Take one frazzled, overworked, financially burdened single Mom… and you have me, Jeanne.
Take one busy, bored, hyperactive, ADHD child, struggling in mainstream schooling… and you have Tai.
What to do?
How to get off the treadmill?
We needed a change, and a BIG one at that!
And so, the idea to backpack around South East Asia for a year started to form and the more I thought about it the more it seemed to tick all the required boxes to allow us to completely transform our lives.
Tai had been at a very good, tie and blazer, all boys, mainstream school. Yet his over enthusiasm in and out of the classroom was causing disruptions and the dreaded Ritalin was advised. I spent 4 years trying to be gluten (wheat) free, sugar free, preservative free and colorant free. We tried every single supplement we could lay our hands on. We did Group Behavior Therapy and Occupational Therapy, I took him for hearing tests and eye tests, I gave him stress balls and put rubber bands around his school chair to put pressure on his legs, we did morning meditations and breathing exercises, I made sure he got lots of exercise and had a strict bedtime routine. It did a little to help but not enough.
I watched as my beautiful child started feeling more and more stupid in class, not managing to keep up due to being distracted, saying he was worthless and struggling to connect with his classmates. My heart was breaking for him and we were wasting too many tears. So the decision was made and he started on the Concerta (similar to Ritalin).
And with that came another host of problems… inability to fall asleep, aggressive behavior, lack of appetite so that he wouldn’t eat from 7am until 4pm! Absolutely not the way a 9 year old should be living his life!
The solution… to take him off the meds and homeschool him.
The problem… I’m was single Mom, with my own web development business, working ridiculously crazy hours to support us, the therapies, the supplements, and, and, and.
So how was running around South East Asia for a year going to help?
As I mentioned, I have my own Web Development and Online Marketing business, which I started 20 years ago (ouch – now I’m showing my age!). The beauty about my business is that I can do it from absolutely anywhere – as long as there is wifi, I’m good! Have laptop, WhatsApp and Skype and my work carries on as per usual.
So again… why South East Asia?
Well, that’s simple. The cost of living in South East Asia is almost half of what it is back in South Africa. That meant I could work half as much and still be okay. And working half as much meant I’d have way more free time in which to home school Tai. Of course there was the bonus factor of living in the tropics and being able to travel and see and explore!
Really, this decision to up and go East, was really a no-brainer!
Life sure has done a 360 degree since then!
Tai’s school work takes not even 2 hours per day, I’m working WAY less, we have time to explore and to learn from experiences instead of from books. Tai learns so much more than he ever could in a classroom and we have adventures waiting for us every single day!
We completed our 12 months in South East Asia, but this new lifestyle is WAY to good to stop, so we are continuing our travels for as long as we can.
Join us as we live and explore on this amazing planet!
A little more background…
We are South African, with home being the beautiful Cape Town. We are mad about animals and stop, pet, stroke, feed, pickup and cuddle any animals that cross our paths. Tai is a Minecraft junkie and as a responsible Mom, it is my job to deny him access as much as possible – he’d literally play all day if left to his own devices! I’m the dare-devil, while Tai is more cautious. He can talk the hind leg off a donkey, while I need quiet time to recharge. We are both stubborn and independent, so that gets interesting, but my 45 years, tend to over rule is 10 years more often than he likes! We do have lots and lots of fun though!