Living and Traveling Around the World with the Sattvic Family

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

What's it like to live around the world, and raise your child as a global citizen? One of the websites that I avidly follow, Sattvic Family Travels, answers these questions and more - with beautiful photos, insights into living abroad, and thoughtful posts on unschooling around the world. Elizabeth Kelsey (one third of the Sattvic family) is our Family Travel in Asia and Europe Editor and has shared many great articles here on Wandering Educators (and look for more!). They are currently living in Thailand.

We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Elizabeth about Sattvic Family Travels, traveling and living around the world, digging deeply into a culture, and more. Here's what she had to say...



WE: Please tell us about your site, Sattvic Family Travels...

EK: Sattvic Family travels is a parenting a travel blog that chronicles our journeys abroad as well as the journeys we encounter every day as a family. I began blogging when we were leaving Italy, and I had just purchased a new camera. My intention at that time was not to become a 'pro' blogger, nor had I any clue that I would meet other worldschooling families like us. In fact, we were really at the beginning of our cyber journey. I am a writer by trade, but I had been procrastinating for a long time about writing. After we had moved to Phuket, I had so much encouragement from friends I had met from twitter and blog subscribers, I kept going. It then turned into a passion and outlet for me, and connected me with a plethora of like minded families and individuals.


Sattvic Family



WE: What led you to live and travel all around the world?

EK: We ended up traveling so extensively on accident. We wanted to raise our family outside of the US, so the intention was to move only once  and live their. But we couldn't agree on where to move. I wanted to move back to Europe, and Billy kept coming up with excuses as to why we should wait. Finally, in Little Tokyo, it dawned on him: he wanted to move to Asia, and not Europe. Japan was our first choice, but it was hard to find a job that didn't require him being gone 24/7. We had visited Korea in the past, so that was where we decided to go. He taught English in the GEPIK public school program in Geumchon. We loved many, many things about living in Korea, but the job was suffocating and Kaya was going through an incredibly difficult phase. After a year, we decided to move to Italy, but when we arrived we soon realised we still wanted to live in Asia. But we had spent lots of money and time moving back to Europe, so we debated moving yet again. After 6 months, we had decided that indeed we would move ( yet again) and came to Phuket. To our families we were crazy, but then we realized this was fate! Travel had been the biggest part of my life, and now it was becoming our family's path as well. We now embrace that worldschooling is what works for us, and travel will always be our passion.


Sattvic FmailySattvic Fmaily



WE: Can you please tell us about raising your child as a global citizen?

EK: Kaya is absolutely a global citizen. I have no idea what nationality she is; I am British and half American, her father is Canadian American. She was born in LA, went through her worst tantrums in Korea and Italy, and now is living in Phuket ( where we both think she feels at home). The down side to being a global citizen is that it is still something many people do not understand. Why don't we just live in one place? Why is this blue eyed curly haired caucasian girl living in Asia? But the benefits far outweigh the downside. She visits temples, churches, mosques. Her god father is Iraqi american, and one of her god moms is Korean. There is no way my daughter will ever be racist or hate filled because travel has shown her the ups and downs of all cultures. She gravitates towards healthier, more plant based indigenous diets because of her having traveled in Asia; I can't tell you how happy this makes me! To not have a child addicted to junk food is a feat nowadays, and I credit our travels and passion for food as to why she is so healthy.


Sattvic Fmaily



WE: How can travelers best dig deep into a culture, on their journeys?

EK: The best way travelers can dig deeply into cultures is to try and be more mutable in their opinions. One may not be vegetarian say, but go to a temple and eat the vegetarian food. Learn a few phrases of the language. Do as the locals do, without compromising the things that are important to you. One does not have to be muslim to enter a mosque, nor a Christian to enter a church. Open yourself to learning more about things you don't know. I think that a lot of fear prevents people from traveling more. I had someone the other day ask me how I feel traveling in a 'post 9/11' world, and honestly I had never thought about it like that, because terrorism kills far less people yearly then say bee stings or the flu. The reason hate crimes exist is always because of a lack of understanding, and I feel travel helps broaden understanding. Maybe people would argue more with the wars waged against the middle east and arab world if they had visited this part of the planet. Travel does a good job at limiting apathy as well. When one sees poverty and suffering, one feels more compelled to do something about it then if one is seeing a commercial on TV about sponsoring a child or volunteering. I urge everyone I know to travel for this reason, to open their hearts. Consumerism would fade out to a degree, when more people see where their goods are made, where their food is grown. Then will come a rush of people buying quality over quantity. Gerald Celente believes that even though the economy will continue to crash, people will still turn to organic produce and buy from artisans over cheaply made goods. I myself purchase less, and buy from as many hand made places I can.



WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

EK: All in all travel expands the mind and soul. I feel it is the greatest gift I can give my kids. Already kaya has made many friends on her travels, and so have my husband and I. We are eternally grateful for all the blessings we have encounter on this worldschooling road called life.

WE: Thanks so much, Elizabeth! I am so glad to share your story - and site - with our Wandering Educators!




All photos courtesy and copyright Sattvic Family