Wanderschool Book Review: Becoming Barenaked

A few days ago, when I stumbled upon the Bare Naked Family’s blog and immediately got sucked into reading all about this family who ditched their American Dream Lifestyle for the full-time RV lifestyle, I didn’t hesitate to buy Becoming BareNaked: Leaving a six figure career, selling all of our crap, pulling the kids out of school, and buying an RV ~ we hit the road in search … what it meant to be a family in America. Thank you, Amazon Prime for getting it to me right before my own homeschooling family embarks on our own whirlwind 50-state tour.  Becoming Barenaked ($26.96 on Amazon) is a compilation of handwritten writings and stories by Barenaked Mama, Jenn.  The pages are actually copies of real handwriting, not re-typed and perfectly edited–raw and real.

The Barenaked Family’s story pulls at my heartstrings and hits close to home.  Young and in love.  Career.  Baby juggling. Multiple houses.  The American Dream.  Trading it all for kid juggling. Unschooling.  RV Living. Organic, free range living. Pursuing dreams. Family Love. Coffee–well, a coffee shop to be more precise (my 9 year old holds dearly the dream of owning one).  Endless possibilities.

Jenn’s writings share her feelings and experiences about transitioning from the American Dream life and a six-figure salary, to another, daring life of freedom and simplicity.  She talks about others’ expectations and dealing with the cycle of those expectations, and how her family’s choices freaked people out–and how she realized that her family’s life prior to the RV lifestyle had become part of the societal “machine,” which required careful calculation in revealing their plan to others.  She shares what it was like to return home, only to realize the urgency of needing to leave again because the old life no longer fit.

She explains how her family became the Barenaked Family.  She explains that when she and her husband thought of homeschooling, that they didn’t view it “as a chore, a religious thing, or a conspiracy theory.  We saw it as an opportunity to giver our kids a future they can create.  Not to mention giving them the freedom to just be a kid.”  She offers comfort to those searching for something more or better, that there is something better….  A new American Dream.

For me, reading Jenn’s book is like indulging in comfort food (which of course, is a gluten-free chocolate cupcake).  It’s easy to relate to her words and the feeling of wanting a life filled with meaning, purpose, experiences, and love, rather than an empty, bottomless cup of life centered around acquiring stuff and more stuff.

If you’re thinking about making a big life change, jumping into RV travel or full-time living, or simply longing for something more and can’t quite figure it out yet, Becoming Barenaked, might be worth a read.

Happy Wandering!  Happy Homeschooling!