This program is an offering designed for families who want to expand their teens’ empathy and understanding of diversity by engaging with other cultures and learning about other customs through travel. Teens ages 13-17 and their parent partner will travel in a collective of Self- Directed learners alongside 2 guides with lifelong and grown unschoolers of their own.
Families that Would be a good fit are:
Who are Sara and Meghan ?
We will be your Queer-affirming guides with 30 years combined experience in SDE and Group Organizing. We are parents who have lived in partnership with their teens and grown children and want to share that partnership and guidance with yours!
Our role in this program would be to create an extension of that partnership your teen has experienced with you, and promote the deeper skills of empathy gained when engaged in world travel and community building. We believe that there is a significant element of learning involved with healthy risk taking at appropriate age levels.
Where are we going?
Barcelona, Spain !
Our hub for almost 2 weeks from October 4th -14th will be in the beautiful heart of Catalonia.
For our first trip, we are inviting teen/parent duos (or trios, if you have more than one teen) to join us
We’d like to do this for several reasons – this is our pilot trip! We would like to add an element of comfort and safety for all participating families as we ROAM new territory on foreign soil with new people!
As we emerge from the pandemic, we realize some teens may not be ready to head out all alone just yet (and some are). This will give teens a chance to step into some new and uncomfortable territory with a little more comfort and support. We will be staying in a communal house, and working together on everything from food prep and cleanup to plans for the day!
What is risk taking?
When a toddler balances on a log with a supportive caregiver nearby, but isn’t kept from falling because the caregiver knows the injury will be small compared to the learning that occurs. When a 7 year old helps to collect a grocery item from the next aisle over and come back, pushing themselves through nerves. When an 11yr old posts a tiktok dance and awaits feedback. In so many ways, when they feel elements of discomfort they are actually learning to stretch their abilities and skills.
In unschooling families, most of these learning opportunities tend to happen with the support of a confident adult nearby.
What we propose is that at the teenage level, they can learn big scale skills by being in an environment with other teens and adults who are also having a new experience alongside them. Especially when in other countries. It can be an important experience for Americans to decenter themselves and feel discomfort in not having familiar accommodations at all times. To this end we think that developing deeper empathy happens when folks experience what it is like to not be in a country where our 1st language is spoken, or there are not cheetos; for instance.
How will we stretch these skills while staying safe abroad?
We will allow the teens to take lead on problem solving how to navigate new situations such as meal planning and experimenting with local cuisine, traversing the city, venturing out to nature-focused adventures or seeking relevant art/history nearby, transportation between points of interest, money exchanges, keeping personal items secure, and more! There will be days where the group will come to a consensus about what adventures to take next in the experience, and other days where skills will be expanded with pre-planned scopes. Our goal is to avoid exploring like typical tourists – we will be sure to visit key important landmarks as we are able but may not venture into the more crowded streets, or during peak times/days. For instance, we may head out to a smaller, less touristy type of adventure on a weekend and visit the more popular and famous location as early as possible on a weekday. We may, as a group, decide to take a “rest day” on a weekend, and plan fun activities at home base.
What are we offering?
community, culture and cuisine
Our inaugural journey is coming from the understanding that the pandemic has taken a signifant amount of time, experiences and growth alongside peers. We are offering a Parent /Teen trip to Barcelona, Spain to expand perspective of the world and our place in it. We will work together to live in a community house, explore new surroundings and language, experience group decision making, adventure and build lasting memories and new relationships
We plan to support healthy risk taking , adventure while we ROAM!
What kind of teens would fit with this program?
Young people who are looking to expand their understanding of human customs by engaging with them directly! Travelers should be willing to experience new sights, tastes, smells and language by exploring city centers and surrounding areas alongside a pop-up community of other unschooled teens.
What can you expect from this experience?
Site-seeing, cultural immersion, Communal living+eating Budgeting, disagreements, a safe space with conflict resolution tools. Our 10 days will vary from home base days, big excursion days and indie days – at times we will split off so people have the opportunity to remain at the group house while some go out either as a small group or independently (in pairs)
What can you NOT expect from this experience?
more time inside than out (we will plan for down time though)
High Tourism-focused approach
mostly english speaking people and experiences
to not have to cook/clean
Are younger siblings invited? Why or why not
In our long-term experience organizing unschooling activities, we have always focused on the community as a whole with children of all ages interacting together. We highly value this aspect of the self-directed community and want to continue to support it. That said, many of our trips will be specifically geared toward older kids, especially those that involve travel without parents. We know that teens with younger siblings can benefit from some opportunities designed for their transition into adulthood that are just for them!
For our first trip, because we are sharing a home in the city together space is limited, and it makes sense to us to focus on this being a trip that one parent can do with their older kid(s) as something special.
We do have plans to offer some other opportunities for younger Unschoolers and entire families in the future, so stay tuned!
ROAM: a teen travel collective is traveling to SPAIN!
This is for all participants securing their spot on the trip with a deposit, Due June 1, 2023
The questions everyone asks….