On the final Friday of every month we all pull together to focus our blogs on one theme. Read below and follow the links to read the individual blogs.
Stephanie Palmer of Palmers Pilgrimage submitted Full Circle We did not begin the New Year the way we expected to - right back where we first started! Even though we came full circle, we are closer to our goal than ever.
This month Amy of Livin On The Road got us thinking about providing toys for our kids on the road. "Before we started travelling, they had so many toys. They had two toy-boxes and three bookshelves packed full of toys, plus the larger ones that didn't fit. When we were packing the caravan nearly two years ago, I kept trying to take more and more toys for the kids. I couldn't imagine having four kids and hardly any toys for them. But, that's exactly what we have now. I can almost list all the toys that they own using my fingers (well, if I borrow two fingers from a kid). So, how do the kids entertain themselves? Come, I'll show you some typical things that they play with... Four Kids...Almost No Toys"
And what toy discussion would be complete without talking about storage? Stephanie of Mulac Family Marketers comes to the rescue with her blog post Toys Come in all Shapes and Sizes and a unique storage solution that's worked like a charm for her family.
This month we hear from families about what they look for in RV Parks. What makes a campground great for families? What parks should be avoided? Click on the links below to read the blogs and advice from families all over the world.
Tent camper, Jennifer of Best Family Adventures gives us RV Parks With or Without Kids - The Good, The Bad, and the Downright Ugly about camping in the states but quite a bit about Europe.
Steven of Fulltime RV Living remenisces in Memories of RV Living as a Kid about how his childhood memories of RV'ing in Australia profoundly shaped his. RV Parks have their place, but if you're traveling by tent, don't like crowds and don't care for generator noise - steer clear!
We've all heard that sometimes in life what appears on the surface is not always the driving force behind what we encounter. Stephanie of Mulac Family Marketers would like to share perhaps a bit of a different slant on the impetus behind the degree of "family friendliness" that you experience on the road - revealing a different perspective as we heard it straight from the donkey's mouth. Is The 'Road Less Traveled' Family Friendly?
Thanks to Heather Wickline for suggesting this month's topic. Come discuss and plan future carnivals over at the Forum.
Our families have found ways to help make a difference in the lives of others.
Margie of RVing Lundy 5 is currently Volunteering in Joplin, helping with tornado cleanup. She says "It wasn't super easy finding places that would allow children to help, but we found some that were very appreciative of our little, but hardworking, helpers."
Coleen Anderson talks about Volunteering South of the Border on her blog symphoniesofhope.org. "We have learned a lot from our experiences volunteering on the road... sometimes we feel very much humbled by the generosity and kindness of the people who live with much less than even the poorest of Americans. I think it has helped both us and our children learn to appreciate "little things" like hot water from a faucet, drinkable water, variety of foods, heated living spaces, shelter from rain, and washing machines."
Over at Activated Travel you can read about the Goza's experience in Joplin, MO as well.
Additional resources for those who would like to find volunteering opportunities:
Welcome to our fourth Blog Carnival. This month we're discussing the process of making an home on wheels suitable for a family. Follow the links to read more about how these innovative families have adapted their living spaces:
Amy and Jarrad of Livin On The Road bring us Making The Caravan Home Their custom-built caravan is only two years old, but they've made a few small modifications. The big one was to get a diesel heater, but it was quite a journey to decide to spend that money!
Debra Jones of Jonesberries tells how they made Our family friendly RV We are a family of 7 traveling the world. Most RV's cannot handle our needs so we made our own. Their top 5 family friendly modifications include an outdoor kitchen, an opening roof, extra lockers and storage boxes, and a double decker bike rack to hold 7 bikes.
"After living on the road for 2 yrs, we finally did some modifications and now our travel trailer really feels a lot more like home." says Heather Wickline of Wandering Wickline in her blog Home at Last
Life on the road has taught us all a lesson or two. This month we have asked our families to share what they have learned the hard way.
On a personal note, after announcing the topic this month we visited the Browski Family and ended up laughing half the night away as we shared our stories of things that went wrong. One wild story lead to another: from tents that flooded or blew away to vehicle fires. Sure we can laugh now and we hope you can too. Click the links below to read the articles submitted by 10 travelling families who are now wiser for the ware.
Amy and Jarrad of Livin On The Road questionWhat We'd Do Differently. "We still have too much stuff. The caravan is too big, there's too many luxuries and too much stuff. I would have started making our own bread, rice milk, and soy milk sooner, too."
Heather Wickline of Wandering Wicklines had Great Expectations when they started out but soon learned that "Our life on the road has not turned out like I have envisioned it. We love what we do but here are a few things I would have done differently."
Erin Provost of Provost Recess has a list: Stuff. Hitches. Cliffs. Research. Black Tanks. Highway Repairs. The list could go on and on and on. Read her article "and bad mistakes, I've made a few...." Queen
Margie Lundy of Fulltime RVing Lundy5 is back to tell us about her mistakes along the way. "Since we've been on the road for almost a year, you can bet we've made a few mistakes! Many are hard to consider mistakes though, because you simply learn flexibility and deal with things as they happen. But here are a few things we'll share that we've learned the hard way."
Taunya Richards of Taunya's Place brings us Mistaken Stepping Stones "We've learned some simple things in the last year, one that cost us a lot of money! The most important thing we've learned was to keep following our dream. We allowed others to intervene and now our dream is changed."
To give us a different perspective, Nancy of Family on Bikes brings us The Definitive Answer on Wheel Size "Lessons learned don't necessarily come easily, but those are the lessons we won't soon forget. After traveling 17,300 miles through 15 countries on a bicycle not made for the job, we've learned a thing or two about saving money. In short - it's not worth it."
And to finish off, my husband and I share our 3 most Memorable Travel Blunders from our 19 years on the road as a touring theatre company with (and without) our son.
Welcome to our second FOTR Carnival of Blogs. We invite you to explore the following articles to learn more about learning on the road. See what roadschooling is like for these traveling families.
Amy and Jarrad give us a general overview of Roadschooling = travelling + homeschool. Each family roadschools in their own way. They also describe some of the ways that they roadschool in Australia using literature via ebooks and audiobooks on their blog Livin On The Road.
"What do Donkeys and General Patton and Learning On The Road Less Traveled have in common?" asks Stephanie of Mulac Family Marketers. "They are representative of our family's "unschooling" approach to learning on the road through natural life experience as opposed to the confines of a traditional classroom."
Margie Lundy of Fulltime RVing Lundy5 has learned to take advantage of her son's love of destruction. "We love learning on the road, it's so natural, relevant, and fun. But sometimes, we just like to tear things apart." Her piece is titled Shop class, or Something
Welcome to the first FOTR Blog Carnival. To kick off we've gathered together a collection of blog articles that focus on one of the main questions that families who are considering this lifestyle are concerned with. "How will my child(ren) make friends?" And if they aren't asking this question themselves, it is coming from concerned friends, relatives and loved ones. So we asked the experts. A brief description of what you will find on their blogs appears here, click on the links to read their words of wisdom.
"Making friends is a skill that will last a lifetime. There are three aspects to making friends on the road. The children of friends and family we are visiting, those they meet in our day to day wanderings, and those they left back home. Each friend who enters their lives, whether for an afternoon or a lifetime, will leave a special mark on their hearts forever" says Erin Provost of Provost Recess in her blog post Finding Friends for Kids on the Road
Margie Lundy of Fulltime RVing Lundy5 writes "Vacationing kids at campgrounds, fulltime RVing kids, to no kids at all, our three always have friends to play with!" in her article about Finding Friends for Kids on the Road
Joann Estis over at Almost by Bread Alone found "that while we don't make a lot of friends, we do have a lot of very significant and valuable interactions with many different persons."
"Finding friends on the road is not always easy, and an active schedule of playdates and afterschool activities before travelling can't be continued. Instead, there are people of all ages in campsites and in towns we pass through. From meeting other kids on the ski slopes, to camp sites, to visits to small country schools, we have not been lonely. The kids have grown in confidence and befriend people of all ages quickly." says Amy of Livin On The Road
Kimberly, the FOTR web master, who began touring nationally in 1992, takes you on a "friendly" trip down memory lane over at Act!vated Travel as she describes how her son made friends at every stage, from toddler to young adult.
And we hear from Danielle of Project Pragmatizo, who is starting their big adventure and is looking for new friends for their boys. "We have 2 boys, 9yrs and 7yrs and will be heading out toward Grand Canyon and beyond starting mid March. Looking for families with kids to share the fun!"
Jeanne dee of Famiily Travel Soultravelers3 chimes in with Kids, Friends, Travel on The Ultimate Family Adventure 2nd in a series about how we deal with long term friends these past 5 years as we travel the world non-stop as a family (39 countries on 5 continents on 23 dollars a day per person so far). Specific details for long term best friends as we monolingual parents raise a fluent trilingual/triliterate who speaks many other languages and has good friends around the world in several languages.
Jeanne dee also points us to her classic and very popular post Can Globe Trotting Location Independent Kids Have Friends? about how and why a "home in motion" even an international one can be the best possible solution for friends, social life, family life and education.
We hope you enjoy the first issue of the FOTR Blog Carnival. And we hope you will join us next month. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed so you don't miss it!