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#1 of 12 Old 01-08-2012, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so over this and just don't know where else to turn. I don't have mama friends in real life and I'm hoping you ladies can help, you seem like a perceptive bunch and child-need based rather than parent-need based, so I'm hoping you'll give me a reality check if I need it.

 

My partner and I have been pretty much nomadic for the last 6 years. Along the way our DD (4 at the end of the month) came along. Her whole life has been one place after the next, one culture after the next, one language after the next. I travelled a lot as a kid, not quite like this, but a lot, and I always found it exciting and was anxious to get back on the road again. I was miserable when I had to stay home because of school. But she's not me.

 

She's getting older. And the doubt is creeping in. Part of me wants to keep travelling and show her the whole world, have her grow up in it. Part of me wants to do what my mom did and travel some of the year, but always have a "home" to go back to in the city. And still another part of me wants to buy a few acres somewhere in the middle of nowhere, have a little garden and some animals, and never leave for extended periods again.

 

As of right now DD doesn't seem to be too affected by travelling. She misses the friends she makes in places we stay for months at a time, but she makes new ones just as quickly. She adjusts easily. We've been mostly "home" for the last month or so, aside one quick trip, and she's already asking when we're going away again. But now that she's getting older, I wonder if this life is what's best for her. No permanency, no cohesive culture, no place she can really call her own. She's still an only child for right now, not the way we envisioned it. Unless we adopted an older child, she won't ever have a sibling close in age. We thought by now she'd have 1 or 2 siblings, that they'd all be each other's playmates first and foremost, but the years snuck up on us. My partner and I are her primary playmates instead. I love that, don't get me wrong, but I'm wondering now if she really does need to settle somewhere, be it here in the city or somewhere else, and have consistent friends her own age and a place to come home to. Not just a barren apartment where mama and daddy's mail gets sent, not a brief stopover en-route to the next place.

 

Can we really provide the stability she needs while travelling? If you've done it with kids her age and older, how did it turn out? Any thoughts on how we can be mindful of her needs as she grows and changes, or what you'd do? I think I really need a few different views on this, because I'm so conflicted myself that it's obviously not a balanced perspective.

 

Thanks in advance.

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#2 of 12 Old 01-08-2012, 06:38 PM
 
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can't help but it reminds me of this family -

 

 

 http://www.gadling.com/2008/03/28/the-first-family-of-surf-a-documentary/

 

http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/05/09/movies/09surf.html


 

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#3 of 12 Old 01-09-2012, 12:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post

She's getting older. And the doubt is creeping in. Part of me wants to keep travelling and show her the whole world, have her grow up in it. Part of me wants to do what my mom did and travel some of the year, but always have a "home" to go back to in the city. And still another part of me wants to buy a few acres somewhere in the middle of nowhere, have a little garden and some animals, and never leave for extended periods again.

 


Not in your shoes, so can't help much. But from your post, I'd say option 3 is the drastic opposite of option 1 - which is where you are now. I would guess that a traveler like you would like the romantic idea of settling somewhere, but that would get old fast and you would feel really trapped in no time. I think your second option would be the most practical. Travel, see the world, but have a home to go back to. I have traveled a huge amount, pre and post kids. Mostly for work and some for vacation. It's very different when you are single, have no huge responsibilities, can do what you want, than when you have kids. I'm sort of in no-mans land - not really belonging to the culture I was born and raised in, but not really belonging to the culture I live in now. This is not a bad thing. It just means I am open to seeing all different sorts of possibilities. If you continue to travel with your DH and DD, she will still get this open-ness. Having a home-base doesn't stop this, it just provides a place to plant some roots, have a main culture, have some more permanent friends... 

 

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#4 of 12 Old 01-09-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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We have moved relatively often, although we've tended to settle into a single place for a few years, rather than months, before moving on. When our dc were very young, I worried about whether it would affect their personalities and attitudes. I was concerned about insecurity, difficulties fitting into new environments and isolation. I'm happy to say that they are well adjusted, very sociable, and have a terrific ability to adjust to new situations.

 

Personality probably plays a big role in how well a child copes with frequent moves, so I'm sure others struggle a lot more with change. I think parents can support and nurture a child's flexibility and resilience though. We made efforts to maintain social networks, despite intervening distances and the international dateline. It's a lot easier to do these days, with e-mail, facebook, webcams and skype and other social networking technologies. They are still friends with children they knew when they were pre-schoolers. 

 

I don't regret moving about and giving our children a broad perspective on the world. I actually wish we'd managed at least one more overseas move before DS finished high school. 

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#5 of 12 Old 01-11-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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By the time I was in tenth grade, I was attending my 11th school. I've lived all over the country.

 

Cons:

 

- Everybody else had these lifelong friends...people who had known them since kindergarten, etc and I always secretly envied that. I made friends, but I never had them for a long long time and that kind of sucked.

 

- It kind of messed up some things in school. Like, I never learned long division....because the school I attended in third grade, addressed that subject in the fourth grade curriculum and the school I attended in the fourth grade addressed it in the third grade curriculum!

 

- I was always the new kid and sometimes felt very misunderstood.

 

Pros:

 

- There is not a social situation, culture or place that you could stick me in that I wouldn't thrive in. I grew up in very conservative, low minority, wealthy places....in places with more minorities than whites, in places where everyone was very poor...and in places like Boulder, Colorado...where I did switch schools, but spent a few good years) and was in the cultural hub of a wonderful community of refugees and immigrants from all over the world. (seriously, bosnian kids who escaped the war, korean kids who we grew very close with, refugees from Africa, etc). I've learned about people from all walks..and as a kid was very very strongly impacted by this. Knowing a lot about the way people live in different places and especially different socioeconomic backgrounds, has come to impact who I am and my belief system very positively as an adult. I just don't have problems fitting in, understanding people and feeling understood, most anywhere I go.

- Problem solving and critical thinking in social situations...diffusing tense social situations and helping to mediate when other people are experiencing difficultly is something I became VERY good at. I believe that my ability to see other perspectives and gauge where people are coming from has helped me in my marriage, my parenting and in understanding myself.

 

- Closeness with siblings....I know you don't have siblings for your DD, but I'll throw this out there anyway! I think one of the reasons my "pack" of four siblings became and remains as close as we are, is because our pack was THE consistent social environment.

 

 

All of that being said....I'm extremely glad for the lifestyle my family had. I just don't have problems talking to people, being "new", etc. I genuinely desire feelings of closeness with people I've just met...like, not in a creepy way, but in a "sincerely happy to hear your life story on a train ride" kind of way. I appreciate the stories other people have to tell...and I know it's a habit I formed, as a result of not living around the same people, whose stories were already known to me and mirrored my own, all my life.

 

But when I realized that I was going to be a mama...one of the first things I did, was look for a house in the middle of the woods, get a bunch of animals and started homesteading!! Hahaha....so.....I grew up the way you did, the way your DD is....but for my own children, I chose a little house tucked in the middle of nowhere. We have an eclectic group of friends and they are heavily exposed to art and culture, music and food from other places....but I do not want to drag them all over. I want to teach them to live in concert with the living things around them, to feel attached and owned by a patch of land that if familiar to them.

 

My kids are children of these woods around me. They are only three and two, but they are wild and free in these woods...and know the trees, know the sounds of the birds....My son was born, just a couple of feet from where my left foot is resting, this very moment. I desire that they feel connected to this place...not because I DON'T desire travel for them...trust me, if I could have it both ways, I would. But there is something very valuable about the relationship I see them forming with these woods, with the animals they help tend to....with our little scrap of the universe, so warm, so protective, so familiar to them.

 

 

 

But we are also homeschooling...so we can seek out friendship wherever we want, without having a "forced" social situation where they make friends with "What they have to choose from" type of thing. Also because of the lack of outside cultural immersion in the form of daily schooling, we are free to create a culture here which is very eclectic and encompasses a wide range of ideology and places and they don't feel "weird"...you know what I mean?

 

Homeschooling also allows for a lot more freedom in schedule...I can take them to crazy music festivals...or, like, this Friday, there is a super neat art exhibit that I'm taking my DD to...she's REALLY interested in the kind of art that will be there and I can take her, because we're not tied to a school schedule.

 

So, I feel like a lot of my favorite things about our nomadic lifestyle when I was a child can be replicated....and at the same time, I can foster that sense of belonging to a special place for all of their lives, too. So, best of both worlds? For us, I think so.

 

 

Good luck. Try not to compare yourself to other people and the way they are raising their kids. There is no one path that works best for everyone. Your child will be special and OF YOU because she is OF YOU....her perspective and unique heart are what make her an asset to the people of the world....she is forming that perspective and strengthening that heart with the lessons, loves and experiences that come to her, via your life path and the places you take her and things you expose her to. If she is loved, happy and learning all the time, you are doing your job.

 

I understand, first hand, the feeling of looking at more "normal" lifestyles and thinking "Maybe I'm messing this all up, maybe a little house, in a row, on a suburban street with lots of other kids all running through sprinklers and neighbors to have cookouts with and a little public school house for them all to go to IS the best way...look at everyone else doing it....maybe I don't want my kids to be so different..." etc etc.

 

But I can't do it! I can't, in MY motherhood, walk someone elses path. I have to show my kids the world the way I see it....because I BELIEVE in my perspective and I BELIEVE in my lifestyle and think it is the healthiest way - or I wouldn't be living it.

 

The perspective your DD is gaining is a unique one. She is never going to be better or worse off than a kid living in a little house in a row, on a street with lots of other people and whatever....that whole suburban, tight knit community thing....she'll just have a different perspective...and I think we can all agree, that the world needs as many different perspectives as we can get.

 

She's going to be who she is going to be, no matter how she is raised. But I do happen to believe that you are giving her many gifts that more "tied down" parents cannot.

 

The ability to travel well, adapt in new places/situations and the beauty of knowing many lands and the amazing culture of the people who live there....that's just some priceless shit right there. I gotta tell you, there is very little that a kid can get, in the way of gifts, that measure up to that kind of world experience.

 

How much of the world do most of us see? How is our perspective and view of ourselves and our role on this earth effected by how much or how little of the world we ever actually see? Think about it. What are we born, on this beautiful planet, to do? Learn as much as we can, become as TRULY human as we can. How can seeing MORE of the world than the average person and meeting MORE of the inhabitants of this place than the average person hurt that life mission? Seeing a larger world, understanding the various ways that people are living out there, learning about and seeing the ways in which people are going about living, learning and being exposed to the different beliefs systems and histories in the world is wonderful.


Me and DH ...lovin' DD dust.gif(6/08) and DS kid.gif(11/09) Plus NEW BABY!! DD baby.gif (UC-5/12) We heartbeat.gif Water Birth/Homebirth/No Vax or Circ/BF/BW/Country Livin'! chicken3.gif

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#6 of 12 Old 01-11-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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Thought I would respond since we have a similar situation. We have a 20 month old and have moved 4 times all over the country since he was born. Since my husband and I have married we have lived in 7 states and we have been married 4 years.  I am pregnant again and after this one is born and is about one year old we are planning to move to Mexico for a few years. I want to travel but definitely know that my kids need people to grow relationships with and have a place where they grew up. I am planning to possibly unschool with them but I am very concerned about them having long term friendships and not just having a sibling as "best friend".

 

I myself am an only child who moved constantly. I went to about 14 different schools from Kindergarten to 12th grade. When I finally did settle down for the last two years of school I found it hard to make friends. Though I did make a small of amount of friends. I think being an only child is a whole other arena. You have no one else to share the experiences you have with your parents or in general as a child unless you have childhood friends you grew up with. The previous poster mentions she had siblings to share the experiences with also to remember herself as she was as a child which I think is important. I don't have that. My mom's memory is going and for a large part of my childhood my dad was living in another state. I am very close to my parents and have always wished I had someone else to share them with both the good and bad memories. I see that with my husband and his siblings all they remember about each other. I guess you could also argue that there are no guarantees that your child will keep her childhood friends but there is always a good chance if it.

 

The last place I lived in was LA at my dad's house. I had always visited there since I was 7 but around 16 I went there to live. Every time I go back my neighbor yells across the street my name and says Hi. He asks how I am doing and such. There are also a few other neighbors that stop me and we talk anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. When I visit, I feel like for a small moment in my life I belonged somewhere. Of course all these people have strangly enough in our modern world not moved for the past 30 years, so that is a factor.

 

I have turned out well. I am very confident and have all the qualities mentioned above by the previous poster. I camped by myself just me and my dog for years. I traveled to other countries by myself and went to Morocco when the war started and everyone thought that was a big deal since it is an Arabic nation and I was a lone woman.

 

 

 

What I am mainly trying to convey is make sure she has some real long term connections with people her age and a place. I don't seem to be the average woman and not sure I was an average kid. I am naturally highly resilient and have some other good qualities that match traveling.

 

The one solution to my wanderlust is we may after or before Mexico decide to just move and live in another country.

 

Good Luck and I wish you the best in your travels.

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#7 of 12 Old 01-11-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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I also wanted to add that I find it very important that we travel every year. Being exposed to other cultures helps us to see other people as ourselves.

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#8 of 12 Old 01-11-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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To clarify when I said I felt like "...I belong somewhere." I meant to say I feel from somewhere. I definitely don't feel like I belong in LA but do feel like I am from that part of LA.

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#9 of 12 Old 01-11-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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I also wanted to add that I thought of a few documentaries one is Surfwise which was previously mentioned by a poster and the other is Randon Lunacy. Its about Poppa Neutrino and his family. I relate to poppa Neutrino abit in that I think rent is bullshite. We live in an Airstream at the moment and though I have paid rent at times I would much rather be free and boondock than to be chained to my house and possessions. The only thing I worry about now is having a new baby, co sleeping both new baby and 2 year old, 11 year old cranky sometimes dog and a cat who hides alot all in a very small space.

 

Anyway sorry for the all the info and posts. I just can relate. I really never want to settle down. My husband is finishing school so we are here for another year. I would love to find a group of like minded people to travel with. That is the key. I have had people tell me how humans have been moving about for millions of years. I do think that for some they feel the call of the nomad in themselves and it is very natural but in the old old days they did it as a group. I feel we learn so much about ourselves in long term friendships and relationships. 

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#10 of 12 Old 01-14-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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I wish we could afford to travel. It breaks my heart that we have the flexibility that homeschooling provides, yet no money to travel and USE that flexibility. I wish we could somehow ditch the house and find another way, but there seem to be a mountain of reasons why we can't.

 

I think that since your DD *has* traveled and already has an open mind about the world, I'd say settle down and let her do the one thing that she hasn't been able to do yet, which is establish stable, long-term friendships, which I imagine would be important for an only child (we have a homeschooled Only, too, so I'm always keeping one eye on that, trying to find him places like Sunday School or other local homeschool co-ops & classes where he can make friends and grow with them year after year. Our biological family is so small and scattered--there are hardly any cousins (and we can't travel to visit half of them anyway), his friendships will be his "siblings." So I need to allow him to do that.

 

Your daughter, having tasted the traveling life, can now aspire to travel on her own. Maybe even study abroad as part of her schooling. You've planted the seeds; now maybe she needs roots.

 

Those are just my two cents worth!

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#11 of 12 Old 01-14-2012, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughtful responses; it's given me a lot to think about.

She's only 4 so she's a long way from thinking about her schooling or studying abroad, and we will never settle down so much that she has no experiences with the outside world, so that's not really our consideration. We are homeschooling, so that does give us great flexibility to do what we want and also arrange social opportunities for her.

 

My partner and I took a few first steps towards permanency. We got a second dog :) Our dog (4, just 2 weeks older than DD, LOL) has travelled with us, but I'm thinking having a puppy will at least ground us for a little while, and give us something to fill our days. We're also thinking about where we want to liver permanently, or at least ahve as a permanent home. From there we'll decide if we want to buy in the city or head for the country. Homesteading sounds so appealing to me. I've lived rurally in other places that we stay a few months and I enjoy it as much or more than the city.

 

Again, thanks for the input. I needed the perspective, and you ladies have helped a lot. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I needed the time to read over what everyone said a few times and digest it on my own. I showed it to my partner and it inspired a couple long nights of talking, dreaming, planning.

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#12 of 12 Old 01-16-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post

Thanks for the thoughtful responses; it's given me a lot to think about.

She's only 4 so she's a long way from thinking about her schooling or studying abroad, and we will never settle down so much that she has no experiences with the outside world, so that's not really our consideration. We are homeschooling, so that does give us great flexibility to do what we want and also arrange social opportunities for her.

 

My partner and I took a few first steps towards permanency. We got a second dog :) Our dog (4, just 2 weeks older than DD, LOL) has travelled with us, but I'm thinking having a puppy will at least ground us for a little while, and give us something to fill our days. We're also thinking about where we want to liver permanently, or at least ahve as a permanent home. From there we'll decide if we want to buy in the city or head for the country. Homesteading sounds so appealing to me. I've lived rurally in other places that we stay a few months and I enjoy it as much or more than the city.

 

Again, thanks for the input. I needed the perspective, and you ladies have helped a lot. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I needed the time to read over what everyone said a few times and digest it on my own. I showed it to my partner and it inspired a couple long nights of talking, dreaming, planning.


Homesteading with these children of mine has been a greater joy than I ever could have imagined....seriously. The skills and knowledge base that my three year old has about living in concert with the earth and the seasons, is more developed than that of most grown men and women in this day and age. She knows about growing, harvesting, canning. She knows about fermenting. She understands where good food comes from, how to care for animals. So many things.

 

There was a time when people were so close to nature in the way they lived, the rhythm of their days and the way they ate, that they just "knew" things from very early on that these days we have to make a conscious effort to teach ourselves. This summer, my DD will learn about seed saving. That's a skill that is so dead in most of our population...but that people just had to KNOW in order to survive over the generations until a relatively short time ago. I want my kids to have these skills, I want my kids to know these things....I want for living in concert with the earth to be a second nature habit for them...and so, we homestead. If they want to go and be city slickers some day...I will joyously send them off to experience and learn that. But in their hearts, I want them to understand the old ways of living, the simple and natural ways of being....how to survive and sustain their families on whatever patch of land they can get their hands on.

 

The peace, privacy and tranquility we enjoy in our little corner of the world is so blissfully perfect. I wouldn't trade this life for anything, anywhere.

 


Me and DH ...lovin' DD dust.gif(6/08) and DS kid.gif(11/09) Plus NEW BABY!! DD baby.gif (UC-5/12) We heartbeat.gif Water Birth/Homebirth/No Vax or Circ/BF/BW/Country Livin'! chicken3.gif

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