That’s huge, because I didn’t know about a Worldschooling community online when I first began, so we just moved to Nicaragua. Through my son’s school, we met some other ex-pat families, and we also met local families. So the local families were speaking Spanish with us, which I was okay with, my son not so much, at first. So it was really difficult for him to really build those friendships. He’s such a verbal kid, but he plays, so he was looking for kids that understood how he played and could speak the same language with him. Those were the relationships that we spent the most time with while we were there, but after that, he struggled, because there’s only a limited number of kids that he can build those relationships with. So we shifted how we Worldschooled after that because we went home for a while after Nicaragua, but then when we left to Worldschool full time, I was specifically looking for a community when we traveled.
When we took off for Asia, we started in Fiji with an online program that was advertised through some Worldschooling sites. We went and spent time with 10 other families that were integrated with the Fijian culture and were learning about the Fijian culture, but we did that in a community setting. Then we moved on to Australia, and I really used the Facebook group for Worldschooling connections. I put out a message and our picture, and just said who we were, and what we were looking for, that we were going to be in Sydney, Australia for these dates, and we would love to meet up with other Worldschoolers, this is my son, this is myself, this is what we’ve been doing, and I just got so many messages back, and people were really enthusiastic and said yeah, let’s connect up. We would chat on messenger, and we stayed with several families, and met up with them for hikes, and went to some parks while we were in Sydney, and just had this beautiful time, that was not anything scheduled, it just created itself by putting ourselves out there. So we had that amazing experience in Australia connecting with families.
We spent a month with another program that was put out, called the Stone Soup Family Pop Up, and that was organized by one family, and we had probably 30 families came to Bali to the same town, and it had some organization to it, with a weekly program, and everybody brought something to share and to teach, and so there were opportunities for the kids to connect and do games together or do outings together. Then after that, we had some friends from that event, that we went and traveled with for another month, to another part of Bali, and then we went on to Thailand with them, and we traveled with probably two or three other families. So it was nice for me to connect with friends, and for him to have friends that were traveling with us, so we’ve really shifted our focus from, just going to a brand new place that neither of us knows and where we don’t know too many people, to where can we go, where we can travel to a few specific places that we are interested in and that are brand new to us, but we’ll have stopovers, or go on a group trip with some other families, just to have that sense of community and belonging and friendships, to enjoy the experience more.