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The Unspoken Family Dream

Posted by Patience on June 17, 2010 at 2:33 PM in Traveling
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family dream collage

My photography work landed me on a private island off the coast of Maine a few weeks ago for just a weekend. It was only my second destination shoot and I was in a sort of awe the entire time. This particular land was magical in a way I can't quite put words to. Maybe because it was private and so few people were there or maybe because the beauty was so overwhelming, but I could not get over how free and safe I felt. Free to really wander, free in a way I have never experienced before. There was nothing keeping me from soaking all of it in, way down deep.

"Babe, do you feel like we are in Narnia?" my husband asked while we hiked in a soft rain.
"Yes! Oh, I hope we get to meet Aslan!" I cheesily and wholeheartedly replied.

In that moment, I instantly thought of my children and how much they would have loved it. How just by the nature of being newer on the earth would make them the authority on living free and embracing the experience. I wondered how many more amazing places there are to discover and then my unspoken dream for my family swirled in my head once again. It's the kind that feels so crazy, so impossible, so over the top, the kind you will wish you had done when you are old and gray.

For over a year now, I have been stalking those blogs of families who have left their everyday lives to travel with their children. They RV across the United States or sail and fly around the world, traveling together for the experience of a lifetime. I have poured over their different information and planning, but more in an admiring from a far kind of way. I know the round-the-world thing just isn't my family's speed but the idea of all of us on an open road exploring all the natural wonders in the United States makes my heart flutter.

As soon as we got back from Maine, I saw a very wise friend who encouraged me to do this adventure without knowing anything about my secret dream. The next day I very casually asked my husband to break down the budget and tell me what he thought we could live on at the bare minimum. I may or may not have explored what an RV might cost. The most dangerous part was telling you, giving words to my unspoken family dream. It's scary because if I never say it then I don't have to risk a different kind of disappointment or can tell myself a story to try to work it out in my head.

This isn't the story where I tell you that all is worked out and we are leaving tomorrow, this is the middle place. The place I might struggle to really claim it, or maybe discover that by putting it out I am giving it life to let it unfold. I'm not sure but I have a feeling this work is important to do in order to live our best lives, and to show our kids how to do the same.

Do you have an unspoken family dream? If I get a chance to do mine, tell me the dreamiest parts of the country. Where would you want to take your kids if you could go anywhere? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Kati writes...

Gorgeous pics and such a wonderful post.

My spoken dream is to pick up and travel when our two girls would otherwise be in junior high. Because, seriously, who *really* needs junior high but couldn't we all use a little more adventure and a lot more family bonding???

Amber writes...

Our unspoken family dream is selling our house and leaving this life behind. Our new life waits somewhere a little quieter and a little cheaper and with a view of the sea. We make it work by running our own business(es) and just being together. And I have chickens.

(OK, my husband is so NOT down with the last part, but I think I sort of want to be a small-scale modern homesteader. I feel that chickens are a must for that.)

vanessa writes...

Ohhh I am with amber. I don't desire a momentary adventure, but a whole life shift. My hearts desire, would be to move, somewhere small and quaint. somewhere, where my kids could spend their days outside in summer, unfettered by fences and to romp in the snow in winter. Somewhere where we know the neighbors and the neighbors us, and somewhere were the old lady down the lane doesn't think twice about asking the kids to help her with this or that and more so the kids don't think twice about helping.

that is my dream and if anyone knows where that place is, tell me.

Sara writes...

Oh wow, I kid you not, my dear partner and I were talking about this very same dream just this weekend! I've done it with a friend, but that was 14 years ago, and now I'm dying to do it with my family!

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