The Meek Family Ed-venture

Waheed Khan

England

 

Tim and Kerry Meek were both full-time teachers in Nottingham, England but felt that their jobs were too life-consuming and they needed to redress their work-life balance.

They wanted to dedicate more time to their family, and so in 2014 they made the radical decision to give up their jobs, sell their house, and take their two daughters, Amy and Ella, out of school to travel around the UK in an Elddis motorhome for a year-long ‘ed-venture’. It was to be a mix of education and travel entwined.

Over the course of the next year they hoped to combine their love of adventure with a more personalised and engaging approach to education.  The locations that they would visit would become the basis of their daughters’ learning.

The Meeks moved their belongings into the motorhome and the ed-venture begun. They spent over a year exploring the UK, finding opportunities to learn about it in real and memorable ways. They undertook adventures that would push them out of their comfort zones, help them develop as people, and build character.

This journey was also so that they could spend time outdoors in nature, to be more active, and exercise more. They also planned to raise money for two good causes, and to help motivate each other through a 500 Fresh Air Miles Challenge.

The 500 miles would travelled on foot, bike, kayak, SUP, canoe, and scooter (all non-motorised forms of transport). The money raised through donations would support two charitable projects: Tree Aid Africa, which raises money to plant trees in Africa’s drylands; and Tijhza Village, a village in the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, which was damaged by storms and floods. Tijhza was in need of aid for its redevelopment, and also to improve the lives of the village children.

The Meeks undertook and blogged about the 38 journeys which comprised the 500 miles. In the featured images you can see parts of the Great Glen Canoe Trail in Scotland, which the Meeks kayaked along, and also the route they hiked to the top of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak.

By November 2016, the Meeks had moved on again. After two years away from the rat race, longer than they had initially planned, they felt that they needed to bring some stability back into their lives, particularly for the girls.

The Meeks returned to Nottingham and began what they call a hybrid lifestyle. They didn’t want to slip back into a life that allowed their jobs to consume their lives, but wanted to have a base from which they could continue to adventure as a family.

They wanted to enter back into a community where the girls could mix with their peers, but also balance this with regular family adventures. Still wanting to explore and adventure, they use their home and Swift Basecamp, a crossover camping vehicle, as a base from which to get outside and find adventures.