Gap Year – Inspiring change

by LukeAdmin

by KYLIE BAILEY

I woke up one day and wondered, is this it? Life in my 40’s with my family! With my profession as a Mindset coach, a top skill of mine is setting goals and aligning my life with my values.

I naturally know how to take small steps to make my big goals come to life and for a long time felt quite fulfilled with what my family and I had achieved.

We had our beach house…well 5 minutes away which was close enough growing up in Sydney suburbs, had made the renovation with our entertainment area and was quite satisfied with our home for a long time.

Then this wave washed over me and all of a sudden we went from enjoying all we had achieved to feeling very unsatisfied and scratching our heads wondering…Is this it?

Life in our 40’s, 2 gorgeous kids but so busy all the time between work, school, activities and social events to really enjoy all we had worked for…

Life had started to feel like groundhog day without the satisfaction of enjoying our children and this chapter of life with them. This lingered for some time and then with a sliding door moment, an opportunity washed over us that we can re-write the script and live life on our terms.

So, we decided to take back the pace of life and the control, sell our house and travel around Australia with our kids and put our kids through Distance Education.

This is when life started to become exciting again…as we started to feel the unwiring of our minds of what we were conditioned to and how the past 15 years of collecting material possessions had shaped us.

We started the process of letting go of our belongings either by selling, donating or throwing stuff away… No doubt – we would of made Marie Kondo proud!

The process into the simple life began and since that moment mid last year when we decided to re-write the script, life has never looked so clear now that we are living life our way instead of doing what society tells us we need to do…life on our terms is so much more enjoyable!

I’m not going to say it was all easy. To be honest, the journey into freedom was the most stressful 6 months of my life.

Daily, I was working my coaching systems on a massive scale and practising every mindfulness technique I know to overcome the massive overwhelm I was feeling. It was tough but worth every bit of stress now I know what life looks on the other side, after the 6 months of freeing my family from the financial pressure, the juggle of activities, watching my husband work his butt off along with travelling that freeway and never really having enough quality time together as a family.

Our whole values were not matching our lifestyle anymore and it was time to re align our lives to what was really important. If you are reading this, relating and thinking about doing it…just do it, you’ll never look back!

So here we are, 2 months into the Lap of Australia…and well into Term 1 of home schooling and loving life!

Home schooling can be challenging however with the right systems, patience and the love of spending time together as a family. Love conquers all even on the days when kids will be kids.

We mostly spend the mornings doing school and the afternoons exploring, either chasing waterfalls, finding beautiful new beaches, hiking, visiting museums and historical sites, learning through experiences over things.

We started this journey and year with 3 main values for 2020

Love, Connection and Adventure
Aligning your life to your values are critical to living a fulfilled life. If you are thinking about doing a lap of Australia or home schooling through Distance Education, here are some things you need to know –

As the Supervisor of my children’s school work, well actually teachers as my husband and I are so very hands on and have taken on the different subjects to manage the workload.

The first 6 weeks are the toughest as you settle into a new lifestyle on the road. Considering it takes 60 days to create a new habit, I think it’s pretty amazing how this has unfolded and everyone has embraced the change of lifestyle. Perhaps it happened quicker because we are doing something that we all love.

Living in a confined space 
It’s all about systems! Everything needs a home and you only take what you need and will use. This was the first big light bulb moment of how I had filled a 2 story home with pointless stuff.

We only have what we need now, only keep what we use and couldn’t be happier. There is something very liberating about living the nomadic lifestyle. If we feel we need living space, we just go outdoors for a walk, bike ride or sit in our alfresco living room under the stars. 

A holiday vs a new way of life
Once the holiday bubbles wears off you have to remember it’s a way of life. There are still school routines, structure to sightseeing and where to next. One of the biggest surprises about living a nomadic lifestyle is that we are much busier than we first thought. A good busy of course, as we are seeing so much of our beautiful country, learning so much about each other and we get to be with our little humans every day…It’s interesting how I’ve heard comments of how this would be some people’s worst nightmare. We are all very different but from where we stand, our kids will only be kids for such a short chapter. I’ll take every minute of every day and cherish these memories forever.

The adventures of a nomadic lifestyle
The adventure of finding somewhere new to stay. This is one of the best parts of our trip. Pre kids, we had a passion for travel so this ignites the soul to live our day to day lives with adventure exploring new places. We have our roles on the road and it makes everything run fairly smooth. My husband drives most of the time whilst I map out the itinerary and search on wikicamps to find our next camp. It’s amazing how many free camps are in Australia and in many ways are way better than the caravan parks. Caravan parks are good for washing and a pool but apart from that, the great outdoors and the free camps have so much more character and the kids have way more fun! Once you get the set up and pack up sorted that is! This is part of the 6 week settling period and remember, there will always be days that are best forgotten. Some days it’s great fun and full of laughter and some days can have challenges. The life skill of building resilience day by day with the kids is something I wouldn’t change!

The friendly community and new like-minded friends
There is something very special about life on the road and the people you meet. There is such a sense of community where everyone is friendly and looking out for each other. A general consensus of how the current busyness of life had affected the equilibrium of their lives and stories shared by camp fires with a drink or two. There are a lot of families travelling on the road and escaping the grind to be with their families and finding new ways to support themselves whilst on the road. Thinking outside the box and aligning their values with creating a healthy lifestyle for their family too.

Get your kids involved!
Give them jobs to do with set up and pack up, involve them in the weekly budget and choosing what activities to do. This is one of the unique opportunities for growth with kids living the nomadic lifestyle. Travelling full time is a marathon not a race and the selection process of what we visit is different to when holidaying as we have to choose what’s best in that destination instead of trying to do it all. It makes it fun for everyone choosing where to next. Also, we have our kids complete a daily journal with a daily gratitude so they can remember the experiences and also not take this amazing lifestyle for granted.

Distance Education
What didn’t come as a surprise – the people who choose to be teachers are remarkable human beings.

Their dedication to shaping our children and managing a classroom every day for 40 weeks a year, is such a selfless act every day.

No doubt with full classrooms, it’s fair to say it would be hard to keep everyone at the same level academically and socially.

Kids just like adults keep things in and don’t like to fail, struggle at times and don’t always know how to express their emotions. One thing that has been highlighted for us teaching our kids, we have found the gaps and now have a better understanding of what they like to learn and what they don’t like.

I would say one of the major benefits to distance education and being so hands on – I have a full glance of it all.

As a mum, I’ve wanted to be a fly on the wall at times so I could see how my kids tracked on a daily basis with their activities in class and the playground.

I’m no helicopter mum however I’m a caring and devoted mum as no doubt you are too reading this, and perhaps have felt this way at times.

Home schooling/distance education is no easy task. It takes some serious patience, tenacity and a good system to keep on top of the deadlines to have the work submitted back to the Dept. of education.

With what is happening in the community at the moment, some of these tips may benefit your family too.

Here are my top tips for home schooling 

Sunday download  The most important step you can take to having a successful week with home schooling. Creating the weekly class plan for each child is pivotal to having a calm and structured week. With a combination of Maths, English, Handwriting, Science, PDHPE, History, Art, Reading…there is a fair amount of work to get through. In fairness, you should allow on average 4 hours a day/20 hours a week. Each week, we are provided with the curriculum and by the end of the week need to submit the work.

Supervisor Prep  When we first started home schooling, it was a quick shock to the system as we set off on our weeks with supervising grade 1 and grade 4. How hard can it be? School work provided, allocated time-slots for the different subjects and the kids knew what was expected. Very quickly we learnt that our supervisor role was more of a hands on teaching role and this required more preparation than we were giving it. Our best tip for a successful week – Sunday night, read all the weeks classes and learn the material. No different to work really when preparing for something important. The way we see it, we have a new set of deadlines, a new job as the kid’s teachers and the most important role of all, with our kids education in our hands. The more preparation we put in, the smarter and more confident our kids will be. Sounds obvious really but when you’re in the thick of the steep learning curve and travelling, this advice may be welcomed!

Patience   On many occasions, we have needed to remind ourselves, this is a new job to us and patience is the key! Our kids have young minds and the behaviour we demonstrate will be what they end up being like under pressure and in life. So on many occasions, we have had to stop teaching and have a break. Kids can be challenging at the best of times, but when your the parent and the teacher, they will always try to test the boundary. My best technique around this is to mix it up with a combination of exercise – change the physiology, start a mindfulness exercise and listen to music or learn an instrument to mix it up!

Mindfulness  For the parents – practise – STOP technique.

S   Stop what you are doing!

T  Take a breath

O  Open and observe what is going on for everyone 

P  Proceed positively with a new approach

For the kids  Get them to stand up and shake it off if they hit a brain block.

Reassure them, praise them and reward them for hard work. We work off the class dojo app and incentivising them with positive psychology and points to achieve a reward.

Ensure you give them breaks just like if they were to have recess or lunch at school. After breaks, kids come back with a fresh mindset ready to tackle the next lesson. Make sure you don’t go over 2 hours of teaching in one block.

Most importantly, work as a team. It’s ok to let them know that you are new at this too and together everyone will learn and be great! Travelling full time may not be for everybody however if you are thinking about doing it,  just do it…even if it’s for a small trip! 

Our kids are making new friends on a weekly basis, are more confident each day and express how happy they are!

Best decision of our lives and we know we will never regret this time we have with our kids and with each other, as living the busy lifestyle doesn’t give you lots of time as a couple too.

Hopefully, we will see you out here one day!

If you would like to follow our journey…Facebook and Insta – #Baileys2020Vision

Live your best life, Kylie 

Kylie Bailey – Founder of Inspire Change Coaching. Specialising in Life, Career and Youth Coaching, Kylie runs many workshops on the Coast including one for mums to assist with mindfulness, and to help with the overwhelm. As well as running incursions for School programs, and Life coaching workshops for all walks of life in Goals, Habits, Mindfulness, Happiness, Organisation, Corporates and Career Coaching. To book a workshop or 1 on 1 session, please visit
www.inspirechangecoaching.com.au or call 0432 800 903.

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