The Traveling Homeschooler’s Advantage

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Finding amazing deals is all about research, timing, and flexibility and if you have this there is no reason why you can’t see more of the world then what these borders of fifty states have to offer for less then it would cost you to go from Dallas to Los Angeles. Finding amazing deals is what I do I am truly a beast when it comes to researching the internet and finding amazing vacations for amazing prices. I suppose I would be the equivalent for travel as a fashion buyer is for boutique stores. As a former homeschooling stepmom I had no clue about this world of traveling and how affordable it actually can be, had I known then I would have made it my business to save up so that we as a family could at least once during their school years expose them to an International experience, but the Lord knows when these things should take place and clearly it wasn’t time. But the reason why I say homeschoolers have a greater advantage then those in the mainstream population is for these 3 reasons.

  1. bulletin-board-3127287_640Flexibility in time – Homeschoolers aren’t limited to taking vacation only during the summers or major holidays. For travelling these are the WORST times to travel price wise because everyone knows just like that “must have” amazing toy during the year everyone is looking for, that sellers can mark their prices up for top dollar because lets face it we know that on December 26th that must have toy for the big day is going to go down in its value considerably once the day is up. Yet, even though we know this it is worth it for some of us Americans to pay the extra just so that we can see our children light up as they unwrap the toy they didn’t think they would get for Christmas. Well, imagine how much better giving your children exposure to Paris, London, Israel, Africa or Australia would be? A life changing experience that they will not soon forget. I still remember the first cruise I ever took at the tender age of six years old, but couldn’t tell you all the toys that I received that same year. Go figure! Homeschooling families with parents that can opt to choose their vacation time can take advantage of off season traveling at any given moment.
  2. airport-2373727_640Flexibility in location – You’re not talking about going to Disney World or Disneyland in the U.S. at least, but you’re talking about traveling abroad. We’re not talking about visiting Aunt Mable in Florida or Uncle Tom in Wyoming, but traveling over the BIG water and trust me planes are looking for a means to fill those seats, this becomes a homeschool court advantage as traveling becomes a part of the curriculum. An opportunity to take the classroom in the air and over the seas so that as a family you can look, taste, feel, touch and hear the sounds that you have studied in a book or on the web upclose and personal. This means it doesn’t matter where you go over the waters, only that you go and this type of flexibility is available for all reasonable budgets. Having a little creativity will go along way to creating a traveling adventure that you and your family won’t soon forget.
  3. kitchen-1940174_640Taking home on the road – When traveling with children you’re used to living in shared spaces and well this becomes a great advantage with accommodations. Airbnb provides an amazing opportunity for you to not only save money on accommodations but gives you amenities that are just like home many sporting washers and dryers and full kitchens with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Making maneuvering in home spaces much easier and affordable. As eating out can be pricey for two but for four or more could break any budget. However homeschoolers are use to being happy campers and while experiencing food abroad is a part of the experience a couple of eat out meals will accommodate that need and stocking your fridge will make a far less dent in your budget. By being willing to share or rent a home abroad you will be pleasantly surprised at the nice amenities that are available to you and enjoy the privacy it gives to families to be able to enjoy one another without the concerns that comes with staying in hotels. Beware, while with research this is a great alternative, but only for the one who is willing to do their due diligence in research. You can have a nightmare of an experience without doing so. Always bear in mind if the deal sounds too good to be true well it usually is.

 

These are just a few reasons why homeschooling families interested in traveling abroad can do so while spending less to travel abroad then they would from the east to the west coast of their own country.   I have never planned an international trip for a homeschool family, but would absolutely love to. I take it as a personal challenge that I would like to meet. So if these three aspects of traveling with your family doesn’t scare you then I would be honored to plan your family adventure. Submit to me your bid so we can get you started today!  If you would like more travel tips that can help you craft your own traveling itinerary and much, much more including how to videos and travel preparation materials then be sure to join my TC travel club.  You will also be the first to know about any specials or discounts that I offer for my services or products.  Joining is absolutely free for now, so get in while you can to this exclusive traveling club and start planning your next adventure today!

 

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A Layover in Iceland

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In most instances especially when traveling in the United States a long layover is not very exciting. However, what may appear sour one place may be an opportunity to make lemonade in another. This is especially true when traveling abroad its like having two trips for the price of one. I wrote about this on our first trip to Israel where we had a 9 hour layover in Paris. On this last trip we had a 19 hour layover in Iceland. I would have planned much more had it not been on a Friday nearing a Shabbat. Of course in Iceland the sun goes down after 9:00pm during the season of Passover so that still gave us quite a bit of time to see some things.

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There is lots to do in Iceland and our plan was to catch the Perlan Museum in the city of Reykjavik, Iceland. Unfortunately it was closed due to a fire a couple of days before we got there. It seemed simple enough the cost to get a two way bus pass from the airport to the city was significant, around $127 total on the Flybus. From there you take a transfer to a smaller bus (the total price includes this transfer) to the Harpa station and finally something free. A free shuttle bus will get you from the Harpa station to the Perlan Museum. Once there, plan to spend $29 per person to see this museum. The museum gives you a history of how Iceland’s glaciers were formed and would allow you to experience one the way I would like to experience being in an icebox, virtually.

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We were blessed to come in on a beautiful day in Iceland. Iceland has very sporadic weather that can be nice one minute and the next an ice storm can occur. Fortunately this layover was a good one and the weather was cold and crisp, but sunny as well. What it lacks in weather it makes up for in beauty. Breathtaking views and public bathrooms are about the only thing free in Iceland. Iceland is very expensive, to eat a meal even a simple one expect to pay airport prices even at bus stations. Water over $3, meals over $20, I bought some black lava crackers that were $9.99 and the cheapest souvenir that was decent enough to pass for something memorable and useful for a child was a glowing globe pen with Iceland written inside of it, $8.07. My husband bought a book that was a comedy book concerning what Icelanders think about American’s for $36.00. So when you go expect that you will pay a lot for transportation, excursions, and food. Accommodations well we didn’t have to stay over night we chose to stay in the airport. However, I did book a trip for a friend who will be spending a week there, and if you are willing to share a room you can find some accommodations with a central location on Airbnb for $55 a night. Taxes are also expensive so just expect to pay a lot even for something simple. This is when tax free and duty free shopping really comes in handy.

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A note about the airport it was beautiful and the craftsmanship in the place was amazing. From the wooden functional chairs with tables and hookups, to the displaying wall decor that included an electronic board inside the window that showed the views of the city. The bathrooms were amazing as they are fully enclosed and completely functional. The sinks were automatic and the hand drying system is a part of the water faucet saving both space and just plane practical. The sort of privacy you want when you are in a bathroom, especially when it is public. One of the things I enjoy about traveling abroad is it gives me ideas about how we as a nation can improve what we have. All it takes to lose our position as the leader of the free world is to get comfortable and from what I have seen we as a nation have truly gotten way more comfortable then we should.

The people and the food was amazing. The airport experience was a breeze I must say I have found the airport experience abroad in most places I have visited to be a lot smoother, efficient, and faster. An airport is basically like a welcome center to tourist and with that perspective I can see the importance of really making it spectacular.

This is a place that takes health seriously from crackers made out of activated charcoal to juice bars sporting chia seeds and fresh squeezed juice. But health comes at a high premium there as it does here. Those who enjoy all sorts of sea foods will definitely find what they are looking for here as that is also available in abundance. However, other cultures from American made burgers to BBQ and Mexican dishes are there in abundance.

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As I stated before we couldn’t tour the Perlan museum but as one door closed another door open. We made our way to the Harpa which is a concert hall newly completed in 2014. It was absolutely amazing from the structure to the technology involved, and the views of the area. To go into the place is free, but to get a tour is like the VIP pass into the actual halls and how they work. We really enjoyed the experience and it cost us half the price of the Perlan Museum. While the salesman tried to say it was better, I can’t confirm that since I didn’t get a chance to visit the Perlan but as beautiful as it was I highly doubt it was comparable to virtual glaciers. While music halls are things I have seen a glacier is not, but if you go hopefully you will tell me. Happy traveling and I hope this glimpse of Iceland will spark your interest to travel to the lava land island yourself an dip in the Blue Lagoon and enjoy the natural wonders. Dress warm, travel light, and work overtime this spot will definitely put a dent in your budget but well worth the visit.

Slave Haven: Underground Railroad Museum

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A Diamond in the Rough!

Putting it mildly but true in so many ways nestled  in the suburbs about a mile from the heart of Memphis, and closer to two miles away from the famous Beale Street.  What this precious place lacks in aesthetics it more then makes up for in charm and authenticity.  This historical gem eloquently and visually displays the history of slavery from Africa to Ohio with emphasis on Memphis’ role in it.  This three hour visual tour is riddled with visual displays, that is not left to the viewers personal interpretation, but a very well informed historian guides you through every detail from the pictures to the furnishings, and not only that but provides encouragement as you don’t only hear our story of slavery, but you also hear a story of a resilient and determined people willing to do whatever it takes to be free.  Whether that is physically or mentally and often both.

Who should visit?

All great and small whether you’re black, white, hispanic, or other, knowing the history of slavery is liberating for all, but most importantly knowing how we overcame it.  While the Burkle house doesn’t have the beauty of the renovated Lorraine Hotel, it definitely has the authenticity and the personal touch that doesn’t just engage you for the day, but leaves a lasting impression and a hunger for learning history.  This Underground Railroad shows you what a people endured to be free and takes you visually through the experience in a way that I have never experienced as this is an actual house that was used.  While it shares of our history it also shares of the history of a family who came here from Germany.  Having witnessed the ugliness of racial discrimination there they came here and had the courage to do something about the atrocious treatment of African Americans; risking his own life and the lives of his family he secretly took part in an act of compassion that has set captives free.

By far this is hand’s down the BEST museum I have been to so far concerning the history of the transatlantic slave trade and the underground railroad.   While many boast elaborate and beautiful displays, interactive self guided multimedia tools, its nothing like having someone share the oral history with you personalizing every artifact.  It is a must see in the city of the dead, which is the meaning of Memphis.  It is my most recommended location and would be well worth visiting for schools, ministries, individuals, and families.  It may not be fun for all ages, but it will be encouraging for all ages.  Learning the trials, tragedy, triumph, and perseverance of any people is liberating for all people.

If you would like to visit Slave Haven here is the official website.

Medgar Evers Museum

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I always enjoy learning about history and especially my history.  Museums are popping up all over to share amazing facts about our past and I must admit I prefer the Tour Guide assisted ones the most.  There is nothing quite like a well prepared curator to transport you back in time and recreate the treasures of history that is lost from the pages of textbooks.

Located in Jackson, MS it is truly something different about standing in the space that this man who gave his life for fighting for the freedoms I now enjoy that renders you speechless.  In his own words he lived with the fear of his inevitable demise his stand for freedom would take.  He left behind three young children and a young wife who would have to continue on in the fear of being targeted.  Indeed as scripture says, you must first bind the strong man if one is to take a house. (Matt. 12:29)  His death was a tremendous blow to the cause and delayed justice of his murderer was a slap in the face.  Mississippi is one of the most ruthless places for the atrocities of those of us of color in the land. For that cause it’s fitting that it would house within its borders so many museums that preserve that fact. Of course not to its complement though unfortunately many people would consider it’s distasteful treatment of its own citizens to be otherwise, nevertheless I am thankful the accurate history is made available for those of us desiring to discover it.

The window that has preserved the bullet hole still visible and the furniture and walls where a bullet ricochet through still visible to reveal the horror a family had to endure for refusing to apologize for their existence and demanding equal treatment for a system that is receiving equal pay through taxes and patronage from his hard earned money.

His daughters room, Reena, now holds the wall with his life’s story as a beautiful collage and honorable tribute. When decent and humble people can’t raise their family in peace it is a tragedy.  The struggle had never been about being treated better or receiving something for nothing, but being treated equal. Being treated as you want others to treat you.  Such a simple biblical principle that all people should be able to have access too and be willing to live by.

 

 

Me with Minnie Watson our Tour Guide

I am often amazed at how peaceably those who are blessed to be historical orators are at sharing such a profound history.  To be trusted to pass on such valuable information is like having ownership of a trust.  The most important thing about a trust is what will you do with it? How will you keep the legacy, how will you preserve the treasure of such a name? I was happy to hear the family is continuing the work. Reena is actively working to make a difference in the African American youth of Mississippi and her brother and Mother helps her in that work.  I am equally glad that they have chosen to make their home a landmark that will stand for future generations so that they never forget what love looks like and the devastation hate can cause.

Young Living Bon Voyage Travel Kit

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Are you packing and getting ready to jet set in some fancy place outside of your own space?  Looking to preserve your healthy lifestyle even when back tracking through the everglades of life?  Well it is possible.  What this little pack lacks it makes up for in quality products and compact convenience.  I would only add a few more things to this bag of treats to make it complete, and thankfully the bag that it comes in leaves room for just that.  Always remember however, what ever you add must meet the travel guidelines of TSA or you will be leaving it behind on your adventure.  It doesn’t come with deodorant and DSA is liquid mineral salt completely safe and I will be adding the recipe for how I make my own with oils available to all those interested on my essential oils website and on the oil cafe.

So here is what you do get with your kit:

  • Thieves® AromaBright Toothpaste, 60ml
  • Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier, 29.5ml
  • Thieves Dental Floss
  • Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash, 60ml
  • Young Living Toothbrush
  • Lavender Shampoo, 60ml
  • Lavender Conditioner, 60ml
  • Cinnamint Lip Balm
  • Morning Start™ Bath & Shower Gel, 60ml
  • Genesis™ Hand & Body Lotion, 60ml
  • ART® Light Moisturizer, 10g

Retail: $72.37

Wholesale: $55.00

If you would like to sign up to get your kit for $55.00 along with making the switch to a healthier home then join me to a healthier you and take advantage of a host of free resources that I make available to all of my team members to help them maximize the most of their investment.  This is not an investment in just wealth acquisition but in health accumulation.

In Search of the Mysterious 458 Bus Etiquette For Israeli Travel

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The busing system in Jerusalem is quite intricate. Many buses doing the same thing and going the same places. However for those interested in traveling to other further away areas of Israel you will find few buses and their locations further away from main bus station. Any English speaking person will be able to maneuver at most stops as they are in Hebrew and English. The problem comes in with special buses in that there arrival and departure points vary drastically. They also travel less frequently so you can easily tie your whole day up waiting as we did for our bus to Dimona. Now of course only God can make lemonade out of lemons and he did so. Special note English speakers if you see the word “alighten” next to bus number on bus stop this is for drop off not pickup. This mistake cost us valuable time in our day. Having started at 7:30am in Bethlehem from taxi to bus to train with 5 pieces of heavy luggage to the central bus station waiting till 2:16pm for a bus stop that neither information or any other person could correctly guide us to proved to be a futile effort. After missing the 458 bus we opted to go through Beersheva rather then wait on the 8pm 458 bus to appear in Jerusalem and lose an entire day. But again Yah orchestrated all, so after getting to Beersheva we met a couple who are attending the same event at the bus stop and they being English speakers have guided us as well. By the way after two hours of ministering to a young man from Canada even our six hour delay produced fruit for the kingdom of Yah and taught us something else, when you are delayed sometimes it’s on purpose.
Getting even closer to finishing the informentary on traveling as a native in Israel.  This will be a must have guide to getting the most out of your trip.  The more you go the more you learn.  We have made three trips now in less then 365 days and the knowledge and tips we acquired will be well worth purchasing this informentary and its accompanying workbook.