It’s All About Community!
We’ve just recently come back from Granada, Spain – a destination that we included in our fall travels specifically for one reason: The Project World School Family Summit.
These summits take place bi-yearly, in the spring and in the fall, at different locations around the world. They are organized by Lainie Liberti and Miro Siegel, a fantastic Mom-Son team who have been traveling the world together for the past decade. This was our second time participating, and we had high expectations, after last year’s great experience. Well, we were not disappointed!
Just like last time, we experienced a REAL sense of community, among the many traveling families that had made the trip to join the gathering. There’s just something about hanging out with 60+ other nomadic souls who just get you – no questions asked. Or wait, no. In fact there are MANY questions asked between people during a week like this. Just none of the standard ‘shouldn’t-you-put-down-roots-somewhere’ or ‘what-about-socialization’ eyebrow-slightly-lifted type of questions you otherwise usually get, when people hear you live a nomadic life and/or homeschool.
Instead, people ask each other about their cultural backgrounds. They talk about their motivations for choosing this life, about their adventures so far and their upcoming plans. People share ideas, experiences, highs-and-lows and challenges specifically connected to a traveling life. They pick each other’s brains for tips and tricks, that will make their globetrotting adventures even better. And they support each other, with empathy and understanding, when sometimes these adventures don’t go entirely as planned. I have often heard it described, as finding or re-connecting with your tribe. And that is indeed what it is <3
But Concretely, What Goes On?
There are workshops and talks, activities for the kids, shared meals and just lots of time for connection and interaction. And once again, community is the key. These aren’t talks and sessions by externally hired speakers or leaders. The program mainly builds on the shared knowledge bank. On skill-sharing. Families speak about topics or host activities in fields that they are passionate about and find joy in communicating to others. For our part, we hosted a family parkour workshop and daily parkour sessions for the kids. Others did yoga, circus, theater, card games, jewelry making. There were talks about photography on the road, slow traveling, working remotely, growing up as a traveler, housesitting and much, much more! Something for everyone and a huge pool of resources available to you right there – all you have to do is reach out and connect!
Good Vibes Only!
One moment in particular, that really stood out to me this year, was the Open Stage event that took place on the last day of the summit. So many kids got up in front of a huge crowd, to share something close to their heart. There was dancing, singing, card tricks, juggling, jokes…so many different acts and not once a negative vibe to be felt. Let me explain. In a traditional setting, you could very easily find someone to laugh or scoff at someone else’s performance. It takes guts to make yourself vulnerable on a stage in front of others, and a feeling of excitement can very quickly turn into unease, shame or sadness – especially for a kid – if the audience doesn’t have your back.
Well, this audience TOTALLY had everyone’s back. Cheering on timid artists suddenly overtaken by stage fright. Singing and clapping along to keep others going who maybe needed a bit of encouragement. Staying focused and present for the entire duration of a very long line of performers. There were fun, weird, impressive, surprising and adorable things among it all. Even a couple of really emotional moments too. Yup. Once again, community showed another side of it’s amazing power. There really is nothing like people just lifting each other up to shine!
See You Next Year – On The Other Side Of the Globe!
So. One summit has come to an end. But as we were there, I talked to a couple of other families, about how it was actually hard to believe it had already been an entire year since the last one! Time flies, for sure. But I think it also has to do with the connections that stay. People don’t just gather and hang out for a week. They stay in contact. Some catch up on the road elsewhere. Some visit others at their home base. Some even decide to team up and continue their travels together for a while. How awesome is that?
Also, the temporary hub that is created rarely lasts for just the summit week. Many families will arrive early or stay in the area for a while after, extending the network beyond the conference itself. And that is just amazing to be a part of. In short, these gatherings are fulfilling and vibrant because, in the words of Lainie Liberti herself, they are made “by the community, for the community” and this really is the case. The next one will be in Mexico in the spring. We are signed up already. Hasta Pronto, La Tribu!