Running to Slow Down

What instigated our around the world journey? Were we running from something or towards something? Our Facebook Families on the Move Group is running a series of posts to answer this question.┬áLast week in Flashpacker Family, Bethany wrote about how an emotional and a physical earthquake prompted her and her husband to pack up their seventh month old baby and start living nomadic lives. Here is our family’s response to the “running from or to” question.

We weren’t running away. We were happy with our lives. We weren’t necessarily running towards anything either. When a window opened for us to travel full time, we jumped through it. Our only goal for the trip was to get “the diversion we need to appreciate each other, our world and ourselves.”

We took this trip to slow down. At home, Sandeep and I had packed work schedules. The kids had their own lives between schools, play dates and birthday parties. The four of us were happy and busy, but we really had to make an effort to connect with each other, our world and ourselves. Has the trip given us the diversion we needed to meet our goal?

Yes, we have been able to appreciate each other in the most magical and mundane ways. Last week we spent an hour making sand shadows in Namibia’s massive dunes, posing in all sorts of funny shadows and laughing hysterically. Each of us directed poses, something we had time to do because we were had no other agenda.

Yes, we have been able to appreciate our world. Traveling to all corners of the world has shown us that our planet is fragile and we are responsible for its upkeep. The snow lines in the Himalayas are receding, the Mediterranean is running out of fish and the flamingoes in Namibia aren’t migrating anymore. Our climate is changing more rapidly than we can fix it. We have been fortunate to experience nature that may not be around when our kids grow up. Our hope is that, by traveling to such diverse and fragile places, our kids have learnt to love our planet enough to take care of it.

Yes, we have been able to appreciate ourselves. Each of us has fostered interests that we didn’t have time for at home. I discovered a love for writing. Sandeep surprised us all by discovering a love for nature and has led us on some great adventures because of it. Ava has become an artist extraordinaire and Kayan has become quite the singer. The best part is that we all have time to actively participate and encourage each other’s talents – even when it means listening to The Lion Sleeps Tonight 50 times a day while searching for lions.

Sure we could have appreciated all these things had we stayed at home. But it would have taken a lot more effort and it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.

To continue our group’s “running from or to” stories, I invite Clark from Family Trek to tell us why he, his wife Monica and their two little ones decided on a life of travel.

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Filed under Africa, Travel With Kids, Traveling Family Writing Projects

3 Responses to Running to Slow Down

  1. Larry

    Comments are on sustained travel versus travel for business or a short vacation.

    I do not think you can run away from anything – it is always in your head. It is also rare to run towards something – you need to be very clear in your mind as to your objective or you will be running blind. For most world travellers in history – and in your case I would suspect – the journey is the objective. Sustained, opportunistic travel is not the means to an end, but the end itself…Learning to appreciate and live in the moment as the Buddha would say

    • Diya

      Very well said and thoughtful. We agree completely that the journey is the objective. That actually took some adjustment in the beginning, but now we appreciate it for what it is.

  2. Pingback: Travel and the power of yes | Family Trek

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