We are the Jones family from Winnersh, near Reading in South East England:
Dad – Nick, our navigator, chief packer and voice of reason;
Mum – Nicola, list maker, worrier and main updater for the blog;
The boys – John (9), Teddy (7) and Alex (4) all set for the ride of their lives.
I’m going to ask the others to add more about themselves at a later date, I have a notion that the older boys will keep a journal of our year as part of their home learning and now and again we might add some of it to the blog. Realistically, as lofty as my home schooling ambitions for the children are, I can see that Alex’s contributions will more likely come in the form of my photographs of his artwork but, at 4 years old, that will probably give some insight into who he is at the time!
So, a little bit more about who I am.
The shorthand version is that I am a 38 year old mother of 3 boys who works part time facilitating antenatal courses for a national charity and occasionally acting as a deputy registrar of marriages at the local Register Office. I have a law degree and in years gone by I practised law in a fairly pressurised corporate environment. I can confirm that 3 young boys are more work than any day I ever had in the office!
But none of that really tells you who I am. So for those interested in the longer version, here it is: I am a people person; I like being with other people, listening to their stories and laughing with them. After a few years working in that corporate environment I realised that to be happy, I need to care about what I’m doing; working with documents and intangible transactions was never going to do it for me. I also value the ability to think and constantly question and revise my own views. There is an element of the rebel in me; I am drawn to doing things that are unconventional simply because when I go with the majority it often indicates that I haven’t given much thought to whatever it is I’m doing. When I break away from the norm it is because, rightly or wrongly, thought and reason have led me down an alternative path. I feel most alive when I am exploring and doing new things. Nick and I have joked for a long time that our decision to take the boys travelling for a year is our mid-life crisis – better than an affair or a sports car, we tell each other (although I know he would like the sports car!). Some people find comfort in routine but in my case it is the opposite; when life becomes full of those day to day things I switch off and time seems to accelerate. I have written more about why we are taking this trip under the “why” tab of this blog, but for me personally I have been inspired by many of the blogs of other travelling families who have enjoyed living, learning and exploring together in a way that gets the most out of life. If I am lucky there is plenty of living, learning and exploring ahead and in the meantime I am comfortable with the mid-life crisis label!