A Well Traveled Woman OR she who reminds me of truth

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© Andy Johnson III

 

I found her in 2012 when my life was – let’s just say “not so happy”. She – alongside some other bloggers ( SoulemamaNatalie CreatesKrysta ,…) – gave me the strength to hold on to a happier version of my life. They inspired me to trust my instinct and passions and they taught me that the best thing to do is being true to myself.

When I feared a life caught in a bureau, working 9-5, never expressing the creativity that was pulsing within me and nearly knocked me over because I ignored it, they showed me other ways of living. And that people were actually already living what I desired.

Bekah Stewart is strong, hard-working, grounded, courageous, inspiring, an artist, a mother.

She is authentic, vulnerable, honest, true to her values. REAL.

Her Tumblr  A well traveled woman  became really popular. She has more than 30 k followers on Instagram. But what do numbers really mean. Nothing.

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Bekah Stewart brings you back to yourself. When you start drowning in the superficial worlds, when you start to forget your values, when you think they are outdated, when you doubt it all – then you go to her Tumblr, click through the pages and all of a sudden know what’s important again.
The mountains. Wilderness. The forces that are stronger than mankind will ever be.
The force that is stronger than mankind will ever be within yourself.
The wild soul that wants to live.
You breathe in. You feel the weight lifting from your chest. You feel that warm, strong, earthy feeling in your stomach.
You know who you are again.

That’s what AWellTraveledWoman is to me. She is my companion in moving toward a life that is more true to me.

And she is a reminder to be brave. Bekah does brave things. Fear is something she conquers. She goes into the direction of her dreams. I can’t even remember how many times I witnessed her moving over the past years. When new beginnings and changes are necessary, she goes for them. She doesn’t stay somewhere, just because she is scared of change.
Recently she quit her well frequented Instagram account.
The reason being: She felt like it is no longer true to her. So she set fear aside and did it.
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Well, I will certainly miss finding her in my feed. But really, what I believe is that this step is even more inspiring than any Instagram post could be.
For her the truest next step was quitting social media. For me it is entering it. I am not a sharer. I don’t like being vulnerable, putting my ideas, opinions, words out there. I like to keep them to myself or share it with old trusted friends, who I know wont judge me.

Well, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone with this blog because it feels like something I must do.

I actually enjoy it, because even though there is a chance to be criticized for my dearest ideas and concepts, there is also a chance to find some like-minded people out there.

This is to Bekah Steward and all the things she taught me, even though we never met.
This is to her, her boys, her dogs, her dreams, her life. May it all go well! She certainly deserves it.

♥ Gabi


More about A Well Traveled Woman to read

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Bekah’s shop A Well Traveled Brand

UNSCHOOLING – About blooming kids and planted roots

„Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.“ Pablo Picasso

This topic comes right of that place in my heart where passions reside. Nowadays, there is no topic dearer to me than the idea of raising my future children with as much freedom to express themselves as possible (because I am having troubles expressing myself and struggle with that a lot). And unschooling is the best option for it I found so far.

This topic comes right of that place in my heart where passions reside. Nowadays, there is no topic dearer to me than the idea of raising my future children with as much freedom to express themselves as possible (because I am having troubles expressing myself and struggle with that a lot). And unschooling is the best option for it I found so far.

I could bombard you with information and quotes – which I’ll probably do at the end of this post (so if you want to skip my personal opinion and views à just scroll down).

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Picture 1 “…if there is nothing to achieve, it also doesn’t matter if there’s a day where things are not going so well…”

Unschooling is a form of homeschooling. It basically is learning by doing and it follows the natural system how children learn – in the best case. What I like so much about it is that kids don’t stop playing. The first few years, kids learn about the world while playing.
Trial and error. Repetition. Curiosity.
And all of a sudden when turning six they are put in schools and forced to learn on a speed and within a structure that goes back to old military systems. I am so certain that everyone has a natural learning rhythm and that not everyone needs to know everything. If someone wants to, go for it, awesome. But in my opinion it is as awesome if someone follows a passion and becomes an expert in his field of interest, at his own speed. That is at least what I wish for my children.

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Picture 2 Arno & André Stern

Unschooling can be whatever you make of it. To me it is enabling your kids to follow their interests, providing books/material when needed (but not putting smth on them), finding mentors for them. All you do is based on the preconception that a kid has everything it needs inside of him/her already, all it needs are good conditions to bloom.

André Stern is quite well known in interested circles in Europe. He is an example of such a well bloomed plant. His parents,  Arno and Eléonore Stern, raised him and his sister without schooling them. They supported him along his journey of learning, but didn’t force anything. André wrote a book about his childhood, what he learned and how. While I was reading it I felt a huge weight falling from my chest. The way he describes his learning experience is so far from the “hammering in the head” learning experience most of us have. His is driven by passion and interest. Not only did he master new skills but also he managed his own time, learned how he learns best (mastered the creative process at a young age). He points out that he is by no means a child prodigy although he aquired quite some skills.

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Picture 3 Ben Hewitt

Ben Hewitt met his wife and got interested in her, because she was driving through the rain to plant some roots. Nature is quintessential to them. And so they raise their two boys very close to it. Their kids are unschooled too but the way that works for them is very different than the one the Sterns lived. Ben Hewitt describes in his book “Home Grown” how they struggled with some concerns while waiting for their boys to unfold. For example they got a bit worried if their kids will eventually learn to write and calculate. But they did it eventually. Every kid is different and so is every family and they too found their pace and way to do unschooling. The boys have mentors that follow them on their untiring adventures into nature (which is pretty cool I think).

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Pictur 4 Ben Hewitts’s sons on a cow 😀

The first time I ever heard of unschooling was at Amanda Blake Soule’s blog. Her family is warm, awesome, creative and unconventional. I appreciate the way she writes about her kids and husband, her animals and the world at large. There is such warmth, estimation and respect in her writing. I came to trust her opinion a lot and then I found out that her family is unschooling. I might have struggled with that idea had it not been HER family. So I did some research and it resonated with me a lot. She doesn’t go into detail with their unschooling practice but maybe go check her blog and see for yourself how happy those children seem to be.

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Pictur 5 A meetup from homeschoolers at the organic farm I worked for © Eva Jelken

Last but not least I have an example from real life (no books, no worldwideweb). I volunteered this summer to work on an organic farm  and the family I lived with was home schooling their eldest daughter. While I would not say they are actually unschooling, it was nevertheless fascinating to see the freedom the girl has, something I would have loved at her age (every age really). She spends so much time outside playing, helping, learning from grown-ups, but still does division as good as I did with ten (and my life consisted of division at that time – oh how I hated it).

I think I might write a second part to this topic.  I would like to add and collect some more facts and details. But for now that’s it. I believe unschooling is awesome because I think that’s how children can learn to rely on themselves (instead of doing what smo else tells them to do for a decade or more) and have the freedom to express themselves and liiiiive and be a child.

I am looking forward to any of your thoughts, questions, opinions.

Curious, as always,

Gabi ♥


Sources:
wiki
Buch André Stern
Buch Ben Hewitt
Blog Amanda Blake Soule
conversations around the kitchen table at the farm ♥
Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk ♥♥

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Polyamory – an idea fascinating and offending at the same time

Polyamory. This idea is fascinating and offending me at the same time. I think it has potential to solve some relationship issues people face nowadays. Like – end the struggle with monogamy. But also my inner monogamist is huuuuuuge as Hulk. So it’s going to be fun to explore the topic with you guys while trying to battle open-mindedness and no-but-I-only-want-the-one-and-hold-on-to-him-forever inside me. 😀 Let’s do this!

First we have to explore the concept of polyamory. I heard of it the first time on YouTube where I found a video from polyamorous Tubers while searching for homebirth videos (because that’s what I do when I’m in I-want-to-learn-about-life mood). It was one from Dani (YouTube Channel: Phoenix Stein) who started the channel as a video project (“Looks Like Love To Me”). I was fascinated and was absorbed by all her other videos for hours.
Polyamorous couples are in a relationship with each other. Love is essential – it’s not at all only about sex. It’s a relationship form that needs as much or even more work, effort and love than “normal”, non-polyamorous relationships. As far as I remember from Phoenix’s videos there can only be three people involved or way more than that. All those people are in a relationship with each other. Wikipedia told me that there are various forms polyamorous relationships can have and that there are even new words forming like “frubbelig” which is the opposite of jealousy and describes a feeling of joy one has when seeing the partner happy with another partner. But let’s listen to an expert herself:

So to me this concept is revolutionizing.

  1. First of all it is very adaptable. People can form it and live it however it benefits them the best. As long as they are honest and open. As we heard, communication is key.
  2. Secondly, it kind of feels freeing to see a loving and caring relationship that also addresses the issue of monogamy being a difficult concept for human beings. It’s good to see that there are lifestyles out there who try to integrate the human curiosity and sex drive into relationships, hence decriminalizing it 😉
  3. Did you hear all the benefits in real life? Like having more people to do chores, earn money? Sounds awesome to me.

However, I don’t feel like I personally have a need for that kind of relationship. Not because I judge the concept or don’t believe that people in polyamorous relationship can’t be happy. But I don’t look for that kind of freedom. To me, monogamy is very alright. I like the bond that forms between two people over time and with loads of love and respect. And from where I stand now I don’t see a need to invite another or more persons in. If it would be really important to my partner to have a more open relationship, I would give it another thought. But I personally don’t search for it.

What do you think? Do you live or maybe want to live in a polyamorous relationship? Do you find the concept fascinating like me? I would very much like to know what you are thinking and maybe learn from your thought process.

Lots of love,

Gabi 🙂