With any monumental decision that affects your family, you expect that years and years of planning will go into a decision that takes your life in a direction you would never expect. My family has always enjoyed traveling and we have done so ever since Jacob was five years old and Lucas was nine months old. But it was the decision made by a friend, who is taking a similar journey by boat, as well as seeing the movie RV with Robin Williams, for the second time in April of 2013, that made me decide to take my kids out of public school and travel eight months across country with them. I would like to think that my family is not dysfunctional however, like the family in this movie.
My mother says I am going through a mid-life crisis, my in-laws are concerned about our decision, others say it is a bad idea and our friends have been incredibly supportive – you know who you are! Ray and I have both had a burning desire to travel, see the world, take pictures and write articles for nature magazines. We just weren’t willing to wait until we “retire” sometime in our late 60s or early 70s. We are healthy now and still have all of our faculties.
Since our decision to move forward with this 10,000 mile adventure that will take us through 35+ states, we have made several additional life changing decisions. The first was to rent or sell our home. Our initial plan was to have someone occupy our home for the time we were away and be a caretaker for the house, land and our cats. We came to the conclusion that this was not the best choice.
Secondly, we needed to get rid of belongings we had collected for over 20 years. We rented a 10×15 foot storage unit and packed what we absolutely felt we would need if we decide to return permanently. We are selling most of our furniture, clothes, books, toys, games, household items, tools, and more at yard sales throughout the summer. As hard as this process has been, it has also been liberating. I no longer want to be defined by my “stuff”. I want to be defined by my experiences and the people I meet.
Lastly, my husband and I struggled with the question…have we made the right choice for our children’s future. Stay tuned for the next blog post. I will talk more about how we came to this decision.