This Family Sold Their Home And Bought An RV To Travel The Country And Home School
26th October 2020 by BOTWC Staff
26th October 2020 by BOTWC Staff
They created a real life magic school bus!
When Karen Akpan’s son, Aiden, asked her, “Mom, where are all the brown people like us” as they were traveling she didn't have an answer. Instead of ignoring what was a glaring absence to her son, and the rest of their traveling family, Akpan said on her website that she decided to start her movement of Black Kids Do Travel.
”[We] couldn’t find a group that solely promoted and encouraged ‘family travel’ as well as ‘travel with children’ for families of color so a Facebook group – Black Kids Do Travel was created,” she wrote. "[I] really wanted to know if children of color did indeed travel, and if they did, why wasn’t [my] family meeting any of them as [we] traveled.”
She has since used the travel group and blog, The Mom Trotter, to inspire thousands of families of color to travel the world and share stories of their adventures.
She and her husband have been together 12 years and married for 9, visiting more than 30 countries and states, respectively. As their journeys around the country and world increased, they decided it would be a good idea to sell their home and buy a recreational vehicle (RV). Now, they've begun taking the internet on their adventures across the United States via their YouTube channel.
”This year, we made the decision to sell all our belongings (well most) as well as our home and purchase an RV,” Karen said in an interview with Milowe Kids. “Our three main reasons for doing this was because we wanted to spend more time together, pay off debt and travel to every state in the US. We've done a lot of international travel, but we also recognize how beautiful America is and we want to travel and experience it as a family.”
In the last few years the amount of Black people using RV’s to camp and live has grown. According to a 2017 Statista report the amount of new Black campers was up 14 percent and among all campers nationwide Black people now make up a total of 8 percent of the population. The National African American RVer's Association (NAARVA) currently has about 1500 members or 800 black families that love camping according to its president Louise Grogan.
Karen and her family are adding to these numbers through their travels while encouraging others to do the same without seeing their families as a drawback. On her blog she said that she wants to use their time in the RV to motivate parents to hold on to their dreams.
”People think that after kids, travel has to stop, but I am proof that it doesn’t,” Karen said. “My passion is to help and empower parents, as well as show them that travel with kids is possible and doable as a one income family, stay at home parent or while working a full time job.”
While they've been able to see for themselves that anything is possible, their 7-year-old, Aiden, has taken that mindset to heart. An aspiring wildlife biologist brings excitement and curiosity to his roadschool. He's had the advantage of being home schooled majority of his life, which meant less of a transition during the pandemic when other children were getting acclimated to a new school environment.
During his first week of the school year he learned to do many non-traditional things like sharpening a stick with a knife, building a forest fort, and floating in a river. Karen said she recommended all parents rent an RV for home schooling their children because it allows them to spend time being kids while learning.
She offers tips and tricks for families to succeed, including home school activities, pretrip ground rules, and spring break ideas, which she and her family use themselves. When she's able to unwind after a long day of travel, writing, and teaching, she spends her time helping families plan their memory-making adventures.
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𝐑𝐨𝐚𝐝𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 3rd Grade with your favorite nephew a.k.a. aspiring Wild Life Biologist 🥰. This year we will be homeschooling / unschooling / roadschooling. We have been homeschooling for a few years now so this isn't new to us. The only difference is that now we are full time RVing now vs being at home. We usually homeschool year round, but since school technically starts in August, that's when we do our first day of school photos. Aiden spent his first week of school learning to sharpen a stick with a knife, build a fort in the forest, ride his bike, float on a river, read, write, draw, explore nature and more. Talk about roadschooling, this is what I dreamt about for him when we decided to RV full time. To be able to get up and spend all day outside being a kid 🙌🏾. With most families doing distance learning and homeschooling, you can do it too. I highly recommend renting an RV and taking the kids on a trip. As always you can take an RV trip right now and stay socially distant from people. It is possible!! 😉 Wondering where to rent an RV, check out @rvshare which is a peer to peer rental site. If you don't want to drive an RV, some owner's will even drop it off for you at your campsite. 📍Tips for Roadschooling - Plan a trip to somewhere that has lots of outdoor experiences. Biking, white water rafting, beach, natioal forest, national parks, parks etc. - Pack whatever tools your kids will need while on the road including books, tablet, laptop, headphones, writing materials. - Plan your activities around their school work. - Let your kids explore their surroundings and be curious. - Always make yourself available to indulge in their curiosity. - Have fun with them, because that's really what matters the most. ⁉️ Do you plan on renting an RV and taking a trip with your kids? Or taking a road trip somewhere? Any questions, don't hesitate to ask below 😃. #RVshareExpert
Karen and her family are showing what's possible with your family by your side!
We love watching your journey! Thanks for inspiring us, Akpan family!
Photo Credit/The Mom Trotter