It’s not the destination, it’s the journey…
Mama pack, Baby Bear pack, and Daddy pack.
Getting ready to start the adventures!
As it gets closer to our travels, we’ve begun to make space and say goodbye. In yoga, one of the central teachings is Non-Attachment (Aparigraha). We are slowly heading in that direction before we pack up and start to travel with only the packs on our backs. We can only bring the absolute essentials and we are trying not to be weighed down by too much "stuff".
Our goal is to spend some quality time together as a family without excess. We've been learning about other families who’ve done similar adventures and packed very little. These families have taken nine months to a year to travel with their kids to see the world and reconnect to each other. We want to explore and learn about other cultures and how people eat, play, and live in different parts of the world. We want our daughter to see that there are so many ways to live, not just one way and for her to hear other languages. David and I both majored in Anthropology as undergrads and we're finally able to use our degrees :)!
In the last few months and weeks, we have finished our jobs, I’ve done my last book events, Fay said goodbye to her school and classmates, and she just completed various summer camps. Our lives have up until recently revolved going to school, work, and extra curriculars. We rarely had time to just BE or have quality time as a family unit or to visit our extended families in Chicago. We’re starting to have our final hang out times with friends, neighbors, and family. It’s more like “see you laters” instead of good-byes since we’ll be back in December.
We’ve gotten many vaccines of diseases I didn’t even know were still a problem. That’s thanks to the mosquito forward countries we’re going to visit during monsoon season (see previous blog post on actual destinations and dates if you’re curious). Who knew that Japanese encephalitis would be something we needed to be weary of in Vietnam?
The last few days have been a rollercoaster ride of feelings and doubts. Are we doing the right thing? Are we giving up too much stability and consistency? Will this harm Fay being away from friends and her routine, her dog, her friends, and school for so long? How are we going to live with only 1 backpack each and no guaranteed laundry service?
After 7 years of David working tirelessly and not having enough work/life balance, these questions weren't enough to hold us back. We decided we needed something totally different. After the pandemic, we realized life is too short to not be present with each other and we craved exploring the world, especially now that's it's open! We had only been able to take Fay at 3 years old on one international trip to Montreal, Canada before the world went on lockdown.
Luckily, all of David's hard work has helped us save up enough to travel over the next 6 months. We realize our privilege and hope to make the most out of these travels. David will be visiting hospitals, I’ll be recording our adventures in a journal and on this blog, and Fay will be doing the work of a traveling 2nd grader.
As we transition to this new phase with an unknown future, we felt it was a good time to cleanse parts of our lives. We’ve been cleaning out closets and drawers. We’ve gone through files and shredded items we no longer needed (don’t worry- nothing classified ;). After 6 years in our house, it was time to thoroughly look through all the parts of our house, to organize and to make space, which we’ve never had time or energy to do in the past.
Our amazing friend (my fearless editor and publisher) is watching our house and puppy, so we needed to make room for her as well. We are getting rid of things that don’t serve us. Also, I’m going to take a social media break while traveling to make more mental space. It’s feeling like a physical as well as a mental release of the pressures of our modern day world.
This transition has helped us release items and become more connected to to the idea of non-attachment (like taking 5 bags of David’s clothes to Goodwill- most were t-shirts from high school). I'm also trying not to cling to the idea of mapping out our entire future which is so unknown right now. We've gotten all of our big flights around the globe, but we've left space to "play it by ear" on places to visit and what types of transportation we want to explore with through various countries. Will it be by boat, train, bus, or plane?
David is much better at not planning everything than I am, but I'm slowly learning to be open to the unknown through this whole adventure! For my Type A-controlling, Virgo personality, this feeling of uncertainty is hard to accept at times. In the words of the infamous Elsa, it’s good for me to “Let Go” of the future and go "Into the Unknown". My goal is to be more present while in each place.
What happens at the other end? We still have no idea but we’re open to exploring all options!
Fay Luna is ready to roll
In a few days we'll be heading to Costa Rica- Vamonos! Then we’ll head to the wild, wild Midwest in July and finally Asia in August - Stay tuned for updates!