FAMILY ADVENTURE: The Nicholl family (from left, back) Nathan, Tide, Kalia, Beth, (front) Amaya and Rase.
FAMILY ADVENTURE: The Nicholl family (from left, back) Nathan, Tide, Kalia, Beth, (front) Amaya and Rase.

Family gives up 'normal' life for half gap year

HELPING refugees who fled ISIS, climbing the Eiffel tower and walking through the ashes of Mt Vesuvius at Pompeii has taught a Buderim family a smile is the universal language.

Bethany Nicholl tells her family's "half" gap year travelling the world was a gamble; she runs a Sunshine Coast pearl business, her husband Nathan works at Ray White Buderim.

Three months ago they packed up the house, sold the car and committed every dollar to giving their four children a hands-on education in a "leap of faith" Beth said had so far paid off.

For the past two weeks the Nicholls have assisted refugees who have walked to Greece in search of a better life having escaped the hands of ISIS.

Standing outside the Lifting Hands refugee community space in Serres, Greece. From back left is Beth Nicholl with Kalia (16) and Nathan. Front is Amaya (8), Rase (10) and Tide (12).
Standing outside the Lifting Hands refugee community space in Serres, Greece. From back left is Beth Nicholl with Kalia (16) and Nathan. Front is Amaya (8), Rase (10) and Tide (12).

Beth said her children had discovered not only what a refugee was, but who the people were. The Nicholls had taught them English, played games and comforted those that told "excruciatingly hard" stories to listen to.

"Our time with the Yazidi people is coming to an end and as we spoke as a family last night (sic) we discovered through the tears that our purposes for coming on this trip are starting to unfold," Beth said.

"Firstly, we wanted to create lasting memories that we can all look back on together and in years to come laugh, cry or cringe depending on how badly I had embarrassed myself.

"Secondly, we wanted the kids to experience this amazing world we live in and not just learn about it but live it."

Would you take a gap year with your family?

This poll ended on 12 December 2018.

Current Results

Yes, what an amazing idea.

85%

I couldn't do it.

14%

Maybe, but not for too long.

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Nicholl family at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. From left to right is Nathan, Amaya (8), Kalia (16) and Beth. Front is Tide (12) and Rase (10).
The Nicholl family at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. From left to right is Nathan, Amaya (8), Kalia (16) and Beth. Front is Tide (12) and Rase (10).

Beth said their trip was shaped by the statement "you only have 18 summers with your children".

"So if the general consensus is that the kids do grow up too fast, why aren't more people doing this?" Beth asked.

"From the number of times that we get asked how we are affording this and aren't the kids missing too much school, I would guess that it's these two concerns that prevent people doing so.

"For us while we certainly are not wealthy, we consider this is an investment.

"Whether it be Budapest or Broome, the Yazidi people or royal guards, our hope is that experiencing it together will pay off forever."

 

The Nicholl family stand under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.  From the top, clockwise is Kalia(16), Beth (Mum), Amaya (8), Nathan (Dad), Rase (10) and Tide (12).
The Nicholl family stand under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. From the top, clockwise is Kalia(16), Beth (Mum), Amaya (8), Nathan (Dad), Rase (10) and Tide (12).

Beth said the question on school was answered by an experience a few weeks ago in Rome.

"I glanced at the kids whose senses were hyper extended entering an ancient passage way, I ran my hand over the 2000-year-old stone pillars and as I looked up at that this ancient Gladiator arena called the Colosseum, I answered, 'I think they'll be ok'."

Follow the Nicholl's story on Instagram, facebook and youtube @sixpassports.



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