Thus begins a series on the whats, wheres, whys, and hows of our travels. (The title is a reference to Aristotle’s lyceum and his alleged propensity for walking while talking. I hope to share what we’ve learned, walk the talk, and vice versa.)
Once upon a time, the biblical term “sabbatical” was used for the idea of teachers taking time off, usually to travel and do research. For us, it was called a “leave of absence,” in popular culture maybe a “gap year,” there are terms like “on & off ramping,” but “career break” may be the easiest way to describe what Mary Lynn and I have done in taking this school year to go traveling with our children.
The historical and familial precedent is important. My father also applied for but did not receive a Fulbright back in the 1950’s, nonetheless they went to Europe before he and Mom had us kids. Later in 1973, he took another sabbatical and our whole family (three children) to Europe. At 13, I went to school in England, and we also traveled through Britain, France, and Switzerland. That epic experience, along with annual summer camping trips, imprinted the wanderlust on us all. (As I write this my brother and his family are living in New Zealand, my sister and her family are traveling in Costa Rica, and we are in Spain.)
My parents told me about educational travel and as a junior in college I went on the UC Education Abroad Program to France & Togo, West Africa. Since then, I’ve been throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, through Europe several times, lived in Japan, traveled to China, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia, and visited Brazil and Cuba on special tours. I believe that among the few essential things to do in our one and only life on Earth – the now proverbial bucket list – exploring the world is near the top.
Thus having started on September 1st 2015, we are now almost half done with our plan for a ten month trip around the world. We planned Europe for the first half and Asia/Oceania for the second. We successfully enrolled our kids in school in Spain for awhile, and are visiting various hot spots. At the beginning of next month (and our second half) we fly to India for at least two months, followed by other parts of Asia & Australia, etc. before heading home at the end of June 2016. In addition to imprinting our own children with a wanderlust and an international education, we hope to enjoy an adventure and complete a few of our own projects before returning to what already was a pretty good life…