Worldschooling Spotlight – The Pearce Family


May 27, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Worldschooler Spotlight



Here we get to know our Members and learn about how they got started, how life has changed and other interesting facts.

Today we are introducing the Pearce Family. We’d heard of this lovely family via various Facebook groups, and of course their blog at PearceOnEarth.com, however, we were fortunate enough to meet them in person in Merida, Mexico in March 2017. We’ve loved getting to know this lovely family, and am sure that they will inspire you as well.

GET TO KNOW OUR FEATURED FAMILY!

Introduce your family!

We’re the Pearce Family: Brandon, Jennifer, and our three daughters, Emily, Marie, and Aysia. We’ve been traveling as a family since 2009, seeking to expand our minds with new experiences and learn together as we explore the world.

We sold our house in the USA in 2010, and were nomadic for several years, visiting and living in 32 countries. We blog about our experiences at PearceOnEarth.com. Recently, we’ve created longer-term home bases in both Bali, Indonesia and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – two of our favorite towns, where we’re spending more time and traveling from.

 

What was life like before Worldschooling?

We were going through the motions of life, doing mostly the same things every day. I was working in a call center, as a piano teacher, and as a programmer before deciding to create an online business. But even when the business started growing, the story of success that the surrounding culture of consumerism was promoting (giant house, fancy car, etc.) didn’t inspire us. We wanted more transformative, educational, and life-enhancing experiences for our family, and to take the chance to bond together while our kids were still young.

 

When and how did you first hear about Worldschooling?

The term “Worldschooling” wasn’t well-known when we began 8 years ago, but we were inspired by books like “The New Global Student” and “The 4-Hour Workweek”, where our motivation grew for our own long-term family travels. When we sold everything and moved to Costa Rica, we didn’t know any other families who were doing it. But this community is growing quickly, and we have since met hundreds of families who are choosing to live in an authentic way that serves their family.

 

How has life changed since you began Worldschooling?

We no longer wake up with alarm clocks, but to the sun, the sound of birds, or the rhythms of our own internal clocks. (Unless we need to catch an early flight or have something we want to wake up earlier for.) We spend our days doing things we love, working on creative pursuits, and enjoying time as a family.

We feel free to create the kind of lifestyle that suits our family’s needs and to change it whenever it needs changing. With every new country, we get a chance to reinvent ourselves, to see how a place changes us, and to attempt to view ourselves through the eyes of a new cultural lens.

 

What has been some unexpected benefits of Worldschooling?

We believed travel and spending more time together would help us grow closer as a family and expand our minds, but we didn’t realize the degree to which we would end up questioning our entire framework of reality. Though not an easy transformation, the new insights we’ve gained into who we are, what we want, and how it’s possible to feel have been life changing. We’ve also become much more accepting of the various ways humanity is choosing to live. We didn’t expect our dogmatic views of right and wrong to ease into what feels like a more loving way to approach the world. It feels more supportive of differences and diversity. We’ve become more aware of our own limiting beliefs, and continue to discover new ones we can let go of. Travel has been nothing short of transformational for our family.

 

NUTS & BOLTS

Could you share your monthly travel budget?

It depends on where we’re at, for how long, and the kind of experience we want to have in a place. When we’re in a place for a while, we really appreciate having 3 bedrooms and an office. In some places, it can be hard to find vacation rentals that fit that description for less than $3,000/month. So booking longer term, renting unfurnished, or even buying a property if you love the area, can be a good approach. Over the years, we’ve spent as low as $900 on accommodations (or less when staying with friends and family), and as much as $4,500/month on some really luxury properties.

We’ll usually spend around $800-1600/month on food, including lots of eating out.

In San Miguel, we don’t own a car because we can walk everywhere. But we’ll take an occasional taxi or Uber and spend maybe $100-150/month on transportation. In other countries, we may rent a car from $300-800/month depending on where it is, or even buy a car if we’re there long enough.

Activities and classes range from $0 to $1500/month, again depending on what we’re wanting.

But, overall, we usually spend between USD $4,000 and $8,000/month on our travels.

 

How do you fund your travels?

I created an online business called MusicTeachersHelper.com that helps independent music teachers run the business side of teaching music lessons. I actually created the program for myself, initially, to help me manage my own piano students. And then later decided to make it available for other teachers as a subscription service. After years of hard work, it grew the point where it could support our travels. We’ve since expanded our product to include StudioHelper.com, which helps larger studios and schools with multiple teachers manage their studios, and it works for yoga, dance, art, and other types of studios besides music. We now have over 20 people helping run these programs and we hope to see gross revenue pass the million dollars per year mark soon.

Jen and I also offer coaching services, and we earn some money through some real estate investments we’ve made since beginning our travels. For example, you could rent our house in Bali or San Miguel. 🙂

 

How do you choose your destinations?

Usually, it feels like our destinations choose us. We may feel drawn to experience a certain place, visit with people we know in an area, or attend an event or activity. We’ll also often base our timing on the weather.

 

 

How long do you stay in one location and why?

We’ve done everything from quick overnight trips to home basing for a year and a half in a single location. Overall, we prefer longer stays to give us time to settle into the culture, engage in the community, participate in local classes and activities, and to get into productive and creative routines in our own work and passions. It also ends up being a lot cheaper the longer you stay in one place. But sometimes shorter trips feel like a better balance, so it just depends.

 

What does a typical Worldschooling day or week look like for you?

This continues to evolve, but currently, we’re in a more settled lifestyle here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I’m involved in several projects that I’m passionate about which are consuming the majority of my time, but I’m loving it.

The kids have a number of classes here in San Miguel that we’ll walk together to (well, our older kids sometimes walk by themselves), including painting, baking, aikido, horseback riding, Spanish, guitar, and a circus class. They also have some online classes.

We eat meals together, and always connect again in the evening for “family time”, which includes reading together, talking about the day, playing a game, or watching a movie. We’ll go out to eat several times per week as a family and with friends. And we have a family meeting each Sunday night to go over the schedule for the week, needs that we want to fulfill, and things we’re excited to do.

My wife and I go on a date once a week and take each of our kids on regular dates as well. We’ll occasionally go to a cultural performance or visit a place outside of town and in nature.

But this will all get shaken up when we head back to Bali in a couple weeks. We tend to reinvent our schedule again with each new location, and we also get a chance to reinvent ourselves. During this trip in Bali, we’ll also be showing my parents around the island, which should be fun.

 

What has been the hardest part of Worldschooling & Traveling? How did you handle it?

It’s been difficult for the kids at times when they feel out of place because they look different than everyone around them, and can’t understand the language. Moving from place to place quickly has also required us to say goodbye to new friends more soon than we would often prefer. Over time, we’ve gotten used to it, and our kids have many friends they communicate with regularly through video chat.

What’s helped the most, however, is finding supportive local and online communities to tap into and contribute to, and also scheduling travel with other families so we can spend more time together on the road. This is one reason we decided to create The Family Adventure Summit. It’s a 3-day live event held this September 1-3 (2017) in beautiful Penticton, BC, Canada. We’re bringing in inspiring speakers, running hands-on workshops for kids and adults, and enjoying fun and educational games together. We’ll delve deeply into the why’s and how’s of family travel and the challenges, including finances, education, community, life fulfillment, and more. Whether you’ve been traveling for years or are just thinking about venturing out, this will be an epic event for you and your family, and we’d love to see you there!

 

 

TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS

What are your Top 5 Travel Products? What Tech Gear do you travel with?

 

What are your favorite booking sites and why?

Airbnb for accommodations, because it’s so easy to use and has so many options. That said, there are some countries where you’ll find much better deals and more options when looking on local sites.

Google Flights and Skyscanner are my go-to’s for finding flights.

 

SUMMARY

As Worldschoolers, if you could step back in time, what is one thing you would do differently?

I’m not sure I’d change anything. We’ve made plenty of mistakes, but all of them have turned into great learning experiences that I wouldn’t want to miss out on.

 

What would you tell someone who is considering Worldschooling?

Only you know what’s best for your family and the kind of lifestyle you want to create, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. If you feel drawn to travel as a family, I’d encourage you to make it happen. Travel can be a fantastic catalyst for learning, bonding, and personal growth, and families of all sizes, income levels, and travel styles are doing it. If you want to meet some of them, come to the Family Adventure Summit and get the support you need to kickstart your adventure!

 

Where Can We Find You?

Website: http://pearceonearth.com/

Family Adventure Summit: http://www.familyadventuresummit.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PearceOnEarth/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pearceonearth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandags

 

Worldschooler Spotlight Q&A on Facebook

Join us this Sunday when our Worldschooler Spotlight Family will be available in our Facebook Group to answer any questions you may have!

 

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