A globe-trotting couple have quit their jobs and taken their child out of school to travel the world – as they believe their son will get a better education on the road.
Nigel Chapman, 46, and wife Louise, 37, were fed up of the daily grind so decided to quit their jobs as journalists for a “mid-life gap year.”
The pair have also taken the brave decision to remove their seven-year-old son Kian from school, as they think he will get a more “hands-on education” on their travels.
The family will travel around America, Asia and Australia during the six-month holiday of a lifetime, at a cost of around £9,000.
Nigel and Louise, of Spalding, Lincs., will start their trip on September 8, having been travelling around the UK since July 19 volunteering for a travel company.
The jet-setters will start their educational trip in San Francisco, before meandering across to Los Angeles in a luxury campervan.
Having explored the USA, they are then due to fly over to Australia, where they will briefly meet with their daughter Tia, 19, a primary education student at Canterbury.
After spending Christmas ‘Down Under’, they are then due to spend the final leg of their trip touring Asia, before returning home in February to try to find Kian a new school.
Nigel, who hopes to return to his job as a journalist, said: “The decision to take Kian out of school wasn’t an easy one at all.
“He’s made a lot of friends at school and has been comfortable there, so it’s hard to take him away from that environment and de-register him from the school.
“We feel that this is the best thing for him, though.
“He’s at an age now where he is capable of being able to fully appreciate and understand what we are doing, and he will be able to take in a lot of different cultures.
“However, he’s also at a young enough that we can take him out of school without it having a catastrophic effect on his education.
“Of course you can’t better the learning environment of a classroom, but I do think that this will be a once in a lifetime experience.
“To take an example, last year at school he spent time learning about Japan, and now he’s going to be spending weeks there getting to know the culture head-on.
“At school, he was due to learn about geology from September, but he’s literally going to be standing in the Grand Canyon.
“Those experiences are only going to further his desire to learn, and he is viewing it as a learning experience, rather than a holiday.
“Also, you’ve got to bare in mind that while his friends have been off on summer holidays, he’s been off volunteering with us.
“He’s been out and about being active, learning the value of helping others whilst having fun at the same time.
“This is something that Louise and I have wanted to do all of our lives too.
“We started to seriously plan for it around 18 months ago, but it’s been in our minds for a while.
“The mortgage on the house is all paid for, Tia is off at university, and we decided that there was no time like the present.
“We’ve got backpacker’s hostels lined up for the American leg, but from there we’re going to plan as we go.
“The days of our flights are all variable, so we know that we can change things around if we want to.
“We want this trip to provide us with memories to last a lifetime but we’re not naive enough to think it won’t provide us with some challenges and difficult times.
“When we get back, we’ll be straight into finding a school place for Kian and employment for us.
“That may not prove easy, but we’ve said all along that we’ll tackle each hurdle as it arises and try and make the most of everything else in the meantime.”
Louise added: “A round the world trip is something we’d always hoped we’d be able to do.
“We hadn’t thought it would be in our mid-life but decided now was an opportune time for all of us and have gone for it.
“We could have waited until Nigel and I were retired but no one can foresee how their health or finances will be then.
“We wanted to experience it with Kian while he’s old enough to appreciate it and young enough to want to do it with us.
“We love the outdoors and trying different activities so Real Family Holidays was a perfect fit for us.
“Nigel and I both fondly remember residential courses from our schooldays so it’s been a chance to relive them and introduce them to Kian and we’ve all loved every minute.
“We can’t recommend these breaks highly enough.”