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Life on the Road: a Teen’s Perspective

An Interview with a Homeschooled, Roadschooled Teen

Curious about our life on the road? Want to know what it’s like from a kids’ perspective? Well, here’s your chance! This past week I sat down with my oldest son and asked him some of the questions I thought you’d like to know. Enjoy!

Tell me about yourself.
I’m Nickolaus. I’m 16 years old. I live in a camper with my father, mother, brother, sister and dog, but we could get rid of one of them.

I’m almost scared to ask this, but which one would you get rid of? (Laughing) Vincent. He’s always biting me and licking us. In the morning he jumps on me when he wants to go outside.

Other than living with your dog, Vincent, what other challenges have you encountered?
Well, we don’t have as much room for stuff. We don’t have as much stuff as we did when we were at our house. But I don’t care about that. As long as I have my books and my Xbox, everything is alright with me. Now I know that we don’t need all the stuff we had before.

You are also around your brother and sister and everyone all the time. That’s a challenge.

Oh yea, I have to walk to the bathhouse to shower every morning. Even when it’s cold out. Other than that, it’s not too much different.

Describe your life on the road.
It was hard at first because of all the driving, but I’ve gotten used to it.

How have you gotten used to the driving aspect?
Ipods. Also I’ve gotten used to sleeping in the car which I could never do before. Now I can relax and sleep for most of the drive.

What do you do when you want to get away from everyone?
When it’s not cold I can read one of my books outside. I started to keep a journal . I write in it when I’m sad, mad or want to remember something. Sometimes I throw the football around with my dad, that helps me relax. I also work with my dad once in awhile. My dad gets a helper, I learn a skill plus I get out of the house and make a little bit of money. I really like the time to myself though.

What aspect of life on the road do you enjoy?
I like being able to go to new places. I don’t like being in one spot for too long. When we were at home, I was always anxious to get back on the road.

What type of places do you like to go to?
I like to travel where it’s not too hot or too cold. I like trees. I like woods. I like mountains. I like to go hiking and when it’s nice we hike a lot. I enjoy hiking because it’s just you, your family and God, enjoying His creation. My favorite hike was in Tennessee at the Great Smokey Mountains, but that trail was pretty busy and I prefer to enjoy nature with less people. Just me and my family.

What other places have you been to that you really enjoyed?
I’m really interested in history so I like to go to historical museums. The War Museum in Virginia was great and it wasn’t crowded. I like to go to museums when they aren’t busy, I like to concentrate on the exhibits and not feel rushed.

The Cleveland Museum of Art was great. I loved the architecture and columns. They have a really great Armor court.

The Holocaust Museum in D.C. was neat. I think I’d like it better now that I’m older because I didn’t fully understand what it was about the first time. I still don’t understand why the Germans did what they did.

COSI in Columbus had an incredible Star Wars exhibit that I loved. I’m a big fan of Star Wars. There were costumed characters walking around and we got to sit in the Millennium Falcon. The simulator was neat but we had to sit for over an hour waiting for our turn. The exhibit will be in Alabama next year. I’d love to visit again and take my Grandpa.

Speaking of your Grandpa, how do you stay in touch with friends and family?I Google talk with my friends. Face book helps a lot. Text messages. Xbox Live. I don’t really talk on the phone much. Sometimes we send postcards of the places we’ve been.

How has your current on the road lifestyle affected your schooling?
I’ve been forced to take my schooling seriously, so I’m learning a lot more. At home I could slink off and hide every chance I got, but not here. Mom knows just what I’m up to. I’ve also had more educational experiences because of the places that we’ve visited. We always stop at science centers, history museums and battlefields that we find in the area. We’ve been to places that we read about in books. That’s pretty neat.

One more question. What advice do you have for other teenagers on the road? Well, all I can think of right now is to be friends with your brother and sister- or it could be a nightmare.

Well, there you have it…Life on the Road from a slightly different perspective. Did I miss something? No problem, I’ll have another interview coming up with another Homeschooled, Roadschooled teen in another week or so.

Why not leave a comment with any questions you’d like to ask?
Of course if you have a Homeschooled, Roadschooled Kid that would like to participate, let me know that too? Why should it be all about us?

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Julie Frykberg

Tuesday 8th of September 2015

My daughter (15) and I are just completing our renovations to our travel trailer and preparing to go on the road My question is did you meet lots of other families with similar aged children? There does not seem to be much info on families with teens just new families or empty nesters. We are also in Canada and there seems to be even less full time families here.

Tonya

Wednesday 9th of September 2015

Julie,

Have you taken a look at Fulltime Families or Families on the Road? I'm not sure the latter is still around, but they had a forum for fulltime families so you could plan meet-ups, etc. When my family was on the road we stayed long term in several different areas which gave us an opportunity to meet and get to know families that lived in the community. I used various websites and homeschool groups to connect, but it's been over five years since we settled down and I no longer know the names of those groups- or if they still exist. A friend of mine, Dana at http://ourtravelingtribe.com/ may be able to provide some insight as she's actively on the road and has been for several years. Hope this helps. :)

dawn graziani

Tuesday 17th of February 2015

Thank you so much for the interview; my 16 year old son said, "Yeah he was with him mom, that's why he was so nice with his brothers and sisters...." then laughed (smile). He and his 14 year old sister have been 'roughing it' now in our fifth wheel for some months and at first fought tooth and nail. Now they are actually becoming friends (shock after years of slamming doors and hiding in their cave for days with no communication or fighting). He was really against it at first but now he actually laughs a lot more and they play games with the old folks (my husband and I). It's so much different. He doesnt have his xbox anymore but, after reading your post I believe we are about to be picking a new one up (smile); his exact quote was, "see mom, he gets his xbox......". Honestly thanks a lot for the post. I read somewhere that if urban kids started this late it may not work out and i was worried but actually, after the first week of adjusting, our family is lots closer, my closed up teens are laughing and joking with each other and us and they are liking it to boot.

Tonya

Wednesday 4th of March 2015

I hope your son found this interview encouraging! A full-time RV life certainly had it's ups and downs- but I wouldn't have missed it for anything. My family is really, really tight knit and I attribute much of that to the time we were in the RV. Good luck on your adventures!

Lainie Liberti

Monday 3rd of November 2014

Great interview!!! Life traveling in an RV isn't that different than life traveling with a backpack.. well except for the dog aspect!

Cheryl

Monday 21st of December 2009

Thanks for sharing! My kids are young on the road, I've been wondering how it is for teens! Great idea to post the interview. Happy trails!!

Melissa

Saturday 12th of December 2009

Tonya, We have only been on the road for a month and it seems like my teenage daughter has been effected the most. She is really missing family and friends. This post was encouraging to me and I am going to get my daughter to read it. Very enlightening!!

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