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, [...]

Cleaning the Condor Enclosure

2017-01-23T19:35:53+00:00Family, 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+00:00Family, 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 [...]

A Day in Portofino: A Dream Come True

2016-10-24T09:43:35+00:00Family, Have fun, Inspiring Life Adventures, Travel|

Years ago, Jody and I were in Idaho meeting my oldest daughter’s future in-laws. We were all having lunch together, and on the wall next to us was a picture of the bay and coastline in Portofino, Italy. It was incredible! I looked at Jody, commented on how beautiful it was, and promised her that someday I would take her there. Fast forward a few years, and we’re halfway into our trip around the world with our two youngest children, Allison and Riley. Jody’s parents, Jan and Lou, had joined us in Madrid, Spain at this point for a six-week trip through Europe. We had just spent a week in Tuscany, which was on my bucket list. Tuscany was everything you would expect—we made so many great memories, including all six of us hitchhiking to town in the rain! Our next destination was Genoa in northern Italy. We were headed [...]

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 [...]

Goats and Education

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

On our way out to do a camel track in the Sahara Desert, we made a stop in a remote village that benefits from the support of the non-profit organization, Children of the Sahara, whose mission is to improve the lives of the nomadic children living in the environs of the Sahara Desert. We visited this village on a hot afternoon and walked between the mud brick houses watching children play, animals lounge, and hearing goat sounds all around. We peeked into the one room schoolhouse, where it was packed full of the local women who were learning to read, write and do math. They were all curious, yet shy about why we were there. We were in the village to donate money to go towards the purchase of a goat for a local family. We thought that Children of the Sahara was just about providing goats, but were pleased [...]

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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