Disclaimer: This is going to be like a journal for me so I am writing from the heart with out worrying about it so please forgive the typo mistakes and the carelessness.
It is really happening. 3 fly out in 56 hours! Ok here is where this crazy idea came from. We have always wanted to live abroad-So we made a goal that in 5 years we would be set up career wise to live abroad. But truth be told (outside of our missions) we have never done it and have no idea really what it entails. Well along came a transition time in Matt’s career and we thought- ok is this path what we really want? And Matt and I are both really bad at making decisions but really good at playing so we decided to just go try it out for a few months.
We originally thought we would go to Brazil where Matt has always wanted to take me and speaks the language. But Brazil didn’t feel right. We started going through our bucketlist: Guatemala, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, London, Africa… nope, nope, nope. We landed on Thailand. It is warm, exotic, completely foreign and new, adventurous, relatively do-able without knowing the language, and cheap. Done. We made up our mind and things started to fall into place. The most amazing part- God approves. I have felt His support many times throughout planning this and that already has made this crazy trip worth it.
It has been funny getting people’s reactions. Some are totally stoked and want to know all about it. Others stare and have no idea how to respond. I totally get both. The biggest stumbling blocks that people can’t get over is that we are doing this 3 month vacation with our 3 young kiddos (ages 5, 3 and 1) and that we are doing it without a job- just for fun. For the traveling with kids part- we have committed ourselves to a life of inconvenience. It is a hard commitment but so worth it. Kids are never predictable and never convenient. They are so much work and such a wild card. But if you can just expect that- just know that things are going to be chaotic but going to be ok at the same time, then you are totally ok.
Moving to Boston has flat out changed our lives. One of the many reasons is our weekend trips as a family. There are endless amounts of things to discover out here, new experiences to be had, and especially things to learn. We have packed our family up almost every weekend in the summer and fall and just gone and done it. We were gone for 14 weekends in a row last summer. A little sugar daddy called airbnb has made that possible for us. It is so funny that having people stay in our house and staying in random houses every weekend has become normal for our kids. Essie will say, “oh that house looks cool lets stay in that one next,” as we drive out of town. They have gotten in the routine of putting fresh sheets on their bed and packing their own bags. It has also antiquated us with creative sleeping arrangements and has way lowered my expectations. So I guess I am saying while we have no idea how to travel abroad, at least we can sleep out of our own beds.
Matt and I sometime cross the line with frugality. Those stories are for another time but that is where our traveling without an income is going to be a possibility. I am finding a nice house on the beach for $40 a night and feeling pretty good, and then Matt finds an option for $9 a night. We will see how that works out.
Maybe the biggest motivator in this little trip is my heart is just aching to bust out of normal and experience new things and hard things and grow. It just has been. Have you ever been fixed on a topic and you dwell on it without end? You read about it and talk about it while you run and pray about it and dream about it? Looking back I usually can see how God has put those thoughts in my mind to prepare me for something in the future. Within this last year I have been “stuck” on courage, growth, truth, homeschooling, and agency. All of which I feel have helped me be ok with this decision to leave life behind for a few months and take my family into the unknown.
Giving our kids new experiences has grown increasingly important to Matt and I. We actually can’t imagine a better education and character builder.
Things we have learned so far in planning a trip:
Talk to people. The more you open up and tell people the things in your heart- your excitements and desires and concerns and vulnerabilities- the more people will know how to help. Just in talking I have gotten ideas of places to go, or sites to search, to traveling bed for baby, or what to pack…. We feel so grateful for the guidance we have received from friends.
There are awesome days and crappy days.
Support of family and friends really means a lot. Even if you are faking it. Just having someone believe that you can do hard things feels empowering.
Use flightfox to get deals on flights.
Pack light as light as light as you can.
Our itinerary as of now:
Feb 18th- fly Boston-Chicago-Tokyo-Singapore
Feb 20-23 Singapore
Feb 24-27 Krabi, Thailand
Feb 28-March 9 Phi Phi Island- island hopping
March 10- 24 Songkhala Thailand
March 24- April 2- Siem Reap Cambodia
April 2- April 23- Chiang Mai, Thailand
April 23- May 21 Hanoi Vietnam (Ha Long Bay cruise, Sapa mtns, Hoi An…)
May 21- May 24th Bangkok Thailand
May 25- June 19th Boise Idaho Family Reunions
June 20th- Boston