Travelling with kids around countries like Ecuador and Colombia is not the norm, not by any stretch of the imagination. But the longer we are on the road, the more travelling families we meet. While it may not be the norm at present; the tide is turning and more and more families are taking the plunge, moving out of their comfort zone and exploring the beauty this amazing world has to offer.
Termed world schooling, we are giving our kids (Emilia 10 and Matthew 5) an alternative education, an opportunity to learn from the world around them. They can learn about Ecuador from a book or they can experience the diverse backdrops the country has to offer. They can read about the troubles of Colombia or they can come to the country to understand that it is a beautiful country, worth visiting despite its colourful history.
We choose to partake in slow travel – we spend a number of months or even years in some cases in a country to understand what makes it tick, and each of these countries we visit becomes our home for a limited period. We have ‘settled’ in countries such as China, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia and our journey is not over yet. In a few weeks, we will cross over to Central America and start the slow return to Canada, our home for as long as we choose to stay.
And again we are not alone. We enjoy catching up with other travelling families on the road, as few and far between that might be. More common in well-known countries like Peru, we are yet to meet other travelling families in Colombia, but I have no doubt they are here somewhere. The people we meet on our travel journey is what, in reality, enriches our travel.
As a ghostwriter, I choose to write for clients on the road and earn money as we travel. To save on accommodation, we offer our services as a volunteer which creates many new travel experiences. Today we are managing a hostel just on the outskirts of San Gil, Colombia; one month ago we were helping set up a permaculture and eco-hostel in the heart of the coffee district in Colombia; in a month who knows where we will end up. That is all part of the journey too.
Not everything has gone according to plan on our trip. We have broken down on numerous occasions, been ‘robbed’ by mechanics charging through the nose for shoddy work and even had all four of our tyres slashed. But we persevere as that too is all part of the experience.
Long term travel is not easy; in fact, some days it is more difficult than we would like to imagine. But the rewards are worth the heartache and the hard work that needs to be done to make it happen. We aren’t on a permanent holiday as many would like to believe; we are just living our lives like everyone else. We just choose to do it out of the confines of a traditional lifestyle. We might not do it forever, but at the moment it suits us.
“What will you do once you get back to Canada?” is a common question asked of us. Our response is always the same; we have no idea. That too is part of the fun – the not knowing. That space provides much room for adventure and we like that a lot.
Michelle Tupy is a ghostwriter, focusing on the business, lifestyle and travel genres. She quite happily spends most of her time behind the scenes writing blog posts, Facebook commentary, articles and e-books on behalf of busy managers. Michelle is currently working on a book about her family’s road trip from Cusco, Peru to Niagara Falls, Canada entitled “And Off We Went”.
– Michelle Tupy