Some of you may have noticed the absence of the column for a bit...or not. Who knows who really reads what I spew out each month. I swear I have a valid reason for my lack of submissions. Our family has a lot going on. Wait…let me rephrase that – We have more going on than we ever thought we could possibly handle! I think I nailed it that time. To put it out there in the simplest form, we're outta here. Come September 2014, we're heading to South America on the bikes for a year or more. We sold the house and fled the burbs. There. I said it. It's time to reclaim our lives. How did we come this decision to become a family of motorcycle-traveling hippy weirdoes? It was easier than you think.
To say that we have taken on a few projects at the moment would be the biggest understatement of our lives. We're making the choice to completely flip flop our lives, extracting ourselves from all that we are told is the American dream. The one burning question everyone asks is still, "Why?" We had this great house in this safe town in this charming neighborhood. Maybe that's why. Maybe it's because Jack isn't getting any younger and our days are numbered in making some insanely cool memories as a family. Maybe it's because we've grown weary of the "someday" attitude and are choosing to make our someday now. Maybe it's because we're so very tired of the media feeding us stories that the world is a scary place, that we need to stay in our safety bubble, continue paying that mortgage and work until we're 65 to claim that $100 gold watch. I'm sorry, but we're not buying into that lifestyle anymore. We've paid our dues. We've done what we're supposed to do. Now, it's time to do what we want to do.
It did take us a while to commit to this decision. Once we started announcing that it's “game on,” there was no looking back. We've known for quite some time that we needed to do something different, that the constant ringing of the phone and the need to check email every five minutes was consuming our lives. (Technology really is amazing. Though it's supposed to ease our daily lives, it actually takes away from living. Pity how that worked out, really.) It wasn't until May of 2013, right after Overland Expo, that we made the real commitment. We were going to live off of our bikes, home school Jack, and see what the world has to offer this crazy family. Always a big question from others – “Is Jack on board?” Yes, he is. Those who really know us know that we make decisions as a family, each member having an equal voice. Jack already is a different kind of kiddo just from the travel he's already experienced. Sometimes I wonder if he's learned more on the road than in the classroom. It is interesting to watch how he adapts to a changing environment, whether it be with people or landscape. Can you imagine the changes we all will be going through this same time next year? It's a bit hard to grasp at times and is usually followed by a mini panic attack. We've learned to accept these little bursts of sheer terror as the norm, at least for now. (Please send wine.)
As I write this, we have less than six months to figure it all out. We won't figure it all out. We have to be okay with that, and we are. Of course, we'll get the big stuff out of the way – insurance, shots (most of them), bikes ready, clothing, blah, blah, blah. One of our biggest hurdles we have to conquer? The growing pre-teen. Have you seen this kid lately? Nobody told me they grow that fast when you feed them! Jack, at 12, is already wearing size 10 shoes and has hands bigger than mine. In another couple of months, he will be as tall as me. It's like watching a Great Dane puppy try to maneuver himself around. We can't buy him any new gear until right before we depart, and we all know how expensive it is to buy gear. (Trust me, I'm doing my best to solicit sponsors.) We are fortunate to be traveling to areas known for plenty of fresh roadside grub and enough food to sustain the growing boy at least until the next town. Can you even fathom how he'll look when we return? Yes, we are setting aside a travel fund so we are able to fly home if necessary. Even in the spirit of adventure you have to be prepared for anything.
So, did I blow your minds or did you see it coming? It's funny really how many of our friends and family just knew we'd be doing this someday. (There's that word again!) Then there are a few who ask, "Where are you going to put all of your stuff?" Don't worry; we've got that figured out. You'd be amazed just how much 'stuff' we really don't need. As long as I have my boys, my health and a full tank of gas, I can go without a lot of things. See, I told you change was good. Cheers.