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Monday, August 22, 2011

A Little Piece of Paper Defines Me


My passport has expired.  I'd lost my driver's license and was hunting for the legal documents I needed to replace it when I came across the well-worn little blue book.  I opened it up to take a mini-trip down memory lane and instantly felt a dagger of pain tear through my traveling soul.  I let out a scream and started to cry.  My husband came running to see what was the matter and then stood in a stupor fearing I'd finally completely lost my mind.  I felt like my life was over.

The truth is that my life has been changing.  I've noticed over the past few months that my travel-planning is more of an afterthought.  The dreams are constantly in my mind, but the opportunities pass and I'm left reflecting on how I let practicality or financial responsibility make the decision for me.  Where in the past I would have spent the last two months spontaneously road-tripping, the farthest I've actually been is 2 hours from home on a Sunday afternoon.  It's a numb feeling inside of me that normally would have me kicking and screaming.  Instead I'm resigning to my current reality.

Which is not to say that all is lost for me!  I've written before about the big plans my family has for traveling. That dream is still alive and well.  And to reawaken the life-breath inside of me, I'm going to share the latest rendition of our plans with you...

I recently discovered that kindergarten is not required in the state of Utah.  This is wonderful news for me!  Our little boy Beck will be old enough to start school  in September 2012, one year from now, and so that has become our target date for packing up and leaving.  Rather than loading up with notebooks and pencils, his backpack will be full of maps and traveling activities (he is adorably in love with reading maps and telling us the way).

We're going to go east first for a stay with my family in the Midwest and a chance for my husband to work and make a little more money before leaving the country.  After that the world is wide open for 9 months of traveling.  Right now we're thinking to spend a month at a time divided between cute comfortable cottage-like rentals and camping;  a temporary home-base where we can get get a feel for community, but also venture out for days at a time and see the most of what there is to see.

More details?  No, not yet.  It's still a year away.  Right now I only have one important job to complete:  Tomorrow's mail will carry my passport renewal form and photos away, along with my 18-month-old son Peyton's first application.  I remember the excitement I felt seeing Beck's photo inside his very own passport, and I know it will be a party the day our mailwoman delivers my travel freedom back to me.

I promise future posts on where we're going to go, how we'll make sure Beck gets his kindergarten education on the road, and many other travel-related topics that get me smiling.  Until then, I'd love to hear anything you have to say!

4 comments:

Annie said...

Um excuse me, I know I only think of myself but where does that leave my 2012 baloon fiesta? Something to think about.

Michelle said...

One of the dilemmas we haven't figure out yet. Trust me, it's on my mind!

Michelle said...

Oh, yes! Yes! Yes! Please tell!!!! I would love to do that, but Logan is already in the 1st grade. And he's really not a good home-schooling candidate. Couldn't you homeschool your kids and travel more?

Sarah @ Confessions of a Slacker Mom said...

I'm so incredibly jealous. I have the travel bug, without the funds or time to do it. Confession: I don't even have my passport. I almost applied the other day. Then I saw the cost and decided to wait. For a little while, at least...

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