Saturday, September 5, 2015

Some details of this trip

This is Elise.
We recently received some inquiries from new blog followers on the the details of the removing our kids from the public school system.  It was a fairly simple process to withdraw the kids from school to home school.  I think I went to the Texas Department of Education website, filled out a form, and mailed it to the school.  I signed a paper at the school and picked up their academic records.  The school registrar said there would be no testing required to get them back into the grades they would be in if we never left.  That seems a little difficult to believe but I guess I won't find out until we go back.  They also don't keep tabs on us to make sure we are following a curriculum or doing a certain number of hours.
We are just using our savings for this trip but are also renting or home out for additional income.  We will have less for retirement but I would rather spend the money now when we are healthy and can still travel.  I can't imagine trying to climb Mayan pyramids with 65 year old knees.
We don't know when/if we are going to return. As of yet we have not yet found a place that I like better than Steiner Ranch.  If we do, then maybe we will settle in for a while. We would love to get the girls in school so they can make friends and learn Spanish.  I would love a chance to take some more Spanish classes as well.
There are many helpful resources available for people seeking extended travel. For us we started out with a book titled "Don't go there, you'll die!" available on Amazon. It was a informative read for some of the basics about traveling by land through Central America. Also there are many blogs out there that show traveling in different regions and situations. We are traveling as a family so our needs are totally different than a single person. There are people who motorcycle or camp in RVs through out Central and South America, you name it. There are many different books available to help guide you in the right direction.
Some of the best resources we have found are located on Face Book. There are closed groups with really cool people who have great and caring advice. Some of the groups on Face Book are Pan American Travel Association, Overland Families, World Schoolers and many more. This will help you get in the right forum for sure. These groups have detailed info on making money while traveling but more importantly how to live cheaply and happily.
We are staying in nicer accommodations and are doing most or all the activities in each location so our expenses are running an average of $4500 a month. There are many people doing this same trip for much less but I would think the lowest a family could spend and still feel comfortable would be about $3000 a month. The longer you stay in a place the cheaper the rental becomes and the bills shrink as well. If we would have stayed in Filandia, Colombia for two months at the same place we could have lived for $1800 a month for family of 4 no problem. We have met people who do a combination of camping and hotels and their bills drop significantly as well.
It is much cheaper to live a full life abroad than you might imagine. If you visit some of those Face Book groups you can see people are living all around the world for much less than you would imagine. Also a great reason to do this soon is the US dollar is very strong against most of the currencies.
All the best               

1 comment:

  1. Y'all are an inspiration to many people! Elise, I miss your down-to-earth common sense in my daily life.