Updated on December 17, 2015
Our Goal: One New Country a Year
Some days, I would like nothing more than to strap a backpack on my back and take off slow traveling around the world. I have my route planned out in my mind and I would just go until I was tired and wanted a permanent place to call home. When I read about others who are doing this very thing, it is sometimes hard not to become a little envious of the lifestyle they are leading. Then I stop and think, what is best for Bean?
I am 100% about following your dreams and doing exactly what you feel in your heart of hearts you need to do with your life. I feel it is necessary to do this whether you have children or not, whether you are in a relationship or not, regardless of the life you are living, it is important above all else to create a life you feel worth living. So why don’t I get that backpack?
In everything that I do, I try to think of the present and of the future. I think of what it would be like for Bean (in the present) to trek around the world with no home base. I think about what it would be like for her to be homeschooled or unschooled. What would it be like for Bean to always be making new friends and not seeing her extended family at least once a year. Who would that make Bean in the future? Would she be the type of person who does not wish to form attachments? Would she be someone who is well rounded? Would her education allow her to be a professional person if she desires?
With those questions in mind, I found another way. So far, I have been somewhat successful at resisting the call of the backpack. On my job, I am fortunate to get up to five weeks of vacation due to the way my hours accrue based on the time that I have been on my job. I decided a couple of years ago that we would travel at least once every three months and we would go to France at least once a year and to a new country at least once a year.
This decision has been very good for me in that I can travel and good for Bean in that she can have a semi-“normal” life and she can also become the world citizen that I desire her to be. Bean is now five and she has been to France several times, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Costa Rica and many places in the United States. As I write this, we are headed to Morocco in a couple of days. As we continue to plan and explore the world, it is my hope that she will see more than 18 countries by her 18th birthday. Not just see them, but interact with the people, eat their food, attend their celebrations, understand that we are all here on this beautiful planet and we must find ways to work together.
Visiting one country a year is my small way of honoring my dream and living it. It is my way of giving Bean what I feel she really needs, a school, friends, family, and giving her what I want her to have, a worldview, a sense of adventure, and an understanding of different cultures. Sometimes, our dreams take on another look when we are determined to live them out. That is o.k. We must keep dreaming and keep living our dreams no matter what. If you have had a dream, a goal you are reaching towards and found that you need to adjust it in order to live it, I would love to hear. Let us encourage each other!