We are the Fox-Smith Family. Lee, Rachael and our two children.
Living The Dream?
When our children were born, we moved to a perfect Cornish Village with one of the best schools around, we set up our business and lived a happy, normal and successful lifestyle.
We were brainwashed into believing that as soon as we had children all our adventures had to stop. We thought we needed a secure family home and to settle down in one spot and live a comfortable lifestyle.
Being told we could not take our children out of school to go on holiday during school time and always being constrained by rules and regulations just didn't feel right to us. The world is full of wonder and adventure and we were spending the best part of our life time confined to one place carrying on with a routine that is controlled and laid out for us by other people. With the holiday restrictions, the longest trip we could take would be six weeks and that would be difficult as we would have to support our secure life style so it was still in place when we returned.
We worked out that when our youngest finished school and college, Rachael would be 58 and Lee would be 51. We would have not seen our children for 6 hours a day, five days a week, thirty six weeks a year, for fourteen years. The best part of their lives would be spent in an outdated education system, separated from the real world.
We Never Thought We Would Home School
Everything changed when our Daughter left school one year ago to be home educated (she was 8 years old at the time). Our son started school and we juggled with one child in conventional school and one child at home school. When our son started to express that he wasn't happy in school we took him out too, and now we home school them both. This was the best decision we have ever made. They have grown in confidence, they get on with each other better, and contrary to belief they socialise better and with more people than they ever did in school.
We slowly started to realise that we don't have to follow a set pattern, we don't have to do what society tells us. Since home educating we have focused on Laurina's interests and that has led us on a path to compassion and care for animals.
Security 'Vs' Freedom
There comes a point in life where you can decide to carry on with your secure middle class lifestyle, or, follow your dreams and change the world! We have decided to pursue our dreams, to do everything we can to make the future brighter and we really want to change the world and leave it a better place than when we found it.
Natural Born Travellers
Before having children Rachael worked on the QE2 and has been around the world 3 times. She has visited over 60 countries, lived in Toronto for a year, has worked in London and all over the world.
Lee was in the Royal Navy and travelled around Europe. When we met we holidayed together and even went on a six month backpacking adventure in Australia and South East Asia.
A lot of people say that you need to travel before you have children, to 'get it out of your system'. Most people that say this - we now realise - never really travelled themselves. Why do we have to stop just because we have children?
What Would You Do If You Only Had A Year To Live?
We also went through a period of time where lots of family members died. Some of them far too young. We asked ourselves, "what would we do if we only had a year to live?" The answer was obvious, we would travel and show the world to our children, spending as much time as we could with them and having as many shared experiences as possible. We knew we would want to leave our mark on the world and we knew that mark should be a positive one. So we looked long and hard at just what was important in life.
If we would do that with only one year to live, then why shouldn't we just do it now? After all, we don't know how long we've got, and even if we did live until 70-80, that's not a lot of time. This was the moment we knew we had to change everything. We knew we had to sell our business, sell most of our possessions, give up the secure family home, seek adventure and find a way to change the world for the better whilst showing our children the importance of compassion, kindness, freedom, adventure, health, and care for our environment.
That's when Epic Animal Quest was born!
We have been researching animal welfare and animal rights issues and we cannot believe just how bad the problems are and how important it is that we do everything we can to help the animals. Compassion for all animals brings with it benefits to diet and health, the environment and our relationships with other people.
So we hope you will join us at the very beginning of our Epic Animal Quest, and that you will enjoy sharing our journey with us.
Have a look around the website and read a bit more about our mission and goals here.
Thank you for helping the animals with us and we can't wait to share everything with you.
Lee & Rachael & Family