Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Sabatical

We have sold the house packed our backpacks with what we will need for 2 months and off we go to the airport. We had to give our 2 dogs, Tasha and Sandy away to very good homes. We have had Tasha since she was a puppy and we have had Sandy for the last 3 or 4 years. It was a bit sad but it made it so much easier to leave them knowing they both are in such great homes.
Our first stop is Rome, Italy. We stay in Rome for 3 days and then take a ferry to Greece to an island called Corfu where we will stay for a week or so. From there we will travel by bus or train up the coast through the countries like Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, Slovenia till Venice. We will spend a few days touring Venice and then go down to the Mediterranean to an area called the Cinque Terra. Then follow the coast through France, Spain, down to Morocco and the we will spend the last few weeks in Portugal.
It sounds like a very busy 2 months and it will be. But that is the way we love to travel. During the next 2 months I will try to post blog entries to tell a little about what we have done.

Friday, June 12, 2009

experiencing the world

We have come to believe our children are at the age when they should be experiencing the world first hand rather than through books, videos and second-hand stories. ("Who knows the flower best? The one who reads about it in a book, or the one who finds it wild on the mountainside?" Alexandra David-Neal). And despite the tensions and wars and revolutions and terrorism we are bludgeoned with daily in newspaper headlines, we believe our world has more to offer, more to learn, more to see and feel than ever in its history. And we want to share what we learn with them and you.
That's why we're going to make this trek, this voyage of discovery. In his journals, Charles Darwin wrote before he left on his epic journey, "I long to set foot where no man has trod before." We know that is nearly impossible to do in a world that has been photographed from every angle of space. But we do hope to plunge into the unknown, our unknown. We look as forward to telling the stories of what we find as we do to finding it, whatever and where ever it may be.

Most people we talk with are envious. Some seem to worry about their own list of imagined fears (mom). A few have been honest enough to call us crazy (dad), and others wonder why we're doing this now rather than when we retire (three guesses why). But at least we seem to know why we're doing it.
In fact, at this point, only a step and heartbeat before we leave, it's much like what John Wesley Powell wrote in his journals before he and his crew attempted their historic 1869 boat trip down the mighty Colorado River: "This morning we are ready to enter the mysterious canyon and start with some anxiety. The old mountaineers tell us that it cannot be run; the Indians say, 'Water heap catch 'em;' but all are eager for the trial, and off we go."

I don't want to get to the end of my life and say that I never did anything that I truly wanted to because I WAS TOO AFRAID. I'm fed up with being afraid of things that really don't amount to much—things like what if it rains and I didn’t get the grass cut, what if I filled out the income tax form incorrectly, what if the horses eat to much grass and founder, what if our van breaks down. I'm ready to be afraid of real things. In doing this, it may help others take that same leap of faith, and do something really cool, something that will help make our world a better place and better understood.
We want to give Colton and Miranda the gift of incredible memories (my own favorite childhood memories center around our annual family road trips and camping trips). To show them that dreams can be lived, not just put away to gather dust or be stared at with wistful sighs and "what ifs" over yet another cup of coffee. To give them a peek at what an incredible place we live in, and the people and things we share it with. And to spend time, real time, with them, our children. They will be our 50-hour work-week.
To see the paths of others in the world. To see where their dreams have taken them. I can see that through their paths, we will find our own. To see the sun come up in places and among people I can't truly imagine. To learn new things, and remember others. Our best times are times that we share together as a family.
We are drowning in a sea of things and commitments and I want to drown in a sea of experiences and time. Sometimes you have to leave to discover what you have. This is our family dream…..please share it with us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Packing up

Who would think that they would like packing. I do for some unknown reason. Maybe it's the cleaning out of the dark cornners of the house. \maybe it's finding all the lost treasures of my life. I don't know exactly why, but it's been kinda fun.