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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Homeschooling, Travel

Partial Nudity Was Only the Beginning

Acting Like Tourists Yesterday afternoon, we took the family for a stroll. We’d spent a few days of self-imposed imprisonment in the house while we worked and schooled, and each of us felt the need for an outing. First off, we walked from our house toward Santa Ana, our closest church and square. I paused to read the Latin at…

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Travel

Guess What? We Went to A Mexican Wedding!

It’s not every Sunday you find yourself at a Mexican wedding. Especially one you weren’t even invited to. Last year, while in Costa Rica, we attended a funeral. But we kinda thought that would be the extent of the big family events we attended for complete strangers in foreign countries. At least for awhile. Boy, were we wrong. Whenever we…

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Travel

Worlds Collide: Wal-Mart and Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Sometimes the new and the old meet in this modern world of ours with not much of a screeching sound as you might expect. Merida is a place that marries the feeling of an old colonial city with modern amenities–like the presence of Wal-Mart, which I guess is not so unusual here in Mexico but was not very visible where…

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Travel

Bienvenido A Mexico (Don’t Drink the Water)

We arrived in Merida safe and sound. Well, as sound as ever we are. The travel day was long, as travel days with four kids tend to be, with the alarm going off at 4:50 to be ready in time for a 5:30 a.m. airport shuttle. After checking our bags, we went through security. We had to step aside so…

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The Path

Grieving But Grateful…

I wrote this poem as I was grieving the loss of my mom. It will be six years ago in July, but, yes, it feels like yesterday. I’m still grieving to this very day, but the edges of the pain are not so sharp. I’ve been given gifts from the tragedy of losing my mom so young: gifts like wisdom…

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Exiting Normal

The Dark Side of Exiting Normal

The dark side of exiting normal has been haunting me since we’re “back home” for a bit. Our traveling buddies might know what I mean. The reentry blues. There might be some who think our our crazy, counter-cultural life is absolutely amazing. But there’s always a dark side, a yin to the yang, a rainy day for every flower. We…

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Exiting Normal

27 Strategies for Figuring Out Your Own Normal

The society we live in shapes what “normal” is through shared customs, advertising, the media, social media, consumer experiences, and communication with other people from the culture. If we live in a society, we’re likely to follow right along with its version of “normal.” That’s okay, if the culture is healthy and, by following the shared habits and customs, we…

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Travel

Travel As A Way to Run Toward the Life You Want

The dog’s barking. Traffic sucks. The house is a flipping mess. Sometimes we get so fed up with the status quo of our lives that we say in frustration, “I need a vacation!” We’re tired of work, obligations, details, stress. It just feels like it’s time to go. To run away! Get me out of here, you say. Get me…

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Exiting Normal

We Took Our Kids Back From the Culture

Just yesterday, he was so small I could cuddle his chubby roundness in my arms. We called him “Andy T.” and delighted in his uneven swirl of hair and quick smile. Today, we call 14-year-old Andrew Thomas just plain Andy. He still has that quick smile and ready wit and would do anything for any of us. This curious kid…

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