It all began two years ago – the slow percolation of an idea, the bubbling up of a wanderlust that could no longer be tamed by the comforts of a cozy home. We were deep into our sixth annual cycle of Portland life, with the varied syncopation of rain as a backdrop to long thoughtful winters, followed with an explosion of green growth and blossoms, teasing us out of our hobbit hole, then the frenetic absorption of vitamin D and the gift of long days, along with the guilt of a wasted hour indoors, followed by the eventual calm of fall, as the party comes to an end and dear friends return to the warmth of a hearth and the magnetic pull to creative introversion.
Work, which had become to feel like a repetitive uphill slog on a treadmill, a mere means to our meals, was now fraught with stress and worry. The owners were looking for a buyout, and our jobs were in jeopardy. Amongst this uncertainty, we began to discuss the ways in which we could control our stories direction in the aftermath of unemployment. We could choose the expected path of resume refinement, soul sucking job searches, sifting thru internet ads with burning eyes, or … not.
What did that mean? Was it possible to “live” a life down some less-traveled road, a path of spirit-building challenges and deeper purpose. How could we discover who we truly are and what lifestyle might be the key to greater happiness and fulfillment without exiting the interstate highway? Something was telling us that the freeway we were on, was only leading to a glorified and over-hyped future of paid off mortgages, lazy retirement, and regret.
Back then, my insistent dream to travel and chase those moments of bliss, those epiphanies on the meaning of life, became an obsession and a buoy of hope for a future well-lived.
I tiptoed back into blogging with the following hesitant entry, in the hopes that it would fortify my resolve:
I really don’t have any interest in recapping these past 5+ years. My desire to write again stems from my plans for the future.
After almost 6 wonderful years of living in Portland, my wanderlust is a dominant urge that I can no longer ignore. My passion for travel is back in the form of obsessive day dreaming, travel blog reading and researching, and pro and con dialogue with my husband. Stella is now 7 and a half years old, and Gabriel is 5 (starting Kindergarten this year!).
I am determined that we cross a major dream off our “life list” – to travel around the world with our family.
This is something that Dan and I have dreamed about before we were even engaged and committed to marriage and children. Through our many travels together, we always knew that it was a lifestyle we were made for, and one that we HAD to make a reality for the rest of our lives, with or without children.
Life has flown by, and we have not been quite the nomads we thought we were. Too many excuses have prevented us from “walking the walk”. At the same time, there are too many more emphatic reasons why we can’t let this opportunity to see the world and engage in extended exploration be postponed. In many ways it will be more affordable for us to travel with our kids before they turn 12 (the age when airlines consider our children adults). We are hoping they will still be more affordable to feed than teenagers, and that their growing brains will be more malleable and adaptable to change and new environments.
I’ve set a date.
This is 2 years away, which seems the right amount of time to save money, decide what we will do with our home (rent or sell?), figure out our home schooling options, and organize, organize, organize.
I’ve been reading a lot of travel blogs, especially those written by other families on the road, and taking notes on all that needs to be done to make this happen. My recent source of planning advice has come from the Bootsnall website and their section on how to plan a family RTW trip. I’ll be using this blog as a place to keep track of my two year to-do list, travel inspiration, and any other family stories and thoughts I care to share!
It’s a long road…
AND THAT WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!
Life has a funny way of throwing you curveballs. Within a month of posting that, the SAME company with content that had inspired me, was in negotiations to buy the company that we worked for. The financial fear we had about our income was evaporating, and a curiosity to be a part of a “new” business model was pulling us in. I second guessed the career suicide I was considering and pulled the above entry from a neglected blog. Now was not the time to make a drastic change, when so much security would have be sacrificed. We took away the pressure of a departure date, not willing to commit to our crazy idea, but continued to kindle the dream in the way of frugality and concentrated savings. By December 2014, we had built a healthy bonfire, and the magnetic flames had once again stolen our focus. Christmas found us in full agreement, and our original plans to embark in September were now a real possibility.
So here we are, at the cusp of June and July, a month away from exchanging our house keys and hitting the road, a path of OUR choice. Here we will share our experiences, impressions, and thoughts, both pithy and irrelevant. We welcome you to join us, in person or kindred spirit!
with love and gratitude,
Sarah and the Gamber clan