Free Fallin'

Attempting to quantify a set of goals for this adventure is nearly impossible, and in fact may be counterproductive, but I am going to attempt to do it anyway. 

When we first started discussing the possibility of setting off on an around the world trip we did not have any specific reason for wanting to go, it just sounded like an adventure that would be great for a family to take. The romantic notion of casting all of your responsibilities aside and wandering the world is most typically associated with a 20 something without many obligations, not a married couple with two kids, mortgages, jobs and heaps of responsibilities. The idea was more dream than reality and none of us ever really expected to be sitting on a plane on August 16th heading out for the real thing, yet that is where I sit right now writing this. 

Since the idea was more dream than reality, I can’t say I had any specific goals when we started talking about this trip, which was almost six years ago. However, as we have continued to pursue the dream, and it started to look more like reality we all had to ask ourselves “do I really want to do this?” If the answer was yes, which it typically was, then the follow-up question was “Why?” Over the past two years specifically, this question has become the central discussion point in our family and in self-conversation. 

My answer has become pretty clear and simple. The responsibilities and routines of everyday life had become so dominant in our family, that it was easy to go for weeks or months on end without ever appreciating the amazing individuals who make up our family. My hope is that in leaving everything behind with only a backpack and a passport we are able to boil off all of the excess of daily life and focus on the essence of being a family. Through all the highs and lows, struggles and triumphs, adventure and boredom, there will be one central truth, the four of us are in this together and must rely on one another to get through. There is no hiding behind work, chores, friends, obligations, etc. – its just us. 

There are many other secondary hopes I have for this trip: 

1. Exposing our children to the different cultures of the world in hopes that they will gain perspective on how other people live and how fortunate we are. 

2. Having real time for self-examination to determine how I can become a better person. 

3. To gain some personal perspective on what is really important. 

4. Having real time to determine what to do with the next chapter of our lives. 

5. To meet amazing people around the world who I hope to call friends. 

6. To see the amazing wonders of the world. 

In the end it all comes down to being together for a year. For better or worse, we have stepped off the cliff we never really believed would come into view, and in the words of the immortal Tom Petty are Free Fallin, but falling together.