We find that we’re regularly being asked the same questions about our upcoming road trip. Here are some answers for you:
Q. How long are you going for?
A. We are going for nine weeks. And one day.
Q: Who is going?
A: Mike and I and all but the two oldest children.
The children who will be coming with us are Caitlin (13), Harry (10), Eddie (8), Sid (7), Paddy (5), Oliver (3), Joseph (2), twins Libby and Anna (17 months) and Isobel (4 months). Yes, nine of ten children are ten-years-old or under.
Q. That is a long time! Are you worried about being on the road for so long?
A. Yes! Especially with so many little ones.
Q. So why are you going now?
A. Because if we waited until the perfect moment to do anything, nobody would ever do anything at all!
Being able to visit Italy is something else we’ve dreamed about doing for years but as our family grew, it seemed to get further out of reach. Then we thought, why should it be?
As well as being a fabulous educational trip and holiday of a lifetime for the whole family, we also get to demonstrate the flexibility of home education and self employment! We want our children to know that it’s not a bad thing to be different, and to do different things. We want them to learn how to live life to the full.
Caitlin also says it is because we are crazy.
Q. Where will you be going?
A: All over the place! Tuscany, Naples, Venice, Parma, Terni, Burgundy, Puy-de-Dome, the Midi-Pyrenees, Ardennes, Cannes.
Q: How are you travelling?
A: We’re loading up our old Jalopy (our 17-seater minibus)
Q: You’re not sleeping in it are you?!
A: No! We’ve booked some lovely places to stay at.
Q: Ooh! Where?
A: I’ll tell you once we’ve stayed at them!
Q. That sounds so expensive. Is it?
A. Actually no!
Travelling during term-time and out of season means that we’ve got some fabulous bargains. In fact, we’ve paid less for a month’s worth of accommodation than a caravan at a local holiday park during the summer holidays would have cost us, (plus the fact that a single caraven isn’t enough for our family anyway!).
The whole trip has been done to a budget and has cost less than many families pay for their annual holiday.
Q: What about work?
A: Mike is now winding down his jobs so everything is cleared on going. He’ll be resuming work when we return.
I, meanwhile, will continue to work whilst we travel as we’ll be relying on my income to cover our spending for the trip. Like they say, there is no rest for the wicked!
Q: What about the children and their studies?
A: I think that travelling around, seeing and doing and experiencing is going to be a fantastic education in itself, don’t you?
Q: Have you planned what you will be doing at each place?
A: No, not at all. We’re going to see what there is once we get there, what the weather is like and what our available budget is. Feel free to make any recommendations at all!
Q: What about your home/chickens/cats?
A: Ben and Stephanie are taking care of everything back home. In return we are leaving a supply of food and the promise of tacky souvenirs.
Q: Have you started packing yet?
A: No. Not one thing. Nothing.
Q: Can you speak French or Italian?
A: We still remember our basic GCSE French but it’s probably not that great. It is still better than our Italian which is non-existent!
Q: Will your road trip be filmed and shown on TV?
A: We still don’t know.
We did have quite a bit of interest and the 16 Kids and Counting production company did put it to Channel 4, but C4 still haven’t given a firm yes or no. We did say that we’d be happy for them to join us at the last minute as we think it would be a wonderful thing for them to follow, given how different it is and considering how well it demonstrates the flexibility of home educating, especially considering the obvious interest there is in the subject.
However, given how close we are to leaving we now assume that it is a no.
Q: But you’ll be updating here, right?
A: Yes! We will be taking you all with us… virtually, of course!
We will definitely be posting updates, we’ll be sharing our journey and our experiences and when we get back they’ll all be going into a book too.
We also hope to share some videos of our trip but that will depend on our video quality – our camcorder isn’t that great!
That should cover the main questions! If you still have questions about our trip, or have any recommendations or suggestions you would like to make, please leave a comment below (you’ll need to register with our site here before you can), or email email@example.com.