How We Did It

2017-03-29T12:24:51+00:00 Courage, Family, Inspiring Life Adventures, Live brave, Travel|

I remember it well. It stunk. It was like my teens were on a raft whose rope had gotten untied. They were drifting away and I was back on the dock. It wasn’t easy to talk anymore, and they were distracted by the new waters. Time was passing and so were our chances to enjoy an open, fun, and adventurous family life. I wanted none of it, so I figured something out. It worked. What I figured out switched up the vibe. We gradually connected again and the normal blow-ups weren’t deal breakers, they were something to talk through, willingly, together. Slammed doors and dead-end conversations were the exception, not the rule. People wonder how our family of four backpacked around the world living in bunk rooms, bungalows, homestays and hostels without wanting to trade each other in for a Diet Coke. For nine months, we lived in small, [...]

Cleaning the Condor Enclosure

2017-01-23T19:35:53+00:00 Family, Give big, Inspiring Life Adventures, Live brave, Travel, Volunteer|

We had just finished a day of cleaning an Andean Condor enclosure in the Sacred Valley outside of Cusco, Peru. Our muscles were sore, hands blistered, and our clothes dirty, but we were happy. We felt honored to have spent the day helping with the unglamorous work of picking up large and small stones (trying not to mistake them for the condor poop) and other items that could prove fatal to these majestic birds. The work was made more difficult because we only had one rusted out wheelbarrow (with a few holes and a flat tire), a dilapidated rake and shovel, no gloves and a few well-used nylon bags to collect and carry the heavy stones.  At the end of the day, we wanted to do more than manual labor. When we asked what else they really needed, they told us they could use some new equipment, so we [...]

Two Pairs of Shoes

2017-01-26T08:05:05+00:00 Family, Live brave, Travel|

When we left Portland to travel around the world together in November 2012, our whole lives fit into a 41-liter backpack and a really small carry-on. We learned a couple of things very early on in our 9-month trip around the world. One of the most important things we learned? Even though we only had a backpack, we still had too much stuff. We were only two or three days when we realized this, so we all started going through our stuff, discarding what we didn’t think we needed. We filled a medium-sized box and shipped it to Jody’s parents house in Salem, Oregon. We should have been all good then, right? Not quite. We ended up traveling 60,000 miles on our trip, going to six continents and 24 countries. With that kind of travel, you need to think through space issues thoroughly—which includes packing the right shoes. I had [...]

Angel Vibe Tribe – Giving Big

2017-01-26T08:26:59+00:00 Family, Give big, Have fun, Live brave, Volunteer|

Our home was buzzing with people on a mission—some who we had never even met! It was twelve hundred square feet of amazing goodness, with people making sandwiches, designing notes, filling snack bags and sorting donated clothes, including brand new socks and gloves. My heart was in a state of grateful overflow. How good of these people to show up. Why had they gathered, you might ask? It was our first Angel Vibe Tribe event. Our family first imagined the event on our trip. We asked ourselves, “What if we organized local give-back events in our city when we get home from our trip?” We had been traveling on a low-budget, high-adventure trip that took us to 24 countries over a nine-month period. In many of those places we participated in local service projects. We wanted to keep the momentum going once we returned home, so we created the Angel [...]

Being a Global Catalyst

2016-10-24T09:43:43+00:00 Courage, Family, Give big, Have fun, Live brave, Travel, Volunteer|

I was honored to be interviewed recently by Mike Wolf, founder of Entrepreneurs Making a Difference, about some of the things we learned and experienced during and after our Round-The-World Quest.     We would love to hear your thoughts, so go to our Facebook page or make a comment below.  We love hearing from you!

The Impact of Courage

2015-09-25T20:12:55+00:00 Courage, Family, Have fun, Live brave, Travel|

How can courage or the lack of it impact your life and dreams? When you write a bucket list, it is based on your dreams, what you want to achieve, what you know or have been told.  You try to think big and let yourself go on all the possibilities. You create dream boards and vision videos.  I did all of that and it was great. I thought I knew exactly what my dreams were.  Then I had the opportunity to say yes to a dream I had tucked away for years and only discussed with close family and friends. When I mentioned it, I would usually dismiss it with a laugh, until one day our family had the nerve to ask What if? The question eventually morphed into Yes! Let’s do it! Like the winter storm that re-directed the river outside our mountain cabin, our Yes changed the course [...]

Where To Begin

2016-10-24T09:43:51+00:00 Courage, Family, Have fun, Live brave, Travel|

“We have always dreamed of taking our family around the world, but we don’t even know where to start.” We hear this from people all the time, after our presentations or during conversations over dinner.  I admit, I had a similar feeling when the seed to travel around the world with my family was planted in my brain so many years ago. My recommendation? Start around the kitchen table (or wherever your tribe meets up on a consistent basis).  For our family, it was dinner time.  After all the pleasantries and four letter words – FINE. GOOD. YEAH. OKAY - were out of the way, John or I would start a conversation that began with two simple words: “WHAT IF…” and then we would fill in the rest with what we were curious about. For example, “What if you could buy a ticket anywhere in the world.  Where would you [...]

Passion to Purpose

2016-10-24T09:44:17+00:00 Courage, Family, Give big, Live brave, Volunteer|

Our family has been invited by various groups to share our story. These presentations have been a fabulous way for us to re-live our trip and remember all the different experiences we had. We typically do this together, each sharing a different perspective and insight, but we will occasionally present individually. Riley and Allison were recently invited to keynote to a group of kids and adult mentors at the Friends of the Children campus in Portland. They were asked to share some of their experiences from the trip to bring an international perspective to the kids. They both took a leap and a deep breath and said YES to not only being the key presenters, but also to creating a presentation from scratch. As Riley and Allison brainstormed topic ideas, passion and purpose kept coming up. Specifically, that when you find your passion it will lead you to your purpose, which is exactly [...]

Time Flies

2016-10-24T09:44:25+00:00 Family, Have fun, Live brave|

When my son Riley was born, people told me, “You are going to blink and he will be graduating.”  Well, I blinked and sure enough they were right. Eighteen years filled with so many memories, feelings, experiences, and learning opportunities.  So many leaps and stages of development, not just for Riley, but for our entire family. Some of the leaps were invigorating, adventurous and fun, some felt like they lasted forever and would never end.  Like the rocky transition from pre-teen to teenager, every day I felt like I was holding my breath not sure what was going to walk through the door, my darling little boy or the young man trying to gain his balance with new responsibilities and emotions.  Looking back, while this felt like an eternity, it was just a small blip on the screen even though it seemed all-consuming. Other leaps felt like a shooting star, [...]

Thoughts from a Teenager

2016-10-24T09:44:33+00:00 Courage, Family, Live brave|

Hi, this is Jody.   I recently slowed Riley down long enough to ask him a few questions about life after the trip. I thought you might enjoy seeing and hearing directly from him.  Here is a short, little over four-minute video of Riley sharing his thoughts, then keep reading for a little more fun from Riley stuff...   What are you listening to? Jack Johnson John Mayer Arctic Monkeys   What are your reading? The Way of Zen by Alan Watts The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama On the Road, The Dharma Bums and The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac   What has been filling your time? Playing the White Rabbit in "The Shrek Musical." First ever play performance   Taking 2nd place in Districts and 6th place in State for pole vaulting.   Starred in The Band Perry music video "Chainsaw." Watch it here.   [...]

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