It’s the kids from “An Epic Education” (Jamie and Felicia)! We have been in touch with their family for quite sometime online. We were thrilled we finally met them in person, during our time in Penang, Malaysia. The kids really hit it off and we hope to meet up with them again around the world, maybe even in Spain! Let’s see what they have to say.
Through the Eyes of the Traveling Child – Jamie & Felicia from An Epic Education
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?
Jamie: My name is Jamie and I’m twelve. I was born and raised in Japan with an American dad and a Japanese mom. I lived in Japan for ten years until my parents decided to travel around the world with us.
Felicia: My name is Felicia and I’m eight years old. I am originally from Japan, but I have an American Dad and a Japanese Mom. I have a brother named Jamie and I love drawing, dancing, playing an acoustic guitar, singing and creating stuff. I’m traveling with my family and homeschooling.
Where do you call home?
Jamie: No specific place that I call home, but if I had to choose, I’ll call Japan my home.
Felicia: I’m not really sure how to answer that one, but I guess I could call Malaysia, Japan and America my home.
What do you like most about traveling?
Jamie: That I can spend more time with my parents, and to see amazing stuff in the world that I’ve never seen before.
Felicia: I like traveling because I can spend time with my family more often. I mean maybe my Dad is locked in his office most of the time working, but now we eat meals together, and hang out together most nights before bed.
How long have you been traveling and where have you lived so far?
Jamie: We’ve been “long-term traveling” for 1.5 years, and in my life so far I’ve lived in Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand.
Felicia: I’ve been traveling for around a year and a half, and we’ve been living in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia and we are leaving to visit Japan again in a few weeks.
What have you learned from your travels thus far?
Jamie: Well, I have learned how to read an English book (which I could not do when living in Japan). Also I learned that the world is a bigger place than anyone imagines, and that you have to do the best with the cards you have in your hands. The biggest thing I’ve learned while traveling is to be proud of who I am. In Japan I was looked at as an outsider, and I was embarrassed. But since I’ve seen more kids like me, I don’t feel that way anymore.
Felicia: That everyone is different. And the world holds much more information than anyone can ever imagine. I can read and write in English easily now too. Plus, I can work on computers better and play a guitar.
Tell us about how you are receiving your education?
Jamie: We use apps on the iPad and the computer to learn math, social studies, language arts, Science, vocabulary skills, etc. Also my mom is helping me keep up with my Japanese. We took some computer and guitar lessons here in Penang.
Felicia: Well, I use the internet, and as I said I’m also homeschooled. On the internet, these are the applications that we use: Time4Learning, Khan Academy, News-O-Matic, Dance Mat Typing, Wordly Wise, Duolingo, NHK for school (for Japanese), and Brain POP. Those are the only ones I remember right now. For example, me writing the answers to your questions right now is a homework project. For Japanese I use mostly paper (except for NHK for school.)
How many languages can you speak and at what level? Was it difficult to learn?
Jamie: I can speak two languages: Japanese and English. When I lived in Japan, I didn’t speak much English, so when I was ten years old, I was in a second-grade level English, but thanks to traveling, I spoke English all the time, so I got back to my age level.
Felicia: I can speak English and Japanese. Well, I’m sort of forgetting my Japanese though. And I still spell words incorrectly. And yes, it was very hard to learn, especially when it’s two languages. A lot of information to hold in your brain. And I’ve just started learning Spanish in Duolingo because we may move to a Spanish-speaking country this year.
Do you have many friends? Tell us about them.
Jamie: I don’t have many good friends right now, so there’s not much to tell, but most of my friends are soccer lovers.
Felicia: I guess I do have a lot of friends in Japan and Malaysia, but I don’t remember much about them. We just play. The names of my friends in Malaysia are: Hailey, Ashlyn, Mia, Lyric, Lora, Joshua, Elizabeth, Mira, Katence and Hana. They are the only ones I remember right now. And I can’t tell you much about them now unless I call them over to my house and demand an explanation of them.
What is your favorite adventure?
Jamie: Jungle trekking in Sumatra, where we saw orangutans, wild peacocks and different kind of monkeys. And definitely riding scooters around the crazy traffic in Ho Chi Minh City with my family (and especially my dad). That was AWESOME.
Felicia: That is a hard one to answer, I have to admit. I like a lot of different ways of adventure. But I guess I like hiking a volcano (super-duper COLD), rock climbing, rafting, riding a motorcycle in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, and a night walk to look for snakes in Taiwan.
Do you have a favorite game you play when you travel?
Jamie: Yes I do. My favorite game is Winning Eleven on the Nintendo 3DS (a soccer game). I use it a lot when we’re waiting at the airport. I also play chess against the whole family, but they’re not much competition for me.
Felicia: I guess, but there’s more than one. We like to play board games and card games. Like scrabble, uno, chess, backgammon, go fish, boggle, etc. Those games are hard but fun, and I like them.
Is there anything you miss seeing, having, doing?
Jamie: I miss having a neighborhood, where I had friends to ride bikes and kick the soccer ball with.
Felicia: I miss having good sushi all over the place, like when we were still living in Japan. I also miss seeing my friends everyday at school. And I miss playing tag and joking around with my friends during recess. Oh, how I miss the old days. But I do like making new friends as I travel, though.
What is the one thing you are happy you brought with you?
Jamie: A soccer ball. Because soccer is what I enjoy doing most.
Felicia: Books. I LOVE BOOKS. Reading books is one of my favorite things to do. Fiction, Non fiction, science, biographies. Those kind of books.
Where do you want to go next?
Jamie: Europe. Where in Europe you ask? France, Spain and Italy. Those are the three places in Europe I really want to go.
Felicia: Probably Costa Rica, France, Italy, Belgium, India or Germany.
Do you have your own blog or write about your experiences?
Felicia: No, I don’t have any blogs. But my Dad is planning to make one for Jamie and I soon.
Thank you Jamie and Felicia for sharing with all of us!
If you want to get to know the Jenkins Family a little better, check out their blog An Epic Education. Feel free to comment and ask them more questions. We often are asked about what the kids think of their experience as a traveling child and how things are going. Do they have friends, how are they being educated and are they social? We thought these are likely questions for all types of families, so we decided to start a family travel interview series “Through the Eyes of the Traveling Child”. We don’t often get exposed to the opinion of the kids and perhaps think we should. We all know the Wagoner kids are full of their two cents worth and are loving travel. If you would like to read other interviews in our Traveling Child Series, just click the image below.
Thanks for following along! Do you have a traveling child who would like to be part of our series? Just let us know.