So what the hey?
Why, indeed, would one (or two) leave and go far away to a few countries where they know a combined eight people? After all, we had fulfilling jobs, a comfortable home and an easy drive to visit most of our family members.
Well for me (it's Max, btw), I knew that Nat and I wanted a family of our own someday, and a house of our own, and I could feel that the speed of life wasn't going to be slowing down anytime soon. And I'd had some minor health issues that convinced me that maybe I needed to change things up and freshen up life a bit.
Deciding to take up to 11 months to travel in 2020 wasn't a decision we made lightly. In fact, we were so on the fence that we almost bought a house and accelerated our root-laying plans just a few short months ago.
Here's what we took into consideration:
Traveling long-term with one or more little kiddos is hard and even more expensive (serious props to those of you who do it!)
We have more flexibility in our lives right now than we will likely have for the next 20 years (again...kids)
The climate of the world is changing, which has very real impacts on the beautiful places of the world, as Australia and the Amazon have illustrated recently
The timing worked out for us to end our apartment lease at just the right time and our parents agreed to store our stuff for up to a year (thanks, folks!)
Nat and I both really struggle with Wisconsin winters (which happen to coincide with beautiful New Zealand summers)
All of our loved ones are in good health which is a major blessing
It is also top of our minds that we want to find ways to give back as we travel. We know that there are people hurting physically and emotionally everyday around the world and in the United States. We want to use this time to serve and get to know others and to learn about ways of helping others that we can consider incorporating into our lives when we return to the States.
All in all, we knew we would regret not taking this opportunity more than we would ever possibly regret taking it. There are risks involved, and it's not cheap to travel for a year, but we feel that the lessons learned, the people met and the memories made will be meaningful to us for the rest of our lives. And hopefully, our kids will someday be inspired to take a chance on one of their dreams someday, too.