Welcome to the Worldschooler of the Week. This weeks featured Worldschooler is Wendy McCoy. Wendy and her son are currently in Ubud, Indonesia and have been Worldschooling literately since birth, though they only recently became aware of the term Worldschooling. It’s clear from Wendy’s responses to the questions below that she and her son are living out their authentic selves. So without further ado, 8 questions with Wendy McKoy.
How long have you been traveling?
We’ve been worldschooling since we moved to Europe when my son was three but weren’t even aware of the term until a few months ago. I am a traveler by nature and my mantra when I was pregnant was happy baby, good traveler. Over and over. I was fortunate to get my wish. He’s been to 23 countries and 5 continents so far, all wonderful experiences.
What does the term Worldschooling mean to you?
Worldschooling means showing my child his planet and its inhabitants. Cracking it wide open so he can see for himself that the world is a warm and welcoming place filled with good people and love. Leaving no stone unturned. Every culture, religion, language, way of daily life. Seeing the differences and ultimately the similarities for himself. No television to cloud his judgment of what’s really going on and the challenges, especially environmental, that are coming.
What made you take the leap and begin Worldschooling?
The jump to worldschooling was fairly natural. My son was only six-days-old on his first of many flights so that part was second nature. I had done a few extensive round-the-world trips in my youth so knew the physical terrain and what to expect in different areas. So far he has been in Waldorf-inspired preschools, aloha-inspired kindergartens, two small conscious charter schools and a more traditional international school. He is now in small community home school group that really gives him the freedom to explore his individual interests as well as giving us the open schedule to explore Southeast Asia. So far it’s our best combination.
What is one tip you would give an aspiring Worldschooler?
To any one considering worldschooling I would say absolutely try it. I personally think that experiencing variety while your child’s mind is still developing and open creates more compassionate, flexible, confident and able people. But first, make a conscientious list of your own pros and cons. A separate list for each member of the family. I have no doubt the pros will outweigh the cons but it’s better to have your list to fall back on when days are less than perfect. It’s easy to imagine the sun and the beach and everyone happy and smiling before you go but rainy days do occur. This is still real life. Especially in the transition period of a new place and missing old friends. You will question your decision and only remember the voices of those who thought were crazy. You aren’t, but in that moment you will believe them. It happens to everyone. Just get out your list, scroll through some recent adventure photos on your phone and know that this too will pass and that challenges make the best memories. Better yet, call a worldschooling friend nearby and get together for a swim and a cold drink. The sun will come out again and the abundance of the universe will come dancing back. Worldschooling is an amazing opportunity for global community perspective and personal growth and just makes sense.
What do you think the future of Worldschooling looks like?
People travel for many reasons. A break from life, escape from reality, visiting friends, perspective, weather. When you have a child you add another layer of wonderment. Seeing the world in a brand new way through the eyes of your child. It’s majestic. I feel that the world is naturally more connected now with technology and social media. It’s easier to see what others are doing and find your tribe of people, whoever they may be. When you know you’re not the only one that thinks a certain way it helps with the acceptance and conquering any fear. For the sake of everyone, we need more global ambassadors on this planet. Worldschooling provides those.
What words do you live by?
Well the first ones that come to mind are ’Not all those who wander are lost’ by Tolkien. I realize this is different for everyone but generally if you feel the tug in your heart for exploration and foreign travel it is ultimately to find some part of yourself that has a hard time taking a truly deep breath in the day to day schedules of life where it is so easy to get lost in the fray of routine. Another phrase that pops into my head frequently is ‘Go for it! Life ain’t no dress rehearsal’ by Tallulah Bankhead. It is so true. There will always be fears and reasons not to do something but so much time is wasted that way. Meditate, get clear, know what you want and figure out how to make it happen. There is ALWAYS a way!
Do you consider yourselves rebels?
Absolutely! It’s not easy to break free from social constraints and what’s considered normal. Especially regarding child rearing. Everyone has opinions from moment one. I promise that rarely did anyone’s opinions match my own. I know because when I voiced mine people looked at me like I had two heads. Plus I’ve always felt like a rebel at heart so that’s an easy question.
Where can people find you?
We have been in Ubud, Bali for the last six months. Not sure how much longer we’ll be here though, Africa is calling….. 🙂
If you are or plan to be in Ubud in the near future and would like to meet up with Wendy, you can find her Worldschooler Connect profile here.
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