We just completed our second Project World School Family Summit experience a few weeks ago. For the second time we were blown away by it! We thought this year was going to be all about making new friends. We thought all our doubts from last year were already solved. However we never stop learning! Also this time there were so many new dilemmas that needed a little inspiration!
How did it all start for us?
Over a year ago our world schooling adventures began. We decided to leave our traditional life behind to explore a new form of living and learning. The world has become our classroom since then!
But when you take such a life changing step, in the beginning you inevitably find yourself alone. You may feel a bit crazy for making such a big change. Or you may wonder if you just ruined everything you built through the years. Or even worse you ask yourself if you are going to ruin your kids (like everyone is suggesting). So many questions go through your mind, it is inevitable, it is part of the process. Plus not being able to find support outside of your little family really invites self doubt to take over at times! Luckily in our case this state of mind evolved, changed quickly.
Finding your community
Last year we were lucky to find the answers to most of our doubts when we went to our first Project World School Family Summit. What an amazing experience! Our first post about it Our project world school family summit 2018 experience, gives you a better understanding of how enlightening it was for us! We finally realized that we were not alone, we were part of a community of like minded people!
Yes, in October 2018 in Chiang Mai (Thailand), we finally found our way. We found families, that just like us. Who decided to break away from their traditional lifestyle, from the traditional form of learning to give themselves and their children something more: time together and learning together from the world.
We were finally part of a community, we were not alone anymore!
After such an eye opening experience last year, we had to go back again!
What is Project World School Family Summit?
This is a twice a year event in Spring in or around Mexico and in the Fall in or around Asia or Europe, for worldschoolers and by worldschoolers. The Project World School Family Summit is a conference-style gathering for worldschooling, homeschooling and unschooling families and those who are just curious. The families come together with the purpose of sharing experiences, tips and tricks about worldschooling, creating a community and learning from one another. It is a great support system united by the common experience of traveling and educating our kids.
During these 5 days we didn’t feel like we were listening to someone telling us what to do and how to do it. Rather a community united in trying to walk through this path together, sustaining each other. We have a chance to share our personal skills as well as experiences (other families worldschooling or unschooling) to help each other grow.
What were we looking for at this Summit?
After such a mind blowing experience last year, we planned our travels around the possible new October destination immediately. We wanted to give our kids and ourselves the chance to spend more time around our world schooling community. Throughout the year we worked through many of the doubts and worries that had brought us there the first time. We thought that this time it was just going to be about making new connections.
2019 Summit was scheduled in Granada, Spain. We bought our plane tickets 6 months early. We were not going to miss this for the world! We also decided that it was time to get our of our comfort zone and be more actively part of the community. We both decided to offer a session! All the sessions at the summits are offered from other members of the community. Everything is in some way related to travel, schooling, nomadic life, working while traveling and why not also some psychology or self help. Who are world schoolers after all? All kinds of people, professionals of many types, or simply people that have experienced this new way of life and have great tips to share. Everyone can offer some type of help in the community. We were ready to do our part this year!
What were our kids expecting from this summit? To have a blast just like last time!!! They connect so easily now with other kids all over the world. So it was a true thrill to know that at the summit they were going to find so many other kids sharing their same lifestyle. I think they started their count down a month before! Once everything started they felt completely comfortable right away.
What did we “take away” from these 5 days?
1. There is always something new to learn and to help us in our growth. Initially we thought we didn’t really have that many doubts, that many worries. We did, they were just different from last year’s! As you solve some, new ones come up. However a community of like minded people is a great environment where to confront yourself and seek options, when at times you feel completely stuck! The first summit gave us that strength and courage we needed to realize that we were not alone and that we could handle anything that came our way. Our kids were going to be just fine! This year we walked away from these 5 days with a new found understanding of what our next steps need to be.
2. Learning from someone else’s knowledge can change your future plans. Some of the sessions touched information that we were already researching ourselves. For example, house/pet sitting as a great option to travel without having to worry about house costs. Or making videos of our travels. We do some very short ones, but we got some great insights and tips to maybe improve and work on it more. The Universe sent us a very clear help! Now we know who to ask more information if necessary!
3. Share what is important to you, it might help someone else evolve. Both Mass and I, stepped out of our comfort zones and offered sessions. Mine was about photography of course and the importance of capturing everyday moments with your family. Mass instead talked about “How to center yourself, how to stay with yourself even while you are traveling with family and kids and are together 24 hours a day. It was pretty amazing for both us! Personally I was so nervous, but as soon as I started speaking, surprisingly I felt completely comfortable. First of all because I loved what I was talking about. Secondly, I felt comfortable with the people surrounding me. At one point I also started crying (wasn’t planned at all), but I was shortly after embraced (the sweetest moment I will never forget). Where does that ever happen! As for Mass, he had so much to share, that he ran out of time! But he was happy anyway. He felt that he had truly connected with everyone and that he was able to get his message out there.
4. Watching your kids become actively part of the community. The joy of watching our kids connecting, sharing, laughing, putting theirselves out there no matter what!
5. Making new friendships. This year we understand even better how long lasting these worldschooling friendships are. We now realize that we can share just a few special moments together and then be hundreds of miles away, but in some amazing way never feel that far apart. We might not talk daily with who we met last year, but we know that if our paths do cross again we will try to meet, also if for a quick hallo!
6. Feeling part of a Community. Last but not least, the feeling of the powerful energy of a community. It can make you feel at home in any part of the world you are.
A few of the moments I will never forget
There were many memorable moments during this summit, too many to list, however a few really had a special meaning to us and I need to share a bit more about them.
While we were following the summit, a group of incredible volunteers, all teenagers, made sure that our kids were having the best time ever. We were given the chance to ask a panel of these teenage worldschoolers about their worldschooling experience. Watching them entertaining our kids was already mind-blowing, but once they started answering the many questions, tears just came running down. They were so mature, considerate and with a very clear idea of what they were passionate about and what they loved of being part of the World. If homeschooling/worldschooling makes them become so well balanced, I am now looking forward to seeing my children as teens! I will never forget this amazing conversation with the teens and I truly appreciated their dedication during these 5 days.
The last day of the summit there was a talent show. Anyone could participate. Our kids signed up last minute. At the beginning of the week they had no plans of being part of it! On the day of the talent show they were both happy to show their skills, no fear of being judged. They felt part of a community so they felt extremely comfortable sharing their passion. It was a very touching moment to see them happily up there. But it was also touching to see so many kids and parents as well, happily showing off their talents. Those few hours of pure entertainment were the “icing on the cake”, of community celebration!
What I want to convey with this second blog post about this summit, is that in your life, also if you enjoy being independent, you can always find a community that is right for you. You don’t need to walk alone in the path you pick for yourself and your family. You just need to find “your people”. The ones that share that similar path, similar way of thinking, similar beliefs. The ones that you feel comfortable with. The ones that make you feel like you can be yourself because you won’t be judged. You might have connected once, but you have no idea how much that connection will truly last. You will realize it in time……
As for us traveling families, these connections just make us feel like we are not alone while we adventure in the world. The world doesn’t feel that big anymore, when you know that there are more traveling families out there sharing this bond.
We all feel that we might meet again one day, somewhere…..probably at the next summit!!!!