Who Are We?
We are a wanderlusty family of three…four, if you count our dog, Archie, who comes with us wherever we go. Bipedal members of the family include me, Renee; my husband, Mark; and our now-11-year-old daughter, Scout.
RENEE, originally from the Bay Area (California), is a writer, photographer, editor, and wrangler of dogs and children. Well, one dog and one child, but often it seems like more.
MARK, originally from New Orleans, is a freaky-talented eBook designer and project manager.
SCOUT, originally from Seattle, is a friendly, brainy, chatty, roadschooling foodie who plans to be a writer and ecologist when she grows up.
ARCHIE, originally from Maine, is a happy, snugly, ferocious, mime-fearing, ball-loving Jack Russell Terrier whose hilarious antics keep us in stitches.
Before Scout was born, Mark and I spent six blissful months roaming around SE Asia & Australia. It was wonderful. By the time Scout arrived, about five months after we got back, we knew we wanted to travel the world as a family.
But as so often happens, life got in the way.
Mark brought home most of the bacon, and his work as a publishing executive and project manager wasn’t portable.
Time passed. We moved from Seattle to Vancouver, fell in love with Canada and applied for residency and later citizenship. This involved years of…waiting.
Life was comfortable but not inspiring. We took three-week holidays to Thailand and Costa Rica, but it wasn’t enough, not by a long shot. Mark was gone at work all day. I homeschooled Scout and waited passively for some catalyst that would lead to a travel life.
It was all so frustrating. Like we’d stepped in tar, and couldn’t get the sticky mess off our shoes. Mark and I talked about RVing around Europe but wondered how to fund such an adventure.
One day, in the blink of an eye, Scout turned nine, and that’s when it hit us. We were going to miss our window with her. Soon she would be grown and gone. There’d be no extended family travel. We’d be parents who talked endlessly about a dream but never did a thing about it.
What kind of lesson is that?!?
Our Canadian citizenship came through a few months later, and we realized it was now or never.
After a couple months of what could loosely be termed “planning,” we bought a (very) used RV online from an Amsterdam dealer. I scrambled to figure out how to get Archie safely to Europe. We sold our Vancouver condo and all the stuff in it. We tried to sell our car but couldn’t, so we garaged it. We shoved our few remaining boxes in a friend’s basement, and a few months later, we were flying over the Atlantic.
For the next year we toured Europe and Turkey. Scout, a bright kid and huge foodie, soaked up geography, history, food, and languages. We met amazing people. We saw amazing things. We all fell in love with Turkey. It was the best year of our lives.
We drove 23,000 kilometers in that old rig. The trip was exhausting and exhilarating. We felt alive. The year flew by. Nobody missed owning a home, being weighed down by possessions, or having a permanent address. We enjoyed being together all day, functioning as a true team. We realized we didn’t want to stop traveling. Ever.
See, that’s the thing. Once you plunge down the rabbit hole and begin living deliberately, there’s no going back.
After a year though, we had to pull the plug. Scout was ready for something a little slower, and Europe was expensive. So we came home, tossed our boxes into the car, semi-politely ignored all the naysayers, and drove ourselves to Mexico.
That’s where we are now.
Our goal for this year is language immersion for Scout. We want her to become fluent in two more languages, so we’ll stay in Latin America long enough for her to learn Spanish. After that, who knows.
I’ve promised Scout that once she’s proficient in Spanish, we’ll take her to visit the Galapagos Islands. After that, we might explore South America. Or head back to SE Asia. Or return to Turkey. Or, if business is good, touch down in Europe. (I do miss France…)
Anything is possible, and I love that.
Thanks for taking the time to drop by RambleCrunch and for keeping us company on our adventures.
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