When we decided to take a year away from our lives as we knew them, not only did I want to offer my son a chance to see the world with his young, non judgmental eyes, I wanted to view it as a way to be intentional about my own life’s path and perspective. In the past, traveling has been a way for me to see more clearly. The trip my husband and I took when we graduated from college is a perfect illustration of this. After spending a life-changing couple of months as volunteer teachers in a Rio de Janeiro favela, we both pursued careers in education. I am so thankful for the clarity that experience brought me. Then, as it does, life continued happening. We bought a house, got a dog, had a kid… the whole thing. A perfect life. As the years went by, things started to feel less like choices and more like duties, things you have to do because you’ve committed to them, not because you want to. First world problems, I know. Life dealt me a great hand, and yet I felt itchy. It turns out, my husband was feeling the same way. I remember the moment well: after a long, hard day at work, we were leaning into each other in an exhausted embrace. So tired and trusting that if one one of us had moved, the other one would have fallen. My husband said it first, “Why don’t we just sell everything and go away for a while?” I remember his face, looking at me like “I know, just tell me I’m crazy,” but I actually liked the idea. Something inside of me flickered. I mean, we could do that. We’ve owned our house for a decade. We could sell it. It might be crazy, but it is something we could do. We continued to fantasize about the idea, wondering when the other one would stop the conversation. Instead, we just started getting more specific, and it didn’t take long before we started making moves to make it happen.
We uprooted our lives and wondered where we would end up. Whatever it was, it was our choice. We thought about changing careers, teaching abroad, and considered an entirely nomadic lifestyle. We spent months in existential crises. Then, we realized the one thing only months away from home could help us see. We really love our lives. We always have. We are excited to return home to our friends, familiar places, and careers that we find meaningful. We have been able to see places we thought we would spend the rest of our lives trying to get to and have added new places to our bucket lists. We have instilled curiosity about the people and places of the world in our child that we are excited to see develop. Truly, we couldn’t ask for a better little travel buddy. After all this time and distance, we choose the lives we already had, only with a new perspective and gratefulness.
We have more exciting places to see, and I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring! For those of you who have asked, at some point I realized a break from an unnecessary to-do list would allow me to more fully enjoy this precious time. Unfortunately, that meant I didn’t keep up with the blog, but as stories become more distant, I’m ready to pick back where I left off months ago, if you’re interested in following our continuing journey.