Tag Archives: home school

I just have to tell you about Thomas Bodström. I presume most of you have never heard about him and I don’t blame you. In Sweden though, most people know who he is, at least if you regularly watch the TV news and stay tuned in to what is happening here. He used to be the Minister of Justice until the Social Democratic party lost the power about 3 years ago. He is one of the front figures in his party and he is now busy, together with his friends, planning a comeback in September next year when all the Swedes get ready to cast their votes. He is also active as a lawyer and in his spare time he writes crime novels that have been quite successful.

Thomas Bodström

Thomas Bodström with Parliament

So Thomas has just announced that, after the election next year, he will be taking 6 month off to do some extended traveling with his family. Or rather, move to somewhere in the USA where the kids can attend school and explore the country. This will give him lots of time with his family and also the opportunity to finish another of his novels. It turns out that this is a 10 year old dream that he is now going to make a reality of. He and his wife were planning already back in 1999 to travel the world with their children for 6 month, when the Prime Ministerof Sweden, at the time, called and asked him to take the job as Minister of Justice, since the previous one had to resign because of some scandal…

The Bodström Family did put their dream on hold back then, but are not willing to do it again. Even though he would be the obvious choice as the next Minister of Justice if the left wing wins the next election, he intends to start his new assignment by taking several months off. This is of course unheard off and it has created big attention in the Swedish press. Quite frankly I am not too interested in the discussion whether or not he is allowed to do this, if it is good or harmful for his party and if he is un-loyal towards the people of Sweden.

To me it is just fun that a successful man like that also feels the need to do some extended traveling with his family. As you all know I believe it is good for everyone to do it sometime and to get a new perspective on their life. And I do congratulate anyone who makes the decision and really does it.

My suggestion to Thomas, if I was asked, would be:

Not to make too many plans for the future before taking off. Not to commit to a job he might not even want when he gets back. Or maybe he and the family don’t even want to go back once they have discovered a new traveling life style. Here he is giving himself the opportunity off a life time and he is willing to limit it by committing to a job as Minister of Justice…? Well what do I know? Maybe it is a lot of fun and maybe that is the opportunity of his lifetime.

Not to commit most off his time to writing another novel. Can’t that wait until he gets back? Really take the time off and devote it to his family. They have probably had to stand back many times before. Well he does sound like a busy guy and maybe writing a book is his way of relaxing and spending quality time with his kids?

• Maybe enrolling the kids in an American school is a positive change for them. But an even more exciting change would be to also give the kids some time off by homeschooling them for this relatively short period. It would for sure give them a different perspective on how learning can be done. But maybe this is to ask a bit too much from a maybe future Minister of Justice in Sweden since Sweden is, for whatever it is worth, trying to more or less stop the right to home school with the new school law.

Well who am I to give a man like that advice? First of all I don’t know much about him. And secondly, he is definitely much more successful than I’ve ever been, in a traditional sense of speaking anyway.

But then maybe he is interested in my opinion? I’ll send a link so he at least gets a chance to read it… :lol:

To finish this I just want to offer you this quote from his Blog:

“It will be incredibly exciting. Of course I realize that it may have consequences for my career, in politics anything can happen. But still I have no hesitation. Somehow everything always works out to the best. And is there anyone who believes that in twenty years from now I will think: F… my choice to focus on my family back in 2010?

It is just like if he has been reading what I suggested a little while back in “Listen to experience speak and you will take your dream of long term travel more seriously” :lol:

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My inspiration to travel was triggered again by a list of pictures that I found at The Most Alien Landscape On Earth. When looking at the pictures I just had the feeling that I want to see some of these places. They looked so amazing and I just wanted to experience them fully.

Niagara falls

Niagara Falls

But then I suddenly remembered the time we went to see the Niagara Falls. We were visiting friends in the US and they wanted to take us there and we were of course eager to go, having seen pictures. And usually pictures just show these fantastic waterfalls and not much of the surroundings.
So when our friends said that we had arrived at the falls when we in fact were in the middle of a city, we first didn’t believe them. We had this romantic idea that these falls were situated in the wilderness far away from civilization with maybe just a hotel or two nearby. But boy were we mistaken…

Niagara falls with city

Niagara Falls with City Skyline

We did have a fantastic day and it was an impressive experience to see the falls for real. But still the realization that the falls were just opposite this big casino, instead of out in the wilderness did leave us with a little feeling of being tricked. We were for sure expecting something different.

We have talked to a lot of people about our surprised discovery and without exception all of those that haven’t visit the falls themselves have the same romantic idea as we did.

So why am I telling you this? Well it is for sure not to tell you to keep away from the falls. On the contrary, it was an amazing experience that by no way can be substituted by a picture. Sure a picture says a thousand words but it is still nothing compared to the real thing.

A picture is a piece of art composed by the photographer. Way too often we forget that and mistakenly think it represents reality. But it doesn’t. When looking at a picture the experience is limited to one of your senses and also limited by the borders of the photo. You don’t get the whole picture so to say…

You don’t get to experience the traffic and the crowds, the cold wind, the air dampened by the fog from the falls, the smell and of course the sound. And this is one of the reasons why I just love traveling. I want the whole experience of other places and cultures, not just something that has passed through the lens of a TV reporter.

It doesn’t really matter if I discover the Taj Mahal to be less white than I expected. Or if the Pyramids in Egypt are smaller than in my imagination or even if I find the Niagara Falls situated in the middle of a city. What matters is that it’s my experience. It becomes a part of me and I learn so much from it.

Yes the learning that comes from real life experience is so much greater than anything you can get out of a book. And to us, as home school parents, traveling has been a great tool for teaching our kids about the world. The learning they got from traveling has been priceless.

Oh I can just feel, as I am writing this, that my desire to take off to go and explore the world is growing in me. Let’s see what we can do about that…:lol:

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We love Network Travel!  We’d also love to see more people use this way of traveling and build relationships around the world. Here’s how Network Travel can work.

We are a homeschooling family. So, homeschooling is one area we know of and that we sometimes seek contacts within when we travel. When we have been traveling to the USA, New Zealand and Australia for example (or around Europe and even in Sweden where we usually live for that sake) we have got in contact with some different home school networks on the internet. We then write about us and tell people we are going to their country (or area). We ask if they would like to have some fellow homeschoolers come to visit or if someone wants help out with a place to stay or maybe just would want to meet for a cup of tea. We usually get quite a lot of people who answer and want to connect in some way. They invite us to come and stay in their house or to camp in their garden or to show us around when we arrive in their area. To help us find contacts in a place we want to go and where we don’t know anyone.

People around the world are usually very open to and interested in meeting with people whom they share a common interest with. We have traveled, and also stayed for free, for months like this, visiting new friends.

We are also open to helping people who contact us in the same way. We have had visitors from all over the world come to stay. Or we have found somewhere for them to stay in another part of Sweden (it’s actually a big country, but almost empty of people). Or we have met and guided them around in our beautiful capital or just connected in some other way.

Just now we are having a young man from Brazil staying for a while. So, even though we’re at home in Sweden at the moment, we haven’t lost contact with the rest of the world.

Our new friend Tilo, visiting from Brazil, meeting our friendly Hedgehog

Our new friend Tilo, visiting from Brazil, meeting our friendly Hedgehog

We have learned so much from him about his country. We’re all very grateful for not having to worry about Cayman crocodiles when we go swimming in our lake, for example. He has made us all very curious about Brazil and we’ve noticed that we have already started looking in to it in different travel books. It may very well be that South America is a place we’ll be going to in a not too distant future:grin:

So, this way of traveling is both to give and to get. When you travel, you get support in different ways. You also give friendship as well as share of yourself and teach people about your part of the world. You can also give in the form of being open to letting people contact you when they are away from their home.

Network Travel makes the world shrink. It helps you feel at home wherever you go and if you don’t go but stay at home, you can be connected to the rest of the world by having people contact you or coming to visit. It also makes you feel safer – you learn that you have friends everywhere!

Want to learn more about how you can use your networks to travel? Go to our Network Travel section.

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