Six Months of Full Time Travel!! – And Lessons Learned on The Road

Oh how the time flies. Six months ago today we left home and here we are now, 13,915 km away from where we started.

That’s 5 countries, 5 planes, 15 trains, 4 boats, a whole lot of buses, a moped, a few tuk-tuks, and 1,287 km on foot.  

Forever thankful for a world full of kind people who have welcomed us into their houses and communities and make everywhere feel like home. 💕🌏 You rock earth.

Six lessons learned in six months:

1.People are kind, and generous, and trustworthy.  Throw aside stereotypes and prejudices and make friends with anyone. If a stranger invites you inside their home for food – go for it.

2.  You can make friends while traveling. I get questions about friendships a lot, the same questions that I often ask myself. How can you possibly make friends while travelling? What about friends? How do you gain social skills if you don’t go to school? Luckily, there are kids all around the world. I get to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and countries. Travelers and locals. I can make friends with anyone despite language barriers, backgrounds, or ages. Travel friendships are short, but intense. You never know when you will meet again.

And social skills? I was a pretty introverted kid before traveling. I had my close group of friends who I felt comfortable being myself with and I didn’t make many other close friends outside that group. Now I have to be outgoing and independent. I’ve learned to talk to strangers, which was a huge challenge for me, in any language.

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Just a few of our friends so far 🙂

3. Keeping in touch is important. Contacts are so valuable and in todays world its only getting easier to keep in touch. I have amazing friends back home who I love to pieces. While it’s not ideal to talk through a screen you can still have a lot of laughs over skype.

4. The best experiences are hidden away from where the tourists go. A secluded waterfall in Thailand, lunch on a rocky ocean cliff  in Norway, a quaint off-season town in Croatia, a hidden temple in the mountains of northern Thailand. What all these places have in common is that we only could have found out about them with the help of locals like our new friends or airbnb hosts.

 

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In Croatia

 

5. Experiences are 100 times better than possessions.  Cliche I know, but it’s true. I live out of a six kg backpack. After all the necessities are inside there is very little room for possessions. The few things that I do have, like my camera and notebooks, I take very good care of. Pictures and experiences are so much more valuable than a cheap t-shirt that says “I Heart Thailand”.

6. School is not the only education  you can have. For a while I worried that I was falling behind my peers by not going to school. And maybe I have in some ways. I’ve completely forgotten what an asymptote is and if someone asked me to find the distance between two points on a 3D plane… well I don’t like to think about that kind of situation. And don’t get me started on moles and stoichiometry. But… If you want to have an in depth conversation on the history of the world, culture, geography, or poverty I’m your girl. Lets be friends. World schooling gives me the freedom to learn whatever I am passionate about in the moment. I can stand up in front of a classroom of fifty kids and teach them what I know (by myself). I can go to the market, barter, and order a meal for myself without uttering a word of English. I try to stay informed to the best of my ability about what’s going in the world. I know how people live outside of the States and I appreciate the diversity of the real world – which my 98% all white high school would never have taught me. Is this education? Its debatable- but I think so.

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Thanks for reading and happy travels as always XX-Iz

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What is Privilege?

What is privilege?

The dictionary defines privilege as a special right or advantage available only to a particular person or group. Most people think of privilege as something you are born with such as your race, where you live, how much money your parents or their parents had. Growing up in a very wealthy white neighborhood as a far from wealthy kid I noticed the kids going to my school had shiny new cars, expensive clothing, and parents with jobs as lawyers or company owners. The abundance of wealth there influenced me to think that money is privilege. Having more than what you need. However, living in and around villages in Mexico where the income gap is so large that, according to Business Insider, the richest 10% make 30 times more than the lowest 20%, who don’t make enough money to put food on the table, has shown me that having privilege is so much less than being wealthy.

The people here work so hard to survive. The minimum salary is just 70 pesos (4 dollars) here, and for jobs that in America pay 50,000 USD a year Mexicans make just 12,000. So many people sell fruit and vegetable in the market, or work in convenience stores to provide for their families. Or they spend hours making selling home made sandwiches for just 10 pesos (50 cents) each. So many children can’t afford to go to good schools because the good ones are a luxury only the wealthy can afford. If you look out the bus window when you enter towns you can see fully furnished new houses and then next door a hut made of cement blocks and a tarp for a roof. 

 

Privilege is three warm meals a day and a roof over our heads. Privilege is being healthy and having help if you are sick. It is feeling safe in your home and surroundings. Privilege is not having to drive down the highway with young children and baby on the back of a moped. Privilege is education. Privilege is shoes on your feet and clothing on your back. It is knowing you can have a bright future. It is clean water and showers, and people who love you. Yes, having money is a privilege but real privilege is having the things that we so easily take for granted. The things that so many people don’t have.