When people ask us what we like to do- what our hobbies are, travel is always at the top of our list. We spend our time and energy on travel and many nights, you’ll find Josh and I huddled around our laptops planning our next big adventure. In a sense, we’ve been practicing for this big trip for years. We travel for a few months each year, and we’ve spent month-long blocks in the UK, traveling around Europe, Asia, perusing our National Parks and exploring the US, but we’ve never taken 4 months to travel non-stop.
On a recent getaway in Canada, Josh and I sat in Banff, dreaming big, discussing the actual possibility of taking a round-the-world trip. We’ve envisioned this journey for years, and we began reading some books on some families who dove in and did it. Even though it was difficult and required lots of planning, all of the families said it was the best thing they’d ever done. For us, taking the time off is a bit scary, because Josh’s career is doing so well and it’s particularly important to be here if you want to write songs. Yet, what is life about? I want to take chances and not regret things and feel like I “did it” -whatever that may be. We will be embarking on a journey to see the world and reconnect. I always feel better about the world and my place in it when I’m traveling. I suddenly remember that we are all the same. We might have such different world views, but at the end of the day, most peoples priorities are the same- love.
So, after some serious discussions about money, time and careers, as well as living in the moment- we’ve decided to jump in, and do it. For days, we sat around with a big map looking over routes and crossing out places on our list, while new destinations creeped in. The trip began as three months and just kept getting longer, too. It took us a good month to finalize our route- and it’s really exciting that we’re going to make it happen.
This is an glowing period of our lives, because our daughter, Luna is a wide-eyed 4 year old. Luna loves being with us. She’s sweet, energetic, funny and lives to pretend that she is a fairy. Her world is that of imagination. Josh often comments that we are living in ” ‘Luna’- the musical” because we are often communicated to through song. After talking with Luna’s Waldorf school about the ideal time to travel, and the more that Josh and I discussed this trip, we realized that the time to take this trip was 2014. We may not ever again have the opportunity for Luna to travel with us for an extended amount of time because once school starts, the rhythms of school life will become more dominant, and who knows if she’ll want to take a trip around the world with her parents when she graduates high school or college. When we discussed the trip with Luna, she was thrilled at the idea of seeing pandas in China and playing with elephants in Thailand. When we told her that we would be headed to Germany for the Christmas markets- she said that she didn’t want to go, as she’d recently seen the play of “The Sound of Music” and is scared of the Nazis, or “Naughties” as she refers to them. I assured her they weren’t there, yet I may have to change the name of Germany to get her to enter the country.
At this point, Luna has traveled to 13 countries, and been on over 100 plane rides. When we were in Paris, she looked at me and said, “Mama, is Paris made out of pears?” In Sweden, she happily ate shrimp paste for breakfast and she fell in love with octopus and squid ink pasta in Italy. She learned to count to ten on the endless steps of the bridges in Venice. She’s a really fearless traveler, always cheering when the landings are extra bumpy, which often surprises her white-knuckled fellow passengers. As long as we plan on about 1/2 (or less) of what we’d normally do if she wasn’t with us, we should be okay. Although Luna might slow us down, she also brings a totally unique perspective to the travel we are undertaking. She notices things that no one else would because she sees the world in such a different light. I’m always reminded of how good most people in the world are when I travel with Luna, because they offer a different side of themselves, too. In addition to seeing the world, this trip is also about connecting with people around the world, not just seeing the landmarks, shopping and getting on our way. One of my favorite things to do abroad is go to playgrounds. Children can play together and not have any concern over their differences or language barriers between them. A smile is a smile, anywhere. Well, at least I think so. I guess we might find out on this trip.
To be honest, I’m a bit scared, though. This is a big undertaking. What if we get tired? What if we get sick of being together all of the time? But, oh, the amazing memories we’ll have tucked in our back pockets forever. To pull out on a rainy day and feel just for a moment like we did it- like we left fear behind and ventured into the unknown and did it. Tomorrow I’m finalizing our booking our round-the-world tickets through the oneworld alliance. I now know more about the intricacies of booking round-the-world airline tickets than I ever thought possible. Onwards!