St Albans family volunteers around Europe in caravan
PUBLISHED: 12:01 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:01 28 October 2019
A St Albans family of five heading across Europe in a caravan is volunteering all the way.
Karen and Warren Binedell and their three children are offering their services for a variety of jobs in return for free meals and somewhere to pitch up.
Karen said: "I was born and brought up in Cape Town before working in several other countries including the UK for 13 years. I've had such fantastic experiences, meeting lots of different people and I wanted to show my children all the world has to offer."
Planning for the trip took over a year, which involved whittling down the family's possessions and preparing their European schedule of volunteering projects.
The family lived on a campsite in St Albans while the children attended Verulam School and St. Albans Girls School.
Dad, Warren, said: "The issue of education was one we needed to solve properly before we left.
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"How were the children going to maintain their studies, especially our eldest son Sebastian who will be sitting his GCSEs next summer? We decided that homeschooling would be the perfect solution. The course we follow - through Wolsey Hall Oxford - provides structure and accountability but also flexibility.
"We balance their studies, their volunteering work and time off to explore the culture of the places we're staying in."
Aiden, 14, said: "Homeschooling has been quite the experience the last six months.
"As a result I have been able to travel and do all sorts of amazing things.
"We've made some really special new friendships, I've learnt to surf in Aljezur, kayaked down the Mondego River, I've learnt about permaculture at a nursery in France, I've helped out at a wellness retreat in Spain and now we're in Belgium.
"Homeschooling has allowed myself and my family to go on this amazing adventure whilst still giving us the chance to complete our IGCSEs along the way."
Ella, 12, said: "We've had so many fun times already."
"But my favourite has been helping the different families we've stayed with and having the opportunity to learn new languages and sample lots of traditional food."