You might think that the decision to fly to Italy for two weeks was easily made. I mean, it’s not every day you have friends inviting you to come crash on their comfy Italian couch for a little visit. And, Italy. Right? Well, yeah, you would be right. Italy itself was enough of a reason to buy the tickets. And having a place to stay? Incredible. But, even with all of this, I was really on the fence about taking this trip. We are not exactly rolling in cash over here, and the decision to leave Todd behind was a really hard on to make. What really made us hit “buy now” on those planes tickets was the fact that the friends Margot and I would be visiting were none other than our friendly neighborhood unschoolers. I knew that the opportunity to explore another country with a family of unschoolers (who have also become our very good friends) was something not to be missed.
Travelling is a big perk of unschooling, since we don’t have to plan trips around school holidays. And so, we are hoping that this trip (while mandatory for our friends and recreational for us) will be the first of many trips we take together as a troupe of intrepid unschoolers.
Our friends had been in Italy for a month before we arrived and despite having some difficult days, they had already connected with an amazing group of homeschoolers in the area. (Including an American ex-pat who, as it so happens, has her own blog about homeschooling. It’s in Italian, but, hey, that’s what google translate is for! And, if you scroll back a bit, you might even catch a glimpse of Margot and her Mama exploring.)
Being connected with this group of homeschoolers was really inspiring. They really have their act together! They meet up every week in the woods and explore and picnic and make little dolls out of leaves and it’s all totally magical. We are hoping to recreate some of this magic in our own homeschool community… leaf dolls and all.
When I sat down at the computer I felt like I had so much to say about the homeschoolers we met in Italy, and I really do! It was really, in a lot of ways, the biggest and most important part of our trip and it not only made me keen to find or create a similar community in our own corner of the universe, but it also made me really excited to travel as home/un/worldschoolers and continue looking for and connecting with groups like this one. But, for all my gratitude and wonder, I keep writing sentences and then backspacing through them because it’s hard to express it exactly right. It was just such an incredible joy. But, right now, Margot is crying for me (and for Will, who is still in Italy) and it’s time to cuddle up for the night and read about Charlotte and her web, and I guess I can’t sit here and type and backspace over and over again until the words come out right…
You will have to just enjoy these photos and believe me that exploring Italy with a group of children speaking English with Italian accents and chatting with their fabulous parents was a really, really, really good thing.
Coming up next: Italy: Sightseeing… in which I get peed on. Stay tuned.