I am positive that we’ve shocked our families, especially mothers, and many friends successfully in the last month or so after we made the decision.
In a way, I have shocked myself as well. Ever since Nina was born I thought the travel-far-and-further days are behind me, for good. No one in my immediate entourage has ever travelled with a young child for that long. Once you have a child, you are supposed to settle, aren’t you? And with 20 days of annual leave per year and 2 families to visit in China and France, and a mortgage to pay in the insanely priced Sydney, how on earth would we be able to find time and money to travel longer than a few weeks, ever again?
Then the door opened itself.
The company I had been working for 7 years announced some job cuts in September, and that included mine. Suddenly I found myself no longer needing to attend to work. In return a cheque was being sent my way.
I could of course choose to find another job, and let the cheque disappear in the mortgage. That would have been a logical choice.
Or I could choose otherwise.
After all, I have chosen to leave the comfort of home country behind and moved three continents already. I have chosen to change career path completely a few times because my heart told me to try out new things even at the expense of climbing the corporate ladder faster. I have chosen to spend my resources and energy from young age on travelling to almost 30 countries and learning new cultures/languages and meeting new people. I have chosen the bumpy yet colorful road of marrying someone from a different culture for the last 7+ years. I have chosen to bring up a trilingual child.
So why cannot we choose to take 9 months out, and travel with our 22-month-old daughter around the world?
I have my fair share of worries, to be sure. Are we putting Nina at risk by taking her to the unknown territories at such a young age? Is she going to be overwhelmed/traumatized by the constant changes? Are we able to financially support travelling for 9 months with no income and no promise of immediate income upon return? Are we physically up to looking after a toddler at her terrible two while on the road? Is it a career suicide? Are we going to disappoint our families (while they thought that we finally ‘settled’)?
After almost a month of tossing all these questions around, we made the decision.
Instead of allowing all these worries – all valid ones by the way – talk us out of the idea, we decided that we would never know the real answers for sure. Unless we try it.
Nina could be totally immersed in all these fascinating places we are going to (I will reveal our itinerary plan in another post :)). She might learn to be more flexible and adaptable. She may even pick up some Spanish along the way (hopefully I will, too) – a Quadra-lingual family?! We could travel on budget (such as renting an apartment for a month which typically costs much less than hotels and allows us to cook most of time to save on restaurant bills) so that our money stretches a bit longer. We would rent out our home to support the mortgage. We would slow down the pace and do less ‘touristy’ things – so that we have plenty of time to wind down from running after Nina, and also get to experience how locals live. We cross our fingers that one of us will find a job fairly quickly upon return even if it means that we need to alter our expectation slightly. I might even test out an idea or two of generating some income while on the road, no matter how small amount that is. And last but certainly not the least, we count on our families to come to terms with our decision.
Above all, shouldn’t we celebrate life, when we still can, by living to its full on our own terms?
Once a decision is made, the rest is just logistics.
Another major decision was made (I will come to it in a separate post – yes it is THAT important). The dates are set. The round-the-world tickets were booked. Travel doctor was visited. Nina stopped going to daycare. Friends living anywhere near our planned destinations are contacted (some generously offered to accommodate us which I am so grateful and looking forward to seeing some of them after so many years). A 8-day test trip to New Zealand starts next Monday.
The Trilingual Family RTW is becoming a reality.