The power behind living a dream lies in either believing it’s a dream or knowing it’s not. ~Richelle E. Goodrich
“Mom, Dad, which way do we go next?” my daughter finally broke the silence. We have stopped in front of a fork road for a full three minutes now.
“Hmm…” I thought out loud. I looked through the rearview mirror.
We had exited the paved road into a dirt road lined with trees and tall grasses in each side. The day had just started and we were all teeming with energy. I looked back at my daughter who was now munching on a few sweets we had bought the other day. They were the delicacy of the place.
“Where would you like to go?” her daddy asked.
“There!” she extended out her arms and pointed her chubby fingers to the direction she wanted.
“Then off we go!” the daddy and I said in unison.
We have been on the road for about six months now, trying to explore each and every island that compose the 7,107-island country that we live in.
About two years ago, we made a loan to buy a secondhand Land Rover. That guy Ben Southall who won the Best Job in the World in 2009 was able to circumnavigate Africa back in 2008 in his Land Rover. He (with his girlfriend then) had everything he needed all cramped in the car and they slept with a tent perched on the roof. His story became our inspiration back in 2013.
We started out our journey in the southern part of the country, where the paternal grandmother of my daughter was born. We stayed there for about a week and then travelled by road.
Travelling here by car is made easy through the medium-sized ships called RORO (roll-on, roll-off) that carried buses, cars, motorcycles and Land Rovers, along with their people passengers.
It’s been six months now since we started our nomadic life. We’ve followed fiestas (festivals) in the country and had shot quite a lot of great photographs. We’ve also tried camping out in the outdoors as well as biking.
And how about our daughter’s schooling? Well she’s not. At least, she’s not forced to study anyway. But, we constantly take her out – nature, museums, parks, gardens, historic places, hidden treasures, unspoiled areas – you name it, we’ve been there.
We’ve followed the unschooling philosophy that the partner and I discovered five years ago. Passion first, they say. And we totally agree. That over academic standings, test scores and percentile ranks. There is no pressure at all in terms of exceling in anything and even if I had mostly been focused on my academics back in school, I certainly am glad I’ve gotten over that. Life, after all, is about living, right? Why not teach your child about that early on?
Six months ago, when we told my parents about our plans, they had been a little apprehensive – and hurt. Why would we want to leave them there? Well, of course, we told them we’d be keeping in touch. There’s always the Internet and mobile phones to help us with that.
I simply told my mom that we were homeschooling the daughter. She’d surely freak out about that unschooling thing. Her biggest worry, of course, had been on social interactions. Well, my daughter, who is just five years old, gets to have conversations with people of various ages, from all walks of life. How cool is that? Okay, well, she does mispronounce a few words here and there but it’s cute. And she asks out-of-this-world questions, too. Or well, actually, just beyond the scope of our general knowledge. Thank goodness for Google.
The daughter has been learning swimming through her dad and biking and so many other cool outdoor stuff. She also seems to have some inclination for music and the arts and we just let her be on our lull moments. Of course, her fondness for books is unquestionable. Ever since she was on my womb, the daddy and I have started collecting for our library. We left them at home and just let the folks send out the books we want or keep the ones we may not need for a few weeks.
Once in a while, we meet up with families who have the same setup as ours. They have been our inspiration from the beginning. They’re mostly foreign people, though, because a nomadic lifestyle is not a norm in our country. At least not if you do not belong in a tribe. Well, that’s how she got so good with talking in foreign tongues, I guess.
“Mommy, look!” my daughter broke my train of thought. Her eyes were wide with awe and excitement.
“C’mon, baby girl, time to hit the waters!” the daddy said.
We had apparently reached a beautiful beach that had medium-sized waves perfect for surfing training. There were a few locals around but it wasn’t crowded. And I had spotted just the perfect place to tie my hammock on.
As I finally got to setup my lovely spot and saw my daughter and her daddy sitting up on their boards trying to catch the perfect swell, I breathed a deep sigh.
Everything has been worth it. Who wouldn’t want to live a life like this?
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
ALTHOUGH WE SINCERELY HOPE (AND ARE ACTIVELY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT) TO TURN THIS DREAM INTO A REALITY. IN FIVE YEARS.
The Daily Post’s Daily Writing Challenge: On the Road
Credits to our friends Chessa and Juliene for the awesome pics in this post. Thanks!