Meet the world-traveling 13-year-old girl

Meet the world traveling 13 year old girl

I asked in my first reader poll what, if anything, you would alter about the site. I begged for honesty, promising that I would take it, and one response, in particular, stood out to me:

“Okay”, you inquired.

When you state in part 4 of “So you want to be a travel blogger” [that you suggest guest blogging yet don’t allow people to post on your blog], I find it a bit disingenuous. Guest blogging aided you early in your career, yet you refuse to assist other bloggers… I don’t believe that decent guest blogs would detract from your tale. On the contrary, it will highlight the richness of your trip and gain you more fans than you can ever lose.”

I realized she was completely correct. I was unjust and hypocritical. So I emailed her and encouraged her to publish an essay.

The girl on the other end of the internet turns out to be 13-year-old Aussie Réka Kaponay, who has been traveling full-time since she was 10 but has the maturity and ability level of a 20-year-old. – Her communications and writings reveal a well-educated woman.

I was immediately captivated by her narrative and asked if she would be willing to share it with you. Here are the words of a three-year-old child who has traveled the world:

How did it all begin?


Réka: I celebrated my 11th birthday in Los Angeles with my twin brother, Lalika, barely a week after we left Australia, with a trip to the movies and a meal at the California Pizza Kitchen (CPK). It was an amazing experience for me at the time. Little did I realize that what awaited me around the corner was the genuine beginning of my life’s adventure and a learning experience that I will never forget.

When we first started traveling, it felt like an extended vacation, but as we progressed through the United States, eventually visiting 31 of the 50 states, and later South America, it became our journey of giving through the EnergeticXChange project – a sharing/gift economy project that my parents had envisioned. The notion was that there has to be an offer somewhere in the world to suit every demand on the earth. They’ve created a website to assist individuals to identify matches in order to make it easier to link those needs. Thus our adventure began.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of traveling?


Réka: We’ve already visited 23 countries on six continents, but beyond the figures, I understand that our adventure is made up of the individuals we’ve encountered along the way. For me, travel is defined by the images that live in my mind, which characterize the character and experiences of the locations we visited. The first thing that comes to mind is what some may term a random encounter (although we’ve learned along the way that there isn’t such a thing).

On a lovely Saturday afternoon, we were having a picnic in our RV, which was parked in a tiny woodland park in suburban Raleigh, North Carolina. A young couple was going down the path nearby. My mother greeted them and they began to converse. The informal talk lasted about an hour and ended with an offer to stay with them at their house, which led to another invitation to visit their parents at their family farm in Pennsylvania. Lalika and I won the jackpot of new friends when we arrived at the farm. It was a summer vacation confluence of 14 grandkids, and we instantly became friends.

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We felt like we’d known one other for years, and despite being on opposite sides of the world, we quickly discovered the common ground that children always seem to find. This remains one of my life’s most memorable moments!

The adventures we had in those seven days would be enough to create a blog and a cultural exchange program. In fact, friendship is one of the gifts I carry close to my heart during our trip.

Is it challenging for you at times?


Réka: There is a significant disadvantage to these encounters, and that is having to say goodbye. There are no simple words to convey how I feel, and while technology keeps us in touch, not knowing when we’ll see one other again steals a bit of my heart and puts it on hold, leaving me feeling a little empty, even alone.

That underscores the importance of genuine human physical ties for me, and how technology, although benefiting us in many ways, also distances us from that intimacy. When it comes to friendship, I’m not exactly sure, but I believe there’s an intensity and genuineness that comes from those trip friendships that exceed my experience with friendships in Australia. It doesn’t make those connections any less meaningful to me; it’s simply another friendship experience that only the traveler can have.

What did you learn from your trip?


Réka: Our parents had already removed Lalika and me from the school system, enrolling us as home learners, before we left on the vacation. I was already proficient as a reader and writer, and my brother was proficient in arithmetic; we had both participated in an after-school English and math program.

For me, learning is a privilege and an ongoing interest, and the world supplies me with the mother of all learning opportunities. We study together as a family, sharing what we learn, which enriches our family experience. I currently speak three languages, the most recent being Spanish. I’m also looking for an agent for my first full-length novel, ‘Dawn of The Guardian,’ a story of adventure told through the eyes and viewpoint of a two-year-old Patterdale Terrier living in the heart of Andalucia, Spain, striving to keep the powers of the dream world from keeping us awake. (Kristine’s note: What? Seriously? She’s also working on a book?!)

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Along our voyage, I have had several learning opportunities, including formal, indigenous (Story Telling), non-traditional, and even inventive techniques. While I’m only 13, almost 14, I feel like I’ve learned enough about ancient civilizations by standing directly in the path of pilgrims on the Nazca Lines, or living with Inca Descendants, or through what I’ve learned ‘formally,’ and c is what is important to me. I will never stop learning as long as I live, and I can directly relate this to my travel experience.

How do you proceed?


Réka: Voyager has now turned into a joint family effort, and we are all working together to finish our ideas. It includes continuing to learn and share my travel experiences and thoughts via my blog. It also entails obtaining an agency and a publisher or developing a large enough following to self-publish my manuscript.

Yet it also entails working together as a family on a group initiative to pass on our wealth of knowledge to other families. We want other families to know that they may go without having to wait indefinitely or risk their children’s futures. We aim to do this by establishing a space where we can share our experiences as well as the collective experiences of a community of families that live and contribute in the same way that we do.

We want to show people that you don’t have to be a wanderer or a wealthy to travel as a family for an extended period of time and that there is an unlimited depth of experience to be gained from this style of living.

To summarise, traveling is now a method for me to create a life rather than merely make a livelihood. I mean that by traveling, I learn all the practical things that will not only sustain me but also sustain me on my life’s path while still having enough to contribute to others! That’s what traveling with my family has given me – something I couldn’t have dreamed of by merely living in my hometown’s suburbs.

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I can’t say I’ll always travel since I’m continuously learning and developing from this experience, and my emotions change all the time. What I can say now is that there appears to be no end in sight. There is simply too much to learn and share with the rest of the world for me to stay in one area for too long.

When Réka Kaponay arrived in this world with her twin brother in June 2001, she joined the School of Life. She travels the world with her family on a dream voyage of exploration, adventure, learning, and discovery, and she chronicles her adventures on her blog, dreamtimetraveler.com. Dawn of the Guardian, her first full-length adventure novel, will be released shortly. His current residence is Guilas, Spain.

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More About Me

I have been living in Southeast Asia for over five years and I love to share my experiences on this blog. You will find stories about my daily life, as well as my travels around the world. From exotic tastes to stunning views and funny encounters from across the globe, join me on my amazing journey at www.theladyontheroad.com

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