5 Reasons Being Homeschooled Makes Me Better At Traveling

“What the hell does homeschooling have to do with travel!?”

I’m glad you asked. I know you probably have your doubts…but you’d be surprised how often I pull out my homeschooling skills in order to successfully navigate the world. I was homeschooled from 3rd grade to high school graduation, and it really shaped who I am, as a person. No, I don’t play Dungeons and Dragons, but there are some stereotypes that are true…

NOT THOSE. Sheesh, guys, when was the last time you met an actual homeschooler!? Trick question, because when would you meet someone who never leaves home? Hahahaha — just me? Okay, moving on. Here are five reasons I think that being homeschooled makes me better at traveling.

1. Alone Time:

Okay, so when I was homeschooled I went to a resource center a few times a week. And it was great. Basically it was structured like a regular school, except most of us had parents hanging out in the halls or library, while we went to classes. All the teachers were certified through the state (except for special workshops) and it’s very important for my homeschool cred to note that our parents weren’t the teachers. This was not a co-op. Got it? Good. Moving on.Having a place to spend 2-3 days a week was great, but it still meant that there were entire days where I saw only my siblings/mom. This meant I had to be okay with rollin’ solo. I’m an introvert, so it’s a little bit easier for me, but the reality of travel (especially solo travel, which I do) is that you spend a lot of time alone. Whether it’s transportation from one place to another, or just walking around a city, there are a lot of times when you’re going to feel like one very out of place person in a sea of faces. Luckily, a homeschooler knows how to capitalize on that time. And an introvert knows it’s great for books, journaling, blogging or just thinking about life.

2. Making Random Friends:

On the flip-side, you probably should talk to people when you’re traveling alone. Because otherwise a) Why are you even there?

b) You’ll probably start to go slightly mad.That being said, you know the Homeschool mantra, “Say hi now, because you might not see another soul for days!” It’s on our flag. Moving on.

In all seriousness, it’s really important to connect with people. Hang out with people in hostels, talk to people on tours and really get to know the strangers around you. This is easy for me to do, because I’ve had to choose to make friends pretty much my whole life. There was no luxury of “assigned seating” or “class periods together.” It was talk to this person right now, or forever hold your peace.

3. Self Motivation:

Not to brag, but I basically put myself through the entire educational system from 3rd grade on. Yeah, I had my mom there to give me piles of books, but I think anyone can pretty much vouch that I made myself actually get things d-o-n-e. I’ve always been pretty self-motivated, which is really good, because I work remotely and it’s really important for me to make sure deadlines and projects get done on time. Yes, I have a boss. But luckily I know how to kick myself into action.That being said, I constantly make deadlines for myself when I’m planning to travel, traveling or working on the road. I make it happen because when you’re on the road, as a solo traveler, you either get yourself there, or you don’t get there. There’s nobody to tell you where to go, or wake you up if you sleep through your alarm clock. It’s all about you. Just the way I like it.


4. A Love of Learning:

If I won the lottery, I would become a professional student at Oxford. I love learning more than anything in the world. Which is why I have tutors “for fun,” subscribe to PBS instead of Netflix and have accounts with every online learning site. I love history and science and geography and art and writing and languages. That’s just me (and Hermione, who I share a birthday with – fun fact).This comes in handy when I’m traveling because it makes me infinitely curious about the places I go. It also makes the places hold a lot of value for me, and when other people see that, I think it’s a lot easier to make friends with the locals (unless you’re in Paris, where they hate everyone – jk…sort of). This also has helped me to learn the “secrets” about places, because when you make friends with locals you get taken places tourists never get told about.

5. Trying New Things: 

There is a disclaimer on this one, because I’m not a huge fan of trying new food. That has more to do with me being allergic to everything on the planet, though, and less to do with a lack of interest or willingness to try.What I do love to do is weird things that nobody else will do. I travel with a pretty open “yes” policy for trying new things (safety first, of course) and that’s led me to have some pretty interesting stories. I’d share them now, but where would the fun be in that? You’ll have to keep reading along on the blog to find out.

BONUS

Not taking ‘no’ for an answer:

I wasn’t ever shut down by teachers growing up. There weren’t “dumb questions,” because the only person I could ask was myself, or my mom (who is, in fact, a certified teacher).  I love proving people wrong, and I love finding ways to do things that people say can’t be done. I think a lot of this has to do with the way I was raised… and it probably also has something to do with the hotheaded Scottish blood in my veins.

12 Signs You Were Definitely Homeschooled – Written By An Actual Homeschooler

12 Signs You Were Definitely Homeschooled
Photo credit: Emma Morem Photography

In light of the recent Relevant Magazine online article “12 Signs You Were Definitely Homeschooled,” which did nothing to relay what it’s like (AT ALL) to be actually homeschooled (seriously, guys – did a homeschooler even write that!?), I decided to write a list about ways to actually tell that someone was homeschooled (since, apparently it’s important). Oh, and this one (RELEVANT) is written BY someone who was actually homeschooled. So here they are, 12 REAL signs that you were homeschooled.

  1. You have some really crazy stories to tell: You had more experiences in your short little elementary life than a lot of people can say for their whole existence. Roadtrips, museums, concerts you name it – you’ve done it. You can connect with people from all kinds of walks of life because your experiences aren’t limited to the cookie cutter lifestyle the rest of the world was experiencing.
  1. You’re really gifted: Maybe you’re really smart, maybe you’re really artistic, maybe you’re really good at science or math or a musical instrument – whatever it is, you’re GOOD at it. You know why? Because you were allowed time to hone your skills and invest in becoming your best.
  1. You research a lot: Whether it’s reading up on things, experimenting with things or pushing life to the limit, you’ve really upped the notch when it comes to the way you view the world. You ask questions, you find answers – basically you’re your own Mythbusters show.
  1. You take more risks and chances: You naturally think outside the box. In fact, what even IS the box? You don’t know – you never learned that in school. Whether it’s traveling more, starting adult clubs and groups, starting your own business or writing and publishing a book – you know how to risk big and get things done.
  2.  You are more tolerant of people: You learned to be friends with people because they were human beings, not because they fit into a certain socioeconomic, racial or religious clique groups. Homeschooling was kinda lonely sometimes, and you learned to adapt by becoming friends with anyone who looked like they might be cool. Because let’s be real, if someone shared your interest, they were your new best friend. Done.
  1. You ask questions: There were no sniveling idiots to pound your questions into the ground growing up, and you’re not afraid to question why things are the way they are, now. Maybe they aren’t questions you scream from the mountaintops (although, maybe you do!) maybe they’re just questions that allow you to move push past what’s expected of you and ask one of the most powerful questions in the world: Why?
  1. You’re super tech savvy: And let’s be real, your friends know it. You’re the one who people call on the phone when they’re having computer problems and you might even have a tech related job, now. The reality of technology was a power that appeared to you a lot earlier than everyone else because technology meant bringing you closer to people and things that you were passionate about! Oh, and we’ll just keep all the hacking on the DL.
  1. You’re super close with your family: Or maybe you aren’t. Spending a lot of time with one’s family can have lasting effects on both sides of the spectrum. Maybe your family became your best friends, or maybe the exact opposite happened. Let’s face it. It’s okay (after 15 YEARS) to take some steps back and keep it casual. These people know a LOT about you, after having spent every day with you – they may just know too much.
  1. You’re self-motivated: There were no late assignments to be excused, waved or curves to be graded on. You either passed or you failed. And it really was all about YOU. You know how to make things happen, and it’s not so hard to push yourself toward goals, since you’ve been running this race, as its solo champion, for years.
  1. You crashed your friend’s proms and loved every minute: We all crashed our “normal” friends events. Whether it was prom, going to sports events or just hanging out in general. We weren’t stuck to barriers about who our dates were or who would be there. WE WERE THE PARTY. And it didn’t matter what we did – ‘cause it’s not like we were gonna ever see those people, again.
  1. Your fashion game is off the charts: Because amidst that (actually not as abundant as outsiders thought) free time, you had time to check up on what people in the fashion capitals were wearing. You were able to experiment with the latest trends from Milan and Paris, and you loved every minute. You spent hours pouring over fashion magazines, vintage movies and style blogs and you knew just how to start a trend, no matter where you were.
  1. You’re uniquely you: You are a homeschooler. That doesn’t mean you are a clone. Some of you wore denim skirts, some of you didn’t. Some of you lived at church, some of you worshiped in nature. Some of you had parents who made your clothes, others of you MADE YOUR OWN CLOTHES. You were allowed to form and become your very best self because there was no one to tell you that you couldn’t. Congratulations on being the very best version of Y-O-U. Take a bow.