“A Leap Of Faith” is a oft-overused phrase, but it is absolutely how you would describe our rapid decision to start traveling 10 months out of every year. Some critics might describe it as reckless, gasp, or under researched, but a leap of faith is exactly what it was. Life is too short to and too precious to stay with the tried and true if it’s not bringing you true joy. Sometimes we have to break out of the mold and seek true happiness, which often requires a total leap of faith!
You know, in this life, you sometimes have to simply follow your heart. In reality, some things, like our current extraordinary lifestyle, are not easily planned for. We couldn’t have possibly planned for all the contingencies or all the amazing experiences.
We are those people who make a decision and then figure out how to make it happen. We don’t look at our circumstances and decide what we can do, we decide what we want to do … circumstances be damned.
The decision was made to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains, the how happened in the two months we traveled back home to bring sweet Coby into the world.
In those two months we grappled with every emotion known to man!
To sell the house or not to sell the house. Dan very much wanted to unload the house, I so very much did not want to. We prayed and got no answer. We put the house on the market and got an offer for almost $150k less than our asking price! We chewed out our real estate agent for even bringing the offer to us, fired him and took the house off the market.
We didn’t sell.
Again today we are contemplating selling, I think if it were just us and the kids we would in a heartbeat. But Kerry is in Glenwood and we have extended family there and we need to be there for them. Could we do it in an RV? Nope. RV camping in Glenwood sucks. Waiting in faithful prayer for God to give us direction, but again, crickets. So, again, it’s not the right time.
And so we wait.
Prom, Sports and Dating
I was freaking out about prom and high school football and dating and community and our church family and all the things I’ve been programmed to freak out about. I’m glad I didn’t let it stop me.
In the end my agonizing over such things was all for naught. Traveling has been such a blessing. We don’t belong to one community, we belong to many, all across the country and even into Canada! We travel to the same places often and our kids have made friends in almost every location. We travel to new places even more often and our kids continue to meet new people and forge new relationships.
Our spiritual community is ever growing and I consider us so very blessed to be able to visit different churches, worship with total strangers, and be constantly surprised and overwhelmed by the kindness of people we’ve just met!
High School football, too stationary. Instead we kayak, cave, climb, bike, board … you get it, right? We engage in so many activities and meet so many diverse people, our horizons and view of society has greatly improved.
Dating, Prom, etc? I’d much rather protect our children’s hearts from serial dating in high school. I’m pretty confident that that’s just not good for them. Grady has a pretty serious girlfriend who goes to college in KS. He flies out to see her for a week at a time and then flies back to wherever we are. Traveling didn’t hamper his ability to meet his girlfriend and it doesn’t hamper their ability to make their relationship work. Brody, well you know Brody, he meets girls everywhere! 😉
I worried about the kids making money and honing the work ethic we’ve been drilling into their characters since they were uber young. How would picking up and leaving hurt this, I wondered? But again, worry was for naught.
First, they have learned so much about themselves and their passions and their skills that Grady, and Kady have their sights set on careers.
Grady has been rapidly increasing his skill set as a producer, director and editor of film. He launched his start-up 14k Studios and immediately landed his first gig for Bowflex and a second for KOA. He also makes a killing on YouTube!
Kady studies photography and is learning to manipulate editing software. She’s associated herself with some very successful professionals who share a lot of tips and pointers and help her grow in her skills as well as promote her work.
Brody is thinking about real estate or being a firefighter or even looking at veterinary school … if you ask him he’ll say something famous so I don’t have to work, a stunt double or a vet. Grady wants him to work for him as a soundman. Who knows what Brody will eventually do, but it will not be something ordinary!! We are still working on him, but he’s 18. He doesn’t have to have his life planned out.
As far as jobs, Grady and Brody work their tails off when we are in Glenwood as lifeguards and Kady as a barista. They make enough money to pay for all the extra things teens and young adults like to buy.
Further, life isn’t about working until you die. It’s about working so you can play. Finding a career that will support you in all the things you want to do. That’s been the lesson we’ve been driving home … faith, family, fun!
These two “issues” might have stopped me from taking this leap. I might have been scared if I didn’t really believe God was calling us to do something amazing. I mean after all, our life in Colorado was outstanding, we didn’t have to go chasing down a dream … we were living a dream life in the mountains already.
But, Dan had been looking toward getting an RV for about a year. The first attempt, we didn’t qualify for a loan. He’d just taken a huge $20,000 pay cut that was supposed to be temporary while the company got back on it’s feet, but you know, “normal” pay is never reinstated.
The following year, we actually qualified. This was a God thing. Nothing had changed, not a darn thing, so in all reality we should not have qualified for an RV loan.
We raced out and bought the very RV we qualified for because we were shocked and thought maybe somewhere someone had screwed up?? But no, it was a God thing. We were blown away.
That first year was just a lot of fun travel, we would go places for weeks at a time and then return home. The sense of freedom was overpowering. So long as we could afford gas and food we could go anywhere. And that’s exactly what we did, we went everywhere and in the midst of one of these big lengthy trips we drummed up the idea to travel full-time.
Making that leap was easy, making all the decisions that came after was hard. With faith we made them all.