You're doing What? and Why?

Our 12 month, around the world adventure

When we tell people our plan to spend 12 months traveling around the world with our 6 daughters we get one of two responses…”are you crazy!” or “can I come!”. Well, that kind of sums up how we feel about it.

It all started the year we got married. After a honeymoon in Cancun Mexico and then a year studying in Kuwait, DeNae and I were hooked on the adventure, education and opportunities to make a difference that come with traveling the world. We dreamed of someday giving our children that experience.

Over the years we’ve talked about the idea with our girls and it slowly turned from a “someday wouldn’t it be fun to” into a “someday when we” travel around the world. Between a shift in my work which allowed me to work from anywhere I had internet access and Mariah, our oldest, warning us that if we did it after she left home she’d never forgive us, we decided the time was right to put our stuff into storage, pack our backpacks, and head out.

We’d always talked about a trip around the world but really wanted to make it feel more like each place we went was home. We wanted to be able to say we “lived” in and not that we just “visited” or “traveled to” a place. Our feel was that it was all about the people we met, the friends we made and the relationships we built. In the summer of 2011, after a three month move to San Antonio Texas, we realized that we could make friends and really feel at home in a place after only a couple months.

 

Out of these experiences came the idea of doing an aound the world trip where we spent 2 months on each continent…enough time to feel at home yet enough different places that we felt we’d seen a bit of the world. Antarctica however poses a challenge…it’s not a very family friendly environment and not the type of place you just take your family and move to. That said, National Geographic runs with Lindberg travel a month long family cruise/expedition to Antarctica. But at over $10k per person, it’s pretty cost prohibitive for a family of 8..you do the math. National Geographic…if you need a techy program manager and/or some ship board entertainment let me know…we’d be happy to work our way onto one of your family expeditions!

So, we dropped Antarctica from our list, added in a stay in Jerusalem, one of my favorite cities in the world, and started planning the rest of the adventure. Right now, our plan is as follows (dates calculated assuming we can teleport from one country to the next…my preferred method of travel!):
Jerusalem – 12 February – 17 April
Greece – 17 April – 10 June
Swaziland/South Africa – 10 June – 4 August
Asia – 4 August – 29 September (still working on which of all the amazing places in Asia we want to visit to call home)
New Zealand/Australia – 29 September – 30 November
Costa Rica – 30 November – 27 January

Move #1 - Jerusalem

Photo taken as walked home from Church at the BYU Jerusalem Center.

Our first adventure into the Old City...adventure of a lifetime!

Move #2 - Greece

Move #3 - Swazi

Move #4 - Asia (not sure where yet...recommendations?)

Move #5 - New Zealand

Move #6 - Costa Rica

Our daily life we plan to fill with home schooling, exploration and finding new friends. We've set these three as our 3-fold trip focus: Education | Exploration | Engaging with people. Simply put, we'll study a place in the morning and then head out to explore it in the afternoon. Along the way, we hope to meet new people, learn their story and share it.

Our family has a couple of favorite TV shows that are kind of the basis of how we want to run the trip. The first is called Story Trek. This series is about a great story teller who takes a camera crew to cities around the United States, randomly knocks on doors and askes whomever will let him in to tell their story. We've come to love seeing all the amazing people they meeting. And most of all, we've realized that everyone has an amazing story to tell.

The second is called Random Acts. This is a series where a team of do-gooders go out and look for random acts of kindness they can do. Sometimes they're big like remodeling a house and sometimes they're small like saying hi and sharing a smile to a passing stranger.

We're looking for ways to Engage with the people we meet around the world to tell their story and serve them where we can. If you have ideas on how we might do this in the countries we're visiting, let us know. We have some ideas, but are always looking for real, meaningful ways we can make a difference.

There you have it, a dad, a mom and 6 fun (and slightly crazy) daughters with big dreams to visit and make a big world a little smaller and more personal. We hope you'll have fun following our round the world adventure, share your thoughts with us along the way, and feel inspired to make a difference wherever you are.