One part of me is ready and raring to go. Seven and a half years is certainly enough time living in the air-polluted northern part of China and I’m more than up for the change and the challenges that brings but then another part of me is having cold feet. This is the first time we won’t have a home. We’d be nomads. We won’t have a washing machine and we’d have to do laundry by hand. If this was America, there’d be laundromats but this is China where gasoline stations mostly offer instant noodles so road trips are not as attractive as in other countries where pit stops offer loads of choices. We won’t have closets and drawers, a comfy bed and our own bathroom. The absence of the last one probably scares me the most.
These are all of course minor things, miniscule compared to the whole romantic adventure that we are about to embark on — driving around the world with our two sons. One is turning four this May and the other is turning seven this coming August. My husband and I decided this is what we want for us as a family.
Usually, people work and save money for a “secure” future. Retirement is when you get to do what it is you’ve been waiting your whole life to do. That mode of thinking suddenly seems silly in the light of LIFE with screaming bold letters calling you to shake things up, take a leap of faith, abandon old concepts and embrace new ones that resonate more truthfully with your spirit.
Would we be as brave if we had less capacity to fund this dream? If we didn’t have a house to sell, would we even dare? If for example there was no buyer, will we continue with our plan to move from Tianjin to Yunnan and do the trip around the world? With a tighter belt perhaps but we’d still do it. When an idea is placed in your head and you can’t stop thinking about it until you smash and crash barriers and see a clear path that means you simply follow your stubborn, obstinate heart.
I’ve followed my heart before to places that petrified me and I’ve fallen and gotten up scarred but obeying one’s heart is an imperative. Unless you prefer living in a safe shell venturing out ONLY when you know the odds are with you, not against you, then you’d likely stay and avoid life-changers. But for those who welcome risk as a natural part of growth then this would be only one journey of many.
This blog documents this trip and we’re right on the starting line.