Greetings from a South Korean coastal community.
We’re in one spot for an entire month and essentially hitting reset after three months in Europe where we were constantly on the road.
Don’t get me wrong, we had an amazing time but there’s a cost when you list more than 80 trains on your rails passes, stay under 32 different roofs, pass through 14 countries, and pack and unpack your suitcases every couple of days and drag them over cobblestones and along country roads.
It’s soon going to be a year since the four of us left Australia to embark on this global family adventure, and we’re currently trying to plot out some kind of plan for the next few months after our time in Korea.
Meeting families like us
I was definitely keen to check it out — not so much for the presentations, but more to connect to other families in the same boat as us — and because our rail passes allowed us unlimited travel in Europe. It was simply a matter of booking our spots on the summit and some accommodation.
It’s easiest to say that I’m from Australia and Junko is from Japan, but then we’re asked where we currently live.
Then we have to go through our whole story and there are a number of follow-up questions:
“You sold your house?”
“You resigned from your dream job?”
“You don’t know where you’re going to be in a couple of months?”
Many, like us, had sold their homes and possessions to make their journeys possible.
Many, unlike us, had left unfulfilling careers or lifestyles behind but, like us, had now found ways to make money on the road.
Episode 1: Quitting, downsizing and taking off Episode 2: Searching for a home in JapanEpisode 3: Managing money overseasEpisode 4: How we lost (and found) our lost baggageEpisode 5: The trouble with home-schooling while travelling
Others were dipping their toes into world schooling and a lot of them had only started in recent months.
There was something really powerful in talking with strangers from around the world, who had similar stories and life choices. It was also reassuring to meet open-minded, independent and capable children who were the product of being world-schooled over a number of years.
“Is that all you’ve got?”
6 packing tips
Airlines are cracking down on carry-on baggage allowance. But never fear, these hacks from frequent flyers will help you maximise space.
The kids, Juna and Remy, said they’d carry their backpacks — filled with toys, pencils, paper, rocks, sticks, etc — but it’s not uncommon for Junko and me to carry them.
I’m generally wheeling my four-wheeled suitcase with one hand, dragging the heftiest suitcase — which only has two wheels and carries Junko and Remy’s clothes — with the other hand, carrying a kid’s backpack on my chest and lugging my camera bag on my back.
The majority of my weight is found in my camera bag. I’ve limited it as much as I could but it’s still a huge hefty thing to lug around. I’ve limited my camera to the one lens and I also carry a 15-inch laptop, a couple of hard drives, an audio recorder, a few microphones, extra batteries, numerous chargers, a web of cables and other one-off items like a neutral-density filter, a suction-cap mount for the action camera and a bendy tripod.
I’ve limited my clothes to the shoes on my feet, the cap on my head, the cotton scarf around my neck, three t-shirts, three shirts, a pair of shorts, two pairs of trousers, one pair of board shorts, a light jacket, a heavy jacket and a week’s worth of socks and underwear.
In my suitcase I carry my disassembled gimbal — one of those stabilisation contraptions on which you mount a camera and get buttery smooth vision — and a tripod that won’t fit into my camera bag, so I can’t use the same system as Junko.
As the adage goes, necessity is the mother of all invention, and we slowly improve on our essential items.
The rope is actually now closer to eight metres after I cut it back so the kids had something with which they could practise tying different types of knots while we have spare moments on the road.
I’m sure that our luggage and packing styles will continue to evolve as we continue on this journey.