‘Our best ever family decision: quitting school and jobs, and taking to the road’

The Meek family swapped mortgage, work and school for a year of adventures around the UK – their home: a caravan, their classroom: the great outdoors

It was a normal evening in February 2014 when I experienced what felt like a seismic event. It didn’t shake anyone else’s world, but it certainly changed my life and that of my family, possibly forever. As my wife and I settled into bed in Nottingham after a usual day of hard work at our teaching jobs – me at a special school for autistic students; Kerry at a primary school – I switched off our bedroom light, and a light bulb in my mind switched on. The idea led to us making a radical decision that left us houseless and jobless, and saw our two daughters, Amy, now 12, and Ella, now 10, being removed from the formal education system.

Related: One year out becomes two as UK teachers take their girls to Europe

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