Travel

How to Find a Farm Swap or Farm Sit

After my last post about home swapping, a reader asked this question: It sounds fabulous, but what if you live in the middle of nowhere in Indiana, and have farm animals that need care? How likely is it that Northern Europeans (or anyone else) want to milk a cow and feed chickens for two weeks on vacation, while traveling nowhere…

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Travel

10 Reasons We LOVE Home Swapping

When you’re planning a family sabbatical, one of your biggest considerations will, of course, be lodging. If you’re new to the idea of taking a family sabbatical, trying to figure out where to stay might be just the thing that makes you too nervous to keep entertaining the idea at all. After all, you might think, I don’t want to…

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Travel

Our Son Is Going to Finland!

Well, it’s official. After a year of dreaming about it, our son Andy has finally heard the news: he’s going to Finland for a year-long Rotary Exchange! As a Rotary ambassador, he’ll live with two different families, attend Finnish high school as a junior, and travel to several nearby places. We’re not sure yet which part of Finland he’ll be…

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The Path

Sensitive Soul

Last night my eldest daughter shuffled into my room, just after I’d drifted off into a deep sleep. I sensed her presence, even before I awoke, and then stirred when her “Mommy?” pricked through the quiet. At the respectable age of eleven, Laura reserves ‘Mommy’ for those times of special need, usually in the ink of night. “Something’s not right,”…

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Homeschooling

How to Help Your Kids Succeed

I recently devoured Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith, a treatise about how our current education system in the U.S. is failing our kids. The book aims to turn many people’s ideas about high school and college education upside down. Working hard, getting good grades, and jumping through all the…

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Travel

3 Ways France Taught Me How Living Can Be An Art

“Ici, vivre est un arte.” Translated: Here, living is an art. I saw this sentence written on a brochure for a winery in the Loire Valley. Although we didn’t end up visiting that winery on our recent trip to France (or any, really, as it didn’t seem like the thing to do with four kids in tow), the words stuck…

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The Path

Setting Free the Past

I just stepped away from the table, where I’ve been looking at old photographs. I was uploading trip pictures to Dropbox and somehow a bunch of old photos came up. I got sucked in. After an hour, I stumbled away from the table, one foot asleep, back sore from stooping over the laptop, eyes bleary. And teary. I must admit…

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Travel

It’s Great to Be Gone… But It’s Good to Be Home

The sun is rising above the palm trees in my yard in Florida. I rose early—still jet-lagged but also charged to sit down at the laptop to put some words down—but then everyone else in the family woke up, too. One by one, they came out of their lairs at 6 a.m., so jazzed up it was as though they…

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Travel

L-O-V-E Is Not a 4-Letter Word

Here in Mexico and elsewhere around the world, people are suffering just a little bit, every day. Some people are suffering a lot. For many, life is crumbling stone walls and peeling paint and trash strewn everywhere. It’s mothers and small kids walking along dusty roads and people driving bicycles attached to carts, selling snacks and juices for a few…

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Travel

A Night at Santiago Park in Merida, Mexico

In other news, homeschooling while traveling is not all glamorous and rock star like you might think. Sometimes you have days that are culturally stellar with meet-ups with real live Mexican residents and visits to beautifully unique coast lines and colonial towns, and other days you’re standing on a sidewalk, waiting for a bus that you hope beyond hope is…

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Travel

“It’s My Favorite Thing in Mexico”

“It’s My Favorite Thing in Mexico” “I’d do that every day, all day, if I could!” 10-year-old Laura gushed. “I didn’t ever want it to end,” 13-year-old Bren added. “It’s my favorite thing in Mexico!” It’s a good day that ends on the patio, under the stars and full moon, happy chatter braiding itself across the wrought-iron table. Our day…

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