Who doesn't remember the scene from the 80's movie Crocodile Dundee where Paul Hogan's "Michael" explains that he went on a "walkabout" for 2 months that was really 18 months? It is a great scene that shows us a lot about Michael's character but also introduces the concept of a walkabout to the American public. A walkabout is an occasion in which an Australian Aborigine goes on a long walking journey on land that is far from towns and cities. The purpose is to provide a time of self-reflection and to experience and learn new things.
Chris and I are not Australian, but the idea of going on a nomadic trip to learn about the world is certainly appealing. We will be using airplanes, trains, cars, and buses to supplement our walking journey though! Our family is not new to the life of adventure. During the summer of 2013, Chris and I sold our home and most of our possessions and moved to the highlands of Costa Rica. Our kids, Kara and Tristan, attend a local, private, bilingual school while Chris works remotely for a private education company called Laureate Education, and I am a stay-at-home mom and writer. I spent the last year working on The Black Rose and The Iris of Issoria.
We fell in love with Costa Rica, but after a lot of agonizing soul searching, we have decided to leave the land of Pura Vida in June. Instead of returning for another year in Costa Rica as we originally planned, Chris and I decided to embark on our very own walkabout. Starting in July of 2014, we will travel through South America, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe over the course of one year.
We left the United States to give our children the opportunity learn about other cultures and to learn a simpler way of life. We did accomplish our goal to teach our kids that you do not need a big house, a massive car, or a lot of toys to live a happy life. With the walkabout, we want to take the lessons to a higher level. We want to teach them that they can live with only the possessions that they carry on their backs. We want to teach them to roll with the punches and adapt when life doesn't go their way, such as when the bus is late or a hostel loses our reservation or a restaurant doesn't serve mac and cheese. We want to teach them to appreciate the value of an education when they see that there are so many children in other countries that don't have that privilege. We want to show them the beauty of other cultures and people. I know that we will hit many bumps on the road, literally and figuratively, but I also know that this is a great decision that will have a profoundly positive impact on Kara and Tristan. Or maybe we are just a crazy family....
I will continue to write while on the road. You can subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter to keep track of my adventures as a nomad writer.
Have you ever thought about leaving your current life to embark on a brand new adventure? Have you done a nomadic year? Let me know in the comments below.