Adventure Mom Homeschooler

I never thought it was a good idea to home-school my children. Almost everything about me makes me ill-equipped for the job. I’m adverse to schedules, don’t like to plan ahead and didn’t attend regular elementary school myself, a product of an amorphous boat-life home-school upbringing.

These past couple of weeks have been a mix of excitement, success, fear, doubt and what the hell was I thinking?

It always takes a good friend holding up the mirror only decades of friendship can reflect to encourage some truth and awakening. I was sitting at a seaside park in the North County of San Diego with my college buddy, letting him know how mushy these past couple months without regular work and a schedule was, lamenting how was I going to be able to handle hands on, every day with my girls, what I actually took this sabbatical from work to do.

Mind you, this was the fifteenth day of a mommy-daughter trip to California and we were on our way to the airport. I explained to Nat that I had a lot of ideas, projects, perhaps a coffee table book or even some filmmaking along the way, as we traveled around the world.

He kindly, gently said, it’s ok to just be with the girls, connect, teach them and slow down. Wide-eyed, I replied slowly, not wanting to admit it, “that’s hard”.

He stared me down, “since when did you ever shy away from hard”?

Ok, so here it is. If you decide to follow this journey upon which I am about to embark, you are going to see, read and experience a different side of me this year.

This journey will travel far beyond the professional into the deeply personal, authentic, exploratory, spontaneous and perhaps insane trip around the world as mother, spouse, teacher, leader, adventurer and seeker.

My mother-daughter trip to California earlier this month opened my eyes to some sweet and surprisingly unselfish moments where I willingly left the surf line up to devote the afternoon to teaching my girls to surf. As I sat there genuinely happier to be alive than any other moment watching my daughter catch wave after wave after me pushing her into the wave, I reflected on how far I’ve come from the decades of a “waterlusting”, self-directed single life I never thought I’d relinquish.

I was proud of myself in those moments. Adventure-mom, happily sacrificing my personal stoke to see the girls get theirs on. I had arrived at mama zen, some sort of “it’s-all-worth-it” blissful state of motherhood. Which, by the way, didn’t last long because that was the last time either of them wanted to surf for the rest of the trip. They had discovered boogie boarding. It’s cute and fun, but I tried to explain to them that I rented this surfboard size primarily for them, it was ok for me to ride, but really I was doing it for them. They didn’t care. On one hand, I wanted to throttle them and the other, I had to chill the hell out, paddle out and enjoy the waves, which is what I did.

I waver regularly between wanting to be free to follow my bliss and following my girls as they follow theirs.

That’s what this year is all about. Letting my blog be late at times, not checking my phone so much. Playing by their rules. Hell, just simply playing more. That’s what this year is all about.

Stay tuned!

We are heading around the world. Let me tell you. It’s not been an easy task determining the route we are going to take to allow us the most flexibility, while not being exorbitantly priced.

I wonder what questions you might have. I wonder if you have any suggestions on where to go.

Our goal is to visit culturally interesting, ecologically significant, off-the-beaten adventurous path, while simultaneously writing, photographing, loving and caring for the people and places we visit.

If you personally know any researchers, ecology and cultural projects or meaningful volunteer opportunities you have personally experienced, let me know!

 

Let the new school begin!

 

In loving-kindness,

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2 Comments
  • Kim Giovacco
    Reply

    Hi Jill
    Last month I was at Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai, Thailand. I was only there for a day but would love to go back for a week. It’s a rare sanctuary where elephants that have been abused, or ridden by tourists, or used for street begging or illegal logging can live their lives in more natural surroundings and be rehabilitated. To volunteer there would be a nice family activity. Have a wonderful and fulfilling trip!
    Kim (Beverly’s friend)

    September 11, 2015 at 2:28 am

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