Do you remember my post about my Top 5 Travel Dreams? Well, one of those might actually be happening soon! (insert high-pitched squeal)
I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Nate and I have decided to wait to tell the specifics so that we don’t jinx it (it seems like that’s what happens every time we get close).
How Do We Know if this is the Right Opportunity?
We’ve been working toward an opportunity like this for two years. We have found so many different possibilities of ways to take our family for some kind of international travel.
In the meantime, we went to Mexico for vacation and have been taking lots of smaller trips around the US, while we searched for the right opportunity.
We have passed on all the other international options, knowing that they were not right for our family, at the time. With each opportunity that we come across, we weigh out the pros and cons and try to make the decision that will be best for our family. After all, the reason we want to take our family to travel the world is that we think it will be good for us and for our kids.
And so we wait.
We keep looking for the right opportunity to come along.
Don’t misunderstand. We don’t just sit around twiddling our thumbs, waiting for opportunities to fall in our laps. We are constantly, actively searching for the right one.
So, how do we know if this is the right one?
We talk about our priorities regularly. Priorities change constantly, especially collaborative priorities between two people but we always agree on the top three.
Our family is and always will be our top priority! Nate and I always agree that the most important thing for us to consider is how our choices will affect our kids and our relationship as a family.
It is not always easy to find the balance between giving the kids what they want and what is best for them, especially when what they want changes every day. We explain to them why we choose to live the way we do and help them understand the choices we make for our family. That way, there are no surprises when we tell them about a new plan we’re working on.
Just as important, is my relationship with Nate. We talk regularly about priorities and plans to ensure that we are still working toward the same goals, that we are still heading down the same road. When we find that our priorities and directions are not aligning, we talk it through until we understand each other and can find those common goals again.
There is some inconsistency on which of the other two gets higher billing.
I’m talking about a reasonable avoidance of bodily harm. We will never be the kind of parents who keep their kids tucked safely away in plastic bubbles. We encourage our kids to explore and to challenge themselves to do difficult things. We do not, however, plan on bringing our family to dangerously unstable or volatile areas of the world. We use common sense and work hard to teach that same common sense to our kids, so that together we can keep our kids and ourselves away from serious harm.
Security also means financial safety. Nate is our main provider and as such, feels the weight of our financial safety the heaviest. We plan for the future by making a point to put money away for retirement every month. We want to be able to retire and have enough to live off of, so we don’t have to hustle every day for the rest of our lives. Nate has worked hard to get to where he is in his career. The idea of just giving up on that career (that security), to be able to travel, is too much for him. So we keep searching for a way to do both.
Sometimes I feel like I eat, sleep and breath travel. Its all I ever think about and I work hard to put any mind-power into anything else. Haha Anyone else ever feel this way? Or am I the only one? I could spend hours just researching different places around the Earth. I want this more than most other things in life. Luckily for me, I married a man who mostly feels that same way.
We are able to put money into a travel fund each month, saving for a the right opportunity. The first that came along, would have been incredible, had we had enough in our savings. That was when we started cutting costs and putting away as much as we could each month, so one day we wouldn’t be limited by finances.
Taking the Leap
After all of these consideration, we haven’t taken the leap of long-term international travel. One of Nate’s favorite phrases is “calculated risks”. When presented with an opportunity, we weigh out the pros and cons. We discuss the worst-case scenarios. We calculate the risks that we would be taking to embark on a specific adventure.
*What, if any, safety issues will we be faced with?
*What school options are there for the kids?
*What, if any, income options are there?
*What experiences will we have easy access to?
*What type of housing will we be looking at? And how much will it cost?
*How much of our hard-earned savings will it take?
* What will we be coming back to when the adventure is over? What will it mean for our future?
*In 20 years, will we regret going? Will we regret not going?
Of course, there are so many more questions but these are some of the main ones we ask ourselves.
So far, the cons keep outweighing the pros for each of the opportunities we have come across.
There will always be risks. We will never find the perfect opportunity, under the perfect circumstances, at the perfect time. At some point, we have to cast our fears aside and take that leap of faith.
Is it time? Is this the right time to let the pros outweigh the cons? What is the worst that could happen? If we take this chance, where will it take us? Where could it take us? What adventures could we experience and what memories could we make together, as a family?
We are supposed to be getting more information about this opportunity tonight. I was really hoping that we would have received it by now because I’m so excited to shout it for all the world to hear! I guess I will have to settle for hinting to it for now.
Cross your fingers for us that next time I post, it will be with good news! Good news about an awesome new, international adventure that we are going to be embarking on.
Is there anything stopping you from taking the leap?
Tell me, what are some of the obstacles keeping you from making your travel dreams come true?
What do you need to take the leap?