Interview with Heidi from Wagoners Abroad

We continue our interview series with Heidi from Wagoners Abroad.

 

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog? How did you start traveling and blogging?

We are Wagoners Abroad (Alan, Heidi, Lars and Anya), an American family that quit our jobs, sold our home / belongings and moved to Spain (with 2 kids) in Aug 2012. We love to explore the world and share our experiences.

I started traveling just out of college in the late 80’s and lived in Mexico for a while. Once that travel bug bites, you can shake it!   I met Alan in the mid 90’s and we moved to England for a few years.  After returning to the US, we started a family and took off when we felt the kids would benefit mos from an international experience.

Wagoners Abroad Venice Italy

Wagoners Abroad Venice Italy

2. From your blog, we realized that 3 years you lived in London, and now most of the time you live in Spain in a very beautiful place. And in your spare time you are traveling to other countries in Europe. Tell us a little bit where you have been and what European country you like the most?

This is like asking if we have a favorite child.  We love them all.  We did enjoy our 6 week European Summer Road Trip and our favorite country was, all of them.  We did fall madly in love the Austria and Switzerland, but can’t seem to stop talking about Italy.  We recently wrote a post about our top travels in 2013.  Because we have Spanish Resident cards “http://wagonersabroad.com/no-schengen-visa-for-wagoners-abroad-2013/”  No Schengen Visa was needed for Wagoners Abroad In 2013!

3. We also read your article about the comparison of Spain and the United States in terms of culture. Are there any differences, that you noticed, in the cultures of European countries, for example such as Spain and England?

Yes, I would say that England is more similar to the US with many things.  Now that said we lived in London when in England and now live in a small town in Spain, so that right there is a big difference for us.  Spain has more of a laid back attitude, slower pace of life and extremely family oriented.  Of course there is the siesta time, when stores close, and eating dinner at 10 pm, that is different too.  I wouldn’t clump Europe as one unit as each country we have visited is unique.

4. In your list of travels there are mostly European and American countries. Is it your preference? What about countries such as Asia or Africa?

Funny you ask that.  We started off with the European countries to be exposed to the diversity of languages and cultures in a small geographic area.  We will be heading to Morocco late January and moving to Southeast Asia in late July.  I guess you could say we are slowly moving around and trying to absorb as much culture and diversity as we can along the way.

We already know many couples traveling together around the world who write a blog about their adventures. But very few people are traveling with children. So we have some questions for you about this.

5. What are the advantages in the raising the children in travel and, accordingly, what are cons?

Oh, I think we could write a book on this one, but I will keep it brief.  We have been in Spain for 16 months now and it is amazing to see the transformation in the children.  Being able to “unplug” from the American 24/7 and video game culture was an adjustment, but has been awesome. The kids are far more creative and confident and eager to see more of the world.  I love that we can walk down the street and see Roman Ruins and we are always talking about history and the world.  Shhh… don’t tell them they are constantly learning.

When we were in Rome, we studied the Romans and their legends and then got to go out and see what was in the stories.  The kids are very internet savvy and help research locations and things they would like to do.

Wagoners Abroad. Colosseum in Rome.

Wagoners Abroad. Colosseum in Rome.

6. How your kids are dealing with learning and speaking the new language?

They are fluent in Spanish!  It was rough the first month or two and then by about the 4 month mark, they were feeling better.  About the 6 month mark they were pretty fluent and now they are teaching us!  The now both have a love for learning languages and the fear of learning something new is long gone.  They now are confident and have a “can do” attitude.  Anya wants to learn French next and Lars wants to learn Chinese.

7. How do they cope with the school program in foreign country?

They love school and their friends.  They both attend Spanish public school and it was a bit of a culture shock in the beginning.  Now they are far more social than they were in the US.  Part of that may be because their school size too. In North Carolina their primary school had about 900 students and their school here in Spain has about 150.

8. How do you see their future (education, place for living)?

Well, as we move on to Asia we will be a bit more Nomadic, so we will need to homeschool the kids.  This will be a new adventure for us all and I must say, I am a bit nervous.  As with any challenge, we will figure our way through and work it out.

9. What do they do besides the school?

Anya took Flamenco lessons for a while, but now mainly plays with all of the neighborhood kids.  Lars plays fútbol and is also into filming and editing video.  He has his own YouTube Channel “Lars from Mars”.  Of course he plays outside with his friends as well.  They love to go for walks around town and of course travel.

Wagoners Abroad at Mar Menor - Lo Pagan Mud Bath

Wagoners Abroad at Mar Menor – Lo Pagan Mud Bath

10. If you can, please, share your plans for the future with our readers. Do you plan to continue to live in Spain or to move to another place?

We will remain in Spain until the end of this school year, June 2014.  After that we will take a month to explore a little more of Europe (Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway).  From there we will fly to Thailand and see where the wind blows us.

11. You are living your dream of traveling the world and we think that your blog inspires many people to follow their dreams too. Could you give some advice to our readers whose vision is like yours? How they can begin the path for the fulfillment of their dreams?

Detach yourself from “things” and live your life with passion and purpose.  Figure out your dream and work towards it. It is amazing how liberating it is to live a simple life without all of the clutter and material items to weigh you down.  You are the only one that can make your dreams come true.


About the Author:

Heidi - Wagoners Abroad

Heidi – Wagoners Abroad

Heidi loves to travel and has experienced more than 38 countries and all but 5 of the U.S. States.  She has a wonderful husband and 2 children that also have a passion for travel.  The kids (Lars 11 and Anya 9) have been to several states and countries themselves. They recently sold their house and all of their possessions to move to Spain and soak up the culture. She loves to write about their adventures and share it all on social media.  Here is where you can find the WagonersAbroad.

Blog                       http://www.wagonersabroad.com

Facebook            https://www.facebook.com/WagonersAbroad

YouTube              http://www.youtube.com/WagonersAbroad

Twitter                 https://twitter.com/WagonersAbroad

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