Years prior to COVID-19, my husband and I dreamed of taking our two sons abroad for a year to expose them to other cultures, languages, and ways of living. In January, we made the official decision that we would go for it: sell the house, store our belongings, pack light, work part-time from different time zones with our laptops, and world-school the kids. Then COVID-19 arrived and changed our plans.
WHAT DESTINATION IS SET IN YOUR GPS?
My experience the past several months has been an important affirmation of a practice I have used for myself and with clients the past 16 years: when you have a dream, go for it. And just like when you enter a destination on a GPS, the exact path you take may change along the way. There may also be times when you decide to alter the ultimate destination in the GPS.
ADJUST AS YOU GO
Ultimately, once you reach your chosen destination, you may set your eyes on yet another goal or dream or destination. Along the way, be present to what is happening, notice what comes with ease, and be cautious about when it feels like you are pushing a boulder up the hill. These are all signs for when adjustments may be needed or when you are on the right path.
MOURNING THE LOSS, THEN REVIVING THE DREAM
For my family, in March and April, we decided to scrap our original travel plans and let go of the current version of the dream. There was definitely some sadness and mourning for that loss. That is, until we decided: someway, somehow, we are going. We revised our dream, and refreshed our research, and now have a new plan — all the while knowing it may change at the last minute.
ADAPTABILITY & RESILIENCE
Both my husband and I are planners. And like most human beings I know, we like to anticipate the different variables and do our best to control the outcomes. But, a key lesson from our COVID-19 experience has been to let go of detailed planning, to be clear in intention in our heart, but flexible in our minds and actions. So while we have a plan, it is truly written in pencil: we know we may need to erase it and re-write it at any moment.
THE NEW PLAN
Thus, instead of selling our house, we have rented it out for the year starting July 1. Instead of traveling to Southern European countries in the Fall, we are planning to start our adventure in September in Costa Rica. After that, while we hope to go next to Argentina, and then after the New Year head to Japan and then Bali, we know that travel restrictions, a return of a second round of COVID, and many other unknowns could arise that could change our plan. But, we are committed. And excited!
FREEDOM AND EXCITEMENT
As we begin our nomadic year, I feel a sense of freedom and excitement: with only a few bags of clothing and gear, we have the ability to be nimble. We’ve saved up our travel points and airline miles, and with flights so inexpensive, there are so many possibilities ahead. With no mortgage and no private school tuitions for our kids, our expenses are vastly lower. It truly feels like the world is our oyster — and as we go we will discover many beautiful pearls through our adventure.
WORKING FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
With the gifts that come with laptops, tablets, phones, local data plans, and wifi, we are truly able to work (and access kids’ educational resources) wherever we go. Our expectation of this tech-based flexibility has been tested these few months, with the quarantine restrictions in many ways giving us a chance to try out many of our ideas.
MAY MY CRAZY PLAN INSPIRE YOU
Whatever your personal opinion may be of our plan for a nomadic, world-schooling, family gap year, my hope is that it may INSPIRE you to think about how YOU can enter into your GPS your desired dream, goal, or destination. Then, hold the space for it to come true in your heart, and adjust daily and weekly as new information becomes available and experiences unfold.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR DREAM!
If you yourself could benefit from partnering with a coach like me to help you clarify your vision or goal or destination, I’d love to work with you! I’m currently scheduling calls for July and the first half of August. I’ll be working from the Central and Eastern time zones the rest of the summer, then the equivalent of Mountain time zone once we land in Costa Rica in mid-September.
You can find some time on my calendar here: https://calendly.com/erin_owen/.
Here’s to living into your dream!