The shroud of secrecy (such as it was) is over! I officially let work know that I was not planning to renew my contract just a couple of weeks ago. This gave us the liberty to talk very openly about our plans for the trip. Everyone we talk to about our plans is excited and there are some very common things that people say….”Can I come with,” is probably the most common followed by, “Wow, that is so awesome!” We are in full planning mode which includes finalizing plans to purchase our Round the World Plane tix, booking accommodations in Israel and Europe, and generally getting our literal and proverbial homes in order.
We found a great couple to stay in our home while we are gone. They will keep an eye on everything house related and also take care of paying our utilities while we are gone. They have relocated from St. Louis for work and we know them through my work with the camp our kids attend. Next year they will have two kids at UW Madison and we are hoping that they tell the kids that they moved from St. Louis to Detroit so they don’t go to the wrong city on their first trip home for the year. We also found a great home for the dog. I think Amy wrote about that in another post so I wont go into the details other than to say that we are very fortunate to have such great friends who also happen to be dog lovers.
So, the order of countries is as follows: Israel, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Kenya, Tanzania, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Columbia and Peru. There will inevitably be modifications along the way but that’s the general gist of where we are going and roughly the order. South America is quite undefined other than knowing that we want to stay in one place for a longer period of time so we can do a Spanish language immersion program before traveling around to the other countries.
We are in the process of collecting names of people we know and friends of friends in places we will be going. We have found that this is the best way to get the most out of places. Some of these folks are ex-pats and some are natives but hopefully most will be willing to meet a rag-tag family of Americans wanting to experience their corner of the world. So far we have peeps in Israel, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, China, and Colombia. Feel free to add to our list of contacts we can call and say to hello to on our travels.
So we have a few very busy months ahead of us including Maya becoming a Bat Mitzvah on May 14th, the end of the school year, the kids going to camp and our anticipated departure date of August 5th! More to come!