This is a blog about the 3 of us... Leslie, Jacob (me) and our son Vaughn (he's 9) taking some time out of our lives to travel.
We've sold our house, taken sabbaticals from work, put our belongings in a 10'x20' storage unit and are flying to Amsterdam next week to start on a fabulous six month journey.
December 16th - We are sitting in the airport at Zurich headed back to the States on a layover from Tel Aviv. The last flight was four hours and the end of it was so turbulent that I thought I might be sick. It was one of those flights where the passengers clapped when it finally slowed on the runway. Now that we are safe on the ground inside the airport in a little cafe I’m feeling a little bit better.
We are homeward bound after five and a half months on the road traveling through 13 countries on two continents. We are all exhausted and looking forward to being back in the US where we will have the luxuries of the familiar: good friends, our cat Hannah (thanks Tom and Phil for watching her all these months!), a house to call home and little things like food with labels that we can read and street signs that we can understand. It’s safe to say that all three of us have acquired a new appreciation for simple things after being on the road for so long.
Our next flight that will take us to San Francisco leaves in a couple of hours and I’m taking some time to write my final travel blog post. I appreciate all of the feedback that I’ve gotten along the way - this is my first blog ever and at times it’s been hard to keep up!
We’ve all grown a tremendous amount over the course of the trip and have gotten to know each other and appreciate each other in new ways that are different than when we were just living our lives at home in Portland. In deciding to travel, we sold our house and quit our jobs and gave up a lot of security (at least perceived security) in exchange for adventure. At times this has been scary but well worth the experience. Leslie and I have witnessed Vaughn mature, both intellectually and emotionally and have been blessed to be able to spend so much time with him. We are both so proud of him. Everywhere we’ve gone we’ve heard from families that we’ve stayed with what a bright, polite and caring child he is. He’s been one amazingly patient traveling buddy, that’s for sure.
As a parent, I feel really thankful for the opportunity to expose him to so many different ways that people live, rich historic sights and most of all give him the gift of stepping outside of his environment to see that the world is a big, exciting place full of amazing and wonderful people. We’ve been really touched by all of the people that we’ve met along the way that have taken time from their lives during our journey to make us feel at home, cook delicious meals and take us to places that are special to them.
One of the things that I’ve been appreciative for in traveling is that we’ve learned to do with very few belongings and, even though we did collect some things along the way, have been living out of a couple of bags of possessions each. In terms of toys and entertainment, Vaughn has managed extremely well with a set of drawing pencils, books, a coin collection filled with coins from places we visited, a basketball, football, soccer ball, some legos that were a gift from one of his couchsurfing buddies and a handful of other small items. And of course, a laptop and internet connection wherever possible.
We are spending the next ten days in Santa Cruz and San Jose and excited to be together with Leslie’s family for Christmas and meet our newest niece London! She was born just after we left on our trip so she’s almost 6 months old. We’ll be heading back to Portland the last week in December and looking forward to settling in, cooking some home-made meals, spending time with friends and starting the next chapter in our lives.