Monthly Archives: July 2014

Who, What, Why, When, Where, How?

We get a lot of questions about The Big Trip.  Hopefully, this will answer most of them.

Who?  All 3 of us – Jim, Suzanne and Lilly.  Many people are surprised to hear that Jim is coming along.  Being together as a family is one of the main reasons we are taking the trip.  Taking the trip without Jim has never been an option.

What? Well that’s easy – a trip around the world.  We will be traveling East to West.  The thinking behind this involved following the warm weather.  We will have fall weather in Europe; our coldest climate.

Why?  Lots of reasons.  We don’t get a lot of time together as a family, even when Jim is working in Bellingham.  Life is short; we are all too aware of that.  I think the idea started when I learned of the Maldives and realized that science was saying they would disappear in Lilly’s lifetime due to increasing sea levels.  It’s possible the idea started when a professor showed my class a picture of his daughter swimming with a whale shark.  My father taught me that travel is the best education.  While kids are studying volcanoes in science, Lilly will be visiting Pompei.  Those rising sea levels?  We’ll get to discuss the impact with our host and his community in Mahibadhoo, Maldives.  I guess there are more reasons than one.  Jim and I share a love of travel; and we travel well together as a family.  Why not?

When?  We leave on 9/3/14 and return on 1/20/15.

Where?  The world – 14 countries.

How?  We live a relatively “small” life.  No new cars, “stuff” we don’t need (we don’t even own a TV) and lots of sacrifice.  Our house is 780 sf, which translates to lower bills, less room for “stuff” and simple living.  The “How” of planning includes hours of research – as many as 4 hours a day.  We are traveling mostly by plane, although there are a few ferries, trains and cars involved.  Lilly will be homeschooled while we are gone – the world will be her classroom.  This makes me grin from ear to ear.

Why “The Traveling Hamsters”?  We couldn’t come up with anything else.  People in our town are called “Hamsters”, so we went with it.  Quite frankly, I’m a little embarrassed by it – but it’s here to stay.

We leave in a little over a month.  In the next weeks, I will start posting to the blog more.  Thanks for following us on our adventure!