Country #17, returning to #1, etc.

We’ve been planning to visit the U.S. for a while now. We have a family commitment in July that has been on the calendar since last year.  When asked if we’d be able to make it, if we would be finished traveling by then, we’d only answered that we would make it, but we didn’t know whether we’d be back for good.

That was a year ago. We’ve been able to successfully avoid dealing with this question until a few months ago. It’s hard to make a life decision when you are traveling, with friends, busy planning (and driving) for my mom’s visit.  Any reason to not do it will work. We are master procrastinators.

And, Bode had recently expressed some interest in going to a “real” school, so we’d consented that it might be time to change our lifestyle. We like the idea of settling down in another country – at least for a while. They have school here too. But, South America is just so far away. Besides – if we were in the U.S. in July, wouldn’t 2nd grade start in August?  And, as late as my mom’s arrival last week, we still hadn’t even attempted to investigate shipping the bus or even buying an airline ticket.

Procrastination. Avoidance. Is it all about to end? I think we were all a little bit sad.

But, the other night, Jason had a heart-to-heart with Bode and a few things became much clearer. Bode does want a break from traveling. Even though he had flirted with the idea of attending regular school, he’s still eager to continue to be home-schooled an travel the world. In his words…

Two month break. Then Europe, then Africa.


This was a little bit of a surprise. We were already starting to think about how to end it smoothly – it has to end at some point. And, we’re all wiped out. So many people have told us that we’re living their dream… but we’ve been living in a car for 3 years. It’s exhausting.

Maybe because a two month break sounded like a great idea…  we gladly accepted these terms. In fact, we immediately started looking forward to elements of a less nomadic lifestyle – a real kitchen, hot water on demand, machines that wash things for us.  We can see family and friends and not be rushed. Jason can try to figure out how to fund the new plan. We can stock up on school materials and figure out how to do it for real. Even Red Beard could use a break. This plan just seemed like an actual plan. Done.

When you need a decision, ask a 7 year-old.

So, we’ll be looking for a place to park the bus and a flight* for a 2 month visit with family and friends. We’ll postpone our entry into Brazil since our visa only allows for 90 days once we’ve entered.  Now, we’ll go to Paraguay for the next few weeks and see what’s there.

Of course, some part of this plan could change. We don’t know everything… but for now this is the plan. And, if we want to drive south again, it will be snowboarding season when we get back.



*Jason actually once booked a flight for the wrong month, didn’t realize it, and was later turned away at the airport as his intended flight left without him.  He’ll figure out what to do with the bus, and I will be making the reservations.

15 thoughts on “Country #17, returning to #1, etc.

  • June 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    WOW! That is big news. Texas awaits … as does brainstorming about funding the next journey …

  • June 13, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Wonderful to ‘see’ your planning system – it helps my heart to hope that maybe it’s own dreams may be realized by this procrastinator 🙂

    Happy Journeying.

  • June 13, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    So are we talking Texas, or Calif., or both??? I have been missing your posts as you have been trying to decide. You could always ship the bus back to Houston, then cruise back to Calif. Then take long vacations and road trips around the good ol’ northwest in the summer. It would really be great to see you guys again and hear about some of your adventures first hand. Although I must admit, I would really miss reading about all the places and things that you are doing, plus the pictures have just been great. You guys really should put together a book about your great adventure. I sure want a copy.

  • June 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    So very glad that I’ll have more than a 2 week window to squeeze in a visit with you soon!

  • June 13, 2012 at 6:19 PM


    You sure know how to build up suspense. You had me clutching the side of my table when I figured out you were ending the trip. But wait, no, you are not ending it. Yet. Between Hitchcock and you, my script passion is well fed.

    Gotta love those heart to heart conversations with the wee people…

    Happy Summer.

  • June 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    What a news! It gave me goosebumps. I’m happy for you. We might not see each other in Texas them….

  • June 13, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    If you want, you cam park the bus in our house 🙂

  • June 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Content pour votre choix! Salutation à Bode de ma part et bonne chance.

  • June 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    I will miss your postings and you wonderful photos. Have followed since you left Alameda. Bode has grown up quite a bit since you left home. Sounds like he would like to be around children his own age for a period of time and perhaps the structured environment of school. It might be difficult to hit the road again after a short break. Comforts of home start to feel mighty good.

  • June 13, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Wow, great news! It is just amazing to come home to friends! Enjoy! Perhaps we see each other in the US. We will most likely go to Colorado (Boulder). If you come to Germany and we are actually living there, please come by and visit us for some time!

  • June 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    d0h!!! i was looking foward to your Brazil travel posts but yeah this also makes sense! What ever you do keep Redbeard! He has served you well and might like to do some more travelling when Bode is older. Good luck!

  • June 14, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    Great! If you need tips on homeschooling, I can help!

  • June 14, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Sounds like an excellent plan! Smart little guy, isn’t he? I can see needing a break, our RTW backpacking was only 14mths compared to your nearly 3 years but it does get exhausting. When we leave to follow your route south in 2 years we’re planning on really taking it slow, spending a few months here and there, renting an apartment, etc to help with that feeling.
    Good luck on your next plans! Having overlanded East & South Africa we can assure you, you will have a ball!
    Jim & Rhonda

  • June 14, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    See ya soon!

  • June 14, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    what?! come to california and i’l bake you guys some DELICIOUS vegan delight. and when i say “delicious” i don’t really mean delicious but i do mean vegan. XOXO

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