Our departure date is quickly approaching and two strong feelings keep pulsating through my body, anxiety and anticipation. Anxiety for all the planning and preparation and anticipation for all the adventures in our future. When we made this decision to take a year off and travel the world it seemed like a far off dream. It was something to talk about, plan, and imagine. Now with days to go before we hit the road it has become a very real reality. Our minds race throughout each day going through checklists making sure all is taken care of for the trip and for our home. Do we have everything we need? What are we forgetting? Have I taken care of all the financial loose ends? Is our house ready for our friends to move in? Do I have enough underwear? These are some of the questions we are asking ourselves. Sometimes you have to sit back and just breath.
One question that both Amy and I keep asking ourselves is whether we have lost our minds. What have we gotten our family into? However, when we discuss the reasons behind our decision it reassured us that we have made the right choice for our family. There are so many reasons we have chosen this path and this experience for our family, but most of all we want to give our children the gift of the world. Not the world you see in the news or read in books and newspapers, but the real world of people and places. We want them to gain an appreciation for a variety of cultures through firsthand experience. I don’t want them to grow up with a fear, misunderstanding, or apprehension about the rest of the world.
The other main reason for the trip is the chance to spend quality time with our children. With school, sports, and other activities it seems we have little time to focus on our family. Our children are growing up fast and this might be the last time we will be able to have a family experience like this. In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.
Spending the next year with my family will be an interesting experience. We are going to be living out of backpacks and “roadschooling” our children. The children will learn the difference between what they “need” and what they “want”. Our goal is for them to break out of the suburban bubble and learn to look at life from a different perspective.
All that being said, the trip will take on a life of its own and teach us lessons we don’t foresee. Our job will be to keep our minds open and let the trail take us where we need to go.
To all of our family and friends we wish you a good year and we will see you when we return. Whenever that may be…
Tony and Family