Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How about it?

Today Troy and I did an interview with the Northern Express - a cool weekly that is put out here for us Northern Michiganders to enjoy and keep up to date on the local happenings.  I am sure that many people who will be reading these words in the upcoming week or so are in fact being lead here from the discussion we had this very afternoon.  As interviews about our trip and perspective usually are, it was fun.  Erin, the reporter, had a lot of great questions and got us thinking.  The thing that I truly find enjoyable about reporters and interviews is that usually there is at least one great question that I either never had thought of before or that I hadn’t focused on long enough to come up with a definitive take on.  Erin was no exception.  She asked a lot of great things - all of which you can read when the article comes out, but the point of inspiration today actually came to me via Troy.  I do not recall what the exact topic was that we were discussing, but at some point Troy brought up this blog and that he found it interesting how people’s reactions to what I write about reflects what they themselves value.  This statement struck me as quite profound and I would like to expand it further.  
Since the moment we posted our intentions to sell off everything we own and hit the road for a different kind of existence to all of our family and friends on Facebook, we have gotten a lot of varied feedback.  The comments have ranged from the very discouraging and intolerant to outrageously positive.   We expected this.  Our trip is not everyone’s cup-o-tea and that is fine.  Comments of interest in our doings is what first inspired me to record my thoughts and our doings on this blog.  Our family, friends and a few others now check it out regularly.  Since it’s start, the way people see our trip has changed and what I did not anticipate is how almost everyone has a different view of what it is they believe we are trying to accomplish.  Everyone is reading the same words - and yet the perceived intentions can be entirely different.  A few times in our Meeting of the Minds we have discussed this happening.  Someone would approach Troy at the gas station and congratulate him on putting his kids first in life.  Another couple mentioned how great it was that we were taking a stand against the system and choosing freedom over a 9 to 5.  We pondered over the difference in thought.  Eventually we rested at the notion that what people took from our story is in fact what they value in their own lives.  If they envision our trip being a bold move to spend unlimited time with our children, perhaps they too would love to shift their busy lives around to include more time with their children or loved ones.  Those who came forward with stern warning and harsh words of discouragement - I can assume come from a place of great fear.  Those types of comments, while unfortunate, always roll off and out of our thoughts.  We have no time for fear or ill thoughts.  This time is short and it is intended for happiness and acts of living.  With the exception of the negative Nancy’s out there - all of the other commenters have been right.  And wrong.  All of the aspects that have had light shined on them do in fact hold some truth as to why we are making this trip.  We do have the desire to spend as much time with the kids as possible.  I do not like them or my husband being away from me for so many hours each week.  We do believe in homeschooling so that we may tailor each child’s education to their particular interests and passions.  We do not believe that material possessions hold any true value. We do not want to wait for retirement to enjoy traveling.  We do in fact believe that owning a home gives you a false sense of security and that if you truly wish to feel safe you instead need to look inward and acknowledge your own value and power.  These and many other points are true statements and are all great reasons to make this move forward.  Not any one in particular however is the sole purpose of this trip or the way we choose to live our lives.  If you were to ask Troy and I separately why we are mixing everything up, I am sure we would have entirely different reasons.  Certain aspects of the trip hold unequal amounts of value to each of us.  In fact, I would even extend that statement to be that on different days, the value of any reason can go up or down.  It all depends on the moment we are asked. It is incredibly interesting to me how this is so.  And we are adding new reasons all of the time.  Even more interesting however is that the opposite is not true.  There has not been anything that has come along to make us seriously reconsider our trip.  It is as if it has already been added to our lifetime timeline.  There are still many notches to go until we reach that point where we fill up the gas tank and take off, but we are definitely on our way.  Each day in the meantime is incredibly fun and surprising.
I completely understand that our dream is not for everyone.  I would never want to push my desire onto another person.  As my sister-in-law told me, she loves hearing about our crazy doings but to actually do it herself makes her want to puke.  I get that.  I am wondering however what exactly, if given the opportunity to do so, would people choose to do with their lives.  If every obstacle was removed from your path and there were absolutely no repercussions to be had, what would you chose to do with your forever?


  1. Congrats on your interview! I've been following along for a few weeks, but just wanted to say I think you're doing a wonderful thing for yourselves.

    We're travelers ourselves, my wife and I and our two sons live in a 78 VW Bus (also a campervan, of course!) and are about to have our 3rd son, at which point we plan to "upgrade" (though I don't particularly see it that way at times) to an Airstream this year.

    Looks like you're having a great time living life the way it makes you most happy. It's short, doing it right is our duty as humans!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Erin, I am also from Michigan and have the same dream to fulltime RV with my husband and two boys although I am still a little stuck behind the "fear" of moving forward until we can figure out how to support our family on the road. I also have an Ethan :) Your story is inspiring and I am anxiously awaiting more posts! Thank you for sharing your story...

  4. Nathan- That sounds wonderful. It would be great to travel in a vanagon. Congrats on your newest addition. You are braver than I. We absolutely have waited until we were out of the toddler stage in things. Your kids must be wonderful.

  5. dreamer2012 - Thank you! I hope you decide to make your dreams a reality very soon :)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. A very interesting article in the Northern Express....really caught my attention. Fun to read about your passion for doing this.....I do think you are crazy :), but the great thing about it, it is you and your family's choice to do this. It was a nice post, and I am planning on following your adventure as best I can. I do think you missed it though on the following statement'

    'Those who came forward with stern warning and harsh words of discouragement - I can assume come from a place of great fear.'

    Need to be careful to lump these people into a group, as you feel that others might be doing to your family/decision as well.

    Fear has nothing to do with it, unless you are on the cusp of making a decision like this, and then let the 'fear' slam the door. For myself, I could not imagine taking my kids this route in their life, and missing out on the sports aspect that we are involved in as a family......great times we have together, but that is my decision as a parent. I am on the opposite end of home schooling, but respect everyone's wishes for how they want to raise their family.....it is all in the individuals, but to 'assume' someone has fear, because they do not agree withsome one else's path is shortsighted.

    I wish you and your family well on your adventure....wherever it takes you I hope is healthy and happy for you and all that you encounter.

    Gaylord, MI

  8. forgot to mention....that van is awesome!!

  9. I agree with Rob, at least in the sense that I think the only position any of us should have is to respect other people's opinions on just about anything else. When asked what my religion is, I tend to reply "I believe you can believe whatever you personally want to believe."

    Now, if asked about taste in music, it changes a bit to, "All music is wonderful if it touches someone, except for pop music, rap and new school punk, those are all just plain bad."

  10. Thank you for your opinions and I whole heatedly agree that you can believe and live in whatever you choose. That is the great thing about living an authentic life. I think there is a huge difference between what you are saying - that you would not want to take this trip and miss out on a more traditional upbringing for your children ( a personal preference) and the insanely mean words that have come our way from one or two people. I was not attempting to lump - I was referring to those exact words. I agree I did not distinguish this properly. I should probably proof read what I write before posting, but then again I suppose no matter what I write, someone, somewhere will be able to find something wrong with it :). I embrace that as well. The diversity in opinions as well as in people is what makes me love this life I live - so thank you for posting yours.

  11. My wife told me I read to much into it :) I knew she would like your story as well.