The World is Our Playground and Our Classroom!


The “Families on the Move” community of Mummy bloggers are responding to “ Take Your Child to Work Day!

Before going further with this post, I want to make it clear that we’re not suggesting that every parent out there needs to do what we do.  We are saying this is our lifestyle and we are making it work  for us.  We are also saying that traveling with a family can be done. Travel in itself can be quality bonding time and educational for all of us.

At the end of this post, you’ll see links to other families traveling long-term responding to “Take Your Child to Work Day!”  It was a great idea generated by another Mum over at Traveling with a 9 Year Old

If you’ve been following us on Facebook, Twitter or here on our blog, you’d know that we don’t have a typical 9-5 work lifestyle anymore.    So instead of taking our child, MGotPassport, to a specific work place on one particular day, she’s usually with us adventuring into the world (since she was an infant) that we prefer she considers as her playground, our playground. 

Aside from all our previous travels as a family to various parts of the world, for the last nine months, Northern Thailand, specifically Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Laos have been our playground.  We are quite happy to say, we not only had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in Thailand, we’ve had the opportunity to give back to the local people in need and serve as a family.

We’ve always thought of traveling as a way to give our child a sense of adventure and education that she would not receive in any classroom.   If you ask M how she feels about our travel lifestyle and living in Thailand at the age of 7, she’d give you some honest answers.  You can read more about it here.

Because we live in Thailand and took our  jobs on the road, we’ve had the opportunity to expose our daughter to a coffee journey where she learned about Fair trade and how coffee is made from seed to cup with the Hilltribe people of Akha near Chiang Rai.

Coffee Journey with the Akha Family
Learning about Coffee: Harvesting Jan. 2011

I’ll be real honest!  As a Buddhist Mom, I’m glad we’ve had the opportunity to be in Thailand during Yee Peng Lantern Festival and Songkran (Thingyan) Water Festival where M can appreciate the values and customs of being in a Buddhist family.

Yee Peng Lantern Festival Nov. 2010
Thai and Burmese New Year, Water Festival April 2011

Our time in Vientiane,  Luang Prabang and traveling along the Mae Kong river in Laos have all proved to be quite a memorable and educational experiences for us as a family.

Alms offering at dawn in Luang Prabang, Laos. Feb. 2011.
Kuan Si Waterfalls, Luang Prabang, Laos. Feb. 2011.

And for the first time in M’s life, she is being officially “home-schooled,”  and of all places, here in Texas, now that we are back to spend time with family for the summer.  I won’t lie, it is a task daunting to me as a Mother.  However, J as the Head Teacher for M, we’re meeting the challenge.  Though I’ve researched this topic before, we’re learning something new every day now.

Recently,  after returning to Texas, we were at a Podiatrist’s office and he was amazed how we are able to live such a lifestyle.  He was fascinated!  His concern was more for our M and whether she is receiving good/quality education.  On good days we find this type of amazement a good opportunity to educate someone who doesn’t travel avidly as we do as a family.  And other days, we get tired of the general assumption that the only quality education parents can provide to a child is in a classroom. Considering the conditions and quality of some classrooms in public schools in the US , well we’re not so sure!

So yes, we’re bringing our child to work everyday. Whether we’re visiting family in Texas,  visiting Laos, or living in Thailand we’re exploring Southeast Asia and serving the greater good and volunteering locally on our own terms.  This is our version of Radical Sabbatical.

One of my favorite articles on the web:   The Gift of Travel: Priceless 

“You have to discard life’s trivialities, but in their place grows a rich archive of unique experiences you can always claim as your own.

Oh and by the way, if you’re wondering what work we do as M’s parents while exploring our playground, here’s the low-down:

J continues to teach online for an American college and also works as an education consultant for textbook publishers.  J also taught and will continue to teach volunteer English in Chiang Mai.  He  recently lunched CallingBubba and Bubbaisms sites as socially appropriate outlets to feed his inner geekiness.  Amen to that!

As for me, I continue to help coordinate opportunities and recruit volunteers for Chiang Mai Community Based Organizations using Social Media.   I work as a Social Media volunteer for another Community Based Organization in Mae Sot,  Thailand.   I’m teaching Burmese language on-line on a part-time basis.   My other pride and joy is cooking and feeding others.  Seriously!  So recently, I launched Chili~ Lime~Garlic since eating and cooking are truly my hobbies among other things.

Other families traveling with their kid (s) and their life changing stories that may inspire you~!

The Age of Perfection

Attack of the Asian Baby Snatchers

Amazing Adventures of Baby Cole

Highs And Lows Of Traveling With A Teen And A Tween

Take Your Child to Work

The Good the Bad and the Ugly:  Traveling Around the World with Our Five Year Old

Traveling with Children: Which One to Leave Home

Traveling with Two Children Under 6: Insanity or Great Idea?

Traveling with Your Kids: The Good, the bad and the Ugly

Travels with a Ten Year Old

We Love Traveling with Our Daughter

What’s it like to Travel with a 3 Year Old Girl

We Say NO to Status Quo.

Live Green.  Live Small.  Give Large.  Take Little.

Take Notice.  Take Action.

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16 thoughts on “The World is Our Playground and Our Classroom!

    1. Hi David,
      If you’re interested in Thailand and SE Asia, drop by our Volunteer Page and fill out our short survey and we’ll see what we can come up with!

      Cheers,
      J.

  1. I think its great to see that you are able to travel and give your child a great education. I can sure understand how it could probably get a little annoying when people make assumptions about your children’s education when you travel. But I would also say i understand where they are coming from because I used to be one of those people.

  2. I think it is fantastic the opportunities you are giving your child. Learning through class and travel are two totally different worlds. I can just imagine how enriched she is getting from these experiences and the world knowledge she is receiving for being in these surrounds. Well done for not conforming with the norm and giving your child a unique upbringing!

  3. A post full of pictures of M: can you get any better? She is a beautiful child, both inside and out. I loved reading this article – you are all so passionate about life, experiencing and giving. I hope the homeschooling goes well and we see you back in Asia one day soon.

  4. Nice post! We’re a homeschooling family too, lived overseas for a period, and now travel as often as possible! I agree travel is a great education!

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