After completing our Asia adventure, we returned to the United States via Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and came back to Nana’s place in Orem where we unpacked for a two-week whirlwind visit. It was anything but restful as we focused on accomplishing what was necessary before we headed abroad, again: Anna completed her 9 online school classes + final exams; Tyler took his needed finals and signed up for his next courses; Tera helped gather everything necessary to host a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and repack for our upcoming 3-month trip; Erik and Nana recruited the kids to help move furniture and clean out the house to get it ready to sell; and we all enjoyed treasured celebrations with friends and loved ones. We then headed out on our next adventure to South America, beginning with a perfectly planned stopover in Dallas to see family, followed by Miami for a temple trip and preparing to embark on the Norwegian Sun cruise ship.
(Click below right to read more . . . )
We closed out our Asia trip with a visit to the Maldives, a true island paradise. Then, after a few days on the Maldivian island of Huraa, we flew to Singapore for the weekend to visit with some good friends and closed out our Asia trip for good. The Maldives are world famous for their white sand beaches on their thousands of islands and their crystal clear aquamarine waters. In this regard, they did not disappoint. We snorkeled, and scuba dived, and fished, and boated to our own private island to play in the white sand.
After being in India, it was great to head back to a tropical island - full of plenty of nature to explore and fresh air to breathe in. So on we went to the island of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon during British colonial times. We flew into Colombo and then spent 3 days in Dambulla, then drove down to Kandy to spend the rest of our time. We visited ancient Buddhist temples, saw wild elephant herds roaming, climbed a hilltop fortress, and took a local train ride up into the highlands and tea plantations.
What a place! We had wanted to go to India for years, but had always felt a little apprehensive. This year we took the plunge. We hired a full-time driver who arranged the itinerary and all the hotels, which took away much of the fear of the unknown. We did the “Golden Triangle” of northern India, which includes Delhi (capital), Agra (Taj Mahal) and Jaipur (Amber fort). We added in Ranthambore (tiger safari) and Varanasi (Hindu equivalent of Mecca) and had ourselves a fantastic Northern India tour ready and waiting. It was a complete cornucopia of sights, smells, tastes, and sounds.
One of our favorite parts of worldschooling is the presentations the kids give on the places we visit. Instead of paying for a guide, the kids become our "tour guides" (for a much more reasonable fee!) at most of the places we visit, or give us a recap presentation later, complete with a competitive Kahoot! Sometimes, they just do a writing assignment of what stands out in their mind of a certain place. We have included some of those writings below:
(Click below right to read more . . . . . . )
Plan? What plan?
Our first Gap Year was a fabulous "2017-2018 School Year" of travel: from the Netherlands to Jordan to Texas to Hawaii to Mexico to Central America to London and back to the Netherlands. Our "2018 Summer Vacation" took us all around Western Europe, back to the USA on a transatlantic cruise, a road trip through New York and into Canada, and ending up in Utah. We have now kicked off the "2018-2019 School year" with a trip to Asia. Follow along with us on our visits to new places, as well as revisiting some of our favorite places from our time living there. It's going to be great!!