Four years ago on the Fourth of July, Mason and I were sitting at the pool talking. The previous few weeks I had been courting a dangerous addiction and I needed to come clean with him.
Our conversation went something like this:
Me: So I have something to confess……………
Mason: Dear Lord, what?
Me: The last few weeks I have been reading these travel blogs written by people who quit their jobs and travel around the world for, like, a year. They take their kids and they spend this amazing time together as a family exploring all of these incredible places.
Me: I want to do it.
So, in roughly four months (and after a few false starts), we are quitting our jobs, packing up our kids and setting off to travel the world for somewhere between six and eight months.
As we begin the final stretches of preparation, we thought we would share the process with you. I love the planning process for trips and since this is the Mother of all trips, the planning process has been intense. And in flux. We are always making changes and entertaining “what ifs”. And that’s part of the fun. We benefitted greatly from reading other’s blogs as we prepared and we hope that others can use our experience as a resource for their own travels.
So here are some of the details as they stand right now. We reserve the right to change everything with no warning.
When is this madness happening?
The plan is to leave at the end of September and travel until the money runs out – I’m guessing around eight months or so.
Where are you going?
Well, the for sures are Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, India, Turkey and Tanzania and the maybes are Vietnam, Bali and Morocco. Again, this changes like every two weeks. What we know for sure is that we will be flying to Bangkok first and staying in SE Asia for about three to four months.
What about school for the kids?
Ian will have just finished up his welding program in August and Lily has permission from her school to take classes online for her junior year.
What are you doing about the house?
After some thought, we have decided to keep the house. It is important for us to have someplace to land when we come back, and we love our little house madly. The thought of selling it was too gut-wrenching to consider. My wonderful cousin is coming to stay in the house while we are away. Which is beyond awesome because it means we won’t have to pack everything up and put it in storage to try to rent it out.
How much is this going to cost?
We’re not exactly sure. Mostly because that will depend on where we go and how long we stay. We will be posting about our travel expenses as we go, but right now all we can safely say is that it will cost less than living at home for the same amount of time.
How are you affording it?
Well, we have saved for a long time, and we have cut back on a lot of things and sold a lot of things and we are taking some money from savings and our retirement. We value travel above all else – above big houses and fancy cars and the latest gadget. We prioritize it. And we are willing to make sacrifices for it. We talked long and hard about it and decided that we would rather travel the world now, with our kids, than wait until we are retired when they have families of their own and our health is not guaranteed.
Need another reason? Here’s a good one.
What happens next?
We need to get our passports taken care of, work out immunizations and start narrowing down what we will be taking with us. I am comparing this to planning a wedding. You know you need a dress, a cake, some flowers and a venue, but then the little details come crawling in from every direction threatening to pull you under.
For a trip of this magnitude, we know we need passports and plane tickets and a place to stay. And then, just when I think I have a good handle on things, I get mired in the details of where we will store our pictures and how many Kindles we need to bring and how we will protect ourselves against malaria. I don’t have the answers to any of these questions yet. But I will.
And despite it all, I still think there is nothing better than being on the cusp of an adventure.
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. – A.A. Milne