I spend a lot of time at my kitchen table streaming music on youtube while working. Occasionally I come upon some gems that remind me of good times from travel long ago. Hearing the first couple of chords make me long for a travel adventure. Whenever I come across these songs, I begin to jot them down in my notebook. I hope when we finally take off we’ll have a great youtube playlist assembled that will keep us motivated. Our children generally drive our youtube viewing, and as a result, an inordinate amount of Disney soundtracks that pop up throughout the day.
Things are gradually reopening where we live. Over the last couple of weeks, we have had the opportunity to meet up with friends and family. Like our children, we have missed our friends and relatives. It got me thinking that we are going to miss a bunch of people when we take off on our trip. But why do we need to miss them? Perhaps some will decide to join us at random points around the world. Wouldn’t that be neat?
Last year we managed to convince my extended family to go on a trip to Iceland with us. Being transparent, we had some concerns that it might be difficult for everyone to “get along”. Over the years Paige and I have adjusted our style to not need everyone to do the same thing and have the same experiences. On the Iceland trip, I think we did our best to give everyone lots of room and let each sub-unit sort of go at their own pace.
The good news is that travelling with that extended family had lots of “halo” benefits. On that trip, family members’ input made us participate in experiences that my wife and I would not have considered on our own. On the financial side, our money went a little bit further as we could share accommodation and some transport costs. On the sanity side, “babysitting” by family members allowed me and my wife some free time that we put to good use. Snorkelling in Iceland would not have been possible if my brother’s family were not watching my kids at the time. On the appreciation side, family members remembered unique aspects of the trip so that when we reminisce we seem to get a more complete recounting of the adventure.
I understand the complexities around co-ordinating things and that sometimes things fall through. Not too long ago, my family went to Jamaica for a winter holiday. Just before arrival, we found out one of my good friends was staying at a resort just a couple kilometres up the beach. For some reason, we just did not end up crossing paths.
In a previous post, I made a tongue in cheek comment about my grandmother coming to visit us for Christmas in Italy. I am not sure she has been on a plane and not having a passport might prove problematic for her. I am not writing it off but I am going to give that one a 10% chance of coming to fruition. For the rest of you, do not hesitate to tell us when and where! We could use a bunch of babysitters.
Michael is the one who is passionate to blog about this trip. I read it and agree with most things —really not sure about the electric vehicle across Canada and into the Yukon part though!
But I am passionate about figuring out how to bike on our trip.
Our daughter Isabella is currently 5, the exact age that Julie, our youngest will be when we plan to take this trip. Isabella learned to ride a 2-wheeler this year and I cringe at the thought of Julie missing this while we travel. Watching Isabella make it around the block has been a joy for me during our family’s COVID-19 isolation.
I wanted to share with everyone a current snapshot of what the route is looking like right now. Some legs of the trips are further along than others so expect changes. I have gone ahead and shared a somewhat detailed route for the North American component of the trip. Here is that route. Not going to lie, the 11,000km plus of driving seems daunting. There will be some big travel days required.
For a glimpse of the current status of the whole trip including the Europe and Asian components of the trip, please click here. Might be too ambitious, might not be ambitious enough. But it is fun plotting the destinations on a map even if they are just placeholders. 50,000km sure feels like an ambitious undertaking.
As an aside, some of my friends had been teasing me about the gaps between my posts. I agree wholeheartedly with that critique. The good news is next week we cross the “2 years to go mark”. I am going to have to start buckling down!
Apparently I started this blog about 200 days ago. The time did fly by and hopefully I can make more progress in the next 780 days. The ambition had been to share the progress our family is making towar our long term goal of traveling around the world with our children. We had set a date of July 1, 2022 for our departure and we would spend the next 2+ years planning how to make this dream come to life.
One of the purposes of the blog was to strengthen our resolve to actually undertake such a trip. We find that telling people about our dreams is a good motivator to see them through. We felt a blog was a great way to hold ourselves accountable. In the end it is our version of the “if you build it, he will come” mantra from Field of Dreams.
This post might seem early but completing this task will probably take the most time. Since we plan to base ourselves in each country for at least a month, it makes sense to know some language basics before we go.
During my solo backpacking life, I used to ensure I knew the language basics before disembarking. Phrases like hello and goodbye, counting up to 100, the days of the week, directions and how to book a hotel room were something I would normally invest a couple hours learning. Something happened the last few years where this fell by the wayside. I attribute this to staying in western style hotels where English is often enough to get by in that setting. For this upcoming trip I think it is important to get back to our traveling roots and spend the time to engage with locals in their language. The most basic reason is that it really is the polite and respectful thing to do. The benefit for us in the long term is that any language basics we acquire should make each stay a little bit more stress free. We know we will get in some jams. Knowing the language might help us make the right decision at a critical time.