As I sit to write this, the children are out in the garden, picking coffee. “Home,” for now, is a little ‘optimistic yellow’ cottage on the shores of Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.
How we came to be here is quite a story, and it doesn’t begin with me, but with my parents. You see, we’re second generation crazy.
I could have been born on this lake, 37 years ago, had my American parents, who were backpacking, not decided to summer in Canada instead. But they did, and so I came to born into a one-room log cabin on the backside of a lake in Ontario.
Over the course of my childhood we built two more log homes from scratch.
I didn’t go to school for the third or the eighth grade. My Dad rolled the four of us, dog and all, into the back of a van and we took off for a 10,000-mile drive instead.
We learned more those two winters, chasing hermit crab trails on the beach by torchlight, than we ever did in school
At the tender age of nineteen I married my Knight in Shining Armor, who valiantly took up his sword and dove into the world as my partner in dreaming big dreams and creating a life of epic adventure.
His stable Midwestern upbringing remains the ballast to my nomadic wanderlust, even though ultimately I won him over to my gypsy ways!
Eighteen years and four kids later, we feel as though we’re just getting started.
Our family has never been on the common path.
One day, when our youngest child was just four, we sold our house, the car and almost all of our stuff and set out on an epic journey as a family.
Wintering in Muslim Tunisia was, perhaps, the best thing we’ve ever done for our kids.
Next we took a road trip through Central America, climbing pyramids, getting the big kids SCUBA certified, letting the little guys taste termites & get eye to eye with monkeys.
There is nothing for getting a grip on the fact that the world is bigger than the mid-western American mindset like being the only light skinned, English speakers in a good couple of hundred miles.
Our goal, over the next ten years, is to touch our kids‘ feet to each of the continents and to let them live and learn with the world as their classroom. Hence, the coffee project in the garden this afternoon.
Our choice to live “outside the box” is not a value judgment on what anyone else is doing.
We simply want to live our lives fully, our way, according to our own passions, our own dreams and the gifts we possess.
When we die, nothing goes with us but our memories, and our relationships, so we’re choosing to spend most of our time and our money in this life investing in the eternal instead of cars, clothes, knick-knacks and noisy toys.
It is our greatest joy to encourage others, who have a vision for it, to do the same. If we can do it, you can do it; we’re nothing special. We’re doing our best to honor our parents by taking the very best of what they handed us and building upon it, to pass on the legacy of an Uncommon Childhood to the next generation.
What’s YOUR story?