The days are really long by now. The plants I planted in the flower boxes earlier this year are in full blossom. I am sillily pleased by their growth, as normally flowers die on me fairly fast. For the first time our little balcony is a place to hang out. What impact removing rubbish and planting flowers can have, it feels like having an additional room.
I am sitting their almost every evening by candle light,
watching people from my hideout.
You are probably here because – for one reason or another – you are interested in our upcoming big adventure: Our family round the world trip. It’s only about a year until we leave and even though this still seems eeeendless, time flies and we will be off before we know it. We are already in the “summer before”.
Initially, we had an infinite amount of ideas of where we want to travel, what we’ll be doing, how it would be, what we would see … a reality check revealed: 80% of what we had in mind does sound indeed awesome but well, it won’t happen. Nope, not on this trip, if ever.
We had to set our priorities. Define the corner stones of our adventure and answer the big question:
Why are we taking a year off to travel?
Superficially, It’s simple: we like vacation.
However, there is obviously more to it. Being full time employed parents makes us basically run from A to B to C and back on a bat shit crazy schedule where a simple dentist appointment requires a 10 days heads-up – if it can be squeezed in at all. I wish I was exaggerating.
There is always somewhere we have to be, something that needs to be prepared, looked after, cleaned, sorted, fixed, done. Efficiency is our partner in crime and rock bottom is never that far below.
This being said, the final decision to go on that big trip happened when we woke up to a few things:
- we started to make plans for retirement, plans for when we have time. Which is in freaking 30 years from now.
- time I require to disconnect takes longer year by year. 10 years ago I turned off my PC and did not remember that I have a job within a second. Now I need a week to remotely calm down
- The children are growing so fast and I am painfully aware that every chance not taken might never come back. Who knows how long we will be alive anyway?
Naturally, I just don’t want to postpone anything. Neither do I want to regret missed opportunities. In fact, I am kinda (alarmingly) obsessed with the idea that life actually might end any second – or with less pathos: before we did the cool things, before we spent time, before we enjoyed and before we slowed down and really get involved with each other.
It might all be over before we had the chance to make those beautiful memories that we initially had in mind when dreaming about a family.
In other words: we (as in “us as a family” and not like in “human mankind”, you do whatever feels right for you) waste too much of our precious time in rush hours and offices, checking off to-do lists and getting upset about shit that doesn’t matter after all anyways. This isn’t meant to be an inspirational carpe diem post; I don’t have any wisdom to spread. Maybe a wee bit but anyway, we are just normal people, with a normal life and however lucky enough to actually like our jobs, no matter how grinding it can be at times.
So, why are we doing what we are doing?
The answer is as basic as it could probably be: to experience having the time and the freedom of not to be bound to be anywhere.
After we figured out that the theme of our sabbatical is clearly “slowing down” the question about the how was pretty easy to answer.
Our worldtrip won’t be a road trip. Neither will we explore a complete country, maybe not even an entire region (this is really hard, cause usually I want nothing less than all and everything. Now). And we won’t change location all few days – I really can’t be arsed to pack our bags all too often.
But what will we do?!
In the first months, we will instead rent a house and simply make it our home base for some weeks. No rush, no stress. Shake off the desire for efficiency and maybe get bored a little. Explore our surrounding, ourselves, try and learn new things, mingle a bit. Maybe the kids make friends. Maybe we will, too.