ONE year, 18 countries, seven continents. It certainly sounds like the ultimate adventure.
Taking time out to travel the world is something most of us have thought about at one stage or another but we never actually do anything about it. Cue Charles and Brenna Kramer from Los Angeles who have taken the bull by the horns, upped sticks and are now travelling the world while world-schooling their two children, seven-year-old Korala and four-year-old Julian, on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Another feather to their bow is that Charles, who works as television co-executive producer and editor, is to document their adventures, which they hope to sell to American television networks.
They touched down in Cork this week and got to visit Cobh, Kinsale, Skibbereen and finished off their West Cork trip with a visit to Sheep’s Head before they made their way to Kenmare. Also accompanying them on their adventure is Leire from Spain, who was interviewed over Skype for the position of documenting their adventures on camera.
So what makes an established television producer whose credits include such reality shows as – MTV’s ‘The Osbournes’, ABC’s ‘Dancing with Stars’ and BET’s ‘Real Husbands of Hollywood’ – decide to leave it all for a year-long adventure around the world?
‘I’ve being working in television for the past 23 years and, in the past few years, I found myself getting to work earlier and coming home later and I never saw the kids. I kept reading about what two things people regret in life – not spending enough time with the kids when they are young and not travelling the world – so we’re combining both which we think is a wonderful idea,’ Charles told The Southern Star.
‘We’ve been planning this for a whole year saving money as much as we could. We did everything from babysitting dogs to renting our house to get extra money for the trip. We’d move into Brenna’s parents’ house while our place was being rented out.
‘We remodelled our house so we could rent our front house and we paid for all that on credit cards with bonus miles offers, so we’d get to the ,500 dollar mark and then start a new card so we accumulated about a million miles. The key then is to work these cards to see how we could travel with a family of four around the world and transfer airlines.’
Three weeks into Worldschool101, it’s all systems go for the Kramers whose first stop was a home exchange in Amsterdam before they came to Ireland. They also have a fourth person, Leire from Spain, with them to help document their global exploits
‘We actually interviewed people over Skype for this position and we were looking for someone to film while at the same time help with the family. We interviewed some but we really wanted someone from Spain as Kerala is learning Spanish and Brenna speaks Spanish and we also wanted someone who had audio-visual experience too and Leire was the perfect match and she’s enjoying the experience,’ said Charles.
An aspirational reality show is what both Charles and Brenna would like their adventures to be seen as. ‘Part of the trip too is doing something different to the normal reality shows that I’m involved in. Reality shows are not what they were when I started them.
‘But I do think reality has reached a peak and, for me, I feel this trip is a discovery of what’s next? I’ll keep my options open when I come back to Los Angeles,’ added Charles.
Brenna also wants to show other families that they can also do what they’ve done: ‘We would hope that we could lead the way for other families to do the same. We will teach viewers how to travel and world school on any budget while we connect with other world schooling families,’ said Brenna.
‘It’s a perfect time for us right now as a family because the idea of homeschooling two children of elementary school age might be a little bit daunting for us, it’s a nice stepping stone as Julian is still in pre-school, so it’s really just Kerala. Her school thought it was a great idea and were really excited for her,’ said Brenna.
Naturally enough they have had interest from several television networks, but Charles and Brenna are keen not to sell it in full, as they would like a little more control over the end product.
‘What I’d love to be able to do is do everything self-sustainably, we can shoot and we can pretty much edit it and take it to the finish line very inexpensively, so we could probably sell it at maybe ,000 to ,000 per episode,’ said Charles.
Armed with their state of the art Osmo DJi camera, the world is indeed an oyster for the Kramers whose next port of call is France. To keep up with the Kramers on their travels go to www.worldschool101.com