A few years ago some really good friends of ours moved to Sweden. Married + 2 little kids, and they picked up and left the country. It blew my mind at the time. Sure, he’s from Sweden. But she’s from Colorado!
Then one night I was watching House Hunters International, and an American family was looking to move to the south of France. They had little kids. They seemed normal. They just wanted something different, and figured their kids were up to the challenge. The thought crept in: maybe, possibly, might I one day do something similar?
I read along on Facebook as an old friend from high school moved to Australia with her husband and son for a year. She chronicled her experience on her blog, G’Day Y’all! Her final post upon returning home to Texas is filled with a bittersweet nostalgia and includes these words: “I’m very much changed by my experiences of the last year. Some of them of minor revisions to my daily habits, while other changes have become etched in my character.”
Our neighbors recently shed most of their belongings, packed up their three school-aged children, and headed off on a one-year adventure across the country. They are chronicling their experiences on their blog, freejourners. They work remotely and she homeschools the kids, so they decided they might as well make the country their neighborhood while they can.
Austin is our home. We have family, friends, and a job that tie us here. Plus, we’ve worked so hard to set up structures that benefit our children: good schools, a cheerful neighborhood, a house with four bedrooms. There are so many advantages to stability, advantages that to me have always dwarfed any possible excitement that could be found in exploring the world.
But still, these stories make me think. Every so often I find myself wondering, what about that pesky time that keeps ticking away? What about how now I’m almost 40, even though 20 seems just a few years back? What about how the kids are at that perfect age where they can do for themselves but haven’t yet started pushing away from us? What about how every old person you meet seems to say the same thing—to cherish these years with our kids because they fly by?
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if we just continue to do the same thing every day, to live the same life, is there a part of us that stays asleep?
© Amy Daniewicz