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"Introducing the Swinnen's Unsame Life Adventure"


Summer of 2016.

We had it all. A good job, a spacious house, one child, and a second on his way, lovely friends and family. What could we need more? At first sight, our life seemed perfect, but there was a feeling that something was missing. With the birth of our first child came a lot of questions. How did we see life now we were parents? Would it still be possible to travel the world and discover new cultures? What kind of education would we give to our children? How could we prepare and support them in the best way for their future adult lives? A lot of questions and zero answers.  

Doing some research, we discovered the book 'The Extraordinary Mind' of Vishen Lakhiani...that was a real eye-opener for us. We learned it's okay to question and challenge your habits, in many cases imposed by society or culture. We learned how to eliminate practices that hold you back from achieving your dreams and purposes in life, replacing them with new habits that make you stronger. We learned to be the owner of our lives and to build it just the way we want it to be.

So we started to apply these new learnings to our own life. Did we agree with the 9-to-5 work schedule? Did we want to send our children to a traditional school, or did we want something different? In this process, we discovered that as a couple, we frequently had the same opinions, the same view on life. That realization was exciting and made us stronger. Nevertheless, this was not an easy process. We recall the long evenings we had brainstorming and looking for solutions, coming to the hard conclusion that it would not be a quick fix. Transforming and reshaping our life would take longer than we had expected, with many hurdles on its path. We were embarking on a new adventure, and we were thrilled, curious, and scared at the same time. On the way, we had our ups and downs, our little wins and losses. Although we came close, we never gave up.  

Step by step, we defined our values and beliefs.  

We strongly believe in flexibility at work, being able to work from anywhere in the world, scheduling your work around your family instead of the other way around. We want to discover the world, being a world citizen, and taking our children with us on this journey. We believe in complete freedom, being a master of our destiny.

Little by little, we were doing the puzzle of our life, a mystery of many small pieces.  

The biggest struggle came with education. We felt that traditional education was very rigid, with minimal options for improvisation and adaptation to the needs of each child. We believed we could do better. Doing some research, we discovered the education philosophy of Maria Montessori, and we felt an instant match. With new answers came new questions. It felt great knowing that Montessori was the way to go, but sending our children to a school was not going to happen. We saw a life for ourselves with a beautiful mixture of work, play, and education. Our children would be an integrated part of this. Sending our children to school would disrupt this harmony. So, homeschooling came up as a possible solution. Not willing to have a private teacher for our children, nor willing to give up on our own careers and ambitions, we designed a vision of our life, combining elements of Co-living, Co-working, and Education. We saw an active life of traveling the world to multiple destinations, sharing these experiences with many other families, being able to work from any place in the world, and educate our children along the way. That was the birth of UnsameLife. In total, it took us more than two years.

November 2018

Now the vision and our “why” was clear, we needed some real action. We needed to turn this dream into reality. We designed a website so we could communicate clearly about our values, believes, and mission, and we started looking for a Montessori coach. We got in touch with many coaches, and one of them was Koreen Thompson. She had read our story on the website and felt identified with our life view. She wanted to discover more about UnsameLife and especially about us as a family. That was the start of a real rollercoaster. We had various Video-calls, and we met each other in Minneapolis to see if both families could be a good match. We felt an immediate connection, and we are still surprised how two families from completely different places in the world, can be so like-minded, and so strongly connected. 

Finally, Koreen and her family decided they wanted to join us in this new adventure. They decided to move to Spain! We are still very touched and grateful for the fact that the Thompson family decided to turn their life upside down and to come to Europe. With two families together, we are so much stronger, and we will have a good chance to turn this project into a success.  

So, now we are here, together in Jávea, in a new house, a new region with many things to discover. With no experience of sharing a home with another family, we are finding our way. And again, this will be a journey with ups and downs. 

This adventure now started more than three years ago, and back than, we could never have imagined how this story would evolve. This is just the first chapter of our new life, our UnsameLife with many episodes to come. Looking back to these first three years, we are just impressed that it is possible to give shape to your life and to create your own rules, and we would like to encourage other families to do the same. 

Bart & Evelien

Cobe & Casper

 

 

 

 

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