I have a very exciting announcement I’ve been dying to tell you all!!
On April 8th we are leaving for a 4-5 month trip around the world. Our stops will include New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In case you are wondering I AM FREAKING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!!
I am going to eat all the food, meet all the people, drink all the drinks, and see all the things.
Last time we flew for longer than five hours, the people behind us started pushing candy bars between the seats to our three year old, because PLEASE JESUS JUST MAKE HER STOP CRYING. It didn’t work (by the way). But there is hope for humanity in the kindness of strangers.
My current flying with children strategy = order a glass of wine. That is all.
On the blog I will share with you the good, the amazing, the gross, and the ugly. You can either laugh with me or laugh at me, both are welcomed. My guess is that either you will start stalking kayak.com for sweet tickets, or, you will snuggle into your couch after your kids are asleep (in their beds) and THANK-GOD-AND-ALL-THAT-IS-HOLY that you are not traveling.
That’s legit. I’ll face-off with a big ass spider in Thailand just for you.
Graham and I are passionate about a few things:
#1. Coffee should be drunk before words are spoken.
#2. Family and adventure can be done together. I can not tell you the bajillion times people have said to me: “I want kids…but I want to ‘travel, adventure, have fun…’ first.” I totally get it, I do, BUT we are firm believers that life should not END when kids are born. Kids are flexible. You don’t HAVE to do parenting any particular way – you are the parent and it’s your family. Have a normal life. Or don’t. You’re the boss of you.
#3. Having a global perspective. One of our main goals as parents is to raise kids that have a global perspective. We don’t want America to be their only (very limited) worldview. We want the world to feel small and other cultures familiar. We want them to build their lives on compassion and understanding.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” Mark Twain
#4. Experience over things. It’s easy to look at travel like an unnecessary luxury, but we think it is invaluable. Sacrifices have been made for this trip. Things were sold, extra hours were worked, pennies were pinched. We’ve never replaced our TV that got karate kicked by a certain 3 year old.
We have often found ourselves sucked into a lifestyle of getting the next new thing, but when we stop and ask ourselves what we really WANT from life, we will always choose experience and adventure over things.
#5. Not making “travel” or “kids” the scapegoat for stress. We don’t blame a stressful day on either of those things. Travel can be stressful without kids. Kids can be stressful without travel. If we blame one or the other then it gives us a reason to either stay at home, or be resentful that we’re parents.
To each their own, but we embrace it because for us, adventure is worth the work and the cost.
#6. Community. We’ve had weekly dinners with some of our closest friends for four years. There’s been weddings, babies, hardships, and lots and lots of laughter. The result is friends that are more like family.
In our opinion, life is just better when it’s done with others. Benji and Aubree are the best kind of people and we are so honored to go on this adventure with them. Other friends and family plan to meet up with us along the way.
#7. Going to learn, to see, to taste, and to grow. We want to read the world like a book. We want to taste it, to see it, and to feel it. The goal is to be teachable, to soak in all that we can, and to make friendships along the way.
We have done a lot of exploring in the U.S., but have not (yet) traveled to other continents with the kids. Graham and I have been to probably 10 countries between us, but this is next level travel. This is travel with more pull-ups and snacks. This is travel with more potty breaks and coloring books. This is probably (let’s be honest) travel with more tears (mine and theirs).
BUT we want to.
But we need to.
Don’t live a certain lifestyle because you think you have to. Stop. Question it. Let yourself think “what if”. At the end of the day if normal is what you want – then embrace it. BUT, if upon reflection you realize that your heart is full of intoxicating dreams – don’t bury them. Feed them. Wrestle with them. Let them breathe enough to scare you.
We are not all the same, we weren’t meant to be…some of us burn to do something different.
What is your “different”?
Cheers guys, to all of our next adventures!
Photos by the talented Benji Poffenroth.