When you are a child, time has a way of unspooling slowly, purely set to our natural rhythm. As we grow older, time is punctuated by appointments and alarm clocks, and we forget how to live at our own pace.
When we set off on an overland road trip in a van five years ago, we wanted to slow down time again by raising a family on the road and use their questions about nature and life as our curriculum. We are world-schooling our kids.
Many factors determine our plans. Weather and finances help us decide which activities we do, where to camp and how long to stay. We have a loose idea of where we want to be for, say, a season, or if we need to meet someone somewhere in three months.
We have traveled throughout Central and South America, visiting one stunning landscape after the other. We hope that we are raising children who will grow up to cherish the natural wonders of the world. — Emily Harteau
Watching children play in nature is the best reminder of how to remain present. Above, we were on the trail to the famed towers in Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Chilean Patagonia. We had hiked up and set a base camp at Campamento Los Torres, gone to bed early, then awoke at 4:45 a.m. in the dark for an early morning push to watch the sun rise over the gorgeous spires.
From the highlands of La Paz, Bolivia, it took us three days to drive to the Amazon basin. After a few days by boat from Rurrenabaque, we met some locals who had just rescued this baby howler monkey the night before. They discovered it crying alone on the forest floor, and guessed that it was an orphan.
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