Through the Eyes of the Traveling Child – Drew Smith
Provide us with a little background on who you are, where you are originally from, name, age and what you are doing with your family, any siblings?
My name is Drew Smith, I’m 11 yrs old & originally from North Yorkshire, UK. I have been traveling the world with my parents for 3 years, being homeschooled as we go. I have an older brother (21) & a sister (28) who don’t travel with us, as they live & work in England. So far we have travelled to France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Thailand, Malaysia, Morocco, Cambodia and Vietnam!
I LOVE Minecraft, my dream is to join Mojang & create the newest updates, as well as being a YouTuber. I can do this anywhere in the world, as long as the wifi is good. I also have a fascination with Egypt & enjoy learning hieroglyphics. We get to interact with lots of animals as we travel, which is great & the next best thing to having pets. I also love surfing, snorkeling, & swimming. I really want to learn how to scuba dive & my other dream is to swim with wild dolphins.
Where do you call home?
The world is my home. I like being in new places, having friends in different countries, & I get to visit my family at various times.
What do you like most about traveling?
Being free for the most part to do what we like & enjoy doing most. When we get bored of one place we get to go and explore somewhere else. There is a never ending supply of new adventures, new friends, interesting places & people.
How long have you been traveling and where have you lived so far?
The first year of our travels we lived in a motorhome, travelling around Europe. We then lived in a chateau in France for 4 months, which I really liked. I looked after the owners dog, as if she were my own pet. I had the grounds and woodlands to myself and I learned how to drive a small tractor.
After spending some time back in UK with our family, we lived in an apartment in Essaouira, Morocco for 4 months. Finally and after 5 months of travelling around SE Asia, we then lived in an apartment in Malaysia for 4 months (no wonder 4 is my lucky number!). It was really nice to have a swimming pool and there were always plenty of things to do there, with lots of monkeys everywhere.
We are back in UK now seeing our family again and planning where to go next. I want to visit Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Egypt and Iceland. So any of those countries would be great.
What have you learned from your travels thus far?
I’ve seen poverty and the aftermath of war and how it affects people and cultures. I feel very sad because most people are nice. It’s not their fault that they are born in those places or that somebody else or another country caused this to happen to them.
I have also seen how people can be so kind and happy.
Tell us about how you are receiving your education?
I do around 3 hours a day of core subjects. I like to get them out of the way early, so that I can have the rest of the day free. Oh and I have weekends off. Depending on where we are living I also have to learn about the culture, religion, cuisine, customs, geographical location, currency, a little of the language and what species of animal are native to that area.
I don’t like reading books much but I prefer to do lots of research online. This also helps my spelling and grammar to develop. We also like to talk about lots of things and I love cooking and writing recipes. I also really enjoy science, I love learning about space, but at the minute I’m learning about atoms.
I use a lot of online interactive resources eg: bbc bitesize and tez (both ks3). There are loads of good YouTube educational videos and youtubers, such as, crazyrussianhacker and Vi Hart. I also like watching documentaries and programmes about the planet, wildlife, cookery, history (esp ancient Egypt). Some of my favourites are blue planet & naked science.
For PE we go for walks, I like running, play parks and climbing. Also, swimming and basketball when it’s available. My music lessons are usually always drumming, because most countries have these classes; it’s easy to drop into.
How many languages can you speak and at what level? Was it difficult to learn?
I am learning French through a site called Duolingo, which makes French easy, so I’m finding it not that difficult. Though I do think that I’ve got a head start because we lived in France & Morocco (a French speaking country).
Do you have many friends? Tell us about them.
I have made many friends on my travels so far. Some of these friends keep in touch regularly via email, such as a German girl, who is a year older than me, whom I met at a campsite near Hadrian’s wall 1 1/2 years ago. There is another homeschooled girl who is a year younger than me and is Moroccan/English. I met her in Morocco and we have stayed good friends and sometimes Skype.
I met a Swedish girl my age and her younger brother, while we were in Thailand. There are two French/English brothers I met in Cambodia who are 2 & 3 years younger than me. I also have a Lithuanian friend, who I met in Morocco an she is 2 years older than me. There is a boy my own age, from the Philippines, who I met in Vietnam who keeps in touch too, but the wifi is very bad in his area so we don’t speak as much.
What is your favorite adventure?
The Medina in Morocco was amazing! Every street was full of shops with handmade carpets, traditional clothes, soap and all kinds of other things. It felt like Aladdin’s cave with magic carpets and there were hundreds of cats everywhere. I also loved learning to swim in Germany, but the Medina was magic.
Do you have a favorite game you play when you travel?
Yes, Minecraft, the best game ever invented! I want to work for Mojang when I am older, plus it’s very educational!
Is there anything you miss seeing, having, doing?
I miss my sister, brother & niece (who is 9) when we travel. I also miss my cat, who my sister looks after. But travelling can be busy and interesting, so I don’t miss them all the time, and we often Skype. Sometimes I miss our motorhome, I loved travelling around and living in it.
What is the one thing you are happy you brought with you?
A small toy lion called Leon, because he reminds me of our old house that I was brought up in.
Where do you want to go next?
Fiji, I’ve always wanted to go there and see those amazing beaches and views.
Do you have your own blog or write about your experiences?
No not yet.