Most kids my age would probably be in school right now, but not me. I’m in Marbella, (pronounced Marbeya) Spain. My name is Maya. I’m 13 years old, and our family is traveling around Europe this year.
I love traveling. I think everyone should travel. Even if it’s not that big of a trip like we’re doing, I think everyone should go to at least 2 or 3 countries in their life – like maybe the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, or maybe even someplace on another continent, like Brazil or China.
It’s so fun to not know where you’re going to be next month, or even next week. For example, we didn’t know until a couple weeks before we left Germany if we were going to Italy or Spain first. We picked Spain, and we’ll probably go to Italy in a couple months. Sometimes I think for a second, where am I again? Austria? No Spain.
That might sound weird, but it can be fun. Although it’s also fun to settle down for a couple weeks, which is what we’re doing in Spain. It’s so funny how one day you can be in cold Germany, with lots of forests and they speak German there. And then a couple days later, you can be in warm Spain, with its beaches and palm trees, and they speak Spanish. You can imagine what it’s like when you say “danke” (thank you) or “bitte” (you’re welcome) when you are supposed to be saying gracias and de nada. The Spanish people look at you like, what? Though I can imagine that happens a lot in Europe. Since you don’t need a visa or passport to go to other European countries, lots of people travel south for the winter. I love learning the languages of each new country. I’m especially focusing on German and French, but I’m also learning some Spanish.
Lately, since our long drive from Germany to Spain, I’ve been looking at license plates to see which countries the people in the car are from. I’ve seen license plates from all over Europe, including Estonia, Romania, Austria, Norway, and Sweden.
One of the hardest things is not getting to spend time with my friends, but I also love spending time with my family. We get along great and have a lot of fun together. My sisters are so funny. Sometimes we even jump in the pool with all of our clothes on!
I’m really looking forward to going to Gibraltar, which is the southern most part of Spain, even though it’s actually part of the UK. You can see Africa from there, and there are monkeys just roaming around!
When I get older I want to go to all the continents and paint in all of them. I love traveling, and I also love painting, so it’s perfect! I already know which countries I want to go to in each continent. In Asia, I want to go to Indonesia. In Australia/Oceania I want to go to Samoa. In Africa, I want to go to Mozambique. In South America, I want to go to Chile. I’ve already been to North America and Europe, and I’m not so sure yet about Antarctica.
Even though traveling so much is different, some things stay the same. We still homeschool, but we learn about the geography of Spain rather than the 50 states. (Geography is my favorite subject besides art.) We learn about flamenco dancers instead of piano lessons, and we learn about the King of Spain instead of the president of the United States.
I think it’s always important to try new things, go to new places and meet new people. Because if you don’t, then you’ll only know what people tell you about the world, and sometimes that’s not enough.
Great thoughts! I hope all of your dream travels come true.
Thank you so much!
Loved reading Maya’s perspective!!! Such a beautiful experience with memories and lessons that will last through out her life. Especially loved her insightful closing words about the importance of trying new things and meeting new people!!!
Thank you! I really enjoyed writing it.
Out of curiosity I’m wondering what home schooling when you are travelling looks like? You mentioned some of what you are learning. Do you still do math? Are you writing every day? That kind of thing:) I’m asking because our family is going on an 8 month OE and we home school too. I want to make sure my expectations are realistic about what home schooling will look like! Feel free to email me privately (or get your parents to share from their perspective!)
I was wondering if your family would mind sharing what ideas you have come up with so far for ‘paying it forward’ to as this is definitely something that has been on my mind for when we travel.(sorry for such a long post!)
PS My kids are really enjoying your ATW stories!
Hi Kirsty, I love home schooling on the road. I learn a lot just by going to places and reading about them. For example, when we visited a castle in Germany, we bought a book about it. From that book I learned all about the castles along the Rhine River and their history. When we went to the Czech Republic, I learned a lot about the history of the country, Charles V and communism just by going to places, reading and talking with my parents. In Denmark, I learned about Hans Christian Andersen. We always learn about things from that country. I love art, reading and geography and so I just do a lot of that on my own during my free time. I still do math. We mostly use Life of Fred. I also use Earthschooling’s history curriculum. I write a lot for history and also I like to journal. Most of what we’re learning, we learn as a family and I feel like I’m learning so much this year! My mom said she will email you more information. Thank you!
That is really helpful:)
I’d love to hear from your Mom too:)
Thank you, Maya. So wonderful to hear how you are feeling about your adventure this year. I hope you will share more with us in the future.
Thank you. I think I will write more. I really enjoyed writing it!
I really liked what you had to say. On December 31 we will be leaving on a six month trip around the world. We’re going to go to 7 countries: Costa Rika, New Zealand, Thailand, Germany, and the Netherlads! I think I will be able to relate to you a lot because I’m 12 and like you I have two little sisters. They’re identical twins and they’re eight years old. I’m also wondering what contry your going to next.
Hi Noah. Thank you! I think it’s really cool that you’re taking a trip around the world. I think you’re going to love it. I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand. We’re going to Germany next to spend time with my great aunt for Christmas. Then we’re going to Portugal, Italy, Croatia and England. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Croatia!
I’ve always wanted to go to Croatia!
Hi, I’m Ellen (age 6) and I really like the stories each week. Hi, I’m Will (age 3) and I am wondering what are your sisters’ names? We counted, and we have visited or lived in six countries so far. Ellen wants to travel next to Nebraska and Will wants to visit Chile. Thanks for making the stories and writing in your blog!
Thank you for commenting! My sisters names are Mirabel (age 10) and Lacey (age 7). I think it’s really cool that you’ve been to six countries. That’s a lot! It’s so great that you like our stories.
Great write-up! I am glad you are enjoying your trip around Europe. Sounds like a lot of fun. We can’t wait to hear about your next adventure.
Thank you so much! We’re having a great time!
hi maya my name is hannah and i am eight years old. i love your stories and my favorite one was maya’s black forest farm! and i just wanted to say ‘danke’ for all of the maya adventures that you have sent me and my mom. love hannah eight years old from michigan.p.s. an early merry christmas from me and my mom. and also we can not wait to see what the next maya adventure will be about. bye.
Hi Hannah, I’m so glad you like our stories! There are lots of fun ones coming up! Merry Christmas to you and your mom!
I went to Chile as a foreign exchange student when I was 15, and yes, it is definitely worth visiting! It’s great to read about your experience. Thanks!!
You highlighted some amazing things that I know I could do with remembering more. You captured the essence that no matter where you are in the world spending time with your family and having fun is important. That learning can take place anywhere and that other cultures have so much to teach. Most importantly that other people’s words and expiriences contain valuable lessons but your own personal expiriences will greatly enrich your education.
Thank you for the reminders!