#46 Kelly Halldorson | The Unschool Bus that inspired our travels

E46 - Kelly Halldarson  - 2


🗓️ Recorded November 9th, 2023. 📍Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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About this Episode  

Few experiences rival the thrill of breaking the shackles of conventional life and embracing the open road. Our guest, Kelly Halldorson, and her family did just that, converting a school bus into a mobile home and traversing through 35 states over three years. 

Kelly called their project The Unschool Bus, and they inspired us to purchase a bus and travel the world, so it only felt natural to connect on our podcast and thank Kelly for the inspiration.

Kelly and her family embraced the freedom it offered to travel full time in a converted school bus but also faced quite a few bumps on the road, from logistical challenges to discrimination, but this experience shaped an incredible journey that they wouldn't trade for anything.

The open road isn't the only unconventional path the Halldorsons have taken. Ditching traditional schooling, they adopted an unschooling approach to education, a choice that came with its own unique set of challenges and rewards. As they navigate this journey, they have not only redefined learning but also their relationship with each other. Kelly gives us a raw and insightful look into their lives, painting a vivid picture of the beauty and complexities of unschooling.

But the Halldorson family's journey wasn't only about transitioning from a conventional life to an unconventional one; it was also about personal growth and resilience. Kelly shares her battle with cancer and how it profoundly shaped her outlook on life, instilling a sense of urgency to live fully and mindfully. Through all these experiences, Kelly has harnessed her empathy gene, embracing post-traumatic growth and becoming an inspiration for many.

This episode is a testament to the family's resilience, offering insights into a unique way of living and learning that has defined their incredible journey.

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And we also just have to share this awesome image of Kelly and her Unschool Bus which inspired us to buy our bus!

Barefoot28unschool-bus  


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AUTOGENERATED TRANSCRIPT

00:00 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Welcome to Self-Directed. We are your hosts, cecilia and Jesper Karlra, and now it's time to welcome this week's guest. So today we are together with Kelly Haudersson, and I pronounced it wrong, right there, I know it.

00:16 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
You did great Too much.

00:20 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It's Haudersson. So, Kelly, the reason we are talking together today is multiple. One of them is that I got a text from Sandra Dodd saying you should really talk to Kelly, and I know you got one as well. So here we are. But at the same point I was like looking up who you were and I was like but that's the Kelly who once had the on-school bus.

00:43 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
That is me, yes.

00:45 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yes, and that has a very big story in our life. But first of all, welcome, kelly. It's wonderful to be here together with you today.

00:54 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Thanks, thanks. It's very good to be here.

01:00 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Let's start right out with the on-school bus. There's people who don't know the story, but maybe you, cecilia, can see, one day came and told me about the on-school bus.

01:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So the thing is a very long time ago, I feel. It was when my fourth child was a baby and I was still exhausted and breastfeeding in bed. And I have four in total. So there were other toddlers around me at the point Just beat cancer Wanted to change our lives. I feel it. Can it be true? Like 12 years ago-ish, I was reading, I was researching the combination of on-schooling and living without a base Because I was sick and tired of the Danish winter.

01:45
My seasonal affective disorder just got worse every year and every time spring would come around and I would start being a little more happy, my husband would go down with all these allergies and it was just-.

01:57
I felt we were at the wrong place on the planet. We were on the right track with our lives, but how outhouse that we had was pulling us down. And one thing that to me maybe my online searching abilities were not profound, but you were one of the only ones out there that I could actually read it was one of the reasons I started blogging myself, because I was like there's no information, I can't no one is telling me how does this life look. But you did so when Jesper told me oh, we're talking to someone called Blavim, I was like not paying attention, and then I was like is that the on-school bus lady? I read that blog 100,000 years ago, in another life, when we were still so to me it's like these circles that Sandra Dot will put us together. But we were all in my world we were all together because we did sell our house and buy a bus and took off and yeah and told it again, which I believe you also did.

03:04 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Oh, that's wonderful though. Yeah, like it's wonderful, so double welcome.

03:08 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Thank you. And so I know the story, but I'm not sure the listeners do so, would you? Just share it. What's the on-school project? What happened?

03:20 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
So it was like in the here in the US it was just after like 2008 was really a big recession, right, and we had moved to we were living in a very rural town and we were just really struggling. My husband's a builder and we had some other things happening in our life. That was like kind of a a make or break period for our for my marriage, for our marriage, right and we have three kids and they were middle schoolish age at the time. We had already been unschooling.

03:59
They did go to school for a little bit, they went to private school and then they had been home for a few years and we quickly evolved to unschooling and so anyway things were kind of there was there was a lot of pressure, it was a lot of turmoil and we just were like we need to do something, we need to go somewhere, we need to experience the world, we need to change, or at least the US travel right. And so I we got an RV to sort of test it out Like an old RV. My husband traded a motorcycle and and then he kept saying well, we got to do a bus because we can, you know, we can customize it and make it exactly how we want and the kids can have their own spaces. And I was like, oh no, please, no, not a bus. I'm already weird enough. Everybody already thinks we're just, you know, like out there. And then he just kept saying it and we went and looked at some, because there was a place that sold old buses and he just really worked on me, on it. You know, I was like let's try to get a big RV. And he's like no, let's do the bus, do the bus. And then I said one day I just said, okay, if we're going to do it, we're going to do it, and like own it. And so that's where I was like we're going to be the unschool bus. That's it. That's what we're going to do, Because I either have to own it or not, right? And so then we did, we built it and that was in, we and we left traveling in 2010.

05:34
Right, and we hit 35 states. We lived on the road for three years. We went to a lot of events. We traveled around, getting work here and there, like handyman work or construction work, and I wrote, and, and the kids were just traveling with us.

05:54
Like I said, they were all middle school age. They, when we started, let's see, they were like 12 to 12, 13 and 15. Oh, actually, no, they were 11. We started 11, 12 and 13,. 11, 12 and 14. That sounds right, yeah, and yeah, we just traveled around and we had a. We had a good time. I mean things are. I think that it's really interesting to talk about because it was really wonderful and we're things that were really challenging to write, because when you're struggling, you you bring all that with you on the road to, so you still have to do the work, you know, on yourself and in the relationship and in the family. So I think that's that's one thing that sort of gets forgotten sometimes, but otherwise that's kind of the story and then we settled back down in 2013, back in New Hampshire, and we've been here since and the kids are doing their own thing because they're all very grown now they are 25, 26 and 28.

07:11 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah.

07:11 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Well, actually, sorry, take that back. They're all. They're in the transition of turning the next age. So two of them just turned and one of them hasn't. So 26, we'll say, we'll say 2026, 27 and 29. Okay, All right.

07:28 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Got the idea, thank you. So you are. Are they still living with you, or did they know?

07:35 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
they don't, they're off. Our oldest lives in San Francisco. He's been there for five years. He's the 29 year old Our middle son has, and my, our middle son and our daughter live in the area, but they do not live with us. But, yeah, and the middle son is about to adventure off to New Zealand for a year with his girlfriend and they're going to go live there. So there's there's.

08:03 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
they're still into exploring to so we have one in that age group she's 24. And we still have three at home, so we're in a different stage, yeah.

08:23 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
We're in the same post bus stage.

08:25 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
We're in the same post bus stage, but not in the same. No no, no, because we just sold our bus. We had it for five years and now we're backpacking. So we didn't, we didn't transit back into a base yet. Yeah, and we don't have it on the horizon either.

08:47 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
No. So I would love to talk a little about the the troubles of traveling in a bus. Maybe it's different in US, but for the listeners out there who is like, oh, this is the best idea in the world, then a bus is very, very big and I I'm not a well, I ended up taking the car, of course, so I was legally to drive the license so I could drive the bus. But but driving such a big bus up and down mountains and trying to find a parking place, trying to go to the supermarket and it is troublesome. So it looks pretty from the outside but finding a parking place for it, sometimes that was very difficult. What was your biggest difficulties by living in the bus?

09:43 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
I think that, like so there are some differences. Like he, my husband didn't have to get a special license because RVs and the because it's considered an RV and if it's considered an RV then you don't have to. That's it's been lobbies. Lobbying has happened so that AARP makes it so that people that are retired don't have to get special licenses to drive big RVs. So if you make your bus and RV, then you don't have that issue. We and driving it around was okay. There's usually generally places to go and park to, like go into a grocery store or something it's.

10:21
It was a challenge to to get a place to stay. If we weren't staying at somebody's, somebody's house or a parking lot like, say, like we have Home Depot's and Lowe's and Walmart's and stuff like that, some of the RV parks would discriminate against the RV or against the buses, like they won't allow schoolies at all. So that was. That was frustrating. We stayed in Vegas and we were supposed to, I was supposed to speak at an event and we get to our, the place we're supposed to stay with RV, and they're like you can't even come in here, so and we're like last minute trying to figure out where in the city we're going to park, you know where we're going to be able to stay.

11:10
So that was it. That was really. I think that was really one of the biggest challenges and frustrations, because and there are also some towns that don't allow you we stayed in one town and we're doing some work with for some friends in Texas, it was like kind of outside of Austin and they which is funny because Texas is a state that has a reputation for allowing most, most things, right, and but we, we tried to stay in the city and this town with our friends and we had to park our bus at the police station and sleep at their house. Oh God, it wasn't allowed.

11:53 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But I can totally relate to that. So the idea when you get a bus and you let go of the base and you think now we're going to travel the world or the US or whatever you think you're doing, the idea is the idea of freedom. Oh, we can go everywhere and with our bus we will have all our needs met we can sleep, we can cook, we can wash our clothes, we can study, we can have a privacy and and you know the idea that most of the everyday things will be solved because you have this bus with you, like the snail with the house on the back. The idea is beautiful. But then the first problem is where we park, and we were traveling Europe and that was one of the things that were just stopping us. Like it's not fun, because nine out of 10 places we park everyone, things that we're the circus arriving in town and they will knock our door and ask when the show starts or if it's a bar or an event or whatever, and so you don't have the privacy. I can live with that for a while, but I get sick and tired of it, brushing my teeth explaining people. You know, I'm just making coffee, yes, and so that's one thing, but that's after I actually find a place to stop the car or the bus.

13:17
Yes, so the freedom is, was in my mind. When we've done it for not even a long time Before a year, I realized this is not freedom. I can't go everywhere. There are both places. I cannot go, either because it's illegal or impractical or impossible, or because it's just too much of a show. I don't want to be there with my boss. I would like to be there myself, but I don't want to bring. We had a big red bus, an old tourist bus from the 70s, very flashy, very beautiful, very beautiful, but everyone sees it. Yeah, that was a downside of the bus life. It was a fun life, but it was also an illusion that it gave all that freedom, because actually it didn't.

14:10 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
But the freedoms of Silya and I sometimes talk about it that it gave was. It was the ticket to freedom, to daring to live without a home base in the start. That has led us to where we are today, so maybe I'm going towards a. How has the post on school bus years been? Have you, did you gain some of the freedom and dreams that you thought you would within?

14:45 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Oh, absolutely, and I just want you just reminded me of something else that I want to type on. Is the people coming in and knocking on the door? We'd have people that would literally just walk in and we'd be like this is our home. Excuse me, this is our home.

15:04
You need to, yeah, so yes, that's that absolutely was a challenge, and sometimes we would purposely when we were coming back to New Hampshire here and staying in New Hampshire, so many people wanted us to visit them and stay with them that we would actually go, stay in a parking lot like a Walmart so that we could have some space and some time. So, yeah, it's like I hear you, especially if you're not all super social people, right so but what has changed is? It's so interesting, because my husband is actually my husband, jeff, right now is all he's been talking about is how much he wants to do another bus build, like he's really interested in doing another bus build and we're working on finishing our house because we we we've been in this house for 10 years now but it we bought, like the work, you know, the most dilapidated house in the nice spot, you know right, and we're very, very slowly working on it. And one of the things he keeps saying is, when the house is done, I'm doing a bus next.

16:13
I'm doing a bus next and he and he'd also love to to build buses. So for we have some friends that that live in Merida Mexico and and have some property in and Dalloon and they we'd like to build some buses to have down there so people could stay in them. So we're, look, we're actually kind of dabbling in that area again, kind of getting ready to someday do that. But we would definitely be keeping a home, our home base. You know that that would be something that's different and I don't. I don't know much about your story, but you mentioned cancer. You just got over cancer. Well, that's something I'm dealing with now. So I I kind of have to stay. I don't have to stay, but I really would like to stay in the vicinity of my doctors because it's not a cancer that is like is gone ever. So I have, you know, I have to, I have to stay with my, my doctors in this sort of area.

17:13 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But if we had a bus.

17:14 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
We could travel, some come back, travel, some come back, which would be, I think, kind of the best of both worlds. We happen to live in a really nice, almost a touristy area, so we could, we could potentially rent out our house, you know, while we were doing the traveling, so that would make it more affordable or actually would make it possibly doable, get on and where you wouldn't be maintaining two things. But we're really like I'm really happy to have found the space that we're in and be able to explore the idea of doing, you know, a kind of a combination where we we check back in with what we were doing before and it's just, it's just fun to think about.

18:02 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It is fun. It is fun to travel and it is also fun to live in a bus. I'm not saying that it's not and we don't like I hear I hear you say it's not like you regret it. You just shared one of the negative sides and so did we, and we just sold ours. It's not even a month ago. So for us it's like a really, it's really new really easy to change.

18:27
Well, yes, but then, on the other hand, our bus has been parked for quite some time, yeah, and we haven't been living in it. We did another conversion in a van because it's anonymous, it's just a black van. When you park it, no one can. Well, there's a solar panel on the roof. So if you really want to, you might guess that someone's living in it. But we really like that and we like that. The van is new, the motor is new and and it can go everywhere, yeah, so, so we, we did make that transition a year and a half ago, so in that way it's not new. And, funny enough, we are right now about half an hour from Tulum that you just mentioned. So that's backpacking, not with a van because the van is in Europe.

19:14
So, no, we're not regretting, we're just. I think it's important to share what happens with this kind of lifestyle, with the unschooling. It's such a darkness to try to look into. If you live a regular life with kids in school and you have this feeling maybe there's something there, maybe maybe I should go that way, then you have no idea what you're doing and it's for me, being European and being from Scandinavia, where no one's unschooling it was, it really was a darkness to try to look into and I could read some American blogs about unschooling, but it's not the same culture.

19:53
And one really big thing is that we are more alone. You can find other people. We couldn't find other people. So now that we are sharing in the business of sharing, right now, recording a podcast, I find it important to talk about the downsides, because it can become this illusion that all, if you just unschool, all your kids will be happy, meditating, professors of everything, and your family life will be such a beautiful, instagrammable thing. And if you do a bus conversion, preferably a schoolie then you just have all the freedom in the world and every morning you wake up to the waves of the ocean and have your organic orange juice. I mean, it's just, it's that and not that.

20:39 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
So that's why I wanted to touch upon the downsides Absolutely, and I think, like I think, that that's that's something that I really tried to make sure to do when I was writing and we were traveling is to not just share all the beautiful stuff to be like, well, this is the challenging and this thing happened and that. But I also always try to just being as who?

21:01 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I am. I have a positive perspective on things.

21:06 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
So even when I things are challenging, you know, and something would happen, I'm going to share it. But I'm also going to look for the what I can learn from it or what the positive pieces and and so I hopefully I did that back then. So I'm going to share it with you. I'm going to share it with you and so I hopefully I did that back then. But when I go back and look, I'm like I think I did.

21:33 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That's one of the reasons I kept reading the blog, because I'm not interested in the more Instagrammable bloggers on the thing that would always have a homemade organic ice cream brought to the forest and you're like, okay, you mean how do you do this, how do? You even bring it there with you. And why is that the focus of your sharing?

21:55 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
It's just overachievers, pushing, pushing ambition too hard and making everyone or making, or maybe I think it's the looking for that outward validation or looking for those praises, or looking for outside of them and outside of their family, people to tell them it's okay. And I think that I've always been a person that, as much as I love I actually really love like social media and sharing things, because I think it's a wonderful way to connect with people, but it's so interesting because people use it so differently and for me it's a means of connection and it always has been so. It never sort of occurs to me to present something that's not truly my life or what I'm dealing with or what's happening. And so, yeah, the very I mean I do look at pretty Instagrammable things too, but I have it in context of I know that there's probably lots going on behind the scenes that's not being shared and I know that personally I like to share those things because it is not everybody my feeling is kind of not everybody has the benefit of being able to see the positive pieces.

23:17
So if I can share something that's happening, that's a struggle and that's hard, and also say, and this is how we managed, or this is how we dealt with that, or this is this is a challenge we continue to face and we'll keep looking at that. You know, and I think that with unschooling too, like you said at least in the US we did it was certainly challenging to find people doing it, but not not to the degree that you had, I'm sure, and I was what one of the things that we worked into our travel is we would go to meet specifically unschoolers so that we could be around other people that were doing that.

23:59
Right, so then you don't feel quite so outside of what's happening. I don't know like I'm trying to think of like the harder parts and what else you mentioned about. You know that it's going to be all perfect, your kids are all going to be super happy and they're all going to love everything and just be like oh, my goodness, thank you so much for doing this. No, no, no.

24:27 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
One thing, that one thing. I might mix you up, mix this up with some other block, but I don't think so. Yeah, one thing that I remember reading that I gave quite a lot of thought back when I was in the process of the transition to the bus life. We had not bought a bus, we were just talking about the options. When our fourth child was born and I was out of hospital and you know we were like post cancer.

25:06
One of the things you said was if you want to live this kind of life, you have to commit to being baseless, you have to let go of your base. And I had a great base. So that was a really challenging thing and I was just wondering and I'm glad you gave me that piece of advice I wouldn't want to own that base at this point. So it's not that. But I decided, we decided to sell our house at some point and try this baseless thing out. And I mean, you went back to having a base and now you're saying I would like to keep my base and have a bus. So have you changed your mind?

25:53 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Well, I think that it was, I don't know that I if there might be some a little bit of a confusion. There might be somebody else that said that, but I don't know, I don't know.

26:05 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah yeah, no, it could be a pot test with you and someone else. I don't know. It came from the rabbit hole of reading your blog and thinking about the bus and the unschooling.

26:18 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
One way I could see that I would say something similar is that we had to because we didn't have another option. We didn't have a house that we sold. We didn't. We were renting a trailer in a little town and we were. We didn't have money right If we were to try to then go rent some other place and make that. We didn't have that option. So I'm sure that I wrote about that that we had to get. We just had to go well, okay, we're not going to have a home, we're not going to have a base, and that was probably a thing of necessity for us, and that maybe translated more as everybody should, but I don't think that I would write it that way.

27:04 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I'm not saying you said everybody should do it and I'm not even saying you said it, but we could maybe discuss it on another, on another foot, then.

27:13
So you have had three and a half years in your life where you didn't have a base, and I've had a while where I didn't have a base unless you considered the boss, the base. So, and now you're back to having a base. I'm flirting with the idea, but no one's on board with it, not even myself. So the base is not coming anytime soon, but it's still the idea of having a base. What did you learn from it? How did it change your feelings of having a base now? And you know to share.

27:50 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
I think that the and the reason, you know, I think that it's in part the base part Like so what happened is our kids got to be teenagers and my daughter was like really flirting with the idea of going you know, like going to school, and we're like, well, where would you want to go and what you know what, where would we get to stay? And we had already been staying in this town at a friend's house, like parked. We spent a lot of time there and a couple of different friends actually, and they just were craving more settled and to be around her friends. So we and a whole series of things sort of fell into place where we were trying to figure out what we're going to do, because we're parked in a bus at a friend's house and and mostly my youngest was like, yeah, I really I don't want to go more, you know. And and we were kind of like, yeah, and there were some other things happening in our life that were were pretty big to relatives that were sick and things like that. And this is we live near where our family's from right, and so all of those things were kind of culminating and we need, you know, we need to either figure out. If we're going to get an apartment we're going to, what are we going to do with the bus? I had already decided to give the bus away, which we ended up doing, and and then just things just really kind of miraculously fell into place.

29:19
And my husband was working with a gentleman that he had done some work with and that does like flips houses, and they and he, he bought the house that we're in because he wanted to flip it. And and we, we were like after a little while, we're like can we? We'd like the house, we'd like that house because of the space it's in the place it's in. And so we worked out a like a lease option. And then we got like a private, you know, like it just all a private mortgage.

29:56
It all sort of fell into place like really like beautifully, like I still scratch my head and try to understand, like how that all happened, but it, you know, honestly, I think it's through the connections and the that we've made in life by being who we are, we connect and talk to people and we, you know, like other. Some people call it networking, but I don't like. I feel like, if it's true connections, that's not what it is, you know, but? But so that's how we ended up here and it really is kind of a dream spot like where we're actually located. Like I said, the house is not like.

30:39 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And how is it to have a bookshelf again? I think, enough bookshelf.

30:43 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Well, I'm looking at. I'm like I don't really have a bookshelf yet, but but it's nice to have the option and it's coming together. It's only 10 years, but yeah, it's, it's. It's nice to feel rooted where I think that both my husband and I haven't really had that in our lives.

31:04
I, he, you know, he was like in the foster care system, which is like in many was adopted and and so we we didn't, we never really had, like I never lived in a house before. This is my like first time. You know, my parents didn't own a house, or you know, yeah, so it's just it feels good and and what's pulling me to keep the base is what the options it's going to, the options it brings us, like I said, we would be able to potentially rent it out, you know, or potentially, you know that kind of thing where we, but also our kids, are all like in their late twenties, now, like mid to late twenties, and I'm like, well, what happens when they get married and they have grandkids and oh yes, I want to have.

31:53
I want to have a space for them to come visit. And, and probably the very biggest thing is, we love animals and we have a million of them, so you can't really have that on a bus. Let's see, we have currently have about 25 chickens, two geese, a duck, two turkeys, four rabbits, two dogs, you know, like we have a lot of animals. So that's another thing that pulls us to wanting to have like a place, you know. And then if we have a bus, if we do another bus conversion, then we can have that for a couple things. We're thinking as we can have that for going to events we like to. We like the band Fish, so we'd like to go to like Fish Music events, and we also we're also talking about possibly like building something out like that that we could. We could then rent the bus out like do you have a family member coming to visit? You know they need a place to stay. That's not in your house. We'll come, bring it to your house and park it you know, things like that.

33:03
We're we're looking at the other options, but I think it's the same energy as when we were on the road, because it's like how can we think outside of the box? A little like, how do we think and how do we adapt to what our, our circumstances are now, with, like I need to be near Boston because I need to be near my doctors, or you know, like I want to have space for the kids, or I do want to get to go out and do some things, you know, and how do I adapt to that?

33:31
Does that make sense yeah.

33:36 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I was planning to go up, but I think you're sitting on another question, so I'll shut up.

33:41 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
No, it's a. There's two different subjects that I think would be interesting to talk about. One is about how you started on schooling, and then, after that, I would like to go in to talk about cancer and the fear, because it is something we have in common different versions but there's a lot to touch upon there. So how? First, how did you start it in the whole unschooling world? What happened?

34:14 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
So I had always, always, always, wanted to homeschool my kids Like. I had this vision of like oh, I'm going to have this is hilarious, because that's what I ended up with. I'm going to have three, three kids, two boys and a girl, in that order. I'm going to live in the woods and they're I'm just going to homeschool them and we're going to. It's going to be this I had I don't know why, where the vision came from, but that's sort of what I wanted, and my husband used to tease me. He's like Well, where's the dad in that? I'm like oh, I don't know.

34:44
That's what I used to say when I was young. So so I think that, though, when I had the kids and then we, we originally like my first kid we lived in Phoenix, arizona, which is far from here when I had him, but then we ended up moving back to New Hampshire around family, and I had the other two and I I really lacked, and I was young, I was young, I had all three of them by the time I was 24. So I, I really started, I lacked the confidence, right, like I didn't feel, like I could explain to my family why I didn't want to send the kids to public school. I also currently had lived in a town that wasn't great and didn't have very good schools, and not that I wanted to send them to public school anyway, but I just couldn't explain myself well enough. But I could get them to understand that I didn't, that I wanted them to have a special education or an important education, so I did send them to a private school. We sent them to a couple of private schools at first, and the first one was like a Montessori style school, and then I it cost more than our rent, did I mean it was really and then I.

36:11
We ended up sending them to a Christian school, which was right by our house. We're not Christian, but it I. But the attitude of the school was they're your kids Like. When I interviewed with the you know like explored the school, they're like, they're your children, we know they're your children. So if you like have a problem with something, you want something, you tell us. You know we're here to serve you kind of thing. And so they went there for a few years and when my oldest was in fifth grade they bumped my middle kid up a grade. So he was, he got skipped a grade. They all were younger because they have fall birthdays, which I don't know if it matters where you are, but it matters here. It's like there's like a cutoff that you have to be a certain age.

37:01 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So they were already young.

37:03 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
And then they skipped my middle kid up a grade two and so the last years they did was fifth grade, fourth grade and second grade and they just would come home with homework. And I remember they had so much homework and my middle kid had such a hard time doing the homework not the hard time with the homework, but doing it. He's like I already know this, I know it, you know like, why am I? And I remember being really frustrated because I was like just study it and then I would read the things and some of the things I didn't agree with, and then I was like forcing them and arguing with them about doing work that I didn't even agree with or think was accurate or whatever. And I remember having like a mini existential crisis where I called my aunt and I'm like can you believe this is I just I can't. And she's like no, plenty of people go to that school and they turn out wonderful. And I'm like I'm sure they do, you know like. And just hanging up and going.

38:09
So I would look for another school and I got a job at a prep school that summer and I was going to transition them all to this other school, this prep school. That started like early. It was like, you know, first through 12th or whatever. And I got and this was going to be my way to do it because I got the job there and you get a discount, all this and I could bring the one kid in and then I could bring the. You know, like I had it all figured out and I just really looked at it after I had it all figured out and I was like this is insane, this isn't going to be work. This is going to work. I'm going to be juggling it, I'm going to be running all over the place. The kids aren't going to get what I actually want like in life.

38:56
And I ran into a friend who was homeschooling her kid that I'd known since first grade and she's like come, come to the play group, you know, come to our park day. And so I did. And I was like one time and I went to the park and I went oh, there's this many parents, all right, yep, you know they're just homeschooling, right, and it's secular homeschooling, so like there's not any kind of religious pressure or whatever. Not that I might. Religious homeschooling is fine too, whatever people want to do. But I just was like oh, I can do this, I'm going to do this and so. And that group was called the Seacost Unschooling Network because the person who started the group was into homeschooling, the people that were in the group and the parents that were in the group. There weren't other unschoolers, it was just.

39:51
It just happened to be that she was really interested in homeschooling and so she started this play group and I still credit this woman, miriam, always to be like the spark.

40:04
So she had two older kids that were a couple of years older than mine. One was going to be a freshman in high school and the other one was just a year older than my oldest and they were. And then she had two younger, younger ones that were much younger, and those kids were so normal, so Not green, not square. I was going to be like, well, they were so articulate and wonderful and polite and sweet and I'm like they were just great, normal, awesome, good kids. And the more that I went to this I said, ok, I'm not doing this, we're just going to homeschool them. My husband was kind of like I don't know what you're doing, whatever, and I just kept going to the group and I would talk to Miriam and she's like, oh, you read John Holt and John Holt is like John Holt, john Holt, john Holt. And then and some Sandra Dodd, and I started reading and I was just like, oh, this is it. This is why I left. I pulled them out of that school. It's because I didn't want to be fighting with them. I wanted to maintain the relationship. I want that to be the structure, and I know from my own background of schooling that that's what I needed.

41:32
I needed that freedom to explore what I was interested in, because I was one of those kids that was considered a gifted kid and I was just like my middle son, where I wouldn't do the work. I'd be like I already know this. This is why am I? There's stuff going on at my house that's more important than this busy work, and so I just very quickly I mean I think we did a couple of projects at first where I was kind of focused on math and reading and but I want to say, within four months I was homes, I was unschooling. I was like, oh, wait a minute. No, I'm going to be like what are you interested in? What can we do today? Or if I was interested in something, I'd be like look what I'm doing. Or like I would just sort of bring it in.

42:23
And I made the focus be my relationship with the kids and how could I manage? And it continued to be like how can I manage my own emotions so that I could be a better parent? And I'm still working on that. Oh yeah, I still work on that. And then it's just fascinating because you can kind of sort of look, you can definitely look back and be like, ok, I wish, I actually wished that I had unschooled from the start. If I had that time, I wish that I had. I think I would have done better overall if I had done more care for myself, like loved myself a little more and got a little better example in those ways. But it's so interesting, but that's how I shifted into unschooling and that's how and then I just I embraced all the pieces. It wasn't long before then I was radical in school or where the kids were really allowed to go to bed when they wanted and play video games, where I had once upon a time been very strict about that, yeah.

43:35 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So Long ramble no, no, no, it's great, it's great. I was thinking about how powerful. So there are two forces that play. One is the expectations of everyone around you and your expectations about their expectations. Or, you know, it's in the mind and it's in reality there is. It really is walking upstream to make this kind of decision. We did meet some people. They are, they were around and they are more now, but I had the general impression that they are more in the states and you know, but then it's a huge country so it's not everywhere you meet someone in the local supermarket. I get that. So that's the one. One force is all the, everything pulling you into the normality. And then there's the other force, which is just powerful Like you can't even explain it to meet other people and their kids. You said it, you know. I looked at them and they were normal. There's nothing wrong with them, and this was exactly.

45:00
Yeah, I remember feeling ashamed staring at the other homeschooling families, children. When I first met them I was like it's not a Sue senior, but but really what I needed at the time when I was flirting with the idea of homeschooling, was to see some other kids, some kids who had never been to school because the idea was so radical. And then, in all reality, that's what I did when I was shopping for private schools. I would go to the private school, I would listen to all the blah blah of the teachers and the headmaster and whatever their philosophy, but I would stare at the teenagers. You know, you put in sweet kids. They're five, six years old. What do you get in the other end? What comes out Exactly, and that's what you stare at.

45:46
And I'm just thinking it's just the most powerful thing if you're ever flirting with the idea, even if you're not flirting with it, and think all the unschoolers are crazy people, maybe go look at some of them. It's the most powerful thing ever. So it's just funny. You had the same. I mean, I had that experience, the exact same experience. And I also think within I think my road to unschooling was more bumpy that I would unschool but then fall into a darkness of doubt and pull out the books again and try to do some structure, and then I would unschool and then I would. You know, there was some and I can't remember now it's been a long time, but there were some months, maybe even a year, where I would go back and forth and have these relapses into the idea of structured home education.

46:44 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Yeah, and be like they need to learn this thing, right, Like I feel like they're not learning this thing or like I think most of the times it was the influence of other homeschoolers, actually who was doing structured things, or the influence of some of our extended family.

47:02 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That would be like but what about math? Or? And I would be convincing not just judging, but really convincing and I would think I enjoyed studying when I was a child. So maybe I'm just teaching them a skill, teaching them to study a thing, and then that would be a relapse and then after I don't know a week, I would give up.

47:25 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, there's this funny thing about when you, as a parent, take home the responsibility and do not outsource it to a school, then people start to question you.

47:36 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Yeah.

47:37 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And they do not question you when you put them in school. They do not. So there's like this universal oh, if you put something into the school system you get something successful out. And that is not the case always. There's a lot of kids who fall behind, there's a lot of dropouts, there's a lot of people who don't get what they could have or wanted to have out of being in school. And I just find it funny that when you take home the responsibility and where you can say the adult to child ratio is much better than in a school setting, I mean you cannot argue that two parents to three children at home or four children is just better than one to 28. You have so much more time with them, but then it is that people start to doubt that you have the time or energy to be with them. It's kind of. Yeah, it just puzzles me that we do not question the norm, but when people go outside the norm we start to point and ask and be curious about it.

48:45 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Absolutely, and I would be remiss if I didn't add that part of the influence I think that was made it smooth for me which is like. This is definitely somewhat controversial in some unschooling circles. Which actually makes me feel a little bit more of an outsider too is that I'm a volunteerist or a libertarian, and so the philosophy of volunteerism is really that humans should consent to what happens in their life. I mean pretty basic right and that pretty basic. It seems like it, but it's very, very controversial. And it's funny because when I would write about that, a lot of unschoolers would get grumpy about that, even Sandra. But to me it's very much, it's very connected.

49:40
So I was already applying sort of. I was already not sort of, I was already really applying this philosophy of we need to connect with others, we need to trust that people know what's best for themselves, all of those things. I was already doing that with adults in the world, in my from what I can in this world that we live in. Obviously I live in a government and so on and so forth, but my philosophy is that we can't control other people and it doesn't do any good to do that Like it doesn't do them any good. It doesn't do us any good, it doesn't do the world any good.

50:19
So it was very easy for me to sort of pull back and apply that philosophy and see how it transitions. I'm like, oh, so what am I going to do, Really, be really strict with them. And then they're going to turn 18 and I'm going to be like, oh, you can figure it all out for yourself, you know, like now you should be free. I'm like, no, we should all be free. We should all be free to make choices and we should be supported by our community and people around us. And I should support my kids, obviously, as partnerships, but we should all be partnering together to make our lives better, to make the world better, you know. So that that's that certainly helped me transition very smoothly, because once I made that sort of connection, it was, oh, ok, I can't. It made me feel almost like a hypocrite. You know where I was like, oh, I'm applying this in this way, but I'm not applying it, you know like.

51:16 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That moment when you realize that children are people as well.

51:21 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Yes, which is funny because my favorite show going up when I was a kid my one of my favorite shows ever was called Kids Are People Two. It was a Saturday morning show called Kids Are People Two and I loved it, but yeah.

51:35 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But it is a person, no matter how small. Exactly, I had a Dr Seuss quote. I think it is yeah, it is yeah, yeah. When all comes to all, a person is a person, no matter how small. I agree with that, but I also find it I come to this same ish point of view from a completely different place, I think. I think I have a sort of inbuilt, like a gene, maybe even yes, or a personality trait of anarchy.

52:12
Yes, do not tell me what to do. Yeah, I even even saying this now, my toes go like this yeah, I cannot handle it Really, and my mom was the same, very much so. And several of my kids really freak out if you try to tell them what to do. Don't do the finger, don't do the command thing, just don't do it. They are very nice, cooperative people. I'm extremely social. I want to be in a social field of negotiations. I don't want to call it rule, but we can have strategies and systems and you know, just don't call it a rule, because then I have to break it. I just have to. It's like an OCD thing, yeah.

53:03 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Don't make cake today. Don't make cake today.

53:08 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
I feel that deeply because that's something. It feels like I was born with this idea of we not just for myself, like don't tell me what to do, but we should not be telling others as well. Like I have it, and it's not something I could just teach away of myself, it's not something I could, it's just it's yeah.

53:36 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I just usually say I never read a book about it. It's not something that, it's not a point of view that I've reached from from studying philosophy or politics, or it's it's. It's so you are made in my personality that I just have to respect it and other people as well. But here's the rock. Maybe you're saying English. Here's the problem. Welcome. My children are my responsibility and when they were born, I couldn't just, you know, leave them flat surface and hope for the best. They need my help for everything they want, and now it's not they want anymore, but still I find that it's my responsibility. Some of setting the scene is my responsibility. Listening to what scene they want is my responsibility. I have we have together the fine say. I have the responsibility that there will be enough money to buy water at the end of the month.

54:44
I have the responsibility that everybody are well, at least have the option of thriving, and I find that the balance between being this radical I don't want to say anarchist- because, anarchist sounds like I have some sort of strategy, of rule of philosophy I don't but freedom person in that and still governing somehow my children, still telling them you know, you're not having any more peanut butter today, it's not good for you. Or I think we should all put our phones in another room when we sleep. We need that as a family. I say these kinds of things because I really do believe I know better and because I really do believe it's my responsibility to say it, and I find this very hard dilemma to work with as a mother. Oh yeah, how do you cope with this and do you have any?

55:43 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
I feel like I can give some some perspective there, because there's it when I, like I said when I used to be pretty strict when my kids were little, right, like I didn't, I didn't, they didn't eat certain things. Well, yeah, I didn't give them a lot of candy, you know I didn't, you know I didn't want them playing video games all day long, like what. One of the things I would say. I think that what I like, I think it was, it was nice because of the way what, what age, the transition sort of started to happen. So I have that benefit for for me, like where I kind of recognize that I wasn't going to be able to control their behavior and every, all the things in their environment as they got to be, you know, middle, middle school age and then high school age, and I and I recognized that the importance was that, like I said, the relationship that I could have with them was was important, like really, really important. And the other piece of it was I worked on on, I worked on letting go of and that sounds to sort of flip it I worked on digging in myself about how confident I like what things that I did. So I kind of looked introspectively I'm like what are some of the things I did that weren't great.

57:13
I know, I know that as a kid all I was cheese and bread and meat. When I was a kid, like that's it. Like I didn't like any kind of variety of anything and my family did try to force me to but I wouldn't, I didn't right, and it took me having the opportunity to explore foods myself as I got into my teens. That made me come to okay, I know what I'm going to find my way. I'm going to find what works for me, right, and so it's kind of working on looking back at your own experiences, looking at other people, you know, not not in a nasty comparison sort of way, but in a in a inquisitive way and a cure with some curiosity.

58:02
Like, let me look at some people. What are some people that I know that that I go, I would have a hard time eating like that, or I would. You know they always have that like what happens and what happened when they were young? Did they? Were they in a really strict environment? I do that with my husband. My husband eats so much differently than me, like I mean, he he's vegetarian now, but he eats like. He eats so much sugar. He like things that I think are really junk food, not healthy and stuff. It's funny and I'm the one cancer, but you know, hey Know the meaning.

58:42 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I'm the organic.

58:46 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
I'm the vegan too. So, and that happens to be one thing that I can look at, though I can be like, oh, look at, look at, I know how he eats and I can see how it impacts him. I want to change it, but he's a separate person than I. Am Right and and, and I can see. When he was a kid, things were really strict. His mom wouldn't let him. They used to like lock the refrigerator, like he wasn't allowed to have stuff. I mean like and so even lock a refrigerator.

59:18 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I'm sorry, I had to.

59:21 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
I know.

59:22 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
Yeah, have to. They put something on it. They put something to lock and lock the pantry. I guess too it wasn't great.

59:31
No but but you can see now how that would like. I can see from a psychological perspective how that would impact an adult, even 50 years old, because you're, you're your whole life, you're not allowed to have this, you can't have that, you can't. You know, like, you can't do this, this is bad. Then you see other people in your life that, oh, they do those things and it's not so bad. So then you think this isn't really necessarily true and then you know it's all of that. So when it so my, my take on it is if you can step back and kind of go, all of this stuff is happening.

01:00:07
The best thing that I can do is I can. I can be an example. If I don't want the phones next to me, I can go to the kids while I'm sleeping, I can go. You know what? I keep my phone in the other room because you know, I don't, I don't think it's great for us, you know, or very healthy, or if you didn't want to, you know, like you don't necessarily want them to eat a specific thing. I think that eating is not a great example, because I think that when you buy the food, you know you, you can like I wasn't going to buy meat for my kids. You know, like I, I didn't eat me. You know, like we don't, I don't, it's it's, it's a philosophically I disagree with it, you know. So I think that there's a few things like that that you can that Okay, yeah, I'm just, we just don't do that in this house kind of thing. But when it comes to kind of like, here we go.

01:01:02
Sorry, yeah so there's like I think of things like start behaviors and stop behaviors, right, like I think of that in adults and in kids, right, if I will. And if I'm thinking about it in terms of my kids, if I want my kids not to do something, that's, that's usually pretty easier. I can be like, oh hey, I really don't like that, please don't do this thing, right. But if I want them to start doing something, that's, or a person to start doing something or myself to start doing, that's a much harder thing and I think that it's better for relationships when we model the thing as opposed to making it a rule like we're saying you have to do this thing and I keep, I'll use your the phone thing again.

01:01:50
You know, I'd be like I'm going to, I'm going to demonstrate that I don't like this and I'm not going to shame it. I'm just going to casually be like, oh, I keep my phone outside of the bedroom because I don't, I don't like what it does and I'm not going to say that every single night, you know. Or I'm not going to do that. You know what I mean, all of those things, but I'm I'm going to model what I want to see. And here's the second part of it. You model the behaviors that you're sorry a ding. You model the behaviors that your you seek right, and your kids and in your, your life and your relationships. You also have to let go of of the outcome Right. So if they don't do the thing, is it, is it worth damaging the relationship to argue over it or to force it or to shame it?

01:02:45 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Does that make sense?

01:02:48 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It does.

01:02:48 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I agree, but at the same time, we usually say that if it has to do with health and safety, maybe it is worth damaging the relationship and maybe it can be done. And this is where I'm trying to go. And if it can be done without hurting the relationship, Can I help stopping or starting behaviors without making a rule, without being a strict and dominant dictator? Yeah, and that's what I do. Obviously I'm not like, wouldn't be like that, but but I am doing it and I'm doing it even though it contradicts I'm not a person of personal freedom. I still I try my very best to do it without the shaming I think she is.

01:03:44
I have older children so I can just talk to them. But I do talk to them, and I do talk to them with an agenda. Maybe an agenda of helping them to eat healthier or an agenda of handling the consumption of media In a healthier way because I want more health, because I see lack of thriving.

01:04:08
It's not because I'm judging media as such or the peanut butter in and of itself, but because I see adjustment here would make for a better life short term and long term. So how do I? I think some of the radical unschoolers and this is a bad piece of advice that I've received and therefore I want to talk about it the letting go can be too much Okay, and there are situations where I've seen radical unschoolers say no, the the relation is more important. Even if my child gets diabetes, it's more important that our relation is healthy. So I let her eat whatever she wants. And now she's.

01:04:58
You know the doctors are warning us and she's really big, but we have too much fighting going on over sugar, so I'm not fighting because I'm a radical unschool. I think that's just taking it too far and I know this is an extreme example. But I also know that the food is where a lot of parents are trying to do some negotiations. There is a navigation going on where you don't want to be too strict, yes, but on the other hand, it can go too much in the other direction and how do we say that?

01:05:32 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
I think that I also compare like, have things with you know a lens of say like, if it was okay, they're your kids. And when you said, well, if it's about health and safety, maybe it is worth damaging the relationship. Well, there's a couple of things I'd say. Damaging the relationship is about health and safety, because you know it's mental health and it's it's. It can be physical safety if they're not feeling safe. However, that's not to that I'm also not saying that I think that if you, if you make your kids put their phones outside of the room or you're, you don't let them have lots of sugar that you know they're, they're going to grow up and it's going to be terrible. That's not at all. I think that there's way more things involved in making an environment where your kids trust and will come to you. So, very likely, it's totally okay that that's the way you are doing things. I would touch on the, the, where you said that it kind of violates your sense of personal freedom, and because I think that this is something that's really important in in parent-child relationships and in all relationships like your partner relationships, your friendships, is that it's really important to stay true to who you are Right, and so I think of it like even in, like a codependency lens. Lens if you're, you know, in a partnership or if you have somebody that you love, that, for example, if you have somebody you love that is an addict, right, you can't control them, you can't fix it for them. You have to recognize that it's. You have to, you have to come to a place where you can let go and I use that loosely, I don't mean it like, oh yeah, we just don't do anything. You know, like we don't care. You're still there and you still do the things that are true to you, right, but it's, it's going to be unique to who. You are right, Because you might have say you had a kid that's a teenager. Right, let's say they're underage, they're a teenager and they're and they have an addiction issue. Right, you got like you still. You can. You can try to ultra control the the situation by, like, sending them to rehab where they're locked up for two years. Right, that's one method you can go. Sometimes that works out for the kid, sometimes it doesn't. Like you, you can make certain rules around your house. You know, I've had, I've seen parents, because I also do work with NAMI, which is an organization called National Alliance for Mental Illness, where, and any ABPD, which is National Educational Association for Borderline Personality Disorder, and so they talk, teach a lot about codependency and like how to deal with situations like this. So that's why I'm using this example Because I think it is also one of those things that pairs really well to unschooling is because it's about recognizing what's okay for you, right, and what doesn't violate your sense of self right, and it requires you digging in and really looking at what that is right and for you it might be I I it violates my sense of self as a mom to to have them eat all this sugar.

01:09:19
It just it really I can't do it. It's just going to cause so much stress in me and then in my relationship with my kids in that way. Right it might be that right. It also might be like you might dig in and you might go. I really can't control them and I really want them to come to a place where they can figure this out for themselves and I'm going to explore that and let them explore that, and I'm going to do my best to not be stressed out because I don't want to violate my sense of self by forcing them to be how I think they should be or what I want for them, right? And so it all has to do with going inward. It all has to do with looking at what's acceptable for you as a human and your philosophy and you as a parent, because, no matter what you're going to, you love your kids, right?

01:10:20
I know that if my kids were teenagers and they were addicts and they were, like you know, seriously having issues, I would have a really hard time not locking them up and be like okay, I'm going to you know, like, you're just not going to go anywhere, I love you, I'll just sleep on the floor next to you until you know, like, and I would really have to work on, I would really have to work on that and figure out what I, what I could do or what I couldn't do and what was violating my sense.

01:10:46
But I know parents who I've seen parents and talked to parents who it's literally a spectrum where some will go okay, well, they're 16 and they're addicts and I had to lock the door and they can't ever come home. They're not allowed to come home because they're doing this thing and I can't have that in my house, I can't have it anywhere near me, and they, you know, hopefully they have a sleeping bag and they can sleep on the back porch. I couldn't do that, but I don't think those parents are bad because they make those choices. You have to figure it out for yourself, right? That wouldn't be what I would, would do. I can't imagine. But you know, I'm not in their shoes too. So I think it's really about looking in to you and looking inside and kind of figuring out what's acceptable. I can't remember who it was maybe it was Pat Faringa who said unschooling is about allowing as much freedom as you can possibly give.

01:11:48
It would still be it would still be.

01:11:51 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That's what parents can cope with, yeah exactly, but he's paraphrasing John Hald, I think when he says it actually yeah. I think, yeah, I agree with that to the point where you, just as long as you monitor yourself and not don't use that as sort of pillow to rest on, because it's very easy to say, oh I can't comfortably go here, so therefore I'm going to not allow this freedom. You have to explore all that freedom and I also agree that Every journey always, always looking, always questioning, always questioning why am I trying to restrain something here?

01:12:35
What is the problem really? But I like what you said about staying true to yourself. It's the point I've reached now, after 10 plus years of unschooling, where I'm just going to be honest with them. I found out my relapses into the idea of curriculum and control and systems. What worked for me was to talk to them to say I feel I'm relapsing. I'm getting all these ideas. Now Can we talk about the situation? And then I would talk to them and we would end up in a good place, rather than me buying schoolbooks again and throwing them out two weeks later.

01:13:16
And now also, if I worry about some of their thriving elements and where I observe something and I'm like I can't have this, it doesn't look like a happy life to me. I'm worried or at the moment, probably because I'm reading a specific book I'm very worried about technology and all the algorithms sucking us into being distracted and entertained all the time, and the peace of mind is a big theme for me at the moment. But then I just go talk to them and say I see this, it worries me. How does it feel in your end? Can we work with this? And sometimes I get to and this is great because I've had all these great conversations with my great smart children. I can actually say to them I'm sorry, it's probably about me. I'm probably having one of my weird days With this behavior right now. I can't have it, can you please not do it for the next three hours, because I'm in this house as well and I just can't have it. And then they're like okay, cool, everyone has to thrive here and they know it's not forever. Yeah.

01:14:28 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
But in all honesty, sometimes it sounds like we're always well balanced and thought out and just talking kind and lovingly to our kids. And, all honesty, sometimes that revelation of where our limits are comes after they have been surpassed in some way by them or ourselves, where we maybe end up having a temper tantrum or something as an adult. And this is one of the difficult things about being a parent and an unschooled parent where I'm almost saying sometimes I can see how easy it would be to send the kids to school because just having a rhythm where everything is normal and somebody else is taking care of it, you don't need to think through all your values and all that.

01:15:20
If there are problems, it's someone else's fault, one's else's fault and problem to deal with it. And it is one of the biggest joys I find in living like we do. Full-time parenting and unschooling is all the things we talk about, all the things we work through, but it's also one of the things that I sometimes stretch a little. It's like man, now I need to think about new stuff. Can't it just be easy? Sometimes I think we are not thinking too much, but there's a lot of thought going into being a present parent. For my sake.

01:16:05
I've only been a stay-at-home dad for five years. We're the first three. I was more behind the computer and it was a lot easier just to go to work. In all honesty, it was really wonderfully easy. Coming home and everything with the kids were my wife's problems and she had sorted it out. Or I could talk with her when they went to bed about where are we with this and this, and then it would be her problems the day after. And it might be that, or I presume it's actually like this in many families where the dad is going to work out of the house. Dad, then it is a little easier for us to be, honest we don't carry all that.

01:16:51 - Kelly Halldarson (Guest)
It's a constant look at yourself and challenging and questioning why am I feeling this way? What's triggering me? I think that other parents that have sent their kids off it's more about how are they going to perform, what are they going to go do, and I can be hands-off. I don't have to think about it too much

00:00 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Welcome to Self-Directed. We are your hosts, cecilia and Jesper Karlra, and now it's time to welcome this week's guest. So today we are together with Kelly Haudersson, and I pronounced it wrong, right there, I know it.

00:16 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
You did great Too much.

00:20 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It's Haudersson. So, Kelly, the reason we are talking together today is multiple. One of them is that I got a text from Sandra Dodd saying you should really talk to Kelly, and I know you got one as well. So here we are. But at the same point I was like looking up who you were and I was like but that's the Kelly who once had the on-school bus.

00:43 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
That is me, yes.

00:45 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yes, and that has a very big story in our life. But first of all, welcome, kelly. It's wonderful to be here together with you today.

00:54 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Thanks, thanks. It's very good to be here.

01:00 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Let's start right out with the on-school bus. There's people who don't know the story, but maybe you, cecilia, can see, one day came and told me about the on-school bus.

01:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So the thing is a very long time ago, I feel. It was when my fourth child was a baby and I was still exhausted and breastfeeding in bed. And I have four in total. So there were other toddlers around me at the point Just beat cancer Wanted to change our lives. I feel it. Can it be true? Like 12 years ago-ish, I was reading, I was researching the combination of on-schooling and living without a base Because I was sick and tired of the Danish winter.

01:45
My seasonal affective disorder just got worse every year and every time spring would come around and I would start being a little more happy, my husband would go down with all these allergies and it was just-.

01:57
I felt we were at the wrong place on the planet. We were on the right track with our lives, but how outhouse that we had was pulling us down. And one thing that to me maybe my online searching abilities were not profound, but you were one of the only ones out there that I could actually read it was one of the reasons I started blogging myself, because I was like there's no information, I can't no one is telling me how does this life look. But you did so when Jesper told me oh, we're talking to someone called Blavim, I was like not paying attention, and then I was like is that the on-school bus lady? I read that blog 100,000 years ago, in another life, when we were still so to me it's like these circles that Sandra Dot will put us together. But we were all in my world we were all together because we did sell our house and buy a bus and took off and yeah and told it again, which I believe you also did.

03:04 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Oh, that's wonderful though. Yeah, like it's wonderful, so double welcome.

03:08 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Thank you. And so I know the story, but I'm not sure the listeners do so, would you? Just share it. What's the on-school project? What happened?

03:20 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
So it was like in the here in the US it was just after like 2008 was really a big recession, right, and we had moved to we were living in a very rural town and we were just really struggling. My husband's a builder and we had some other things happening in our life. That was like kind of a a make or break period for our for my marriage, for our marriage, right and we have three kids and they were middle schoolish age at the time. We had already been unschooling.

03:59
They did go to school for a little bit, they went to private school and then they had been home for a few years and we quickly evolved to unschooling and so anyway things were kind of there was there was a lot of pressure, it was a lot of turmoil and we just were like we need to do something, we need to go somewhere, we need to experience the world, we need to change, or at least the US travel right. And so I we got an RV to sort of test it out Like an old RV. My husband traded a motorcycle and and then he kept saying well, we got to do a bus because we can, you know, we can customize it and make it exactly how we want and the kids can have their own spaces. And I was like, oh no, please, no, not a bus. I'm already weird enough. Everybody already thinks we're just, you know, like out there. And then he just kept saying it and we went and looked at some, because there was a place that sold old buses and he just really worked on me, on it. You know, I was like let's try to get a big RV. And he's like no, let's do the bus, do the bus. And then I said one day I just said, okay, if we're going to do it, we're going to do it, and like own it. And so that's where I was like we're going to be the unschool bus. That's it. That's what we're going to do, Because I either have to own it or not, right? And so then we did, we built it and that was in, we and we left traveling in 2010.

05:34
Right, and we hit 35 states. We lived on the road for three years. We went to a lot of events. We traveled around, getting work here and there, like handyman work or construction work, and I wrote, and, and the kids were just traveling with us.

05:54
Like I said, they were all middle school age. They, when we started, let's see, they were like 12 to 12, 13 and 15. Oh, actually, no, they were 11. We started 11, 12 and 13,. 11, 12 and 14. That sounds right, yeah, and yeah, we just traveled around and we had a. We had a good time. I mean things are. I think that it's really interesting to talk about because it was really wonderful and we're things that were really challenging to write, because when you're struggling, you you bring all that with you on the road to, so you still have to do the work, you know, on yourself and in the relationship and in the family. So I think that's that's one thing that sort of gets forgotten sometimes, but otherwise that's kind of the story and then we settled back down in 2013, back in New Hampshire, and we've been here since and the kids are doing their own thing because they're all very grown now they are 25, 26 and 28.

07:11 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah.

07:11 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Well, actually, sorry, take that back. They're all. They're in the transition of turning the next age. So two of them just turned and one of them hasn't. So 26, we'll say, we'll say 2026, 27 and 29. Okay, All right.

07:28 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Got the idea, thank you. So you are. Are they still living with you, or did they know?

07:35 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
they don't, they're off. Our oldest lives in San Francisco. He's been there for five years. He's the 29 year old Our middle son has, and my, our middle son and our daughter live in the area, but they do not live with us. But, yeah, and the middle son is about to adventure off to New Zealand for a year with his girlfriend and they're going to go live there. So there's there's.

08:03 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
they're still into exploring to so we have one in that age group she's 24. And we still have three at home, so we're in a different stage, yeah.

08:23 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
We're in the same post bus stage.

08:25 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
We're in the same post bus stage, but not in the same. No no, no, because we just sold our bus. We had it for five years and now we're backpacking. So we didn't, we didn't transit back into a base yet. Yeah, and we don't have it on the horizon either.

08:47 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
No. So I would love to talk a little about the the troubles of traveling in a bus. Maybe it's different in US, but for the listeners out there who is like, oh, this is the best idea in the world, then a bus is very, very big and I I'm not a well, I ended up taking the car, of course, so I was legally to drive the license so I could drive the bus. But but driving such a big bus up and down mountains and trying to find a parking place, trying to go to the supermarket and it is troublesome. So it looks pretty from the outside but finding a parking place for it, sometimes that was very difficult. What was your biggest difficulties by living in the bus?

09:43 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
I think that, like so there are some differences. Like he, my husband didn't have to get a special license because RVs and the because it's considered an RV and if it's considered an RV then you don't have to. That's it's been lobbies. Lobbying has happened so that AARP makes it so that people that are retired don't have to get special licenses to drive big RVs. So if you make your bus and RV, then you don't have that issue. We and driving it around was okay. There's usually generally places to go and park to, like go into a grocery store or something it's.

10:21
It was a challenge to to get a place to stay. If we weren't staying at somebody's, somebody's house or a parking lot like, say, like we have Home Depot's and Lowe's and Walmart's and stuff like that, some of the RV parks would discriminate against the RV or against the buses, like they won't allow schoolies at all. So that was. That was frustrating. We stayed in Vegas and we were supposed to, I was supposed to speak at an event and we get to our, the place we're supposed to stay with RV, and they're like you can't even come in here, so and we're like last minute trying to figure out where in the city we're going to park, you know where we're going to be able to stay.

11:10
So that was it. That was really. I think that was really one of the biggest challenges and frustrations, because and there are also some towns that don't allow you we stayed in one town and we're doing some work with for some friends in Texas, it was like kind of outside of Austin and they which is funny because Texas is a state that has a reputation for allowing most, most things, right, and but we, we tried to stay in the city and this town with our friends and we had to park our bus at the police station and sleep at their house. Oh God, it wasn't allowed.

11:53 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But I can totally relate to that. So the idea when you get a bus and you let go of the base and you think now we're going to travel the world or the US or whatever you think you're doing, the idea is the idea of freedom. Oh, we can go everywhere and with our bus we will have all our needs met we can sleep, we can cook, we can wash our clothes, we can study, we can have a privacy and and you know the idea that most of the everyday things will be solved because you have this bus with you, like the snail with the house on the back. The idea is beautiful. But then the first problem is where we park, and we were traveling Europe and that was one of the things that were just stopping us. Like it's not fun, because nine out of 10 places we park everyone, things that we're the circus arriving in town and they will knock our door and ask when the show starts or if it's a bar or an event or whatever, and so you don't have the privacy. I can live with that for a while, but I get sick and tired of it, brushing my teeth explaining people. You know, I'm just making coffee, yes, and so that's one thing, but that's after I actually find a place to stop the car or the bus.

13:17
Yes, so the freedom is, was in my mind. When we've done it for not even a long time Before a year, I realized this is not freedom. I can't go everywhere. There are both places. I cannot go, either because it's illegal or impractical or impossible, or because it's just too much of a show. I don't want to be there with my boss. I would like to be there myself, but I don't want to bring. We had a big red bus, an old tourist bus from the 70s, very flashy, very beautiful, very beautiful, but everyone sees it. Yeah, that was a downside of the bus life. It was a fun life, but it was also an illusion that it gave all that freedom, because actually it didn't.

14:10 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
But the freedoms of Silya and I sometimes talk about it that it gave was. It was the ticket to freedom, to daring to live without a home base in the start. That has led us to where we are today, so maybe I'm going towards a. How has the post on school bus years been? Have you, did you gain some of the freedom and dreams that you thought you would within?

14:45 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Oh, absolutely, and I just want you just reminded me of something else that I want to type on. Is the people coming in and knocking on the door? We'd have people that would literally just walk in and we'd be like this is our home. Excuse me, this is our home.

15:04
You need to, yeah, so yes, that's that absolutely was a challenge, and sometimes we would purposely when we were coming back to New Hampshire here and staying in New Hampshire, so many people wanted us to visit them and stay with them that we would actually go, stay in a parking lot like a Walmart so that we could have some space and some time. So, yeah, it's like I hear you, especially if you're not all super social people, right so but what has changed is? It's so interesting, because my husband is actually my husband, jeff, right now is all he's been talking about is how much he wants to do another bus build, like he's really interested in doing another bus build and we're working on finishing our house because we we we've been in this house for 10 years now but it we bought, like the work, you know, the most dilapidated house in the nice spot, you know right, and we're very, very slowly working on it. And one of the things he keeps saying is, when the house is done, I'm doing a bus next.

16:13
I'm doing a bus next and he and he'd also love to to build buses. So for we have some friends that that live in Merida Mexico and and have some property in and Dalloon and they we'd like to build some buses to have down there so people could stay in them. So we're, look, we're actually kind of dabbling in that area again, kind of getting ready to someday do that. But we would definitely be keeping a home, our home base. You know that that would be something that's different and I don't. I don't know much about your story, but you mentioned cancer. You just got over cancer. Well, that's something I'm dealing with now. So I I kind of have to stay. I don't have to stay, but I really would like to stay in the vicinity of my doctors because it's not a cancer that is like is gone ever. So I have, you know, I have to, I have to stay with my, my doctors in this sort of area.

17:13 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But if we had a bus.

17:14 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
We could travel, some come back, travel, some come back, which would be, I think, kind of the best of both worlds. We happen to live in a really nice, almost a touristy area, so we could, we could potentially rent out our house, you know, while we were doing the traveling, so that would make it more affordable or actually would make it possibly doable, get on and where you wouldn't be maintaining two things. But we're really like I'm really happy to have found the space that we're in and be able to explore the idea of doing, you know, a kind of a combination where we we check back in with what we were doing before and it's just, it's just fun to think about.

18:02 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It is fun. It is fun to travel and it is also fun to live in a bus. I'm not saying that it's not and we don't like I hear I hear you say it's not like you regret it. You just shared one of the negative sides and so did we, and we just sold ours. It's not even a month ago. So for us it's like a really, it's really new really easy to change.

18:27
Well, yes, but then, on the other hand, our bus has been parked for quite some time, yeah, and we haven't been living in it. We did another conversion in a van because it's anonymous, it's just a black van. When you park it, no one can. Well, there's a solar panel on the roof. So if you really want to, you might guess that someone's living in it. But we really like that and we like that. The van is new, the motor is new and and it can go everywhere, yeah, so, so we, we did make that transition a year and a half ago, so in that way it's not new. And, funny enough, we are right now about half an hour from Tulum that you just mentioned. So that's backpacking, not with a van because the van is in Europe.

19:14
So, no, we're not regretting, we're just. I think it's important to share what happens with this kind of lifestyle, with the unschooling. It's such a darkness to try to look into. If you live a regular life with kids in school and you have this feeling maybe there's something there, maybe maybe I should go that way, then you have no idea what you're doing and it's for me, being European and being from Scandinavia, where no one's unschooling it was, it really was a darkness to try to look into and I could read some American blogs about unschooling, but it's not the same culture.

19:53
And one really big thing is that we are more alone. You can find other people. We couldn't find other people. So now that we are sharing in the business of sharing, right now, recording a podcast, I find it important to talk about the downsides, because it can become this illusion that all, if you just unschool, all your kids will be happy, meditating, professors of everything, and your family life will be such a beautiful, instagrammable thing. And if you do a bus conversion, preferably a schoolie then you just have all the freedom in the world and every morning you wake up to the waves of the ocean and have your organic orange juice. I mean, it's just, it's that and not that.

20:39 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
So that's why I wanted to touch upon the downsides Absolutely, and I think, like I think, that that's that's something that I really tried to make sure to do when I was writing and we were traveling is to not just share all the beautiful stuff to be like, well, this is the challenging and this thing happened and that. But I also always try to just being as who?

21:01 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I am. I have a positive perspective on things.

21:06 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
So even when I things are challenging, you know, and something would happen, I'm going to share it. But I'm also going to look for the what I can learn from it or what the positive pieces and and so I hopefully I did that back then. So I'm going to share it with you. I'm going to share it with you and so I hopefully I did that back then. But when I go back and look, I'm like I think I did.

21:33 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That's one of the reasons I kept reading the blog, because I'm not interested in the more Instagrammable bloggers on the thing that would always have a homemade organic ice cream brought to the forest and you're like, okay, you mean how do you do this, how do? You even bring it there with you. And why is that the focus of your sharing?

21:55 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
It's just overachievers, pushing, pushing ambition too hard and making everyone or making, or maybe I think it's the looking for that outward validation or looking for those praises, or looking for outside of them and outside of their family, people to tell them it's okay. And I think that I've always been a person that, as much as I love I actually really love like social media and sharing things, because I think it's a wonderful way to connect with people, but it's so interesting because people use it so differently and for me it's a means of connection and it always has been so. It never sort of occurs to me to present something that's not truly my life or what I'm dealing with or what's happening. And so, yeah, the very I mean I do look at pretty Instagrammable things too, but I have it in context of I know that there's probably lots going on behind the scenes that's not being shared and I know that personally I like to share those things because it is not everybody my feeling is kind of not everybody has the benefit of being able to see the positive pieces.

23:17
So if I can share something that's happening, that's a struggle and that's hard, and also say, and this is how we managed, or this is how we dealt with that, or this is this is a challenge we continue to face and we'll keep looking at that. You know, and I think that with unschooling too, like you said at least in the US we did it was certainly challenging to find people doing it, but not not to the degree that you had, I'm sure, and I was what one of the things that we worked into our travel is we would go to meet specifically unschoolers so that we could be around other people that were doing that.

23:59
Right, so then you don't feel quite so outside of what's happening. I don't know like I'm trying to think of like the harder parts and what else you mentioned about. You know that it's going to be all perfect, your kids are all going to be super happy and they're all going to love everything and just be like oh, my goodness, thank you so much for doing this. No, no, no.

24:27 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
One thing, that one thing. I might mix you up, mix this up with some other block, but I don't think so. Yeah, one thing that I remember reading that I gave quite a lot of thought back when I was in the process of the transition to the bus life. We had not bought a bus, we were just talking about the options. When our fourth child was born and I was out of hospital and you know we were like post cancer.

25:06
One of the things you said was if you want to live this kind of life, you have to commit to being baseless, you have to let go of your base. And I had a great base. So that was a really challenging thing and I was just wondering and I'm glad you gave me that piece of advice I wouldn't want to own that base at this point. So it's not that. But I decided, we decided to sell our house at some point and try this baseless thing out. And I mean, you went back to having a base and now you're saying I would like to keep my base and have a bus. So have you changed your mind?

25:53 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Well, I think that it was, I don't know that I if there might be some a little bit of a confusion. There might be somebody else that said that, but I don't know, I don't know.

26:05 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah yeah, no, it could be a pot test with you and someone else. I don't know. It came from the rabbit hole of reading your blog and thinking about the bus and the unschooling.

26:18 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
One way I could see that I would say something similar is that we had to because we didn't have another option. We didn't have a house that we sold. We didn't. We were renting a trailer in a little town and we were. We didn't have money right If we were to try to then go rent some other place and make that. We didn't have that option. So I'm sure that I wrote about that that we had to get. We just had to go well, okay, we're not going to have a home, we're not going to have a base, and that was probably a thing of necessity for us, and that maybe translated more as everybody should, but I don't think that I would write it that way.

27:04 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I'm not saying you said everybody should do it and I'm not even saying you said it, but we could maybe discuss it on another, on another foot, then.

27:13
So you have had three and a half years in your life where you didn't have a base, and I've had a while where I didn't have a base unless you considered the boss, the base. So, and now you're back to having a base. I'm flirting with the idea, but no one's on board with it, not even myself. So the base is not coming anytime soon, but it's still the idea of having a base. What did you learn from it? How did it change your feelings of having a base now? And you know to share.

27:50 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
I think that the and the reason, you know, I think that it's in part the base part Like so what happened is our kids got to be teenagers and my daughter was like really flirting with the idea of going you know, like going to school, and we're like, well, where would you want to go and what you know what, where would we get to stay? And we had already been staying in this town at a friend's house, like parked. We spent a lot of time there and a couple of different friends actually, and they just were craving more settled and to be around her friends. So we and a whole series of things sort of fell into place where we were trying to figure out what we're going to do, because we're parked in a bus at a friend's house and and mostly my youngest was like, yeah, I really I don't want to go more, you know. And and we were kind of like, yeah, and there were some other things happening in our life that were were pretty big to relatives that were sick and things like that. And this is we live near where our family's from right, and so all of those things were kind of culminating and we need, you know, we need to either figure out. If we're going to get an apartment we're going to, what are we going to do with the bus? I had already decided to give the bus away, which we ended up doing, and and then just things just really kind of miraculously fell into place.

29:19
And my husband was working with a gentleman that he had done some work with and that does like flips houses, and they and he, he bought the house that we're in because he wanted to flip it. And and we, we were like after a little while, we're like can we? We'd like the house, we'd like that house because of the space it's in the place it's in. And so we worked out a like a lease option. And then we got like a private, you know, like it just all a private mortgage.

29:56
It all sort of fell into place like really like beautifully, like I still scratch my head and try to understand, like how that all happened, but it, you know, honestly, I think it's through the connections and the that we've made in life by being who we are, we connect and talk to people and we, you know, like other. Some people call it networking, but I don't like. I feel like, if it's true connections, that's not what it is, you know, but? But so that's how we ended up here and it really is kind of a dream spot like where we're actually located. Like I said, the house is not like.

30:39 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And how is it to have a bookshelf again? I think, enough bookshelf.

30:43 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Well, I'm looking at. I'm like I don't really have a bookshelf yet, but but it's nice to have the option and it's coming together. It's only 10 years, but yeah, it's, it's. It's nice to feel rooted where I think that both my husband and I haven't really had that in our lives.

31:04
I, he, you know, he was like in the foster care system, which is like in many was adopted and and so we we didn't, we never really had, like I never lived in a house before. This is my like first time. You know, my parents didn't own a house, or you know, yeah, so it's just it feels good and and what's pulling me to keep the base is what the options it's going to, the options it brings us, like I said, we would be able to potentially rent it out, you know, or potentially, you know that kind of thing where we, but also our kids, are all like in their late twenties, now, like mid to late twenties, and I'm like, well, what happens when they get married and they have grandkids and oh yes, I want to have.

31:53
I want to have a space for them to come visit. And, and probably the very biggest thing is, we love animals and we have a million of them, so you can't really have that on a bus. Let's see, we have currently have about 25 chickens, two geese, a duck, two turkeys, four rabbits, two dogs, you know, like we have a lot of animals. So that's another thing that pulls us to wanting to have like a place, you know. And then if we have a bus, if we do another bus conversion, then we can have that for a couple things. We're thinking as we can have that for going to events we like to. We like the band Fish, so we'd like to go to like Fish Music events, and we also we're also talking about possibly like building something out like that that we could. We could then rent the bus out like do you have a family member coming to visit? You know they need a place to stay. That's not in your house. We'll come, bring it to your house and park it you know, things like that.

33:03
We're we're looking at the other options, but I think it's the same energy as when we were on the road, because it's like how can we think outside of the box? A little like, how do we think and how do we adapt to what our, our circumstances are now, with, like I need to be near Boston because I need to be near my doctors, or you know, like I want to have space for the kids, or I do want to get to go out and do some things, you know, and how do I adapt to that?

33:31
Does that make sense yeah.

33:36 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I was planning to go up, but I think you're sitting on another question, so I'll shut up.

33:41 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
No, it's a. There's two different subjects that I think would be interesting to talk about. One is about how you started on schooling, and then, after that, I would like to go in to talk about cancer and the fear, because it is something we have in common different versions but there's a lot to touch upon there. So how? First, how did you start it in the whole unschooling world? What happened?

34:14 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
So I had always, always, always, wanted to homeschool my kids Like. I had this vision of like oh, I'm going to have this is hilarious, because that's what I ended up with. I'm going to have three, three kids, two boys and a girl, in that order. I'm going to live in the woods and they're I'm just going to homeschool them and we're going to. It's going to be this I had I don't know why, where the vision came from, but that's sort of what I wanted, and my husband used to tease me. He's like Well, where's the dad in that? I'm like oh, I don't know.

34:44
That's what I used to say when I was young. So so I think that, though, when I had the kids and then we, we originally like my first kid we lived in Phoenix, arizona, which is far from here when I had him, but then we ended up moving back to New Hampshire around family, and I had the other two and I I really lacked, and I was young, I was young, I had all three of them by the time I was 24. So I, I really started, I lacked the confidence, right, like I didn't feel, like I could explain to my family why I didn't want to send the kids to public school. I also currently had lived in a town that wasn't great and didn't have very good schools, and not that I wanted to send them to public school anyway, but I just couldn't explain myself well enough. But I could get them to understand that I didn't, that I wanted them to have a special education or an important education, so I did send them to a private school. We sent them to a couple of private schools at first, and the first one was like a Montessori style school, and then I it cost more than our rent, did I mean it was really and then I.

36:11
We ended up sending them to a Christian school, which was right by our house. We're not Christian, but it I. But the attitude of the school was they're your kids Like. When I interviewed with the you know like explored the school, they're like, they're your children, we know they're your children. So if you like have a problem with something, you want something, you tell us. You know we're here to serve you kind of thing. And so they went there for a few years and when my oldest was in fifth grade they bumped my middle kid up a grade. So he was, he got skipped a grade. They all were younger because they have fall birthdays, which I don't know if it matters where you are, but it matters here. It's like there's like a cutoff that you have to be a certain age.

37:01 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So they were already young.

37:03 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
And then they skipped my middle kid up a grade two and so the last years they did was fifth grade, fourth grade and second grade and they just would come home with homework. And I remember they had so much homework and my middle kid had such a hard time doing the homework not the hard time with the homework, but doing it. He's like I already know this, I know it, you know like, why am I? And I remember being really frustrated because I was like just study it and then I would read the things and some of the things I didn't agree with, and then I was like forcing them and arguing with them about doing work that I didn't even agree with or think was accurate or whatever. And I remember having like a mini existential crisis where I called my aunt and I'm like can you believe this is I just I can't. And she's like no, plenty of people go to that school and they turn out wonderful. And I'm like I'm sure they do, you know like. And just hanging up and going.

38:09
So I would look for another school and I got a job at a prep school that summer and I was going to transition them all to this other school, this prep school. That started like early. It was like, you know, first through 12th or whatever. And I got and this was going to be my way to do it because I got the job there and you get a discount, all this and I could bring the one kid in and then I could bring the. You know, like I had it all figured out and I just really looked at it after I had it all figured out and I was like this is insane, this isn't going to be work. This is going to work. I'm going to be juggling it, I'm going to be running all over the place. The kids aren't going to get what I actually want like in life.

38:56
And I ran into a friend who was homeschooling her kid that I'd known since first grade and she's like come, come to the play group, you know, come to our park day. And so I did. And I was like one time and I went to the park and I went oh, there's this many parents, all right, yep, you know they're just homeschooling, right, and it's secular homeschooling, so like there's not any kind of religious pressure or whatever. Not that I might. Religious homeschooling is fine too, whatever people want to do. But I just was like oh, I can do this, I'm going to do this and so. And that group was called the Seacost Unschooling Network because the person who started the group was into homeschooling, the people that were in the group and the parents that were in the group. There weren't other unschoolers, it was just.

39:51
It just happened to be that she was really interested in homeschooling and so she started this play group and I still credit this woman, miriam, always to be like the spark.

40:04
So she had two older kids that were a couple of years older than mine. One was going to be a freshman in high school and the other one was just a year older than my oldest and they were. And then she had two younger, younger ones that were much younger, and those kids were so normal, so Not green, not square. I was going to be like, well, they were so articulate and wonderful and polite and sweet and I'm like they were just great, normal, awesome, good kids. And the more that I went to this I said, ok, I'm not doing this, we're just going to homeschool them. My husband was kind of like I don't know what you're doing, whatever, and I just kept going to the group and I would talk to Miriam and she's like, oh, you read John Holt and John Holt is like John Holt, john Holt, john Holt. And then and some Sandra Dodd, and I started reading and I was just like, oh, this is it. This is why I left. I pulled them out of that school. It's because I didn't want to be fighting with them. I wanted to maintain the relationship. I want that to be the structure, and I know from my own background of schooling that that's what I needed.

41:32
I needed that freedom to explore what I was interested in, because I was one of those kids that was considered a gifted kid and I was just like my middle son, where I wouldn't do the work. I'd be like I already know this. This is why am I? There's stuff going on at my house that's more important than this busy work, and so I just very quickly I mean I think we did a couple of projects at first where I was kind of focused on math and reading and but I want to say, within four months I was homes, I was unschooling. I was like, oh, wait a minute. No, I'm going to be like what are you interested in? What can we do today? Or if I was interested in something, I'd be like look what I'm doing. Or like I would just sort of bring it in.

42:23
And I made the focus be my relationship with the kids and how could I manage? And it continued to be like how can I manage my own emotions so that I could be a better parent? And I'm still working on that. Oh yeah, I still work on that. And then it's just fascinating because you can kind of sort of look, you can definitely look back and be like, ok, I wish, I actually wished that I had unschooled from the start. If I had that time, I wish that I had. I think I would have done better overall if I had done more care for myself, like loved myself a little more and got a little better example in those ways. But it's so interesting, but that's how I shifted into unschooling and that's how and then I just I embraced all the pieces. It wasn't long before then I was radical in school or where the kids were really allowed to go to bed when they wanted and play video games, where I had once upon a time been very strict about that, yeah.

43:35 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So Long ramble no, no, no, it's great, it's great. I was thinking about how powerful. So there are two forces that play. One is the expectations of everyone around you and your expectations about their expectations. Or, you know, it's in the mind and it's in reality there is. It really is walking upstream to make this kind of decision. We did meet some people. They are, they were around and they are more now, but I had the general impression that they are more in the states and you know, but then it's a huge country so it's not everywhere you meet someone in the local supermarket. I get that. So that's the one. One force is all the, everything pulling you into the normality. And then there's the other force, which is just powerful Like you can't even explain it to meet other people and their kids. You said it, you know. I looked at them and they were normal. There's nothing wrong with them, and this was exactly.

45:00
Yeah, I remember feeling ashamed staring at the other homeschooling families, children. When I first met them I was like it's not a Sue senior, but but really what I needed at the time when I was flirting with the idea of homeschooling, was to see some other kids, some kids who had never been to school because the idea was so radical. And then, in all reality, that's what I did when I was shopping for private schools. I would go to the private school, I would listen to all the blah blah of the teachers and the headmaster and whatever their philosophy, but I would stare at the teenagers. You know, you put in sweet kids. They're five, six years old. What do you get in the other end? What comes out Exactly, and that's what you stare at.

45:46
And I'm just thinking it's just the most powerful thing if you're ever flirting with the idea, even if you're not flirting with it, and think all the unschoolers are crazy people, maybe go look at some of them. It's the most powerful thing ever. So it's just funny. You had the same. I mean, I had that experience, the exact same experience. And I also think within I think my road to unschooling was more bumpy that I would unschool but then fall into a darkness of doubt and pull out the books again and try to do some structure, and then I would unschool and then I would. You know, there was some and I can't remember now it's been a long time, but there were some months, maybe even a year, where I would go back and forth and have these relapses into the idea of structured home education.

46:44 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Yeah, and be like they need to learn this thing, right, Like I feel like they're not learning this thing or like I think most of the times it was the influence of other homeschoolers, actually who was doing structured things, or the influence of some of our extended family.

47:02 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That would be like but what about math? Or? And I would be convincing not just judging, but really convincing and I would think I enjoyed studying when I was a child. So maybe I'm just teaching them a skill, teaching them to study a thing, and then that would be a relapse and then after I don't know a week, I would give up.

47:25 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, there's this funny thing about when you, as a parent, take home the responsibility and do not outsource it to a school, then people start to question you.

47:36 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Yeah.

47:37 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And they do not question you when you put them in school. They do not. So there's like this universal oh, if you put something into the school system you get something successful out. And that is not the case always. There's a lot of kids who fall behind, there's a lot of dropouts, there's a lot of people who don't get what they could have or wanted to have out of being in school. And I just find it funny that when you take home the responsibility and where you can say the adult to child ratio is much better than in a school setting, I mean you cannot argue that two parents to three children at home or four children is just better than one to 28. You have so much more time with them, but then it is that people start to doubt that you have the time or energy to be with them. It's kind of. Yeah, it just puzzles me that we do not question the norm, but when people go outside the norm we start to point and ask and be curious about it.

48:45 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Absolutely, and I would be remiss if I didn't add that part of the influence I think that was made it smooth for me which is like. This is definitely somewhat controversial in some unschooling circles. Which actually makes me feel a little bit more of an outsider too is that I'm a volunteerist or a libertarian, and so the philosophy of volunteerism is really that humans should consent to what happens in their life. I mean pretty basic right and that pretty basic. It seems like it, but it's very, very controversial. And it's funny because when I would write about that, a lot of unschoolers would get grumpy about that, even Sandra. But to me it's very much, it's very connected.

49:40
So I was already applying sort of. I was already not sort of, I was already really applying this philosophy of we need to connect with others, we need to trust that people know what's best for themselves, all of those things. I was already doing that with adults in the world, in my from what I can in this world that we live in. Obviously I live in a government and so on and so forth, but my philosophy is that we can't control other people and it doesn't do any good to do that Like it doesn't do them any good. It doesn't do us any good, it doesn't do the world any good.

50:19
So it was very easy for me to sort of pull back and apply that philosophy and see how it transitions. I'm like, oh, so what am I going to do, Really, be really strict with them. And then they're going to turn 18 and I'm going to be like, oh, you can figure it all out for yourself, you know, like now you should be free. I'm like, no, we should all be free. We should all be free to make choices and we should be supported by our community and people around us. And I should support my kids, obviously, as partnerships, but we should all be partnering together to make our lives better, to make the world better, you know. So that that's that certainly helped me transition very smoothly, because once I made that sort of connection, it was, oh, ok, I can't. It made me feel almost like a hypocrite. You know where I was like, oh, I'm applying this in this way, but I'm not applying it, you know like.

51:16 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That moment when you realize that children are people as well.

51:21 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Yes, which is funny because my favorite show going up when I was a kid my one of my favorite shows ever was called Kids Are People Two. It was a Saturday morning show called Kids Are People Two and I loved it, but yeah.

51:35 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But it is a person, no matter how small. Exactly, I had a Dr Seuss quote. I think it is yeah, it is yeah, yeah. When all comes to all, a person is a person, no matter how small. I agree with that, but I also find it I come to this same ish point of view from a completely different place, I think. I think I have a sort of inbuilt, like a gene, maybe even yes, or a personality trait of anarchy.

52:12
Yes, do not tell me what to do. Yeah, I even even saying this now, my toes go like this yeah, I cannot handle it Really, and my mom was the same, very much so. And several of my kids really freak out if you try to tell them what to do. Don't do the finger, don't do the command thing, just don't do it. They are very nice, cooperative people. I'm extremely social. I want to be in a social field of negotiations. I don't want to call it rule, but we can have strategies and systems and you know, just don't call it a rule, because then I have to break it. I just have to. It's like an OCD thing, yeah.

53:03 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Don't make cake today. Don't make cake today.

53:08 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
I feel that deeply because that's something. It feels like I was born with this idea of we not just for myself, like don't tell me what to do, but we should not be telling others as well. Like I have it, and it's not something I could just teach away of myself, it's not something I could, it's just it's yeah.

53:36 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I just usually say I never read a book about it. It's not something that, it's not a point of view that I've reached from from studying philosophy or politics, or it's it's. It's so you are made in my personality that I just have to respect it and other people as well. But here's the rock. Maybe you're saying English. Here's the problem. Welcome. My children are my responsibility and when they were born, I couldn't just, you know, leave them flat surface and hope for the best. They need my help for everything they want, and now it's not they want anymore, but still I find that it's my responsibility. Some of setting the scene is my responsibility. Listening to what scene they want is my responsibility. I have we have together the fine say. I have the responsibility that there will be enough money to buy water at the end of the month.

54:44
I have the responsibility that everybody are well, at least have the option of thriving, and I find that the balance between being this radical I don't want to say anarchist- because, anarchist sounds like I have some sort of strategy, of rule of philosophy I don't but freedom person in that and still governing somehow my children, still telling them you know, you're not having any more peanut butter today, it's not good for you. Or I think we should all put our phones in another room when we sleep. We need that as a family. I say these kinds of things because I really do believe I know better and because I really do believe it's my responsibility to say it, and I find this very hard dilemma to work with as a mother. Oh yeah, how do you cope with this and do you have any?

55:43 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
I feel like I can give some some perspective there, because there's it when I, like I said when I used to be pretty strict when my kids were little, right, like I didn't, I didn't, they didn't eat certain things. Well, yeah, I didn't give them a lot of candy, you know I didn't, you know I didn't want them playing video games all day long, like what. One of the things I would say. I think that what I like, I think it was, it was nice because of the way what, what age, the transition sort of started to happen. So I have that benefit for for me, like where I kind of recognize that I wasn't going to be able to control their behavior and every, all the things in their environment as they got to be, you know, middle, middle school age and then high school age, and I and I recognized that the importance was that, like I said, the relationship that I could have with them was was important, like really, really important. And the other piece of it was I worked on on, I worked on letting go of and that sounds to sort of flip it I worked on digging in myself about how confident I like what things that I did. So I kind of looked introspectively I'm like what are some of the things I did that weren't great.

57:13
I know, I know that as a kid all I was cheese and bread and meat. When I was a kid, like that's it. Like I didn't like any kind of variety of anything and my family did try to force me to but I wouldn't, I didn't right, and it took me having the opportunity to explore foods myself as I got into my teens. That made me come to okay, I know what I'm going to find my way. I'm going to find what works for me, right, and so it's kind of working on looking back at your own experiences, looking at other people, you know, not not in a nasty comparison sort of way, but in a in a inquisitive way and a cure with some curiosity.

58:02
Like, let me look at some people. What are some people that I know that that I go, I would have a hard time eating like that, or I would. You know they always have that like what happens and what happened when they were young? Did they? Were they in a really strict environment? I do that with my husband. My husband eats so much differently than me, like I mean, he he's vegetarian now, but he eats like. He eats so much sugar. He like things that I think are really junk food, not healthy and stuff. It's funny and I'm the one cancer, but you know, hey Know the meaning.

58:42 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I'm the organic.

58:46 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
I'm the vegan too. So, and that happens to be one thing that I can look at, though I can be like, oh, look at, look at, I know how he eats and I can see how it impacts him. I want to change it, but he's a separate person than I. Am Right and and, and I can see. When he was a kid, things were really strict. His mom wouldn't let him. They used to like lock the refrigerator, like he wasn't allowed to have stuff. I mean like and so even lock a refrigerator.

59:18 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I'm sorry, I had to.

59:21 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
I know.

59:22 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Yeah, have to. They put something on it. They put something to lock and lock the pantry. I guess too it wasn't great.

59:31
No but but you can see now how that would like. I can see from a psychological perspective how that would impact an adult, even 50 years old, because you're, you're your whole life, you're not allowed to have this, you can't have that, you can't. You know, like, you can't do this, this is bad. Then you see other people in your life that, oh, they do those things and it's not so bad. So then you think this isn't really necessarily true and then you know it's all of that. So when it so my, my take on it is if you can step back and kind of go, all of this stuff is happening.

01:00:07
The best thing that I can do is I can. I can be an example. If I don't want the phones next to me, I can go to the kids while I'm sleeping, I can go. You know what? I keep my phone in the other room because you know, I don't, I don't think it's great for us, you know, or very healthy, or if you didn't want to, you know, like you don't necessarily want them to eat a specific thing. I think that eating is not a great example, because I think that when you buy the food, you know you, you can like I wasn't going to buy meat for my kids. You know, like I, I didn't eat me. You know, like we don't, I don't, it's it's, it's a philosophically I disagree with it, you know. So I think that there's a few things like that that you can that Okay, yeah, I'm just, we just don't do that in this house kind of thing. But when it comes to kind of like, here we go.

01:01:02
Sorry, yeah so there's like I think of things like start behaviors and stop behaviors, right, like I think of that in adults and in kids, right, if I will. And if I'm thinking about it in terms of my kids, if I want my kids not to do something, that's, that's usually pretty easier. I can be like, oh hey, I really don't like that, please don't do this thing, right. But if I want them to start doing something, that's, or a person to start doing something or myself to start doing, that's a much harder thing and I think that it's better for relationships when we model the thing as opposed to making it a rule like we're saying you have to do this thing and I keep, I'll use your the phone thing again.

01:01:50
You know, I'd be like I'm going to, I'm going to demonstrate that I don't like this and I'm not going to shame it. I'm just going to casually be like, oh, I keep my phone outside of the bedroom because I don't, I don't like what it does and I'm not going to say that every single night, you know. Or I'm not going to do that. You know what I mean, all of those things, but I'm I'm going to model what I want to see. And here's the second part of it. You model the behaviors that you're sorry a ding. You model the behaviors that your you seek right, and your kids and in your, your life and your relationships. You also have to let go of of the outcome Right. So if they don't do the thing, is it, is it worth damaging the relationship to argue over it or to force it or to shame it?

01:02:45 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Does that make sense?

01:02:48 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It does.

01:02:48 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I agree, but at the same time, we usually say that if it has to do with health and safety, maybe it is worth damaging the relationship and maybe it can be done. And this is where I'm trying to go. And if it can be done without hurting the relationship, Can I help stopping or starting behaviors without making a rule, without being a strict and dominant dictator? Yeah, and that's what I do. Obviously I'm not like, wouldn't be like that, but but I am doing it and I'm doing it even though it contradicts I'm not a person of personal freedom. I still I try my very best to do it without the shaming I think she is.

01:03:44
I have older children so I can just talk to them. But I do talk to them, and I do talk to them with an agenda. Maybe an agenda of helping them to eat healthier or an agenda of handling the consumption of media In a healthier way because I want more health, because I see lack of thriving.

01:04:08
It's not because I'm judging media as such or the peanut butter in and of itself, but because I see adjustment here would make for a better life short term and long term. So how do I? I think some of the radical unschoolers and this is a bad piece of advice that I've received and therefore I want to talk about it the letting go can be too much Okay, and there are situations where I've seen radical unschoolers say no, the the relation is more important. Even if my child gets diabetes, it's more important that our relation is healthy. So I let her eat whatever she wants. And now she's.

01:04:58
You know the doctors are warning us and she's really big, but we have too much fighting going on over sugar, so I'm not fighting because I'm a radical unschool. I think that's just taking it too far and I know this is an extreme example. But I also know that the food is where a lot of parents are trying to do some negotiations. There is a navigation going on where you don't want to be too strict, yes, but on the other hand, it can go too much in the other direction and how do we say that?

01:05:32 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
I think that I also compare like, have things with you know a lens of say like, if it was okay, they're your kids. And when you said, well, if it's about health and safety, maybe it is worth damaging the relationship. Well, there's a couple of things I'd say. Damaging the relationship is about health and safety, because you know it's mental health and it's it's. It can be physical safety if they're not feeling safe. However, that's not to that I'm also not saying that I think that if you, if you make your kids put their phones outside of the room or you're, you don't let them have lots of sugar that you know they're, they're going to grow up and it's going to be terrible. That's not at all. I think that there's way more things involved in making an environment where your kids trust and will come to you. So, very likely, it's totally okay that that's the way you are doing things. I would touch on the, the, where you said that it kind of violates your sense of personal freedom, and because I think that this is something that's really important in in parent-child relationships and in all relationships like your partner relationships, your friendships, is that it's really important to stay true to who you are Right, and so I think of it like even in, like a codependency lens. Lens if you're, you know, in a partnership or if you have somebody that you love, that, for example, if you have somebody you love that is an addict, right, you can't control them, you can't fix it for them. You have to recognize that it's. You have to, you have to come to a place where you can let go and I use that loosely, I don't mean it like, oh yeah, we just don't do anything. You know, like we don't care. You're still there and you still do the things that are true to you, right, but it's, it's going to be unique to who. You are right, Because you might have say you had a kid that's a teenager. Right, let's say they're underage, they're a teenager and they're and they have an addiction issue. Right, you got like you still. You can. You can try to ultra control the the situation by, like, sending them to rehab where they're locked up for two years. Right, that's one method you can go. Sometimes that works out for the kid, sometimes it doesn't. Like you, you can make certain rules around your house. You know, I've had, I've seen parents, because I also do work with NAMI, which is an organization called National Alliance for Mental Illness, where, and any ABPD, which is National Educational Association for Borderline Personality Disorder, and so they talk, teach a lot about codependency and like how to deal with situations like this. So that's why I'm using this example Because I think it is also one of those things that pairs really well to unschooling is because it's about recognizing what's okay for you, right, and what doesn't violate your sense of self right, and it requires you digging in and really looking at what that is right and for you it might be I I it violates my sense of self as a mom to to have them eat all this sugar.

01:09:19
It just it really I can't do it. It's just going to cause so much stress in me and then in my relationship with my kids in that way. Right it might be that right. It also might be like you might dig in and you might go. I really can't control them and I really want them to come to a place where they can figure this out for themselves and I'm going to explore that and let them explore that, and I'm going to do my best to not be stressed out because I don't want to violate my sense of self by forcing them to be how I think they should be or what I want for them, right? And so it all has to do with going inward. It all has to do with looking at what's acceptable for you as a human and your philosophy and you as a parent, because, no matter what you're going to, you love your kids, right?

01:10:20
I know that if my kids were teenagers and they were addicts and they were, like you know, seriously having issues, I would have a really hard time not locking them up and be like okay, I'm going to you know, like, you're just not going to go anywhere, I love you, I'll just sleep on the floor next to you until you know, like, and I would really have to work on, I would really have to work on that and figure out what I, what I could do or what I couldn't do and what was violating my sense.

01:10:46
But I know parents who I've seen parents and talked to parents who it's literally a spectrum where some will go okay, well, they're 16 and they're addicts and I had to lock the door and they can't ever come home. They're not allowed to come home because they're doing this thing and I can't have that in my house, I can't have it anywhere near me, and they, you know, hopefully they have a sleeping bag and they can sleep on the back porch. I couldn't do that, but I don't think those parents are bad because they make those choices. You have to figure it out for yourself, right? That wouldn't be what I would, would do. I can't imagine. But you know, I'm not in their shoes too. So I think it's really about looking in to you and looking inside and kind of figuring out what's acceptable. I can't remember who it was maybe it was Pat Faringa who said unschooling is about allowing as much freedom as you can possibly give.

01:11:48
It would still be it would still be.

01:11:51 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
That's what parents can cope with, yeah exactly, but he's paraphrasing John Hald, I think when he says it actually yeah. I think, yeah, I agree with that to the point where you, just as long as you monitor yourself and not don't use that as sort of pillow to rest on, because it's very easy to say, oh I can't comfortably go here, so therefore I'm going to not allow this freedom. You have to explore all that freedom and I also agree that Every journey always, always looking, always questioning, always questioning why am I trying to restrain something here?

01:12:35
What is the problem really? But I like what you said about staying true to yourself. It's the point I've reached now, after 10 plus years of unschooling, where I'm just going to be honest with them. I found out my relapses into the idea of curriculum and control and systems. What worked for me was to talk to them to say I feel I'm relapsing. I'm getting all these ideas. Now Can we talk about the situation? And then I would talk to them and we would end up in a good place, rather than me buying schoolbooks again and throwing them out two weeks later.

01:13:16
And now also, if I worry about some of their thriving elements and where I observe something and I'm like I can't have this, it doesn't look like a happy life to me. I'm worried or at the moment, probably because I'm reading a specific book I'm very worried about technology and all the algorithms sucking us into being distracted and entertained all the time, and the peace of mind is a big theme for me at the moment. But then I just go talk to them and say I see this, it worries me. How does it feel in your end? Can we work with this? And sometimes I get to and this is great because I've had all these great conversations with my great smart children. I can actually say to them I'm sorry, it's probably about me. I'm probably having one of my weird days With this behavior right now. I can't have it, can you please not do it for the next three hours, because I'm in this house as well and I just can't have it. And then they're like okay, cool, everyone has to thrive here and they know it's not forever. Yeah.

01:14:28 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
But in all honesty, sometimes it sounds like we're always well balanced and thought out and just talking kind and lovingly to our kids. And, all honesty, sometimes that revelation of where our limits are comes after they have been surpassed in some way by them or ourselves, where we maybe end up having a temper tantrum or something as an adult. And this is one of the difficult things about being a parent and an unschooled parent where I'm almost saying sometimes I can see how easy it would be to send the kids to school because just having a rhythm where everything is normal and somebody else is taking care of it, you don't need to think through all your values and all that.

01:15:20
If there are problems, it's someone else's fault, one's else's fault and problem to deal with it. And it is one of the biggest joys I find in living like we do. Full-time parenting and unschooling is all the things we talk about, all the things we work through, but it's also one of the things that I sometimes stretch a little. It's like man, now I need to think about new stuff. Can't it just be easy? Sometimes I think we are not thinking too much, but there's a lot of thought going into being a present parent. For my sake.

01:16:05
I've only been a stay-at-home dad for five years. We're the first three. I was more behind the computer and it was a lot easier just to go to work. In all honesty, it was really wonderfully easy. Coming home and everything with the kids were my wife's problems and she had sorted it out. Or I could talk with her when they went to bed about where are we with this and this, and then it would be her problems the day after. And it might be that, or I presume it's actually like this in many families where the dad is going to work out of the house. Dad, then it is a little easier for us to be, honest we don't carry all that.

01:16:51 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
It's a constant look at yourself and challenging and questioning why am I feeling this way? What's triggering me? I think that other parents that have sent their kids off it's more about how are they going to perform, what are they going to go do, and I can be hands-off. I don't have to think about it too much because somebody yeah.

01:17:19 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And this is not the most normal bridge to talk about cancer, but I wanted to talk about it as well as I am cancer-free? I have never been, but I am the next of kind, whatever it's called in English.

01:17:37 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Next of kin, next of kin yes. She's the next to the kind one.

01:17:48 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Let's hope for some love and effect there.

01:17:50 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So what we, so I didn't want to talk about cancer.

01:17:57 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Because Kelly is going through it and we have something in common and it's a very wild thing to go through as a family and maybe what we have gone through can help people out there and maybe some of the reflections you have made in your life can help some people going through the same things. One of the things I would like to be open and honest about as the next of kin the partner in it it is. I remember one of the most difficult parts for me was that uncertainty where Cecilia was in between. Would she die? Would she die? Would she die? Would she die?

01:18:40
It was half a year of not knowing and in the end I actually was like, but can you please just die now? It would make. Then I could come to a place where I could grieve because this being so scared on such a level and then starting to dream again she will survive, it will happen. And then being so scared again, it would almost have been easier for me to get it over with, get it out there, and then I can figure out how to deal with all the grief. And it was very rough to acknowledge that feeling in myself. And then the other really difficult part as the partner was when she then survived. It was a little weird. She knows I have said it many times, but I I think my husband is there right now.

01:19:36
And I think it's an important conversation that one of the I remember looking at it as a. It took me some time to delove Cecilia again back then because I've kind of put on this metal jacket and being afraid of losing her and then I needed to pull it off and we were still in this period where we didn't know would she have a fallback or not and all that. But that's some of the really weird and not very nice parts of working through it as a partner. Does any of this reconcile with what you have experienced, or where are you? I?

01:20:15 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
definitely, and I think it's funny because I think my I think that's actually kind of where my husband probably is right now like that, like okay, we just had two years of, like you know, up and down and we all, we also, like I said, I don't know, not sure what kind of cancer or did you have. Do you mind sharing? I had leukemia, leukemia, oh blood, another blood cancer, I have myeloma, and so no, I'd say yeah, as if I get it.

01:20:47 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Oh blood cancer.

01:20:49 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
It's a blood cancer. It's another kind of.

01:20:51 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
You had a blood cancer.

01:20:52 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Yes, I'm starting to understand which one Kelly has. Oh, multiple myeloma. Okay, multiple myeloma.

01:20:59 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And for me, what's that? I have no idea.

01:21:02 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
So it. I think blood cancers are so weird because they're all like. Some of them can like morph into each other and stuff. Myeloma is. I get abnormal cells in my bone marrow, so it's like kind of a bone marrow cancer. It's an immune system, it's called it's a lymphatic system cancer and it's one that you get and it doesn't. It's not curable, it's not curable. So they have all these things that they do to keep it off for a bit.

01:21:42
And I found out and it used to be very, very grim that people that have myeloma so it'd be like Google it, it's like oh, the five-year survival rate is like 50, 50 kind of thing, and I've had it for a number of years now. But I kind of lucked out and kind of didn't, so I got an associated condition. So sometimes cancer causes another problem, and so myeloma was so early on it probably wouldn't have been noticeable at all, except I developed this thing called cryoglobulinemia, where it's a type of vasculitis, where it's very unpleasant, where any kind of drop in temperature would cause my skin to. I'd get like a bloody rash. And then it advanced and I started getting like open wounds all over myself and in the temperature. At first it was just like a little bit chilly and then it got to be like at the end, right before I started treatment Last year. I started treatment last year so I did chemo for eight months from May of 2022 to February, and I did a stem cell harvest. So we have my stem cells frozen for later maybe, and I'm on like a daily drug to kind of keep it away.

01:23:19
But it got so rough right At the Like from when we finally figured out what it was to when I started treatment. We put off the treatment at first because I was so early in the myeloma but then the cryo advanced so badly, so quickly that I was. We have a little like tiny house on the property and like I was in there, I was just like confined to it and I couldn't. I got a remote car starter that would show me the temperature of the car so I could like start the car and run to it and like I was just really restricted. It was really unpleasant, but I think I kept a really good Like I felt like I had a really good attitude throughout it, but it was really very traumatic. It's only now that I can kind of look back and go oh my God, I can't believe. I just went through that. You know like it's wild and now that I, every day, I'm feeling I feel like I'm probably 90% me again. But I wasn't. I didn't feel in my own body, I didn't feel mentally, I was just run down.

01:24:39
Like I said, I feel very grateful that I have the perspective of seeing the positive. So through it, I can really and I can really genuinely look at it and go. I feel like this was a gift because it gives an opportunity to explore things that I hadn't, you know, think about. Like I can look at what I I look at things a little differently, a little more firmly, about what I want in my life and what I don't want in my life, what I want to spend my time doing, what I don't want to spend my time doing, how I can help people. But I recognize more that I have to care for myself better to do that.

01:25:18
You know, like all of the things that I knew, you know before, I deeply feel and know now which I don't know, that I would have got there at this point in my life yet if I hadn't had, if I wasn't dealing with this, you know. But I think my husband is kind of in that sort of place where you're talking like because he seems, you know, he was just intensely stressed and worried and he had to do so much too because, like I couldn't go out and do this stuff. It was, I mean, I had to. I was handicapped, I had a little handicap plate, you know, like I, and now it's he sees me, mostly just me again, and he's a little like okay, well, what do I do with this? You know, like yeah.

01:26:09
You know like and we have to like, I get testing every month still, you know. So we don't.

01:26:16 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
All the All the days before, all the fear.

01:26:19 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know it's coming back, we just don't know when and like so yeah, so, yeah. So that can be a kind of you know, unpleasant part, and I think that navigating that as a couple is challenging too, because I mean, I don't know what how you each are with each other, but I tend to be the one that's the one that looks more at the positive and he's pretty negative. Like that sounds bad, but he's wonderful.

01:26:47 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
No, no, no, no, oh boy.

01:26:50 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
He's like the world is bad, you know, and I'm like the world is bad, but it's also wonderful you know Okay. You know, I'm just I don't know. I think that for me that's one thing is, it's just interesting to see play out, and I don't know.

01:27:09 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah.

01:27:09 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Non-I, just.

01:27:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I think one thing that is very similar is we called it post-traumatic growth. Yes, yes, the fact that you yes, yeah, yes, yes, yes, yes. It's not like everything changed, it's just everything got sharper and we got better at it and we got more focused at it. Yep, that's what happened after our trauma. It's been much more time. I was sick in 2010 and I haven't been since, so it's also a different prognosis To me. It was either you beat it or you don't, so it sounds like yours is more like you're going to have to live. You're going to have to live with this and you're going to have to fight it off whenever it wakes up again. I had a disease that Technically, you cannot call me cured because technically it could come back, but the risk is now so little that it's worth it to ignore it. That's how it works. I didn't have a version that you can measure chemically, which is also the reason that I don't have frozen stem cells, because you wouldn't know which one of them would actually be a cancer cell.

01:28:33
So I have no bridge to a transfusion. In case it comes back, I'm going to have to fight it off again, but the risk is now very, very, very small. So we consider it.

01:28:46 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, we both consider it the first five years of the first five years, it's there. Yeah, I see you.

01:28:53 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
After that, the risk is so small that, well, I have statistically a higher risk of getting another cancer disease. I mean, you might as well just be scared shitless all the time, and that's just not worth it. So we call me cancer-free, but technically the cancer is what they call dormant. So this is one thing where I really can relate with the growth, the thing that, yeah, this happened, and I could focus on all the negative and all the things that broke and all the pain and the suffering and what happened to our relationship and how we had to work and getting that back and all these things. Or I could focus on how we got so much clearer. It's not like my values changed. It's more like I hold them more dear. I know that and it's also the reason we became nomadic. The story I shared in the beginning of how I'm lying there in bed with a newborn and all the other kids running around and I'm reading your blog is just after the.

01:30:05
We had the fourth child a year after I was. Was it even a year? Yeah, it was a year. A year after I was done with treatment, we had our fourth child and I just knew. I remember deciding when I was sick and I didn't know if I would survive. I had a very narrow, very small window for survival and I remember deciding there and then at the hospital if I beat this, I don't want to deal with winter again. I need to get out of winter. I don't want to ever have a boss. I'm not going to work. I will work, but I'm not going to have a boss. I'll have to find another way. And what's the third one? Yeah, I don't want to ever regret anything, ever. It's just a waste of time. It's not like I didn't know these things before, but after it just became.

01:31:02
If I get a second chapter, I was 35 when I was sick and I felt we could say up to 35 was chapter one. I had my youth, I had my education, I got married, I had three kids, I had a house. It's a good chapter of life. And then there's this intometo at the hospital with the chemotherapy and the blood transfusions, all this sterile thing. I got to wear the mask much more than everyone else and all the vomiting and all of that. That's like the little pause. If I get a chapter after that. If there is a second book in the story of my life. I don't want all that winter, I don't want all that suffering and I don't want to waste my time regretting. That was my big things and that was my focal point when I got out of it. Okay, I have a lot of problems. I had a lot of problems, a lot of problems. After I had so many problems, after being bombarded with chemotherapy, my body was. I don't know how we made a shot.

01:32:09 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
I mean, he's it was sexy bold, that's all I know.

01:32:13 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I know how that happened. I mean, how could my body produce the child? I don't know. I was so weak and I was so sick. I kept vomiting for two, three years. It was horrible, but my focal point was I need to create a beautiful life in this second part of the story You're writing, this next chapter. I'm writing it, I'm the author. Yeah, and I just hear you saying sort of the same. You know, okay, let's stay on the path then and not waste our time.

01:32:50 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah.

01:32:51 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
It's deep reinforcement, right, deep reinforcement of the values that you want in the world. I think that's the gift that it gives you.

01:33:01 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It is Sometimes I say I didn't like the wrapping of the gift.

01:33:05 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
No yeah.

01:33:08 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
But it is a gift and really taking this life serious is such a present, even though it's rough. But we get more out of the days now than we did before, absolutely yeah. And with sharing my story I just also wanted to say, because you said you had cancer and was sitting thinking about it, give him, if he it is hard because I've been there. It is really wild to be in that situation where you are on what will happen all the time. I remember Cecilia, about her period, said that she was more afraid of losing us than of dying.

01:34:00
That also was very powerful. I like that. It's pretty beautiful. I'll give you that. You did. It was absolutely that.

01:34:11 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I wasn't really afraid I could get very sentimental about the idea of not seeing my kids growing up, but I had a very clear vision. I don't know. I think it was sort of easy and I don't think my story here is parallel to yours, because leukemia is different, because you get so vulnerable and so sick and either you beat it or you don't. I mean it's not like I didn't get to go home for a while, it's not like all of the cancers with the skin.

01:34:52
No, no, no. The ecology. You know where. You see, is it growing or not?

01:34:56
All of this was a very straightforward thing. They could measure in my blood every day. What's the status of this? Is it going away or is it not? There was no waiting. It was very clear Is the chemo working or not?

01:35:13
They had no way of predicting it. They said to some patients the chemo will eat the cancer, it will work. It doesn't technically eat the cancer. Anyway, either it works or it doesn't work. And it's clear. You can see it within 24 hours. And if it works, we have a percentage. How well did it work? And I was just in the very lucky position. It worked very well. It worked 100%. It cleared it out every time.

01:35:38
I did four treatments and my job was just to survive. I mean, my job was easy and if I failed I would be dead. I would have no more problems. In a way you know it was not like. But my husband, his job was to navigate his own panic, the panic of our three children, and the outcome, if I didn't make it was, it was going to be his problem for the rest of his life. So in a way I'm not really traumatized at this point. I survived and yeah, I have some scar tissue here and there in my inner systems. I wouldn't say it didn't affect me negatively. Now I shared all the positive things the post-traumatic growth and how it all got clear and how we got powerful, and it really is the motor driving us to do all these crazy things that we do. But of course there's also scar tissue. Of course I'm also hurt. It's just not that bad, whereas I think for you.

01:36:44
It's still really traumatic.

01:36:45 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
I still have some stuff that I'm just pressing down there, not working with them.

01:36:50 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Yeah, yeah.

01:36:52 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
I'm being Begin to that, maybe at some point Maybe I'm coping. That's fine.

01:37:02 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
No, I think I look at it. I really do look at it like a gift and maybe because I'm still so close to have I haven't even been a year outside of treatment yet and technically I'll still be in treatment because I get it. I have to take a pill every day but I just mostly see the positive, other than when I reflect and go, wow, that was hell and I didn't. You know what I mean. Like wow, but that's almost more empowering because I'm like holy shit, kelly, look what you got through. Like look what you got through, and it was a lot. The only reason why that treatment was put off, or I put off, was because I insisted on putting it off, because I was like I don't want to do the chemo thing yet. I don't want to do and it was. But it became very apparent that it got so aggressive so quickly that I mean with the lesions and stuff, what happens is you lose limbs.

01:38:09 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
So I was like okay, have to do it.

01:38:12 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Like have to Right. Clearly, this is like you got really bad really fast. Let's do this thing, but it is this weird long, you know, which is different than like an intensity, really, in a small amount of time, right when you're like, you have the one. Okay, this is it. You're going to take it. Either it's going to work or it's not going to work, or you know, yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:38:39 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Well, I couldn't put it off. I felt I knew physically, yeah, At that point that I and they also confirmed that the doctors if I said no to treatment, I would die within a week. Yeah, it was not like I didn't have any right time to pause and think and it was really a weird thing because I was hospitalized on a Friday morning.

01:39:05
Friday and diagnosed the same day. They had to take some bone marrow things out and you know it takes a while to confirm the diagnosis that they had for my blood. Yeah, but they have to, of course, be a hundred thousand percent sure and they told me we can. We got this. This is a curable disease. Not everybody gets cured, but it is a curable disease. You have to take the chemo. You cannot take anything else on top of it. If you want to do something alternative, you can do it, but then you're not getting the treatment here and then you can beat it. If you don't take it, the prognosis is you will die within a week, maybe 10 days, and I felt that I could hear my body screaming yeah.

01:39:55
So, and then I had to wait until Monday to get treatment because it was weekend.

01:40:03 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
How does? That mess with your mind.

01:40:06 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
You know like oh, you're going to die in 10 days.

01:40:08 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
You can wait till Monday. Yeah, so you have a week, and we'll wait three days.

01:40:13 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, okay, thank you very much. That was a really, really weird weekend, like as in very much, and at the same time, I had multiple infections everywhere because the disease was eating my immune system, and one of them was so extremely painful that I got morphine, and so I my mind was in shock and in a blur of drugs, and also I had like I just had everyday blood transfusions because my blood percentage was extremely low. Yeah, so, yeah, that was a really weird weekend. It was really was.

01:40:51 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Well, you said it with the post traumatic growth, like that, and you said that that's like one of my my favorite topics, my favorite things is I'm so fascinated by post traumatic growth and what and how some people have growth and some people have almost have the opposite right when they have like.

01:41:14 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
PTSD. Oh, can I express Disorder, disorder.

01:41:18 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
And I am because, even at all of my experiences life, when I have something traumatic, I I feel like I've grown from everyone, you know, and I it pains me that not everybody experiences that. So it's just, it's fascinating to me and I'm I wish there was like. I wish there was like something magic that you could help. You know, like poof, everybody, everybody experiences that instead.

01:41:50 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Right, but obviously, I might risk it and be very provocative and say most of it, I think, is mindset oh.

01:42:06 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
I think it is my, I think people with PTSD.

01:42:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I get how hard life can be and how severely impact you can be by things that are out of your control, and that the reactions in the emotional life is also out of your control. But at the same time, if you wanted you to also have post-traumatic growth, then it's mindset. It's all it is, and it might be that you have to work really hard to get into the rhythm of having this positive mindset. Looking at, what did I learn from this? What can I gain from this? What is the takeaway that I now uniquely have? No one else has it. I can walk longer and in more light because of what happened.

01:42:55
To get into the habit of thinking in that way is a habit that might have to be curated for quite some time. Just like if you want to learn, if you want to learn a marathon, you're not getting up and running a marathon. The day you decide it, you get up and maybe you buy a sports bra and a pair of shoes and run 200 meters and feel you have to throw up your lungs and faint, and then you do it again the next day and the year later. Maybe you can run a marathon, maybe even not. Maybe you can only run half a marathon and the same thing.

01:43:33
I think it's very habitual. It has very much to do with how we usually look out on life and how we usually use our minds. So when I was talking and studying about post-traumatic growth, the literature is very much like as if it's random. Some people have this. Oh, that's amazing. As if it comes from nowhere, as if it takes no effort and as if it's just you know, you're just lucky if you have it. Some people are blonde, some people are darker. Here it's not like I don't believe in that.

01:44:07
I believe it takes personal effort and everyone can achieve it, and I'm not sure I'll be popular from saying that.

01:44:14 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
No, I'm Well you, I think so but maybe some I echo what you say Like I think all of the things that you're saying, yes, and I actually do think there's something that some people have more of a natural ability to do this, Like I was born with this and you know, what's really funny is I did like, have you ever done like the DNA studies? Right?

01:44:41 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
So there's a specific, there's an anarchy gene.

01:44:45 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
There's a gene, an empathy gene, and this empathy gene, if you have it, like the specific orientation of it, it called the Like. If you have the GG allele, you know, as both the AG, whatever you have a tendency to be more empathetic and recover from stress better and like there's a whole bunch of things. It's actually really really highly studied and when I first like did my 23andMe and then like ran it through one of the things and that came up, I felt so validated because I was like because I have that, I have that, that the GG, right, and I remember because my husband did it too and he doesn't tend to be that kind of person and it's. I think this is a silly, a silly quick story, but he has the AG, which means he's generally he would generally be maybe less empathetic right. Then the regular person, I'd be more empathetic than a general. That's generalized, that's only like what you're kind of born with, but everything that you're born with still has to be either strengthened or not, right.

01:46:01
And he, and when I told him that, his response was oh see, it's always bad, I have the bad thing, and my response was no, actually yours is better because your empathy is earned. You have practiced learning these tools and I just have this natural disposition for it, so it's easy for me. So yours is actually the neater thing, because you're empathetic out of practice and I'm sort of empathetic out of natural ability, which is also hilarious, because that's exactly what those two things mean right, Exactly.

01:46:38 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, that is funny.

01:46:40 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
So I think that, yes, it's a muscle like. It's like a muscle, you've got to build it and I think that anybody can, almost anybody I'll never be absolutes, but can work toward having growth too. And I think it's harder for some people, and that's the part that I am so curious about, like how do we I say that sort of generally help the people that it's harder for, just like it's harder for some people to understand things like unschooling, or it's harder like there's a philosophical shift that kind of needs to happen, a mindset shift that needs to happen for things like post-traumatic growth, or for things like unschooling, or for things like living off and traveling. It's mindset work.

01:47:29 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It is, and it reminds me of one of our former guests and a personal friend of us, Janet Edward, who is like a transformational leader, written a book called the Passion Test, about trauma. One of the things he tells is a story that basically is saying if you went through something traumatic in your life, then it's up to you if you relive it every night. And some people, when they walk through life and relive the trauma again and again, they keep reminding themselves of that. Things that maybe only happened once and whatever made that happen once is a thought, of course, but it only happened once and it is again about and that's one of the things I love is like taking the responsibility for your own life, and it's also where I love the connection with the whole unschooling is we take the responsibility and we keep taking it, but it's also so damn hard sometimes.

01:48:38 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
It is, oh, it would be easy not to be responsible, that's one of our sons say it's as if it's always complex.

01:48:47 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I can't, we just get a simple solution. I'm going to just be bold now and take up my arm like this I love this conversation, but the one hour thing is.

01:48:58 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
We took that for one hour.

01:49:00 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Two hours, three hours and four hours.

01:49:03 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Okay, but let's.

01:49:04 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Maybe we meet in Tulum and build buses at some point. It's a wonderful conversation, and it could go on and on and on. I feel it, but we have to somehow bake ourselves stuff.

01:49:22 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
What about rounding up with a good advice for people out there wanting to travel to Pad, or either at bus or on schooling? You can choose which one to give advice to.

01:49:34 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Oh goodness, I think that to work on I think for either one and for anything in general that could just apply is to work on acceptance radical acceptance and patience. Those are two things that I think are just so important in any of those journeys, either traveling, because accepting where you are, and having patience and accepting that things aren't going to necessarily go the way you need, but also with unschooling, find a way to be more patient, find a way to take some space when you're frustrated, find a way to take a deep breath so that you aren't always, or so that you're not aggravated or stressed when things don't go your way.

01:50:33 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Perfect. Thanks so much, Kelly. If people want to connect with you, how can they do that?

01:50:42 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
They could find me on TikTok. It's just my name, kelly Halderson. That's it, kelly Halderson, and I'm on Facebook still.

01:50:52 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Perfect. We will share the links in the show notes as well. And we were. I would, before saying goodbye, say thank you. Without you, I'm not sure we would have been buying a bus, which was our ticket to freedom. So it's wonderful to connect with you now and thank you for the change your writing has created in our lives. I'm very, very grateful.

01:51:17 - Kelly Halldorson (Guest)
Thank you so much, I've lost my bus. Well, I'm honored, I really am, and it's so wonderful to meet you wonderful people. It's just remarkable, it's awesome, and your journey is remarkable. Just all love, it's all love.

01:51:32 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's episode and if you liked it, then please share it with all your friends and family. We would also love it if you gave our podcast a review. Thanks, and if you want to support our podcast and work, then you can find us on patreoncom Slash the Conrad family. We will continue to travel full time and if you want to tag along, then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at the Conrad family, and you can also read more than 100 blog posts on our website, theconradfamily. Until next time, make a wonderful day, thank you.

 

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