My Hubby and I are about to take our two boys on an around the world journey. Europe, India and South East Asia. Lots of places to explore in only 4 months. But we are a family inspired by adventure and we are up for the challenge.
BK (Before Kids) we travelled fairly extensively. Then we embarked on our biggest, most challenging and most rewarding journey ever…. children. Many things changed, but we never lost our desire to travel. We have been dreaming of travelling with our boys for 5 years now.
So many thoughts could have got in our way. Can we afford it? What about work? What about the house? When would be the perfect ages? Is the world safe?
Those questions only motivated us to make it happen. To believe.
First I want to acknowledge just how privileged we are. We were born into privileged families, in privileged communities, in a privileged country. We are white and middle class. This dream did not mean we had to sacrifice. We had to make choices. Choices that so many do not have the pleasure to make just because they were born into not so fortunate circumstances. I want my boys to ground themselves in gratitude. To be aware to just how privileged they are, and to promote change so one day every one can make choices instead of sacrifices. To honor diversity and support those who are less fortunate.
Some may say I use and abuse my privilege because I choose to travel. Am I selfish? Yeah I am. I still have much learning to do, and I crave personal satisfaction. My desire to travel comes from a deep inner place. I love the adventure, the unknown.
Travelling made me the person I am today. My parents always took me on camping trips in the summer. I celebrated my 13th birthday in Mexico. Grade 12 was my first real adventure with a whirl wind trip to Europe. Then at age 19, against many peoples’ advice, I made a choice. I left university, and went travelling.
That 6 month trip, 27 years ago, changed my life drastically. No amount of schooling could have taught more about the world, the people who we share it with and how to navigate everyday life. More than anything though, travelling encouraged personal growth and discovery.
I am thankful I can give this gift to my children. Promote curiosity, independence, self discovery, belief in humanity and diversity.
Money? Saving aeroplan points for the last 5 years has covered all our flights. We make good incomes and made some choices of how to spend our earnings. We have enough to cover our costs. And if we fall short, we have jobs to came back to.
House? Find someone to move in. Easily done and we are grateful.
Work? Husband is seasonal so winter is his time off. I was willing to walk away from my position but my leave was granted. Again I am grateful.
Kids are the perfect ages. 10 and 13. Old enough to understand. Young enough to still think their parents are made from cool stuff.
But the world has so many dangers? So does driving in my car. I am not naive to what is happening in the world. But I choose to still live. I refuse to let media frighten me and let fear hold me back. To let the few who promote hate and pain dictate how I live. There are more people in the world who choose loving kindness. I hold faith in the beauty and compassion of the human race. I believe in the grace of humanity. I want my children to hold that grace as well.
I am a nurse and I walk alongside the dying and their loved ones often. They have taught me to embrace life. To live with a whole heart. To not put off what I can do today.
Life is a gift. It is fragile. Follow your dreams. Cherish those around you.
For one day, death will come and take us all.
“We do this thing. We open our hearts to the world around us. And the more we do that, the more we allow ourselves to love, the more we are bound to find ourselves one day.” Stuart McLean