Connecting with your tribe!
One of the major reasons we chose to start our travels in Thailand, was the Project World School Family Summit which took place in Chiang Mai from Oct. 22-26. Over 100 families from all over the world were present, and shared a week of inspiring talks and social activities. I met so many interesting and amazing people here, all with different background stories and ways of traveling, but all sharing the same spirit of adventure and a passion for learning from the world, in the world.
The Family Summits are bi-annual gatherings held in the Western and the Eastern part of the globe. They were founded and are facilitated by the amazingly inspiring Lainie Liberti and her son Miro Siegel, who together have been traveling the world for a decade now. I first came across Lainie’s blog a few years ago, when I was researching something about unschooling, and I was immediately inspired by this way of living and learning, that just instantly resonated with my nomadic soul. At the time, I didn’t yet know that this was what I needed to do to feel whole, but I knew that something about worldschooling and the traveling lifestyle was speaking to me. However, for diverse reasons, it wasn’t in the cards for me just yet. Fast forward a few years, and here I am – with my three youngest kids and all of our belongings in four backpacks!
Sitting in a rented condo in Chiang Mai as I write this, we have taken the leap into full time traveling and nomadic living – and it is incredibly freeing and incredibly daunting at once. Participating in the Family Summit has been such a great way to launch into this new way of life. To meet others who have done this and are doing it now. To talk to and be inspired by experienced travelers, to listen to thoughtful presentations from inquiring minds, to exchange ideas, to share plans and challenges and to make new friends – in short: to connect with a community of like-minded souls. For different reasons, we didn’t engage as much as we could have, but I still had many good talks with various people – all encouraging, interesting or helpful conversations about things related to the traveling lifestyle, and the kids got to meet and play with a whole bunch of other young worldschoolers, which in itself was fantastic.
Food-for-Thought and Social Activities.
The whole week was filled with organized presentations on various topics for the adults to sit in on, while the children had their own program with a group of devoted volunteers who set up games and crafts for them in kids’ camp. At times, this could be a bit chaotic (no wonder!) and my introverted ones would need to retreat for a while…but the value in being part of a big group of children from all over the world, having to communicate in English and learning to navigate on your own in this, while making new friends was well worth a few times of feeling overwhelmed!
Each night had different social activities such as dinner out, game night or movie for the kids and throughout the weeks both before and after the summit, families were self-organizing all sorts of get-togethers and daytrips. I’m very thankful for the connections we’ve made while here!