“How do you start?”

What are we doing?

Well, we’re traveling, we’re taking the kids out of school, we’re building the business, and we’re leaving for an extended undetermined amount of time. No more than two years though. It seems, however, that most people think we’ll fall in love with a country and stay there. HaHaHa!! The thought is very unappealing right now, but I’m not dumb enough to say ‘it’ll never happen’, but really, we have to pay taxes in two countries as it is, and the paperwork… oh the paperwork with that alone is enough to make me cry. So the thought of dealing with a third country…. nope, not likely.

Well, we’re traveling, we’re taking the kids out of school, we’re building the business, and we’re leaving for an extended undetermined amount of time. No more than two years though. It seems, however, that most people think we’ll fall in love with a country and stay there. HaHaHa!! The thought is very unappealing right now, but I’m not dumb enough to say ‘it’ll never happen’, but really, we have to pay taxes in two countries as it is, and the paperwork… oh the paperwork with that alone is enough to make me cry. So the thought of dealing with a third country…. nope, not likely.

So that means we have to build the business, figure out the kids schooling (home school vs Te Kura correspondence school), accommodation and transport along the way. Then there is closing down the home front, which is not easy. Listening to your kids crying over giving up their bed, clothes and random bits of plastic is not easy to listen to. Not to mention the coordination of selling your stuff (so not fun on Trade Me) vs the needing your stuff until the last minute, cleaning up the house, then there is all the business paperwork(!), bank accounts, address details etc etc etc. I should really take a photo of my list.

Anyway, how do you start to do something like this? As trite as it sounds, you have to make a decision. But I mean a real decision. Not a ‘Yeah I’m going to do that (if everything falls nicely into place)’ decision. But a decision where you go ‘Right, holy crap, yes let’s do it. Let’s really do this, no matter how hard it gets!’ This decision needs to be quickly followed up with some insane action to make it happen – in our case was a travel agent booking one-way tickets for us.

toilet sign

I know you’ve heard that before “All it takes is a decision.” But there are decisions and there are decision, decisions. We made a decision, decision and it took awhile to come to that point. I would say this has been brewing for at least two years. I presented the possibility to Nathaniel about working and traveling at the same time… it didn’t go down too well. (Lets just say I remember clearly where and when I brought it up and the results of that conversation.) Slowly the idea evolved, the ‘do ability’ of the venture became real, then I found people actually doing it. THAT made the difference. Seeing others doing what I wanted to do made it more than an idea, but truly possible. If you see people who have 6 kids doing what you want to do, then hell, it seems like it might actually be easy. No. No, it’s not easy, let me tell you. At this stage of the adventure, the shutting down, building up the business and making sure I haven’t forgotten anything stage is not easy, but it IS doable. Something I keep channelling is Mark Watney from the Book/Movie The Martian, he had to deal with just one problem at a time so he could survive. I have to keep in that frame of mind, just this problem, then I’ll worry about the next one. I’d be lying If I said I do this all the time. In fact 99% of the time I’m in a flat spin freaking out and yelling at the kids, but I aspire to be Mark Watney.

Somethign else I’ve learned is finding people who are willing to be your cheerleaders because there is a lot of passive aggressive naysayers out there. The usual is “Wow, that’s amazing, but I could never do that.” Followed by a list of ‘why they never could’. Not everyone is interested in traveling and that’s perfect, life is wonderful and they love everything about it. Hat off to you, it’s a rare and wonderful thing. But more often than not I get the feeling (and this is reading between the lines here I will admit), is that those who say ‘I could never do that’ is more about being too scared to examine their life and what they really want. There are tons of ‘reasons’ not to do something, and I lived them for a long time the big three being – Money, Kids and Jobs. However, I’m now a firm believer in you’ll figure it out once the decision, decision is made. Doing big stuff is scary, and it’s much easier to slide into a status quo and decide to buy something (house, car, furniture, holiday) instead as it also conveinently adds fuel to the ‘too many commitments’ line of reasoning.

The push back is ususlly related to the kids (and dont’ think I’ve freaked out about this myself). It’s mostly questions revolve around what is going to happen to the kids’ education and their friends. Let me tell you something, the most supportive people I have come across are teachers. Yip, from my kids’ teachers to teacher friends, to random teachers I’ve talked to about it. Teachers 100% say “That is the best thing you could ever do for your child’s education.” As much as I’m scared that I’m screwing them up socially (Alpha seems to find multiple ways to make me feel bad about that), I don’t feel like I’m going to screw them up educationally. Travel I believe is probably one of the fastest ways to develop problem solving skills (see the Mark Watney comments above), and problem solving and it’s cousin creativity, are the key to a happy life (in my opinion). If you can figure crap out, you’ll be fine. Creativity means looking at the issue from different angles to come up with a solution. I’m hoping the kids will have to do lots of problem solving on the road – along with us. The worst case scenario is that after 2 years we bring back kids who didn’t learn anythng, then at least they’ll still be young enough that we can ‘rehab’ them if needs be.

So yeah that’s kinda how we started doing it. But if I’m 100% honest, if I knew before starting how big this beast was, I’m not sure I’d do it. If it was just travelling – hell yeah! We love to travel and the kids are awesome travellers. But building the business, trying to pick up clients while working day jobs and shutting down our lives with two very opinionated kids…. and even more paperwork, I’m really not sure. I’m glad I didn’t know.

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One-half of the adult section in this adventure. I tend to fill in forms, make sure everything is in place, and wrangle children. My writing tends to be stream of consciousness, so don't expect anything to stay strictly on topic.

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