We are a family of four finding our way in the world. Our home is near Eugene, Oregon, USA. We have traveled in the past with 1-2 week international trips during school’s annual spring break. But this year-long trip is something quite different. It is great fun traveling together as each person has different interests and perspectives which broaden our overall appreciation of each place we visit. For example, when the kids were 4 and 5 years old, we spent a month in Spain. We found a park with playground equipment in every town and village we passed through. Who knew that Spain was so kid-friendly? These days, we are more likely to suss out the local ice cream shoppe than the playground.
Eryn is now 13 years old, having celebrated the beginning of teenagedom in Namibia during the trip. She is doing eighth grade during our trip so she can enroll in high school upon our return. Eryn has some misgivings about this trip as it causes uncomfortable separation from friends and school and routine. But she is making the best of the situation with phone calls and emails and logging all the events of the day on this web site.
Ethan is working through seventh grade during the trip and is but 11 years old at the start. Of course he is proudly 12 now. He is excited about going since he won’t have to attend school and because of the prospect of wild animals at many of the stops along the way. He is a little worried that we are visiting many places during summer, so he will miss the cool and rain of home. Sydney provided at least a temporary respite from the summer, though.
We can probably get through this without invoking Susan’s age. She is a mild-mannered high school teacher by day and SuperMom the rest of the time. She worries about how to not get sick, can she really survive a whole year with just one carry-on suitcase and one personal item, and how will homeschooling really work for us especially considering personalities. Of course, that means she is the only one who has broken a bone on the trip, with her right radius not quite what it used to be. You can call her “Lefty” now. She is looking forward to eating and learning about food for each country, maybe even taking a class or two; and visiting India and Peru.
Dad is the key instigator of this abnormal activity. He took his first international trip way back in college when he spent a year near Cape Town, South Africa. He normally spends too much time at work dealing with electronic communications and networking, so is looking forward to spending this year with his family before the kids grow up and move on. He wants to make sure Eryn and Ethan are well-rounded and know their world is much bigger than it may appear. And to teach them that impossible things are doable by just deciding to do them.