Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In January 2006, three and one half years ago, I said to Marty, "If we are ever going to take this trip, we had better start planning it." At that point I really wasn't convinced that this trip would ever occur but I was certain of one thing, if we didn't start planning it, then for sure it would never happen. Just thinking about it or even talking about it was not going to make it a reality.

As we started to make plans in earnest, book flights, arrange for accommodations, obtain VISAs...it became clear that this trip was really going to happen - sort of. I still found myself saying "We are PLANNING on taking a trip around the world." It was so difficult for me to say "We ARE taking a trip around the world." Even at this late date was I still scared that it wasn't going to happen? Or, was I scared that it really was going to happen?

Well, it did happen. Of course I don't need to tell you that, you watched it unfold right here on this blog. And the most amazing thing of the whole year was just that; that it did happen. We took a dream and made it into a reality. We didn't let the myriad of obstacles that could have gotten in our way, get in our way. We didn't let the abundance of emotional issues that surfaced stop us either.

Taking this trip was the biggest thing that I have ever done in my life. And at this stage of my life, it may be the biggest thing that I will ever do. The good, the bad and the ugly of it all doesn't really matter. Just having made the trip made it a huge success. It was empowering, it made me stronger and if I can do this, I can do anything - as long as I can hold onto this feeling.

Avocet and Siena are young; they have their whole lives ahead of them. They will probably do something that will surpass this experience. That's OK. This wasn't their gig, it was ours. For them, this was a gift. An opportunity to see a world greater than the microcosm in which they live. An opportunity to have a different perspective as they grow and mature. And an opportunity to have a lifetime of memories that they can share with us.

I will miss writing this blog. For over a year now, this has been an important part of my life. Whether you were a religious follower or one who just popped on for a peek now and then, I thank you. While we will always have this blog as a family memento, knowing you were out there reading and going with us on our journey, made it that much more enjoyable to write. It was a great ride and I'm glad you all came along.


For me too, this process feels like it started decades ago. At the beginning, the onset of the trip was a lifetime away. What I didn't think about was the end of the trip. You plan for the things that must be done, the itinerary, the visas, the accommodations, etc. Those are “easy” in the long haul to work on because there is an excitement, an anticipation...even though they felt “hard” at the time. Now, after 42,000+ miles, what is there to look forward to? We won't be doing this again, at least the way it was done the first time. Av and Si's next adventure will be one of their own, maybe backpacking in their early twenties. The old farts of the family, lisa and I, will do something travel related in the future but not soon. A year on the road takes it out of you. So what is the next frontier? Job? Career? New Hobby? Volunteering? Green business? Astronaut? Run for President (not)?

I have discovered that the past year has reminded me that life is an adventure. It is too precious to not consider it so. I know that on the cusp of fifty five years of age that I don't have even forty good healthy years left. Doing something just to make money or to please someone or to conform...forget it. This year was the adventure of a lifetime. But maybe just one of the adventures. There are many more to come. It was a GREAT, GREAT year.



rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing this year with the world via the internet! i have thoroughly enjoyed reading along.
seeing as how this is a major accomplishment and the source of so many memories, i immediately thought of blurb.com when i pondered the significance of this blog to you. Blurb.com is a website where you can go make your blog into an actual book, and it looks so professional. I've done it twice and couldn't say enough great things about it! Just an idea for a tangible version of the blog to have sitting around the house or something, or to pull out when people ask you about the trip.
Best of luck to you four!

Donna and Michael said...

Martin and lisa,

We have enjoyed "tagging along" on your travels. I have shared your adventures with many friends. I have also shared your adventures with the students I teach. They are very interested in planning their own adventures some day. The world is an amazing interesting place to experience. There is a saying, "Life is like a book, if you never travel you only read one page". I am proud and happy that you are reading the whole book. Good for you!!! Welcome home (for a while)!

Anonymous said...

Being an identical twin of the guy of the group allowed me to vicariously travel around the world myself - thanks for taking me along. I'm looking forward to slowly reading through the blog day-by-day again. God bless the OWOT Fantastic Four on a super year...

Brother (And uncle) Mark

sophia said...

I loved every minute of your trip, thank you for sharing it with us! It gives me hope, encouragement and inspiration to make my own adventures! Welcome home...

wani et lolotte said...

Hope to see you again the 4 fantastic !!!

Mary Ann said...

I learned about your blog and trip probably about the time you were 65%+/- thru. I began to read bits and pieces and realized HEY, WAIT A MINUTE --- I need to start from the very beginning and savor this trip. Since that time I have still peaked at entries BUT I have also printed the blog so that I can start from the beginning and read and absorb each day. I love to travel and have been fortunate to do some so I do know the amount of planning that goes into it. However, I also know the joy of learning the cultures and the realization that , hey, there are more than one way to do things and there is no right or wrong. A large percentage of the world do not even come near to living on the time schedules that we feel obligated to set for ourselves. And the grand part is they have fewer medical problems! Oh, I would so love to meet you and visit. I am awed by your experience. Please do not let this be your last blog. I and probably many others would love to hear how this decision came about, how you planned, how your contacts were made, language situations, etc. From the small amount of travels that I have made each time I learn a new thing to ask, a new thing to check, etc. I am sure that a book, CD etc. with the knowledge that you have accumulated would be well received. As I stated, I have printed your blog, however, this is for my own personal enjoyment and if you decide to publish a book I will purchase it. Your girls are certainly blessed to have been able to participate in such an experience. I love the idea that you all participated in the blog. And from what I have read it was an honest and open participation. That is fantastic.
Oh yes, Happy Father's Day to Dad and I hope that each of you have a great summer. From the Sugar Land Area of Texas