Farewell Rat Race. HELLO WORLD.
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
12 years ago, Peter and I quit our jobs and wandered for a year around the world thinking, let's travel while we can, before little humans enter into the equation and our carefree life as we know it is OVER. It was a crazy, amazing, life-changing trip that took us from South East Asia, to South America.
Then, when kids happened, turns out life wasn't over! Instead they brought on a whole new kind of adventure. The busy, exhausting (but mostly awesome!!) kind. Like a lot of families, our lives revolved around schedules and calendars. It went something like this: work, play, school, mealtimes, grocery shopping, appointments and activities, lots of pick-ups and drop-offs, nap/bedtimes, clean, clean, clean... and REPEAT.
Parenthood has made us appreciate the stability, familiarity and comforts of everyday life in Vancouver, Canada. But is having a comfortable life the end goal? Is there such a thing as feeling TOO comfortable? Acknowledging that we are speaking from a position of privilege, the answer is YES. Physical comforts aside, we are referring to that perpetual mindset that makes one reluctant to try something new, different or unconventional. Too comfortable, at its worst, is when routines become so entrenched, you live your life on autopilot, you stop questioning and everything is predictably safe, yet uninspiring.
Of course people can and do find new ways to enrich their daily lives and break away from that hamster wheel mentality, without going far or for very long. Traveling is just one of MANY ways. We happen to choose this path because it's what WE love to do.
In truth, it took a lot of time to come to terms with the idea, but the decision itself was sudden and fast. We went from "Nah, things are pretty great as is, why change?!" to "Ahh...FUCK IT. Let's do it. Let's go." Largely thanks to inspiring friends who have done something similar, and this awesome book: VAGABONDING by Rolf Potts. And so our appropriately titled, "Fuck it and go" plan emerged. That was almost 2 years ago.
We understand that not everyone is going to get it. We are certainly not the first family to do this, but it still feels like a very foreign concept to many. The beauty of getting older and becoming parents is that not only you care much less about what others think, but you develop this keen sense of awareness that TIME is of the proverbial essence and your life priorities become acutely clear.
As poetically emphasized by Rolf Potts, the simple fact is: LIFE is FINITE. Time passes with each breath we take, not knowing when it will be our last. From our personal and professional experience, we have learned that being young and healthy doesn't give you a guaranteed ticket to a long enough life to reach your retirement dreams. This uncertainty is what makes us appreciate what we value most: spending quality time on this earth doing what we love with those we love. NOW. (Even if at times our lovely little darlings can push us to insane levels of frustration....yes, we still want to spend time with them! )
Some have asked us, why not just go on vacation for a month or two? Why sell our home, quit our jobs and travel for so long? To answer that question, we should explain what we hope our kids to gain from this. We want to facilitate their curiosity, and give them perspective of the bigger and wider world outside of their backyards. We want them to learn to question and think critically, to welcome challenges, embrace the different, the unusual and the unknown. To learn to trust their instincts and not be afraid to take reasonable risks. To learn resiliency and accept failure as growth....and as a result, humbly experience all this earth has to offer, all the splendors AND the flaws; and in some way learn how to meaningfully contribute to it, even in the smallest of ways. No pressure kids! We realize that at the current ages of 6 and 8, these are lofty life goals indeed.
World-schooling encompasses all of the above. We weren't familiar with this term until we began planning our trip with our kids' education in mind. In short, it is essentially like taking the kids on the biggest field trip of their lives and learning about the world beyond academics. Our kids are registered with a B.C. funded, distance/distributed learning program to guide us on our world-schooling journey.
We hope that by sharing our story, it will inspire families out there to seek their own adventures, big and small, near and far...whether it's an overnight camping trip or flying overseas. Our aim isn't to reach the masses or tick items off a bucket list as we go. We don't really have one! We also don't intend on making photography a focal point. No go-pros, selfie sticks, drones, etc. The idea is to go slowly, without a fixed itinerary, take only carry-ons and hit affordable destinations. SIMPLICITY is key for us, traveling as a family.
We started with a summer road trip from B.C. to Ontario, camping and seeing family and friends along the way. With 3 carry-ons, 2 kids, and 1-way tickets out of Vancouver, our journey began in Asia, taking us to South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Then, COVID happened, and our plans came to a sudden halt. After spending 8 wonderful months stuck in Vietnam, we have now safely returned to Canada. Our plans currently involve dreaming of resuming our travels in a post-pandemic world. Stay tuned!