When we announced to our friends and family that we were travelling the world as a family, we received a lot of encouraging comments. One comment has me questioning the motives for this trip more than any others.
When Charo and I got married, we travelled to China and Thailand for our honeymoon. Not the normal honeymoon. Since then, we have gone to Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica with other trips to the United States and through different parts of Canada. It’s easy to say that both of us have the travel bug.
Charo and I have been preparing mentally for this over the past three years. As a teacher, I am lucky to have the option of having four years of pay over five years, this giving me a year off while still having an income. It’s a little harder working at 80% of your salary, but you end up figuring things out and making ends meet. Even with a reduced salary, we were able to travel. Instead of different countries, we enjoyed camping throughout Ontario and one venture camping in Vermont. Charo and I enjoyed it, but more importantly, our kids learned the joys of camping and travelling. At any moment during the year, anyone of them could be heard saying, “When are we going camping again?” I’m hoping this statement will soon be “When are we going travelling or camping again,” instead of the continual pursuit to buy stuff. So bucket list item I hope to check off after this trip will be my children’s new sense of adventure and world travel.
The next Bucket List item is attributed to my parents. A friend, Bob, wrote a comment on my facebook stating, “I think of your parents and how proud of you they would be for making this decision.” My parents were supportive of all the decisions I’ve made in my life. They’d be proud that I’d be taking the time to teach my kids the ways of the world; however, I think they would have begged, pleaded, implored and probably even bribed us to do this all in the comfort of our home in Toronto.
It’s been almost eight years since my mom passed away, and the 6th anniversary of my father’s passing was just a few weeks ago. They both lived good lives and am thankful for all they have given me. I’d always ask them their advice, and like a good son, I didn’t always follow it. They always preached save money and don’t spend it on – well, anything. So when I bought a hot tub and built a deck in the backyard, it didn’t go over so well with my dad. He still didn’t want me spending money frivolously. Don’t get me wrong, I understand and am thankful that he gave me a respect for money. My mom was usually the same. This time my mom was supportive, and not once say this was not a good idea. She told me to do it and enjoy it. She died just a few short months later.
In conversations with friends and family, I had learned that she was hoping to travel more when she retired, even just going to the beach. It didn’t pan out that way. Even in the hardest moments of my life, they kept on teaching me — bucket list item #2. I want to say it’s a tour around the world, but as you can probably guess, it’s not. I’d have to say it’s don’t let my life pass me by and experience the moment with the people I love the most. Touring and travelling is my way of getting it done.
I wonder if this qualifies as a midlife crisis.
Thanks for reading and happy adventures!
Next Up: A list of things to think about