A lot of people have asked us what life is like on the road now that we are adventuring around the world on the Big Trip.  Our days fall into a few basic categories of days – Travel Days, Adventure Days, Maintenance Days and School Days.

Travel Days are consumed with getting from point to point and we have discovered that although we should get more done, we don’t, so those days are a success getting where we need to go and getting settled in.  Adventure Days are consumed with some planned activities that takes up the day.  School Days are the bulk of any other time on our calendar that is not a Travel Day or an Adventure Day.  There are Maintenance Days when we need to get life stuff done – like laundry, restock medicines, find an ATM, get reservations made, etc; and on those days we will try and also fit in school work.  Sometimes we need to block that restock and recharge time for us where school is not the top focus.

March 31 was a good example of a Maintenance Day.  These are pretty flexible, but getting tasks done and then adding school work is the focus.  This always seems a bit odd, to focus on running errands and study in front of screens when we are in an exotic location.  But since this is our life, not a vacation from normal life, we make sure to get it done.

We have two iPads and a MacBook, pencils and sketch books, as well as journals.  We focus on math (using IXL (practice) and Kahn Academy (instruction)), writing (working with us on a team book, projects or IXL grammar elements), language (using Rosetta Stone – John doing Japanese and Kate doing Spanish), reading (John just finished “Middle School: The worst years of my Life” and has started “Mr. Terupt Falls Again”.  Kate just finished “13 Gifts” and she and I are about to start George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”), history / science (which we work in depending on what we are doing and where we are) and art (we each have a sketch book and incorporate art work into projects (John is working on researching Rio and Brazil)).

So this is what one random day looked like for us:

Siem Reap, Cambodia.  March 31, 2017.  Not a pure Maintenance Day but mostly that plus we needed some school time.  This is how it went:

7:00am – Alan up; coffee from our travel coffee press, emails, yoga.


7:30 – Judi up

8:00 – Kate up, order breakfast at roof top pool (included in room cost).  Kate does some reading.  John up (usually he is up about 7 am but slept in).


8:40 – Kate and Judi head to Khmer cooking school.  Pick up laundry from front desk laundry service ($1.25 per kilo).


8:50 – John recaps his dreams, we talk through priorities of the day: school, play pool, take shower, find post office.

9:00 – John looks up fun activities in Siem Reap on Trip Advisor using the iPad during breakfast and finds the ‘Lost Room Great Escape’ adventure (where you are locked in a room for an hour to try and figure out clues on how to unlock and find things that let you escape the room); we text the girls and they are up for it; book Great Escape adventure for 4:15 (3:45 pick up by tuk tuk).

9:30 – Work with John on Brazil research project pages.


10:15 – shoot pool.

10:30 – Showers.  Like a lot of our bathrooms in tropical climates, the bathrooms have shower and toilet in the same small space with one or two floor drains.  It is also pretty common for us, since Singapore, to have instant hot water controlled by a box on the wall, as you can see.


11:00 – Girls back from cooking school and we listen to the recap.  Later that afternoon their certificates and package of spices show up delivered by the school’s head chef.  Sadly, the certificate shows that only “Fudi” Harper attended the class so not sure if we will send it home for framing or not.


11:30 – Girls to go try and find a pedicure place to deal with Kate’s ingrown toenails and boys map out finding a post office to mail a few small things to friends.  Girls walk.  Grab a bite to eat.

12:00 – boys grab a tuk tuk to post office, buy envelopes, cards, and mail items and return.


1:00 – Shoot pool, have lunch, John does fractions unit in IXL.  We read Sherlock Holmes (Red Headed League). John and I work on writing elements in our team story (featuring our hero King Bob, his sister Nicole, his rival Weston and Weston’s dad, the head of the Space Academy, Kai Brownstain).  Girls get toe nails handled and return.  AH buys and coordinates bus tickets for us to get to Phnom Penh.



3:45 – Judi decides to stay home; kids and I grab our tuk tuk ride to the Great Escape game.

6:00pm – After failing miserably but having a wonderful time trying to escape, AH and kids return home.  Kate showers; Kate does mix number / fraction operation unit; Kate reads 45 minutes.  We start doing character sketch of Donald Trump as art project.


7:30 – dinner; John and Judi swim.


9:00 – watch a Netflix show and head to bed.

10:00pm – huge thunder storm rolls in and we watch the rain for a while before heading back to bed.


Some days bring more focus – particularly the days we have a fixed mission like a Travel Day or an Adventure Day.  But each day is wonderful family time, no matter what we get done.  Thanks for following along.


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