How We Did It

2017-03-29T12:24:51+00:00Courage, 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, [...]

Winter Warm-Up for the Homeless

2017-02-18T15:14:42+00:00Courage, Family, Give big, Inspiring Life Adventures, Volunteer|

I have never had to live on the streets and I hope I never have to. I have heard the statistics and know how close many of us are to having that be a reality. We often think it could never happen to us, but yet, we know it can happen, it is happening, and does happen every single day. This past winter was a brutal one in Portland. We are known for our rain, but not for freezing conditions for weeks on end. When the snow hit, no one was really prepared. Highways became parking lots, trees fell, power went out and those living in tents under the bridges desperately searched for warm places to sleep. There were at least four reported deaths due to hypothermia. I am sure that was a low number. We decided to take action and help in any way we can. Our solution [...]

Life Giving Blood

2016-10-24T09:43:18+00:00Courage, Give big, Inspiring Life Adventures, Volunteer|

I love giving blood. It speaks to my “love languages”: acts of kindness and service to others. And so, I have been donating blood since college. There were some years I would give every eight weeks. Other years, I didn’t pay attention, and didn’t give much or any at all. Now that I am 68, it’s more important to me than ever. Before our recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I was thinking about how much blood I had donated over the years—I thought it was about 140 pints in almost 50 years, but I wasn’t sure. I also remembered that, with the recent outbreak of the Zika Virus, I would be excluded from giving blood for one year. The day before I was to leave, I received a timely call from the Red Cross. They informed me there was a severe shortage of O blood, and asked if I [...]

Being a Global Catalyst

2016-10-24T09:43:43+00:00Courage, 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+00:00Courage, 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+00:00Courage, 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+00:00Courage, 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 [...]

Thoughts from a Teenager

2016-10-24T09:44:33+00:00Courage, 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.   [...]

A Long Overdue Update

2016-10-24T09:44:43+00:00Courage, Family, Give big, Have fun, Live brave, Travel, Volunteer|

Hello, hello, hello! It feels so good to be finally getting all that has been percolating in my brain down on paper. It has been a while since we have sent you an update. You may have thought we fell off the planet once we got home. We didn’t. We have just been re-grouping and re-mantling our lives with all the new insights we learned about ourselves on the trip. And here we thought the adventure was over once we walked across the Tijuana border. We couldn’t have been more wrong! Being back in Portland has been an adventure all on its own. So where do I begin? I think it is best to give you some of the highlights and then over the next few weeks, I will start filling in some of the details. Also, John, Riley and Allison are going to be adding to the conversation by [...]

Bali Kids and the Medical Center

2016-10-24T09:44:59+00:00Courage, Family, Give big, Travel, Volunteer|

When traveling in underdeveloped countries, the poverty and difficulty can blind you to the rays of goodness and love that shine among the people in spite of their conditions. During our stay in Bali, we had several opportunities to serve, and on one afternoon we were lucky enough to spend our time with the kids and staff of Bali Kids, a remarkable, courageous organization which provides an orphanage and a medical center for disadvantaged kids. We arrived and were welcomed by Robert, a passionate man who has been involved in the development of Bali Kids for years. He was joined by a little boy and his sister, residents of the orphanage. The other kids were at school. Robert was a wealth of knowledge about the history and work of Bali Kids. The three of them gave us a tour of the brand new orphanage and medical center. It was beautiful [...]

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The Courage Vibe

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