Some people think we are crazy… actually most people I think. Why would we leave a “stable job”, sell our house and long term travel with our two medically complex children for an undetermined amount of time? AND Why now?
Danny and I have always wanted to not only travel but to live abroad. After Penny was born and diagnosed with GSD, we thought our dreams may never become a reality. Navigating the world of a “new to us” rare liver condition that involved constant care was scary and all we wanted to do was to keep her safe. As the days and the months went on, we adapted to our new normal. Things were pretty intense until around the time she turned two and her little body started tolerating cornstarch. Feeds went from every 90 min to every 3 hours and what seemed like an eternity of new time opened up! Tolerating cornstarch lengthened the time between feeds and provided greater metabolic stability and health for Penny. When Simon joined our family we already had a glimpse of what the next few years would be like and we were hopeful things might be a little easier the second go around.
We continued to live our life choosing to optimistically push forward. From time to time, lying in bed late at night, over the the dinner table or even out with friends, one of us would pose the question, “How do we make it happen?” still afraid that it may never. We often would talk about how to make money abroad, or where we could even find cornstarch. We would play the game, “If we were to go live abroad, where would we want to go?”, and make lists of far off places. One day we decided to stop playing the “what if” game and stop waiting for things to happen. If we were going to move abroad WE had to MAKE it happen. We decided to jump into the world of “Vagabonding” as Rolf Potts calls it, or taking time out from our normal life to travel the world on our own terms.
Once we started to take action, things started snowballing. Our kids were in good health. We told their Doctors of our idea to travel and we were met with encouragement and excitement. We narrowed our list of places down to Panama and Thailand. We got jobs working online. We put our house on the market and had many offers in just 1 day. We hoarded medical supplies and equipment for our kids and bought tickets to Panama City.
The decision to jump in and actually leave was scary one, but once we started even the smallest bit of action towards it, we were on our way.
Rolf Potts in his book Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to theArt of Long-Term World Travel says,
“Vagabonding is about gaining the courage to loosen your grip on the so called certainties of the world. Vagabonding is about refusing to exile travel to some other, seemingly more appropriate, time of your life. Vagabonding is about taking control of your circumstances instead of passively waiting for them to decide your fate.
Thus, the questions of how and when to start vagabonding is not really a question at all. Vagabonding starts now. Even if the practical reality of travel is still months or years away, vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility. From here, the reality of vagabonding comes into sharper focus as you adjust your worldview and begin to embrace the exhilarating uncertainty that true travel promises.”
For us the practical reality of travel was not always immediate, but the “narcotic tingle of possibility” pushed us on to where we are today.
Long Term Travel is not for everyone and not everyone has the desire for long term travel, but if any shred of you has the desire, here are the Top 3 Reasons to Start Long Term Travel Now:
Top 3 Reasons to Start Long Term Travel Now
1- There Will Never Be a Perfect Time—
There is never a perfect time to travel, heck there’s never a perfect time for anything, having a kid, going to school, taking a trip, buying a house, There is never a perfect time.
2- You Will Never Know Unless You Do It—
If you leave and don’t like it…you can always come back, but you will never know what it is like to travel long term if you don’t do it. Most things can be undone. You don’t have to leave forever.
3- You Are the Captain of Your Own Ship and the Author of Your Own Story—
You have the chance to write your story however you want instead of having others write it for you.
What will your story be?