Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Our Young Backpacking Padowins

Walking down Nevsky Prospekt (the main street) in St. Petersburg, I had this wonderful experience watching Zachary and Jacob walking a metre ahead of me and a decade ahead of their times. Here they were with their backpacks, wandering down the street chatting away as brothers do. Just another day like every day for young boys, right? Only they were wandering down St. Petersburg in RUSSIA and not thinking of it as anything crazy or unusual! They've already been to the other St. Petersburg in Florida too. So when it comes time that they want to backpack through Europe as young twenty-somethings, we can show them this picture and tell them they've already done it! Indeed, later at a cafe, the boys said that they should go into business planning homeschool tours in Europe for kids! One option would just be to sell their tickets to our next sabbatical trip!

Your homeschool guides to Europe!


  1. Zach and Jaybob certainly have a wonderful life and what you have is in many, many ways very UNUSUAL. Whenever I read your posts I am reminded of how many children - and adults - do not and will not have such a life. With great privilege comes even greater responsibility. I hope the boys - and you - spread your wings even more and dare to truly experience places in the world where even a simple back pack is a luxury. My greatest educational experiences have been those that have left me humbled enough to focus far less on my own achievements and far more on how I can be of better service to humanity and the planet.

  2. How very profound! Both in Stephen's observation as well as the Jedi Queen's entry above. Life lessons learned through our travel through "life".

    I guess the Jedi Queen has always been very forward thinking about the educational benefits of travel. I was reminded of the fact when we travelled to Belize a few years ago. When she suggested that we somehow get the boys to come along on the next trip and that Belize would have been a great destination for a homeschool trip/ virtual classroom. And lo' and behold, the boys end up on a homeschool cruise to that very same part of the world only a year or two later!

  3. "...walking a metre ahead of me and a decade of their times..."

    -- expresses rather well a sort of epiphany you seem to have experienced. The picture is affecting. You have the insight which enables you and your sons to achieve good value from your pilgrimage through cultures abroad.

    Jedi alludes to something I often think about relative to your travels. I kinda hope that as well as seeing and experiencing the show-places of the world, you may also catch glimpses of the ordinary as it is lived in other lands, even some of the under-privileged who actually comprise a very great majority of the earth's peoples. They too contribute to its music and meaning.

  4. My dream is to have the boys accompany us on an odyssey thru China via the ancient silk road route. We would travel into the villages, country side and mountains of their heritage and summer in the Mongolian plains with the Nomadic horsemen where in exchange for English lessons and art supplies we will learn to ride horses controlled only by touch, fashion and construct or own yurt and become culinary experts on mare's milk and yak butter. I am saving up Europe for when carrying a back pack is no longer an option and paved roads and indoor plumbing are mandatory age requirements:-)

  5. Yes. The Jedi Queen has led me on many interesting treks all over the corners of the world. From hiking and camping the Inca Trail to camel treks in India (don't need to do that again!) to the back roads of Vietnam and Cambodia shortly. There is always something new to learn about the world and all of its peoples and cultures.

    After every trip, I always return home thankful for what I have and for the life I have. It really makes me realize what one takes away from the "human experience" (or what we call "life") has everything to do with where one lives in the world and the circumstances to which we were born.