I love the different opinions we get about this trip we decided to take.
That is so amazing!
I always wished I could do that.
You are crazy.
I would never want to do something like that.
What a fabulous experience for your kids.
My kids would kill each other.
How did you decide to do this?
Why did you decide to do this?
Do you not even have an address anymore?
Early in the trip, we visited my nephew and his sweet wife. She said to Jay, “What you are doing is amazing. I have always wanted to do something like that.” Jay’s response to her was, “If you want to do it, you will need to just step out and do it.” You can’t wait for the perfect time or the money or the weather. Sometimes, you just have to step out in faith and get started. This trip was not at the perfect time in our lives, but it was at a really good time. But there were still obstacles we could have let stop us. Jobs, school, friends, fear. It is scary to step out into something so unknown. We’re constantly figuring out new things. New houses (One had IMPOSSIBLE light switches in the weirdest places), new grocery stores, new streets and new rules. Finding places to eat is one of my least favorite parts of travel and we’re doing it most days. It has been nice to have longer stays in AirBnB’s where we can cook meals that are familiar. I even brought my Instapot!
We had grand ideas when we started of how organized and smooth it would be. That was naïve optimism! But you have to have that optimism or you will talk yourself out of going at all. As I said in an earlier blog, we had to make two major cuts in our packing before we even left and we have already sent one large box of stuff home. I am thinking another box may head that way soon! But as we cut back, I am realizing how little you actually need. There are a few odd things you might not have expected to need – extension cords, apple cutters, a whisk (which was sadly left at the first house. Now everything we own has our name on it – oh! You need a label maker!) But many things you don’t need – lots of clothes, extra shoes, measuring spoons (not a single house we have stayed in has had measuring spoons and my oldest daughter laments this oversight but it has been just fine).
Staying in the house in Kentucky without wifi or good cell service was a challenge, but it also showed me the addiction to screens that we all have. You wake up in the morning and can’t check email, or play little cooking games on your phone, or post to Facebook. It was difficult because we home school and work online, but we made it work and we were better for it. We went in to coffee shops for a few hours to work; we bought a puzzle and played dominos. My oldest two girls read an entire series of books together and talked endlessly about them. As soon as we were back in wifi land, my kids separated off to their own private screens and the struggle to manage screen time started up again. Our goal was to “unplug” our kids but I’ll tell you this is not easy!!
All that said, if you have a big dream and you are not sure what it looks like, step out into it. Step out into the mess and start fixing the problems one step at a time. You might not have measuring spoons, you might find you don’t need all those shoes, and you might experience something amazing. No question you will learn and grow and change something deep in yourself. Jump out there and do it. Dr. Seuss said it best: Oh the Places you will Go!!