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Warmer than Canada

A Family Gap Year in the Era of Trump

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Plan Your Adventure

On the Road in Latin America

Imagine dedicating a year to exploring Latin America. That's exactly what my friends Keith and Michele Bailey did. This month as part of my Warmer Than Canada series highlighting other families' gap years abroad, I was fortunate to interview the... Continue Reading →

A year on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Here at Warmer Than Canada, I’m launching a new series featuring other families’ adventures abroad. As part of the series, I recently interviewed friends whose kids opted for full Spanish immersion in one of Costa Rica’s public schools. This month,... Continue Reading →

Call for stories: other family gap years

So far Warmer Than Canada has offered a deep dive into my family’s gap year in Monteverde, Costa Rica. As wonderful as our year was, we realize it was just one approach to enjoying family time abroad. As a result,... Continue Reading →

Comic Book Care Packages

Our family is composed of library junkies. In Maine, we visit our fabulous public library at least once a week and reliably stumble back home home under the weight of tote bags overloaded with books. Maybe it was the years... Continue Reading →

Traveling with Kids

Over the course of our family's year in Central America, we had a base in Monteverde, Costa Rica, but we also did quite a bit of traveling. Our first month was spent in Guatemala around Lake Atitlan; we also explored... Continue Reading →

Packing for a Family Gap Year

Moving your family abroad for a year does not come without its challenges. In the month before we left, I wondered if all of the packing could possibly be worth it. Now that we're months into our stay in Costa... Continue Reading →

Nicaragua and Visa Runs

One of the highlights of our year has been our quarterly (and sometimes more frequent) trips north to Nicaragua. As we planned our year in Costa Rica, one problem presented itself almost immediately: everyone we spoke to recommended that we... Continue Reading →

Fútbol and Its Many Lessons

Sometimes being moved abroad by your parents for a year of "intercultural living and enrichment" is a drag. Gone are your Legos, your trusty bike and your favorite picture books; familiar friends and teachers are nowhere to be seen; and... Continue Reading →

Getting the Travel Bug

When I was in seventh grade, my parents pulled me and my brother from school for three months to travel through Spain, France, Ireland, Wales and England. We started with a car and a 10-day-long apartment rental in Spain, but... Continue Reading →

Just say sí!

I've already written here at Warmer Than Canada about the logistics of attending Spanish language school in Guatemala and described a day in our lives spent there last July, but two weeks ago the L.A. Times published my article: "Just... Continue Reading →

Travel-Sized Games: Magic for Life on the Road

Travel involves patience and waiting, something kids (and thus their adult associates) don’t often enjoy. We’ve spent many an hour this year waiting for restaurant food to come, sitting on buses or ferries, and killing hours at hotels, on park... Continue Reading →

Guatemalan Spanish School–the Logistics

You may have read my post describing a day in the life of a Spanish-language student in Guatemala. Or, perhaps you've been trying out some of my tips for free Spanish self-study at home and, now that you've begun, you're... Continue Reading →

Guatemalan Spanish School: A Day in the Life of a Student

Ready for a true vacation or break from your regular routine? We loved our month of Spanish lessons, in conjunction with a home stay, in Guatemala. Consider this sample day to get a taste of the experience: 6 a.m.: Wake... Continue Reading →

Start Learning Spanish at Home

Before our family left for Central America, I was determined to have us get a jump start on learning Spanish. The trick is we live in white, rural Maine--not Los Angeles--so there was no turning to adult-ed classes, or a... Continue Reading →

Choosing the Right Country

There are many financial and logistical questions involved in planning a family escape abroad, but there's also the difficult question of where. The following article explains how our family settled on Monteverde, Costa Rica. We hope this outline of our... Continue Reading →

Why Take the Family Abroad?

Many of the benefits of family life abroad are immeasurable, but let's take a moment to consider some specific advantages for children, parents, and the family as a whole. Why Take Your Kids Abroad? First off, taking young children abroad... Continue Reading →

Having Already Fled… to Costa Rica

In the summer of 2016, my family of four left the state of Maine and flew to Central America. Our tickets were one-way, and we each carried a single duffle bag and backpack. We were no strangers to international living:... Continue Reading →

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