been and how long have you been traveling?
We are currently managing a hostel in Cusco until mid-February 2015 although have been traveling for as long as we can remember. Actually since arriving in Cusco in July 2013 (now November 2014), this has been the longest time we have ever spent in one destination since my husband and I met over 10 years ago. Countries to date include Australia, Canada, China and Thailand.
Why do you travel as a family?
My husband and I have always been travellers, even before we met, so it made sense to keep on travelling once the children came along. Why change the habit of a lifetime?
What are some of the benefits your family has experienced as a result of your travels?
Seeing the kids experience a place they have read about in real life has been an amazing eye-opener for them. When they hear places like Machu Picchu or Niagara Falls on television, they light up because they realize they have actually been there and seen it with their own eyes. It opens them up to a world that is bigger than their books or television. We also find that we spend more quality time together when we are travelling. We aren’t so focused on work or the busy-ness of life; traveling allows you to enjoy the moment of just “being”.
What inspired you and your family to incorporate travel into your lifestyle?
Going to a destination or another country for a week or two doesn’t allow you to get a real feel for the place or the culture, not to mention being a costly way to travel. We like to go somewhere for longer period of time, to connect with those around us and find a way to make a living wherever our current destination may be. As a ghostwriter I can take my work with me as long as I can get a website connection and as my husband generally finds work of some kind in each destination whether it is property management or English teaching.
How do you address education while you are traveling?
We use a variety of methods when it comes to our education options, worldschooling first and foremost. My 4 year old son loves going to school to meet the kids and play with them – it is so fun to see him connect with others in Spanish. My daughter has never liked traditional schooling so we do a mix of homeschooling (we cover the basics of math, English, social science and science when the mood takes us), we do online courses (she is currently doing an online art course with a teacher in Ohio), we take advantage of local groups (my daughter does dance and attends a local writer’s group to share her poetry) and we do traditional classes for shorter periods (we like summer school which covers more of the art and music subjects my daughter enjoys). It works for us!
How do you and your family experience being global citizens?
For us it has always been that way. I am Australian and have for many years lived outside my country of birth and it is the same for my Canadian born husband. I don’t consider myself one nationality – I like to think of myself as a global citizen and I want my children to think of themselves the same way. We are all connected regardless of what our country of birth is – the borders of a country do not define us.
Can you share one of your family’s most memorable experiences?
Coming to Peru was a really big deal for us as it was our first time in South America – although we had been planning it in our heads for a long time. It was always my dream to go to Machu Picchu ever since I was a young girl so it was fun taking my kids there and letting them see it in all its glory – just sitting back and watching them on the train was a very emotional experience for me. Also seeing my daughter participate in an international beauty pageant in Arequipa will forever stand out in my mind. She went from being a fun loving girl to someone who possessed all of this worldly confidence in a matter of minutes. Experiences like that really make it all worthwhile.
Can you share one story from your travel experiences when you and your family had an ‘aha moment’
I think when we decided to set up the B&B in Cusco, Casa Emilia, named after our daughter – we thought why not. Let’s just do it! Many thought we were crazy and still do but if you don’t take a chance when it appears in front of you (despite the risks and challenges) then you can’t fully embrace what life has to offer.
Our “what next” is super exciting. We are planning a trip from Cusco, Peru to Niagara Falls, Canada in a VW Kombi. I want to write about our experience, our adventures, our worldschooling and our meaningful travel opportunities and interview other worldschoolers and travellers along the way. We have partnered up with an amazing organisation called GlobeDrop who are fully behind our adventure. They have created a free web application that allows travellers to connect and communicate with social welfare establishments and NGOs around the world enabling them to give donations of goods direct to them without going through a middle man. We can’t wait to visit many of these NGOs and organisations and show support for their cause through our stories and blog adventures. What a great opportunity for all of us to do some good in the world. Our kids are our future and we need to show them that they can make a difference, on all levels.
Name: Michelle Tupy
web site: AndOffWeWent.com