“Are you crazy? How are you going to take your kids out of school to travel? How do you think your kids are going get their education? Do you really think you can do it?”
These were amongst the many negative comments my husband and I received before we took the leap to sign our three children, ages 10, 8 and 6 out of formal school, quit our formal jobs and dedicate our lives to something more valuable — Life.
Often, we found, that the doubters, were our first fans.
Name: Claudia Clavier
From: Caracas, Venezuela
While living in Caracas, we dreamt of our family becoming closer; of enjoying family dinners together and experiencing a life of happiness, peace, authenticity and valuable lifelong lessons.
It wasn’t until we realized that our kids were growing before our eyes that we decided to travel the world and expose our children to what matters most: family.
We thought it necessary to shake things up, to change the way we do things, not because it was bad, but because it no longer worked for us. So, we said goodbye to our lives in Caracas, packed our most precious belongings and embarked on a trip to places my husband and I have always wanted to go and do activities that our children always wanted to do.
We began our journey in June 2016. We’ve experienced many adventures since then, but our favorite one lasted three minutes. For three entire minutes we got to meet the Pope.
He blessed his presence on us and listened to our family objectives. We were able to share with him our hopes of serving as an example to other families that only dream of having closer relationships with their children. We told him about our desire to conquer our fears and be brave — knowing that traditional does not always mean happy, and having a stable job does not mean health.
It was not easy to just quit the jobs that were supporting our family and ensuring there was a roof on top of our heads. We did not have anyone sponsoring our life project. We are financially limited with a big dream in our heads.
We struggled, very hard.
Knowing that we were not going to be receiving a set number in our bank accounts each month was definitely scary; we feared we would use every cent in our savings account. Not working for an entire year sounded (and still kinda sounds) pretty crazy.
The very core of our society is based around work — what we are doing, how much we are making — and trying to make more and more each year, sacrificing the one thing that is irreplaceable, family time.
BUT, WE DID IT!
We conquered our fears and this is not to say we don’t have any more fears; but now we know we can climb the walls that seem to be in the way.
If there is something we cherish most about this journey, it is the one of teaching our children a life they could never imagine possible without this experience.
My husband and I are homeschooling our children and exposing them to real-life situations. We are showing them the cultural differences first-hand. We are having them experience the seasons of the year and showing them that the world doesn’t just revolve around us.
My children are able to see for themselves what books can only reference. Rather than read about the different cultures and languages, our children are in the countries these languages are from, and are speaking to people using the different dialects.
To be honest, my kids are not the only ones learning from this experience. My husband and I are immersed in a learning process as well. From the outside may look like a fantasy, a dream, the definition of the hashtag #goals. But it’s not easy. We sometimes even miss having a routine and a “productive life”, but we keep reminding ourselves every day that we are in it for the experience and that it is not supposed to be easy. Nothing good in life is easy. But these challenges are making us grow in a way I never could have predicted. I’m proud of my children, but I’m also proud of my husband, and even proud of myself.
After having visited Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Italy, The Vatican, Russia, Sweden, The UK and Mexico, we now look forward to our next stops in the US: California, Utah, New York and who knows where we'll land next. We don’t have everything figured it out, but that is the beauty of this.
If there is one takeaway from our life story, we hope you gain the confidence to take ownership of your life and face your biggest fear and break the conformities that life oftentimes tries to bestow on everyone. Life is yours and we only have one — live it how you always dreamed.
This article was written by Elizabeth Alvite, Miami, FL. — Thank you!!!
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