As I frantically try to prepare my house for my upcoming absence of 13 months, I start to think that maybe all the people who look at us like we’re insane are right. How can I possibly clear out all the closets, cancel all the subscriptions, prepay all the insurance, taxes, and every other conceivable recurring bill, withdraw four kids from school, plan and digitize their homeschool curriculum, and schedule a yearlong round the world itinerary in a mere few months? The thought lasts only a moment, however,as my gaze is drawn to the eight feet of bookshelf space I’ve purged of literary classics and filled with travel guides and writings. (Don’t worry, the Tolstoy and the Shakespeare have moved temporarily to another room.) They remind me that the world is calling. Now…not next year or five years from now…is our time to go.
Dax, our oldest, is heading for high school…still too young to protest too loudly. Asher, our youngest, is almost four…finally old enough to walk moderate distances without being carried and hold it until we can find a bathroom.
Certainly there are other ways we could teach these four to appreciate cultural and geographical diversity, ways that don’t involve taking malaria pills or walking away from financial security. Likewise there are alternatives for opening their eyes to social and economic disparity that don’t require extended absences from grandparents, Xbox, and a potable water supply, but we’re ready to break with convention. Our inner rebel is ready to bust out of our suburban comfort zone and seize an awareness that only firsthand experience can bring. So in 34 days we pack up the car and head to Utah for an extended vacation with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Tom will come back to Atlanta to work until August 15th and then rejoin us in Utah for our August 26th departure to New Zealand, the first leg in our RTW quest.