Well, we did it! We are back home in our sweet old farmhouse after traveling around the East Coast and England while homeschooling our kids for 3.5 months. We visited Virginia’s shorelines on the Chesapeake Bay; the mountains of North Carolina; downtown Savannah, Georgia; Orlando, Stuart, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton, Florida; Surrey, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnsire, England; and the Isle of Palms in South Carolina.
The good, the bad and the ugly:
- We all got Covid while we were in England. Thankfully our cases were extremely mild.
- Our sweet dog Kaiser had to have emergency surgery while we were gone. That was scary– his stomach flipped– but we’re grateful for the attention and loving care he got in our absence.
- Delta Airlines caused us to miss our flight to England and won’t reimburse our hotel or taxi expenses, then lost our luggage and won’t reimburse our expenses despite me spending hours and hours trying. (If anyone has an “in” with Delta customer service, please let me know! I’m serious.) Because of that mishap though, we got to see family we wouldn’t have otherwise seen on an unexpected layover. I got to shop for all new clothes for the kids in England and we ended up with some cute stuff we wouldn’t have otherwise had.
The Beauty of Slow-Paced Family Time
Everything else went really, really well though. Our family had an incredibly good time overall. The kids were involved in no extracurricular activities which I’m sure we would’ve been doing had we been home. No soccer, no piano, no nothing. I loved our intentionally slow pace of life. We read a lot of books, built a lot of block or MagnaTile towers, and got to…
- try new foods together (we ate crumpets every morning in England and it never got old!)
- observe new wildlife together (did you know there are white squirrels in the mountains of North Carolina? …so jarring for this Virginia girl yet so cool!)
- and experience new adventures together (like boating to sandbars in the Florida waterways, which I highly, highly recommend as a bucket list activity).
Our kids learned so much firsthand that I could never teach them while homeschooling from Virginia. They literally watched veterinarians fix wounded sea turtles in Florida, for crying out loud. It was so cool to sit back and see their brains just soak everything in.
The last week of our trip, though, we were all ready to be home.
We’ve been home for 1 week now and it feels so. so. good.
We are so grateful we had the opportunity to travel and homeschool while David worked remotely. The traveling nurse and her husband who rented our house did a great job taking care of our house and animals for us. Our farmhouse feels good. Charlottesville feels good. Virginia feels good.
And– drumroll for this little bit of excitement– we’ve decided we’re going to take on another adventure:
We are moving to England!
We are planning on moving to England at the end of the summer and enrolling our kids in British schools for a year or two before returning to Charlottesville. There are so many details we still have to work out, and we’re trying to tackle it all one step at a time. The bottom line is we absolutely loved our time in England. We feel blessed to have a lot of extended family in England, all of whom are awesome. David’s and my hearts just loved that our kids got to spend so much quality time with their cousins. Before we became parents, we talked about wanting to give our future kids a bit of international exposure and moving abroad for a few years during their childhood. It sort of feels like the time is right. 🙂
Up Next for Our Farmhouse
In the meantime, we are planning on undertaking some major renovations/ a major addition to our house. I love it so much here, but after traveling to places where Eve and Wilson got to have their own rooms, we now realize that at ages 7 and 5, they are ready for their own spaces… and our sweet 3 bedroom house just isn’t going to cut it for a family of 6 much longer. There are also some big projects our house needs that just wouldn’t be fun to live in while we’re doing it (non-cosmetic, boring repairs to things like plumbing/ insulation/ etc). We’ve been thinking for a while that our family might try to live somewhere else temporarily while tackling these projects. The stars sort of aligned for us to move to England and we thought… this seems like the perfect time to get our farmhouse to fit our family’s needs!
Plans for this Blog?
This summer, I hope to continue to blog about our farmhouse and farmhouses I find inspirational here in Virginia. I’d also love to feature English farmhouses once we’re living there! This blog is a fun outlet for me and I don’t want to stop it any time soon. 🙂
For now though… I hope you’ll share in our excitement and awe at the beautiful turns life can take. We couldn’t be more excited (and also overwhelmed right now, to be totally honest) about the adventure our family has in store.