One Year Later

Wow! I can’t believe we are celebrating the 1 year anniversary of our Round the World family adventure. I also can’t believe we have been back in California for 6 months. Time really does fly! That’s the first thing I would say if you are considering extended travel either solo, as a couple, or with kids: 6 months, or even 1 year, is such a short period of time in the grand scheme of things and it does go by quickly.

Amy airport walkway

First airport of the trip – SFO!

Back to School

Second day of Grade 4 and Grade 1

Second day of Grade 4 and Grade 1

The last part of reintegrating into home life was for the girls to start school. I wasn’t sure how the girls would respond to the new academic year, but so far the transition has been really smooth. For my eldest, it’s almost as if she was never away. Hannah has picked up right where she left off with her friends. Academically, it’s a bit too early to tell, but I think the only thing she really fell behind on is keyboarding. We didn’t take a laptop with us on the trip. This is something Hannah can easily catch up on though. Although Grade 4 is a longer school day, has more homework and requires more structure and discipline, Hannah has taken right to it. It’s hard to tell if her new found maturity is a result of a trip, or just part of normal, childhood development.

Rio de Janeiro beach sign

Looking forward to the Rio Olympics in 2016

For Amy, this is her first year at the Elementary School, and she too has adjusted well. It helps that she already knows some of the kids, either from preschool, or who are the younger siblings of kids that were in Hannah’s classes. Amy always likes to learn whatever Hannah is learning, so she’s requested to learn keyboarding too! What I love, is the connections the girls can make now to the things they’re learning. For example, the fact that the Summer Olympics was in Rio de Janeiro had more meaning for them, now that they’ve traveled to Rio. Similarly, Hannah can easily relate longitude, latitude, the equator, etc., to places she traveled to on our trip.

New Opportunities

From a work perspective 6 months really wasn’t a long time for Anthony to be away from his job. He has now been back at Tableau for 6 months and is definitely glad he took the time out to have this unique experience with his family.

For me, taking the trip has allowed me to pursue new paths that I never would have imagined for myself before. Since our return, I published my first children’s book! I’ve had a lot of fun putting the first book together and can’t wait to release it into the world and see how it does. I’ve also been interviewed on the podcast ‘We Turned Out Okay’ about the trip. The episode will air September 13, so stay tuned for that.

The cats have also adjusted to being back home and to the strict diet I’ve had them on since returning from Grandma’s.

The cats are happy to be home

The cats are happy to be home

Looking back

In terms of the goals we had for the trip, it definitely brought us closer together as a family. The family now has a treasure trove of shared experiences we can talk about at the dinner table. We met a wide range of wonderful people on our travels, some of whom we still keep in touch with. We saw a variety of landscapes, animals, and cultures, and were exposed to different languages, currencies, and religions. Any fears we had, such as someone getting sick, or losing luggage, didn’t materialize, with the exception of Anthony getting a 24 hour bug in Thailand, and losing his backpack in Italy. The luggage held up really well and I plan to do more reviews of it and other things we took on the trip. It has also helped us learn to live with less, which is a daily struggle, however; I would much rather have experiences than material things.

Would we do it again?

So, do I think we made the right decision in taking our family on a Round the World trip? Absolutely! I would highly encourage those who are thinking about doing something similar to reach out to us with any questions you may have and then to just take the plunge!

One year ago!

One year ago!

PS: If traveling with your children is not a possibility for you and your family right now, I recommend planting the seeds of curiosity about the broader world through books, particularly ‘Hannah and Amy Go To Peru’!

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