EER012: Homeschooling Sailing and College Abroad

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EER 014 — Alex Petrila: a long-term family travel interviewHave your kids thought of going to college abroad? Alex Petrilla’s daughter is enjoying European living after a life of living on a sail boat and traveling with her family.

Homeschooling Sailing and College Abroad

Alex and her husband, Joe, had a nice life in Poquoson, Virginia, in the United States. Life was good, Alex says, but they enjoyed sailing with the kids so much that they decided to try living on a boat in the Caribbean for a year. That was 10 years ago, and they haven’t looked back.

Keiko and I bumped into Alex and her family in Malaysia, where we were neighbors in the same building. I knew their son, Joey was an excellent example of a clever and confident homeschooler, but I had no idea what an exceptional life that he and his parents had provided for him until Alex and I sat down for this interview.

Here she explains how they stumbled into the life of long-term family travel, and then articulates what many traveling families (including mine) hope to achieve as our kids grow older: less about websites and fancy gadgets and more about independent learning and fundamental family travel time. I’ve spoken with dozens of traveling families in this year, and this is easily one of my very favorite interviews so far. I hope you enjoy it.

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  • Names: Alex Petrila, her husband Joe and their daughter (now in University in Europe) and son, Joey (16 y/o)
  • Hold passports from: the USA
  • Type of travel: Over 10 years of long-term family travel, homeschooling along the way.
  • A few places they’ve been: Lived in Mexico, Malaysia and the Virgin Islands.

Find Them On:  Son Joey’s Blog: Sincerely James 1 Joe’s Music


One year on a boat turned into 10. A good life became a better one (details in podcast).

EER 014 — Alex Petrila: a long-term family travel interview


Card games. Specifically gin rummy, for over 10 years: “The first person who lost washed dishes, the second scrubbed pots and pans, and the third cleaned the counters.”



  • Started with rental properties at first, but didn’t enjoy it. Realized they didn’t need as much money as before.
  • Joe finds music gigs wherever they go.
  • Alex taught piano, & now working remotely with a destination wedding company.


  • They’ve kept it very basic — didn’t even use internet for first six years traveling!
  • “The only important items now are the computer and the passports.”




  • “It’s all about choices”
  • “It’s not about how much money you make. It’s about how much you spend.”


The Caribbean, but “all travel has been valuable.”


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