Worldschooling Spotlight – Meet The Walmsley-Mammone Family


July 28, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ World Schooling,Worldschooling 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 Walmsley-Mammone family, who wordschool with a strong focus on sustainable adventuring. 

GET TO KNOW THE WALMSLEY-MAMMONE FAMILY

Introduce your family!

We are Emma and Anthony, and our kids Dante, 7, and Allegra, 3.

 

What was life like before Worldschooling?

We have always homeschooled/unschooled Dante, so life was a bit different to most people we know. I stayed at home with the kids and Anthony worked very hard, always putting in long hours. We knew we wanted more balance in our family life, which is another thing that attracted us to worldschooling! It’s really great that he gets to spend more time with us now, and that we can share the load of parenting and working.

 

When and how did you first hear about Worldschooling?

When Dante was a baby, I started reading about alternative education options and came across families who were travelling as part of their children’s education. I loved the idea immediately! Ant and I discussed it a lot, and we decided to home educate and travel as much as we could as our kids grow up.

 

Before you started, what worried you about Worldschooling? And how has that turned out?

I guess how we would do it was always the question, but we had plenty of time to work towards it. After Allegra was born we wanted to wait until she was out of nappies before we started long-term traveling, so we just planned our adventures until we were in the right place to begin! Once she was at a good age, and Anthony felt comfortable leaving the business he created, things fell into place. We could earn rent from our home, and we felt ready to start a new chapter in our lives. The other thing that worried us was the environmental and social impact of our travelling, so we decided to focus on sustainable adventuring. We choose eco-conscious accommodation wherever possible, and overland travel primarily. We offset the carbon emission from our flights and support local businesses, social enterprises and NGO’s with our travel income. We have also had our first volunteering experience as a family in Malaysia last year, and we look forward to more as it was so positive. It’s been wonderful having the sustainable focus; for all of our continual learning, for connecting with other passionate people, and for our desire to have a positive impact as we get to live our dream life. I started a blog to document how we’re doing it, to highlight the people and organisations doing great things, and hopefully to inspire others to travel more sustainably too. It’s not more difficult, and we really believe it’s more rewarding!

 

How has life changed since you began Worldschooling?

We get to be together as a family as much as we like! That is great for all of us. It”s hard for one parent to have the responsibility of making all the money if they are missing out on their kid’s childhoods. Anthony was missing a lot, and he was worn out when he was home. We still work hard but it’s now on different terms, and he doesn’t have to leave us for the best part of each day. We’ve also all matured after our first big overseas trip last year. We learnt so much, about ourselves, about travelling, and about the places we went. We know for sure that we don’t want to go back to that old lifestyle again! And we have a clearer idea about what we want to create for the future.

 

What have been some unexpected benefits of Worldschooling?

I had read so much about it that there haven’t been many surprises so far! Though it was great for our kids to really see that they can live quite happily without the majority of their toys and stuff. It’s much easier to continue downsizing now! Oh one thing was watching our children playing so easily with other children from different countries, even when they couldn’t converse together. It was really beautiful to see their common language of play. We had hoped travel would bring them closer to all people, and it very naturally did.

 

 

NUTS & BOLTS

Could you share your monthly travel budget?

We didn’t set a budget for our first trip overseas, as we didn’t really know what to expect. We knew that SE Asia is much cheaper than Australia but apart from that, we didn’t really know how much traveling as a family would cost. We just stuck to reasonably priced accommodation! We are leaving home again soon for a road trip around Australia, and are working out our budget and costs properly this time. We are aiming to keep our total costs under $USD1500/$AUD2000 per month: including fuel, food, camping sites, and activities, with some spare for any repairs, house bills, and unforeseen expenses.

 

How do you fund your travels?

We have several income streams: our house earns us rental income, and we have some investments too. My blog www.smallfootprintsbigadventures.com earn us some affiliate and advertising income, and as Anthony is an IT repair technician, he takes on jobs around Australia when it suits us. We may also build websites for others as we travel.

 

How do you choose your destinations?

Ant and I had talked a lot about South East Asia as we were planning to leave; it’s somewhere I had always wanted to go, and somewhere Anthony hadn’t been before (he’s traveled a lot internationally). Plus it’s not too expensive! Dante and Allegra enjoyed our time in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia, but they did get quite homesick, so we came back to Australia after 4 months instead of moving on to Central America as planned. Now we’ve been home for several months they’re ready to go again, and we decided to stick to Australia this time so it’s more familiar for them. We had planned to tour our home country in a few years, but are happy to swap plans around.

 

How long do you stay in one location and why?

When we started in Malaysia last year we went quite fast, stopping only for a few nights in most places before moving on. It didn’t work well for us! After a month we all got quite sick — very run down and depleted — so we needed a few weeks in one place to recover. After that we decided a week would be our minimum stay, and it worked much better.

 

 

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

Most mornings the kids will choose an activity to work on over breakfast, then the rest of the day is for exploring, playing, errands and all of the things we need to do. It has been working well for us to have an hour or so of concentrated work while we’re all fresh. I consider that we’re still worldschoolers even while we’re at home, as we’re planning more travel and we have a broad range of topics that we discuss. Focusing on the world as a whole, rather than just a little part of it, is a great mindset to have!

 

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

Yes, it’s not actually very glamorous at all! Being stuck in bad accommodation was really awful: we booked somewhere once without checking the reviews, and it was mosquito-ridden, dirty and unsafe, with electrical cables everywhere! They wouldn’t refund our money of course. We politely asked them to move us and fix up everything that was unsafe, and we wore shoes in the shower and slathered with repellant constantly. It was not fun. Also getting sick on the road is hard. When we were really feeling ill, we made sure we had some comfortable and quiet accommodation, booked it for several weeks, and just relaxed and rested. We also visited a few doctors until we found one we were happy with.

 

TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS

What are your Top 5 Travel Products?

  1. Insulated stainless steel drink bottles and portable water filters. Essential to avoid buying bottled water everywhere. We like Ecococoon water bottles as they’re leak-proof and insulated. We use an Oko water filter bottle while traveling.
  2. Foldable reusable bags. I always keep some on me, they’re handy for shopping, laundry or just as carry bags. Envirosax are great as they roll up so small in your bag. I’ve had mine for 8 years and they’re still going strong!
  3. Rashies for everyone, and a wet-bag for carrying wet clothes.
  4. Menstrual cup and period-proof underwear. No need for disposables! The underwear I get is from Modibodi, and it’s fantastic for traveling comfortably without worrying about any surprises or leaks. And the cup ensures I can go swimming too.
  5. Reef-friendly sunscreen and natural bug repellant, in case they’re not available where we’re headed. We like Bug-grr off tropical strength repellant and Eco-Logical sunscreen.

 

What Tech Gear do you travel with?

Anthony and I both have a MacBook pro, and the kids each have a small Alldocube tablet. We need a multiple port charging station for them and our phones, and our small Lumix point-and-shoot camera. We always have a pair of headphones each. I prefer full headphones and so do the kids, but Ant prefers earbuds. One day I would love a professional camera and a drone too!

 

What are your favorite booking sites and why?

We do a lot of our own research as we’re always trying to ensure our travels support locals and/or are sustainable. The sites I also like to check on are bookdifferent.com, homestay.com, Workaway, One Planet Rating and sometimes Airbnb also. We have found some eco-conscious accommodation and proper homestays with Airbnb. For activities, we check with local tourism boards and ecotourism websites and use responsibletravel.com, Earth Changers, and visit.org. A new organization called Backstreet Academy is awesome for Asia traveling, but wasn’t around when we were there last year! For flights, we check on Skyscanner and Secret Flying mostly. Overland travel is always through local websites.

 

 

SUMMARY

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

We are still quite new at it all, and so far are pretty happy with how it’s going! We did have a few disasters when departing for our first trip last year, mostly thanks for underestimating how long it would take to pack up our house and get organized. I would take twice the amount of time to prepare if I could do that again!

 

What would you tell someone who is considering Worldschooling?

Go for it!! Stop worrying too much about the money and all the logistics, and just give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? So many people I talk to are just stuck from fear and don’t take the leap to do something different because it’s venturing into the unknown. But that’s where life begins! It doesn’t matter if it all doesn’t work perfectly, or even if you don’t like worldschooling. At least you tried and know for sure! Also don’t worry about doing it ‘right’, or having the perfect circumstances. You’ll never feel fully ready or have everything just so. Creating the best life for your family means trying things and realizing what works and what doesn’t together. Our family won’t probably ever travel full-time, we think 6 months in a stable base and 6 months of travel per year sounds best for us. Let it evolve and find your own way!

 

What are you working on right now?

At present we are preparing for a road trip around Australia: as eco-friendly as we can! We are converting a 1970’s caravan to be more efficient (and to not leak) with LED lights and a new fridge. We will use solar power and biodiesel as much as possible along the way and will support eco-conscious campgrounds and activities. We’re really looking forward to showing how a road trip can be done without too much negative impact, and can’t wait to have the time to explore our huge country properly! In the coming years, we plan to get to Central America and meet other worldschooling families, and build an Earth Ship too 🙂

 

Where Can We Find You?

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Worldschooling Spotlight Q&A on Facebook

Our Worldschooling Spotlight Family are looking forward to answering any questions you might have for them! Be sure to return to the Facebook Group and find the link to this week’s Feature. Ask your questions in the comments section and our Spotlight Family will get back to you ASAP!

 

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