A Year of Vagabonding! With Kids? Are We Insane?

My heart is fluttering and I’m kind of freaking out. In the BEST WAY POSSIBLE!

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. -Steve Jobs-

For a while now I’ve felt itchy and tethered. As Steve Jobs would say, I need to change something.

So, the vagabond and adventurer that’s been trapped inside of me is being released!

We’re pulling the kids out of school and we’re going to wandering around the world for a year.

Lately, I’ve felt kind of ensnared in this life where we are supposed to work to pay for an overpriced house with quartz counter tops, drive an SUV to a job that we don’t love, and then go back home and watch an HD Apple TV. Wake up. Repeat. If we’re lucky we get to break it up with a few weeks of vacation here and there.

This logic of this has always eluded me. 

I still forget to watch shows on the HD channels. I don’t care what kind of crappy car I drive. (I’ve had a drivers license for over 20 years, but I’ve only ever owned two cars. And one of them was a 1965 Plymouth Fury that I found abandoned on our farm.)

When I see a dress I think I want in the Anthropologie catalogue, I quickly realize it’s not the dress that I long for, it’s the mountains and the ocean in the background. (It’s taken a few dresses lying abandoned on the floor to realize this.)

Experiences make me richer and happier than money ever will. When I think about my list of Life’s All Time Best Moments they involve people and places: building a school in Ghana, eating lobster on the beach with my dad in the Dominican, sipping sangria with my mom in Barcelona, hiking the West Coast trail on my honeymoon with Rob, celebrating Isla's second birthday in a campground on the ocean in Mendocino, California....

I want to hike offbeat trails, eat exotic foods, trip over goats, become rapt in conversation with new people, fall asleep under constellations I've never heard of, and sample foreign wines, of course. That's the ultimate definition of HD living for me.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”~ Mark Twain

I’ve been sifting through travel books. But now it’s time to get dirty and practical and go and see some of these places, rather than just reading and dreaming about them.

Fear is a great motivator.

When I opened my email yesterday and saw that my leave of absence from my job (aka- no salary for a year) was approved, I panicked. Holy crap! This is real! We’re doing this! We’re going!

And while this really shouldn’t be outlandishly scary on the surface – bailing out of conventional life for a year and hitting the road with your spouse, 5 and 8 year old is kind of crazy. But a good kind of crazy! Right?(Apparently, we have to take the kids because I can't find anywhere to board them for a whole year.)

When I mention it to people that we're heading off on this adventure in about 6 months, I’m hit with these curious questions:

  • Where will you go?

  • How will you afford it?

  • Will you pull your kids out of school for that long?

If I start to think about these questions too much, I become paralysed and this whole thing becomes overwhelming and I think maybe we should bail on this plan. (This has happened once already!)

So, I’ll answer these questions as we sort it all out; I’ll write about it on the blog. But for now, I’m just going to revel in the fact that I’m following my fast-beating heart. (I have the coolest family this side of the universe because they’re always “all in” with any crazy idea!)

I anticipate we will be a full-blown traveling shit show. Like there’s any other way to be!

I feel a little nervous and scared and jittery. But, I’ve been foisted out of my comfort zone and I'm equally bouyed by the anticipation and prospect of an adventure.

Now, where the heck do we go?