EER089: Deschooling, Family House Sitting, & Scams in Thailand

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Homeschooling, deschooling, family house sitting, and a few typical scams in Thailand. Welcome to the King family’s past 12 months of family travel.

EER089 Deschooling, Family House Sitting, & Scams in Thailand

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Deschooling, Family House Sitting, & Scams in Thailand

It’s been a full year of family travel for Karen King and her family. Long-time listeners will remember that Karen and I talked before. Our first chat was just before they started traveling. Now over a year later, we reconnect to hear how things are going.

What a year it’s been! After a year on the road, a lot has happened, and their family has grown and changed as a result.

Education, Unschooling and Deschooling

One of the biggest topics we discuss is their experience with homeschooling and deschooling. What is deschooling? First, let’s back up and define unschooling. In the spectrum of homeschooling methods, unschooling gives kids the most autonomy. The idea is that children have their own desire to learn. Unschooling allows them to guide their educational journey. For many families, unschooling means no curriculum or “class” in the conventional sense.

If a child has been in conventional school for a while, some families start with a process called “deschooling.” The deschooling process is where kids have to unlearn the old educational method. They must unlearn having teachers or a parent plan everything for them. Instead of being forced to learn, the theory goes, children will soon begin to learn on their own, using their own interests as the vehicle for education.

Did I say “kids” have to go through a deschooling process? According to Karen, so do the parents. She explains further in the podcast.

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Family House Sitting

There is a way that the King family saves thousands of dollars in travel expenses. They seek out family house sitting opportunities. Not all house sits are for travelers with kids. However, there are enough homeowners open to family house sitting that it’s a realistic way to travel the world.

In fact, Karen and crew have been able to secure family house sitting opportunities in places like Malaysia, Dubai, and China. Imagine you and your kids living in a nice house in a foreign country for almost no money. That’s family house sitting.

Family house sitting in Dubai made a significant impact on the Kings. This was their first chance to actually interact with a Muslim community. Until then, their only experience was what they saw on TV. Meeting actual Muslims was a huge eye-opener for them. She details this experience in our conversation.

Travel budgeting

When I spoke to Karen last, her husband, Cameron, had an unusual work arrangement. He worked on an oil rig and was going to continue to work as they traveled. He worked seven days on, seven days off, and flew to meet the family during his weeks. When his entire team was made redundant, the Kings had to reconsider their budget. More on that in the show.

Death of a King, and Typical Scams in Thailand

Karen and family’s time in Thailand was another impactful family travel experience. First of all, they arrived just after the Thai King’s death and wondered if they had made a serious mistake. As it turns out, this made their time in Thailand even more meaningful. Karen explains the warmth and graciousness of the Thai people in ways some have not seen.

That doesn’t mean that they weren’t exposed to scams in Thailand, however. There are many scams in Thailand, in fact. Most of them are fairly harmless: overcharging a gullible tourist, or cheating on a few dollars here and there. These things can happen, but they shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting Thailand. The other experiences they had far outweighed getting tricked into a lame boat trip, as Karen explains.

Listen and Share!

Listen in as Karen and I discuss, travel budgeting, homesickness, unschooling/deschooling, family house sitting, scams in Thailand, and much more. And please share!


  • 03:38 Introduction
  • 05:27 Cameron’s unique work schedule
  • 08:20 Education & unschooling
  • 10:21 Deschooling
  • 15:59 Family house sitting in Dubai
  • 18:50 Travel and family house sitting in Kuala Lumpur
  • 20:05 Visiting Thailand after the king’s death
  • 23:20 A few typical scams in Thailand
  • 30:31 Lessons learned from scams in Thailand
  • 33:18 Getting homesick
  • 36:56 Budgeting, family house sitting, and funding travel after the redundancy
  • 42:32 Family house sitting advantages and tips for getting started


  • Names: Karen King, her husband Cameron, and their kids, Brody and Sienna (12 & 6)
  • Hold passports from: Australia
  • Type of travel: Long-term travel & Family house Sitting
  • A few places they’ve been: UAE, China, and all over Europe and Southeast Asia.


The King’s travel very lightly – with only 7kg of carry-on luggage each, plus a pack for electronics. This includes all they need for both hot and cold weather – from near 40º degrees Celsius in Southeast Asia to -16º degrees in Bucharest, Romania. The King family invested in good quality, lightweight gear for cold weather, which means they are nice and warm, without adding too much weight to their packs!

They each carry three pairs of shoes (hiking boots, sandals and flip-flops). Only when they arrived in cold weather did they pick up scarves, hats, and gloves. Therefore, they didn’t have to carry them around for months before needing them

For cold weather, their favorite items include goose or duck down jackets and merino thermals. However, for summer, quality travel shirts and pants can be worn for a couple of days between washes, and convertible pants with zip-off legs mean less space needed in their packs!

The Kings love their power cube and have a range of adapters that they use on it, depending which country they are in. Also, a 10-port powered USB hub has allowed the Kings to cut down on adapters!



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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel.