COUNTRY 3 Monaco: A Surreal Paradise

My dream is to have a beautiful old house in Monaco.” – Eva Herzigova

Our family infront of one of those old beautiful houses in Monaco!
Imagine a country only five times the size of Mall of Asia, one of the biggest malls in the world, located in our family’s home country, the Philippines. Yet, the modern comfort and elegance all around looks like straight from the luxury fashion magazines, fancy big yachts, majestic mansions and structures, Ferrari cars and French Riviera included.

It is a dream for celebrities to live there. Uhh, so for our family, it’s beyond dreams. It’s that part of dreams dreaming about surreal dreams!

Just look at Turknoy Dad’s happy and serene expression! ❤️❤️
We spent the entire day strolling through the elegant country. The people are friendly yet their posture suggests money and status Turkoy parents could never have. Our family looked so out-of-place in the public bus where everyone seemed to dress up like they’ll be walking down the red carpet of Cannes Festival.

“PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIVE THIS WAY?!” We can’t remember how many times the kids heard the parents said this to each other.

The kids played at the playground close to the Palace where the country’s monarch live. Watching the kids enjoy the place without any inferiorities made us comfortable in the luxurious environment. Turknoy Dad was on high, Turknoy Mum was on high. Never did the day passed so quickly without any worries of where we should be going next. The landscapes, the view, the people passing by created such a dreamlike scenery.

the grass is greener in Monaco.. literally!
Believe us when we say, we are not materialistic bunch. Yet, cliché as it may sound, we left little bits of hearts and mind in Monaco. We walked, had great fun together in a very fancy place for the entire day but we didn’t mind going back to our shabby, barely 1-star hostel in Nice, France where we ate canned tuna and rice for dinner.

Kids really loved the day, but the memories of what is out there, what our family can’t afford at the moment (or any moment in their parents’ lives) and being able to enjoy the environment, surreal as it is, will leave a memory for kids which they could hang on to, if they want to dream of such a place for themselves.

Or to NOT dream about it. Kids also overheard us talking about the high maintenance of living in such a place, imagine the huge houses, yachts to upkeep! Not to mention, the effort to dress up and keep updated with fashion for clothes or home and yacht decors! Oh the priorities! There is definitely a price to pay to for any status in life.

We may not have fully experienced the country as much as we want to, but we have a tiny idea that somewhere along the beautiful French Riviera, there is a country where elegance is normal.

“I want to be rich..” is such a common intangible dream for almost everyone, yet nobody can even visualize being rich looks like except the image of tons and tons of money bills. Well, Monaco is how the “ I want to be rich” looks like. Kids, at the very least, can visualize their dreams, if they want to be rich. Although parents’ instincts tell us that our Turknoy kids will not dream about mainly about being rich. They have witnessed a lot of dreams in our travels, that being rich doesn’t top their bucket list.

Experience is a great teacher, because it teaches knowledge through all the different faculties of our mind, the power of choice and the power of not choosing.

Family photos in Monaco

The Birds And The Stars

“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”  – E.E Cummings

Have you ever seen someone full of eagerness to learn that they kept on trying and practicing to their heart’s content and when they get to learn the ideas they wanted to comprehend, they shrieked carelessly out of pure delight?

“I got it, Mommy!”

What a remarkable statement that is for a home educating family. When traveling to new countries, that statement with different world scenes as backdrop, where they claim to learn something in an out-of-box method, is beyond an awe-inspiring statement.

Those moments are contagious. We can’t help but feel ecstatic about whatever they are learning, whatever is important for them to learn. The songs they want to sing and how they sing it.

Experienced riding one of the world’s oldest ferris wheel

Insert the image of Archimedes running naked around town, shouting Eureka! Eureka!! He has found the answer!

We don’t really get that passionate inside the four corners of our classrooms, do we?

Traveling and home educating shares the same purpose for our family. Song birds singing in their natural habitats. Finding their songs and unleashing the power of their music. The passion, the bliss of singing under the brilliant stars!

inside the world’s first ever submarine !

Oh, the stars!

The stars mean different things to different people. Shining stars, their brilliance is simply magnificent, twinkling the night away.

“Someday, I want to be a star!” becomes a popular dream for everyone. There are gazillion stars up there trying to outshine each other. It’s a beautiful sky. But as e.e Cummings noted, there are no dancing!

Institutionalized. One word we learned as we embarked on our family goals. One word we started to detest and shield our kids from. Yet one, we can’t run away from. One word we defines as “No unique dancing allowed.”

During our school days, remember those times that we have to excel at examinations to show the administrators, our parents and classmates that we are shining brightly because we are top of the class or we got several awards and medals? Was it really that important?

We have been there. Top of the class, lots of medals. Not really that relevant in the real world.

We’ve also seen students who were bad at math and staying extra hours to study to ace a test over practicing violin or traveling on a summer vacation.

Shine bright, stars. That is what stars are supposed to do, isn’t it?
Institutionalized. The lazy way to dream, copy the dream and goals defined by the institutions and live the happy, mediocre lifestyle.

There are lots of bright stars but only when the sky is dark. The system is dark.

Our family is part of the system, we can break free for that, but for this period, the system prevails. We can only hope that there will be revolution in the future to free our stars and let the dancing starts!

For now, we travel and learn as a lifestyle. There will be “dark” moments. We do what we can.

Everytime we have those Eureka, song bird moments from our kids, we are taught again and again, (and again..and so on!).. that anything worth learning can’t be taught. Stars can’t make their own bright lights.

The birds, the birds create their own happy songs.

Happy singing birds over brilliant stars. Why not? 

Happy singing!

turknoys preferred classroom! Awesome white sand beach at Maldives.. did we mention this is a free public beach???