TJs Writing

The Best Writer Ever!!!


I’ve never really enjoyed reading much in the past. I never understood why Hannah liked it so much. Now I’m starting to understand. The past year or so Hannah has been trying to get me in to reading. When she finally managed to convince me to read the first Harry Potter book (a few months before my 11th birthday) I made an important decision. I chose to read the next one (which wasn’t until my birthday when Rene gave it to me.) Then the next one, and the next one until i finished the series. After that i thought that Harry Potter was the best book series I have ever read in my life(and probably the only whole series I had ever read at that time) and I thought that J.K Rolling was the best writer ever. Since then I have read another series called Percy Jackson which is, sorry to say, Even better then Harry Potter. Now I’m on the spinoff series of Percy Jackson, The Heroes of Olympus (I’m reading it on the kindle). I’m on the third book (the Mark of Athena) and enjoying it. Now I also think that Rick Riordan ( the writer of Percy Jackson) is the best writer EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New Zealand Roadschooling

A Young Adventure-Zoologist’s Fantastic Weekend

Sometimes you look and see a great time unfolding for your roadschooled/worldschooled child and can’t help smile right down to your soul. Last weekend was such a weekend for TJ.

Blue penguin in nestbox  |  Photo: Dave Houston

It started by finding some Conservation Zoologists modifying nesting boxes for the small blue penguins while wild camping around the edges of Wellington. TJ took off for the morning to replace penguin boxes and do some research to find places to put new ones. The penguin boxes are needed because of the city inhabitants taking over more of their native habitat not to mention an improved roadway to cross at night. The new penguin boxes had thermostats, improved ventilation and more secure braces to keep the roof from becoming dislodged.

TJ came home from her zoology outing with just enough time to pack her backpack and took a train to Waikanae. The next day she was climbing Mt Kapakapanui with Joyia, Lydia, Amanda and Laura. They spent the night in a hut with other trampers discussing the local shortage of marshmallows around the bonfire. They were lucky to score beds as the 6 bed hut had 20 trampers to house. Luckily some brought tents and others happily slept on the floor. The next morning they tramped down that mountain. (probably quite a bit easier than up on the previous day).

On Monday evening she was back at the truck exhausted but glowing and full of stories to tell her proud family. Well done TJ!!!


Hannah's Writing

Books and Imagination

When I was younger, when we lived in Orkney, I thought reading was something that could be fun but I never had the time for it because of the boring books my school assigned for me, ones where I’d argue with the teacher about how ‘Jan’ was pronounced because it was a Swiss boy and definitely pronounced like ‘Yan’. I’m not sure whether or not I was right, but I got pretty upset about it.

At that time, I only ever read ‘Jacqueline Wilson’ and the books from school… occasionally, but I was never really all that into books, I’d much rather play imaginary games or watch tv. Thinking about it, I was a really boring kid.

I only started chain reading after we had been travelling in the truck for a few months, I was really bored so I picked up the book Liz had suggested I read: Twilight. I’m ashamed to say, that’s how I got into reading. Not the best book series, but it was pretty well-written, to be honest. Nowadays, though, I read much better books; Harry Potter, Mortal Instruments, Percy Jackson, stuff like that.

On the other hand, imagination is something I have always had. Even in Orkney, maybe even before that, I was a daydreamer, always making up worlds inside my head -mostly spin offs of the movies I watched but still- whenever I got bored I’d go into them. As I grew older, they become more and more their own stories, rather than a random addition to an existing one. It’s even gotten to the point that I’m now planning on writing these stories down, maybe even publishing them (these stories are totally unique, by the way).

But the thing with reading is that you can’t enjoy it much unless you have at least a bit of imagination. Even just enough to see the story in your mind’s eye.

And the thing about imagination is that you always need something else with it, something to fuel it, so that it doesn’t just dwindle and die, and for me books have always been that something, books open up doors that I never even knew existed.

So, for me at least, books and imagination are two things that can’t live without each other.


Indonesia TJs Writing


I woke early in the day we were going to Indonesia. I made sure my backpack was packed and waited for the others to wake up as well.  It was hot in India. It was only me and Mum, Gwennie and Priscilla. My dad and other 2 sisters were in Egypt. We were going to see them again in Indonesia. I was looking forward to the flight, planes are my favourite way of transport.  You get to look out the window and see everything from a birds eye view and go through clouds, not just look up at them.  Finally everyone was awake and ready to go.

kids in water

When we arrived at our destination there where lots of people waiting outside to greet us.  They told us there names but don’t remember most of them because there were so many.  Inside the house was bigger than I expected probably because there were not many doors.  In the middle and a bit to the right was a courtyard without a roof it was hard to tell if you were inside or outside.  Then they took us in our rooms.  One of them was white and blue with a Queen size mattress on the ground and at the end of the room was a little hallway that went of to the left witch i guessed led to a toilet.  The next room had two doors one from the main hall and one from in the other room it had pink walls with butterflies on it and had mattresses all over the ground.  I made friends on the first day all of the kids were younger than me but it didn’t matter.  One day it rained a lot and me and two of the younger kids ran around in the courtyard and got soaked.

lizzy hanging from rock

Lizzy was tired of people talking about her long blond flowing hair like it was made of spun gold. They always said, never cut your hair, you would not be you without your hair, you are beautiful because your hair is beautiful  and on and on and on. One day she said she had enough of it. She said we will be going to New Zealand soon and start a new season so she went up to Priscilla and asked her to do the honer.  Priscilla was delighted. She wanted to get started straight away.

lizzie haircut priscilla and abi

The next hour was spent with everyone outside watching Priscilla  and Abi make bizarre hair styles.  All of us watched as pieces of golden hair fell to the ground.  The next step was to shave the last bitts of hair off.  When that was done Lizzy looked like a completely different person.  Her head was shining and her face was glowing.  She looked happy with her new self and looked ready for a new season. 

lizzy henna tattoo

Later on that day when everyone was talking about the new hair style and cleaning up the hair Mum and Lizzy disappeared and when they reappeared Lizzy had a delicate henna tattoo across her shinny  head where her blond locks once were. 



The next morning everybody was up early and looking excited.  I didn’t know what was going on but when I went outside all I could see was scooters.  They were down the street outside the house and more were still driving in. Most of them were black but some were grey, green, blue, brown and lots of other colours.  Soon everyone was outside getting on scooters.  Before I knew what was going on I was on a scooter waving goodbye to my family.  In my group there were three or four scooters with about three or four people on each one.  Luckily two of my sisters were with me but were on two of the other scooters.  We stopped at the beach and started grabbing apples from the scooters and walking down the beach. We gave them out to random people along with red ribbons.  Some of them did not want them but others were delighted to get them. I still didn’t know what was going on but I gave out apples to everyone I saw.  After all of our apples and ribbons were gone we got back on the scooters and went to a park.  A few people that I recognised were already there when I arrived and after a while almost everybody was there except my dad’s group.  After they got back they all brought out food from were they are from and started giving it to each other.

aids awareness day

TJs Writing

Care of wild animals

I like finding animals that need help and taking care of them until they are better. Some of the many animals that I have looked after are: Gary Bob, the lizard (USA), Inigo Montoya, the dog (Spain), Captain Jack, the Sparrow (New Zealand), Mr Toad, the toad (England) and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the tortoise (Turkey.) I have got a large page in my writing book that has all my favourite names. This comes in handy when I need to name a exciting new animal. I would like to tell you about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk named after a man who was commonly known as the father of modern Turkey.

We found this tortoise on the road in Gallipoli right after we saw the hill that the kiwis took over in the battle about a hundred years ago. They said a kiwi shot Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the chest. But Mustafa’s life was saved by his pocket watch.

As we were leaving in our truck suddenly Dad braked and Hannah jumped out of the truck and brought safely in the tortoise. we gave it some lettuce and named it Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. A few minutes later we arrived at our destination (the beach) and put Mustafa outside. The next day we put him outside again and when no one was looking he must have gone on his own adventure because when I looked over at were he was and he was gone. I tried to follow the tracks but the wind blew most of it away.

When I see an animal that needs help I take him/her in and I give them a warm and dry place to sit and give them food and water. Then, I look at them long and hard and give them the right name. When they seem well enough I give them there freedom. One thing that I have learned while travelling is that I don’t need to own something to get joy from it.

Looking after animals that need my care is a important part of my travelling life. In the future I hope I will find animals such as a tameable lion cub in Kenya, a cheeky tamarin in Colombia, a friendly panda in China, a scary tarantula in Mexico, a jumpy kangaroo in Australia and an elusive taradactyloid in the deep, dark Amazon.

TJs Writing


This is a report I just wrote and wanted to put it up here.


by Tamara Jones (11 years old)

Wolves are a mysterious, gentle and deeply misunderstood kind of mammal.

When you hear about wolves you might think that they are mean and scary, but actually they are friendly and kind. But many people don’t know that yet. That’s why they are deeply misunderstood. When you read a kids book and there’s a bad guy, it is almost always a big bad wolf like from Little Red Ridding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, or Beauty and the Beast. I could go on naming books with a bad wolf for a long time but you probably don’t want to hear them all.

Wolves(canisplus) travel in a group called a pack. When you hear about a pack, you probably think about a gang. Well, that’s not true; a pack is a family that only ever attacks if the young pups are in danger.

Many people are afraid of wolves. This might be because people fear what is unknown, mysterious, wild and whatever they can’t control.

Should people be afraid of wolves?

No, people have no good reason to fear wolves. Even though people have died from wolf attacks, it is very rare. If you see a wolf in the woods, it is more likely for it to run away than you. In fact, it is more probable to be struck by lightning multiple times than be attacked by a wolves.

Should wolves be afraid of people?

Yes. The number of wolves in the world has decreased dramatically in the past few hundred years because of humans and their guns. From numbering in the millions, there are now only 150,000 wolves world-wide. Not to my surprise, they make very bad guard dogs because when they see people they are so gentle that they run away and hide.

Respect wolves and be nice to them. They won’t hurt you and if you ever hear a wolf howl, don’t be scared. Just howl back and say hello.

Hannah's Writing Travel

Why Doctor Who is the Perfect TV Show for Traveling Families

Doctor Who is a BBC Wales TV show that has been going on since 1963, coincidently the same year Dad was born, It is about a Time Lord, called the Doctor, from the planet Galifrey, and his time machine, the TARDIS, Time And Relative Dimension In Space, (which is bigger on the inside just like all the homes that we have ever lived in, or at least, we pretend so). He travels through time and space, saving civilisations, fighting off bad guys, finding companions to travel with him, and poking things that don’t make sense with a stick.

I started watching Doctor Who in Orkney, mostly without the family although we did watch ‘Blink’ together and all slept in the same room that night, I’d buy Doctor Who Adventures magazines when they came out every Thursday, I had a Doctor Who themed birthday party when I turned 10 (no bananas unfortunately), and I owned a collection of DW action figures. And in the past few months I have gotten all the current truck dwellers hooked. MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Recently I have noticed a great resemblance of DW and us, no, the truck isn’t a time machine, and no, we don’t fight evil aliens, but we both travel, we both learn from those around as best as we can, we are both trying to discover, and preserve, foreign cultures and traditions, we both find cool people to travel with us, none of those people are ever the same again, in a good way, we both have a fear of being domesticated, we both think bow ties are cool, we are both trying to bring peace to the global (and universal) fringe, and we both have fun while doing it! As well as the fact that Dad would make a great Doctor, right?



Roadschooling. We know it works but can we prove it?

Abigail went to Transylvania, Romania to research the prevalence of bats and the myth of Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula.”

Roadschooling is the only way we can travel and educate our kids at the same time. A lot of people ask about entrance into university when the kids get older and we finally had the chance to prove it.

When Abigail applied to study at the Polytech (Community College), the teacher wanted more substantial proof that she had not been sitting on a couch watching episodes of South Park for the last few years of her roadschooling. So I sent her a letter . . . Here is the main section.


In the past 4 years, Abigail has visited many countries in which she took advantage of learning opportunities, cultural immersion, language training, historical studies, etc. She learned from experts in the countries and from daily schooling activities as well as completing directed projects assigned to her by her parents.

Highlights of these recent educational experiences are as follows:

– Abigail studied ancient Chinese history at the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China.

– Abigail studied history and archeology in Turkey at the ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum as well as the ancient cities of Troy and Olympos. While there she read Turkish literature (Portrait of a Turkish Family, Birds Without Wings, etc) as well as ancient Greek mythology.
– Abigail gained computer skills and social media experience through web design and blogging, becoming the “Webmistress” of our family’s travel blog
– She studied pottery making in Safi, Morocco and spent time with Saharawis (a nomadic tribe) in the Sahara Desert.
– She studied war history at Gallipoli, Turkey, in particular the New Zealand impact as part of the ANZAC offensive.
– She completed catering and food hygiene training at Freakstock Festival, Germany and Sir Toby’s Hostel, Czech Republic
– She studied historical religious locations including educational visits through the Pura Besakih Temple (Hindu) in Indonesia, the Blue Mosque (Muslim), and the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul.
– She studied East/West European reunification at the Berlin Wall, Germany and took a Jewish history tour of Budapest, Hungary (she had already visited Auschwitz-Dachau Nazi camp in Poland as a child).
– Abigail has studied nutrition and is familiar with vegetarian, vegan and raw food diets. In 2010 she climbed the Atlas mountains in North Africa with her baggage on a donkey to attend a Rainbow Festival.
abigail homeschool roadschool indonesia
– In Lisbon, she studied the impact of Portugal on the world through maritime exploration. Her text book was “The Worlds First Global Village”.
– She has gained agricultural experience in shearing sheep, handling pigs, milking cows, as well as from gardening projects in New Zealand and olive harvesting in Portugal.
– She acted in a commercial for a New York production company to launch an American literacy project called Know How 2 Go It can be viewed online at
– Abigail went to Transylvania, Romania to research the prevalence of bats and the myth of Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula.

– She studied ancient Egyptian history at the museum at Cairo and on location at the Giza pyramids under the tutelage of Ibrahim Morgan, historian and Egyptologist. Of special interest was King Tut, who was about the same age as Abigail and, like Abigail, had ear plugs.

– At Lake Ohrid, Macedonia, Abigail researched the ancient cave churches and the early monasticism that produced the Cyrillic alphabet. 
– She studied the art and scientific inventions of Leonardi Di Vinci at Venice, Italy. 

homeschool in spain roadschool dali_ –

In Spain, Abigail studied the surrealist art of Salvador Dali at the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figures, and the works of Pablo Picasso in Barcelona. She studied the architectural achievements of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain, in particular the Sagrada Familia.
– In 2012, Abigail completed a 5 month modern apprenticeship in hospitality and tourism in Prague, Czech Republic under Matthias and Carrie Schwender, owners of Sir Toby’s Hostel
– She gained experience in bookkeeping, accounting and budgeting both at the hostels and with social enterprise projects.
– She has learned the crafts of pottery, sewing, knitting, spinning wool, crochet, and clothing modification. She also learned the art of piercing and tattooing from Portugal’s first and leading tattoo artist, Paulo Matos.
– She studied alternative building methods through participating in the construction of straw-bale houses, geodesic domes, yurts and helping to construct a self-build motorhome from an empty truck shell. 
Abigail has just turned 17 years old and has become a capable, reliable, hard-working, young adult. She has now been to over 40 countries and gets on fabulously with people from any culture. We are very proud of her and expect her to excel in whatever she puts her mind to. 
Abigail has suffered from Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 7 but that has not stopped her adventurous spirit or her nomadic exploits. She always wanted to sky-dive, a desire that was fulfilled last year when she jumped out of a plane in Queenstown. I call her the world’s most adventurous diabetic.
I understand her education has not been normal, at least for the past 4 years, but we believe it was exceptional and productive and has helped shape Abigail into the spectacular and individual person she is today.
I will be happy to send more information if needed.
Andrew Jones
(Father of Abigail)
That letter was written a year ago. Here’s how things worked out:
– The teacher decided the course was too easy for Abigail and insisted she take something more challenging. Which she did.
– In her year at University, Abigail completed the course at the top of her class in hospitality and tourism.
– She accepted a position at a 4.5 star hotel in Wellington, New Zealand. Within a few weeks, she was the head barista of the cafe. Over the past few months, she has bombarded the hotel with new ideas and has been asked to rewrite the menu. She serves coffee to the Prime Minister, the All Blacks rugby team, and the cast of The Hobbit.
– Abigial is loving life, considering further studies in cultural anthropology but is wondering if university is necessary to complete her education when she could teach herself.
– Three weeks ago, Abigail turned 18. She agrees with us that road schooling is awesome.
New Zealand TJs Writing

Wild Winds

It all started when we were watching Doctor Who series 1 disc 3 and episode 3 and 4 (a double episode) the empty child and the doctor dances. We first noticed the storm when the truck started to rock and mum looked outside and the tent was slowly going down. She called dad to come and they went out side to try and fix it. When they came back we played the show again a few minutes later dad looked outside and said we should take down the tent. So after about a minute or so hannah mum and dad were all outside taking it down ( i convinced hannah to let me stay in for i might blow away) then i was left alone in the wobbling truck after a while when the tent was almost down dad came in and told me to come outside in the end i went outside. At first it wasn’t so strong but then a gust of wind came and ill admit i didn’t leave the ladder and quickly i scrambled inside and sat in the back of the truck. When i looked outside i saw both of them mum and dad laughing ant talking as the wind lifted the tent and back down again. When the tent was nice and safe in the van mum and dad decided that they would go around and see if anybody els needed help with there stuff when me and Hannah had made the bed, got in to our pj’s and brushed our teeth mum came back and said that tents had been ripped, a metal shed came down (just a small one) and everybody’s power went out except our’s so when dad came back we enjoyed our doctor who even more. and when it ended we all enjoyed turning off and on the lights. This morning mum found out that not just everybody’s power went out in this camping ground, actually 28,000 people lost electricity ( not us) and the wind speed went up to about 140 kph. So school’s of for the day (not for me) and its still thunder and lightning storms yay.


Roadschooling Turkey

Roadschooling with Multiple Currencies

A regular part of our travels is sorting through left over coins. Try as we might to spend all the currency before we leave a country either by putting it into the tank, exchanging it at the border or (the kid’s favourite) spending it on special foods.



We always seem to find extra coins in pockets or corners or…. So, a natural part of our homeschooling is to sort through the coins and put in small ziplock backs labeled with the country. Now we put the smaller bags into one larger bag of the continent. Alot of times the kids will count the money in each bag and put a small piece of paper in with the amount.  The bag goes into the safe and comes out when we return or when we meet someone going the opposite direction we make an exchange of currencies. It is always nice to have enough for a loaf of bread, or coffee or a pay toilet when coming into a new country, as we always say.

Hannah is our bookeeper. At first we did an XL document on the computer. Now that she has her own ipod we have put Xpensilite on it. We save receipts in a metal box on the dash. She takes the receipts and enters them into her ipod and converts the currency back to USD. She takes photos of any that are over USD 50 in value. She seems to really love doing this and she does it well.

We have changed to an ipod app for pocket money as well, called “allowabank”. Abi keeps her home currency in USD but the others keep their home currency in NZD. Every purchase must be converted to their home currency.

The world is quite small for our kids. They grew up understanding multiple currencies. They also understand different economies. Just crossing a border bread can go up to 10 times the cost of the previous country. We were poor in Germany, we are rich in Bulgaria. However we have the same amount of money. It is one thing to know this in your head. It is another thing entirely to know how it feels.