Camino with kids

3 Top Reasons Why We’re so Afraid of Change!

View from the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico

Why are we so afraid of change in our lives?

Just the thought of a big life change can be intimidating and scary for so many of us. For me, the choice to pursue a life of worldschooling with my kids was a intensely scary choice! One might think that it’s a really easy choice to take off and travel to amazing places around the world, but for an over thinker like me, this was a really frightening choice! We decided to sell the home that our daughters were practically born and raised in, sell the majority of our belongings, downsize to a small place and figure out exactly what we needed to do to become full time travelers. These are terrifying choices to make!

1 – Fear of the Unknown

It’s been 5 month’s since we sold our house. Since then, the girls and I have since spent a month in Mexico, a few weeks in Colorado and we leave for a month long visit to Greece in only 6 days! I toiled for weeks before I finally made the decision to make the travel plans for Mexico! I’m sure most people think it would be exciting to make the plans to travel to exotic locations, and it is, BUT! It is also very intimidating for me to do. When ever I talked about traveling to Mexico, most people expressed a nervousness, and sometimes fear, about such plans. When others express fear, it can sometimes create a fear within us as well. I knew so many that were already traveling there, so it couldn’t be such a scary a place! I pushed past that fear, made the plans and traveled to Mexico! We spent three weeks in San Miguel de Allende and a week in Mexico City. We attended the Family Adventure Summit, met some amazing new friends, visited parks and pyramids, learned about the Day of the Dead culture, ate some delicious food and created life experiences that will be remembered forever! All things we would have missed out on if we had let our fear of the unknown be our deciding voice!

Catrina makeup for Dia de los Muertos, ruins in El Charco del Ingenio, a rest on the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México

2) Too Comfortable in Everyday Life

Sometimes it’s just easier to continue in the very comfortable life that we have created for ourselves. I am all about comfort! I am like everyone else and revel in the comfort of just being home. I love my comfy bed and chilling on my comfy couch. I love being in the community that we have lived in for so many years now, and socializing with all the people that I’ve known for so long. It’s just comforting and easy! But is that a good thing if we never step out of that comfy place and change a little? So much I’ve read says no, it’s not a good thing. It can cause you to be complacent and scared to change anything. For me, I NEED change in my life. I start to become restless and unhappy. I spent a lot of years in my life feeling depressed and unhappy, unsure of why and what I could do to change it. I longed for something, yet I didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t until after I walked the Camino de Santiago for the first time that I knew what I was missing…change. Not just change, but the experience of life! It took some years to figure out that this was my passion, but once I did, I’ve been happy ever since! So get out of your comfort zone! Change your attitude, change your life!

On the road to Zubiri, Spain, Looking back on St. Jean Pied de Port, France, The road to Hontanas, Spain, Friends and ruins along the Camino de Santiago

3) Doubting Yourself

It’s so easy to doubt yourself when making any decision of change. I do it every day of my life! We certainly didn’t make the decision overnight to sell our house. It was a discussion over years! I didn’t decide in one day to change all of our lives with travel. No, I thought about it and thought about it and my husband and I discussed it over and over. All because I doubted myself. What if I couldn’t do it? What if my kids ended up hating it and then hating me for completely changing up their lives? What would we do without a “home”? How were we going to make this work financially? Would we even be able to?! Yep, I was full of doubt, even if I didn’t show it outwardly to everyone I talked to about it! I finally just had to stop doubting myself, get past all of those fears, get out of all my comfort zones and make the decision to JUST DO IT! It doesn’t matter what you want to do, the first step to doing it is just doing it! Take the leap!

Gazing over the city of Guanajuato, Mexico

I can’t say that I don’t still go through all of these things when making my decision, because I do. I just try not to let fear be the deciding factor in my life. My husband and I are still mulling through the choices we need to make financially and what he should do for work to allow him to travel with us. As the bread winner of our family, these are even more terrifying choices for him than they are for me, which is understandable. It’s just a matter of both of us together deciding what we want and taking the actions to do it.

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy, The Louvre in Paris, France, London
Bridge in London, England, The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Patience is a Virtue…So They Say

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Do I Need More Patience?

I was really hoping we would be one of those stories, like I’ve read so often these days, where our house was sold super quickly and we would be able to move on with our plans right away. It almost was! But no such luck.  Here we are, four weeks later and I feel like we are starting over again.  Probably because we ARE starting over again.

I’ve truly tried to remain patient these last four weeks.  I have even just had a conversation with my 16 year old about how it’s just better to be patient when you really want something.  To occupy your attention with something else and the time will just pass.  So for me, patience hasn’t really been the problem with selling our house.  I’ve had moments of being overwhelmed and ready to just get done with all of this, but I’ve managed to stay fairly patient.  So why do I feel like we are starting over?  We have just removed the listing from the market, redone the pictures and it’s being re-listed today, after being off the market for a few days.  Only, we are re-listing with a new agent.

I never realized how stressful a process it would be to sell our home.  From all the updating we did to it, all the money we put into it for updates and repairs, staging and getting it ready for market, listing it and then keeping it in model home condition so that we are can run out of the house at a moment’s notice if an appointment was booked to see the house.   All of this is very stressful and I can see that stress taking it’s toll on my family.  One thing is for sure, we are going to need a vacation when it finally does sell!

Well add to that, the feeling that Shawn and I were having that we just weren’t on the same page as our realtor.  From the beginning it felt that way.  Though it was about what the house should be listed for, so I thought that should be expected.  I felt like it is probably common that people feel like their home should be worth more, and the realtor is there to show them why their expectations are a little high.  I have never felt like my expectations where too high or that the price I felt we should be asking was too high.  Our home is in a curious situation in that it’s in a housing market that is just exploding right now.  The population is expanding every day.  When we bought our house here 15 years ago, we moved to the outskirts of a town of about 10,000.  In the last 5 years that number has grown to 60,000 and if you count the outskirts, about 80,000.  The neighborhood we live in is now closer in due to things growing out this way.  What used to be a 8 minute drive to the store is now a 4 minute drive to the new store.  We used to be a small neighborhood of about 50 homes and that has more than doubled due to a custom home builder buying land behind our homes and expanding the neighborhood.  All of this has, what we consider, skyrocketed the price of homes, property taxes and cost of living here.  So if you’re looking to sell your house and move, then it should be great for you financially.  Unfortunately for me, we had two homes in my neighborhood sell at the very same time for under market and extremely fast, despite no other houses doing this.  This is causing a huge problem for me in that our realtor felt like we should be doing the same thing.  Sell low and get it sold fast.  To be fair, as she kept pointing out to us, we aren’t a custom home with high end upgrades, which is what is being built all around us now.  But to be fair to me, a house on the same street as those houses, which wasn’t a custom home with all the high end upgrades sold for $80,000 more than those only a few months prior, yet I wasn’t being put into the category with that house…only the two lowest selling ones.

Now I would agree that we were over priced if we had gotten no traffic to the house, but that just wasn’t the case.  In the first week we received a contract for the full asking price. For unfortunate reasons, that didn’t work.  On the second week we had someone come out to view the house twice then ask our realtor if we were “motivated” because they would want to do some upgrades.  Her response was we had only been on the market for 13 days.  The third week we received two calls of interest.  One of them came back twice and were measuring the rooms.  In total we had 15 viewings of the house, not including a few from an open house and a parade of realtors.  The common opinion of the majority was it was priced well, clean, staged well and nice.  For some it was too far out of town, priced too high for one realtor and one didn’t like our cat roaming free in the house during showings.  Overall, it was positive feedback.  The traffic was there and the interest was there, but nothing was happening.  The last one interested was trying to buy at the top of their price range and had not put in an offer, yet we felt like our realtor was doing everything she could to try and talk us into dropping our price, and not just a little.  It just felt to us like this was the wrong selling tactic and didn’t sit right with us.  It was obvious to us we just weren’t having a meeting of the minds with her and probably wouldn’t.  She was determined to sell our house low and fast and we aren’t.  So, it was time to find someone who thought more like we did.  Nothing personal, but we are talking about the biggest investment we own.

I was already talking to someone else before we even listed the house.  Someone who had been selling homes for a lot longer and this wasn’t their first listing ever.  Someone who had actually sold a home in my neighborhood before.  That had been doing it for so long that it isn’t just about a paycheck anymore.  When I didn’t understand our realtors responses to situations that were coming up, I called him to ask him about it and his thoughts were exactly the same as mine, without me even revealing to him what I thought.  He gave me his unsolicited opinion without ever asking for anything in return.  Simply because we had a mutual friend who had given me his name for a second opinion.  So after calling him a couple of times, it just seemed more logical to us to be working with someone who had the same train of thought as we did, rather than fighting with someone through an already stressful process.  So we decided to switch realtors in the middle of the game.  This meant nearly a week off the market.

So here we go again.  Everything is being put back on the market today.  We had a nice break of a couple of days without worry of keeping the house in show home condition (though it’s become a habit so it stayed that way anyway) and not needing to worry we may have to run out of the house in a minutes notice.  It was so nice!!  It will be even nicer once the house sells though, so I’m ready to start it again and will keep all my fingers and toes crossed that we will still get the traffic and the interest, but have someone working for us that believes in what we have and will work to get us the best return possible on our investment.

I’m keeping up the patience!

#toddler #caminobabies #changeyourlife #familyadventures #familytravel #forgetnormal #holidaywithkids #LPkids #sellthehouse #teentravel #toddlertravel #travelwithkids #traveldeeper #worldschoolers #worldschooling #caminobaby #bebrave

When Exactly Does a Journey Begin?


Finding the beginning

One would think that a journey of travel begins once you have reached your travel destination. I’m here to say that is absolutely false. While planning my first Camino I discovered that the journey actually began when I decided to go, then started researching all the plans and travel to get to the Camino de Santiago. There was so much that needed to go into it! Deciding where to start walking, deciding what city to fly into, figuring out which plane, train or bus to catch to get to the starting city, finding where I was going to stay and what places along the way took reservations and which didn’t. I could go on and on! It felt like there was so much to figure out and do!

Life is crazy!

Deciding to switch from homeschooling to worldschooling has been the same. We talked about it a lot, just here and there, as an idea we tossed around for many years. It seemed more like a dream rather than something that could become a reality. When we finally decided to make it a reality it was time to start working on our house, updating it and getting it ready to sell. That was a journey within it’s self! We started to do updates to the house, but our schedules were so busy that it was a couple of years before we actually had time to seriously start working on it. I hired out the hardest work so that it would get finished as quickly as possible, but did the rest myself. Lets just say I have done enough house painting to last me the rest of my life! As it got close to being ready I brought in the realtor. This actually made the deadline I had given us a hard reality. It also brought more stress to the table! There were contractors, paint, repair, daily visits to the hardware store, dealing with teens, dealing with a toddler, the husbands busy schedule that didn’t allow him to help, softball practice, softball games, what’s for lunch?, what’s for dinner?, selling off some stuff, but not too much, storing other things, stagers, photographers and so much more! Working my butt off every single day, I ended up still needing to push the deadline back, but finally it was finished and was ready to go on the market! It felt like the victorious end of something great! In reality, it was just the beginning of the next leg of the journey.

So many emotions

This is the first experience we’ve ever had with selling a house. We bought our home 15 years ago and that’s where we have lived ever since. I felt as though it was just a house and selling it would be the beginning to the next chapter of our lives. That is until we received the first offer. It came only a week after we had the house on the market. I was amazed at how fast it was! They came in at full asking price and weren’t asking anything more than what I was willing to give them. It seemed perfect! We all signed the contract that day! I was so excited! Until my excitement turned to something else, not sure what to call it, maybe fear. Realizing we would be leaving the only home my children have ever known and it would be in 30 days! Would they love the house as we have? There have been so many happy memories here. Would the home enjoy even more great memories? They included a letter with their offer that told us how this was the house of their dreams. They had laid under the stars and talked about all they wanted in a home and THIS was it. They looked forward to raising their little family here and all the wonderful things they would do with it. For me, this was perfect! The letter brought me to tears. I sat with my husband, after a long day of softball, tearing up and talking about how perfect this all was and how it seemed meant to be.  At least until 10:00 pm that night when I received the call that the deal was “going sour”. It was their perfect home until they researched the internet options and didn’t like them…..seriously.

Learn some patience

It’s been another week now and I’ve decided I won’t be reading any letters that come with the offers. We have had an inquiry from someone who wanted to do some “upgrades” and wanted to know if we are “motivated sellers”. Since the house has only been on the market for 13 days and priced really well for our area, I can’t say I’m motivated enough to pay for their upgrades. It was probably the best choice for them not to put an offer in. So this journey continues. The one of emotions on a rollercoaster. I get anxious every day for the house to get sold, then remind myself that it will and I just need to be patient. Rather than the planning or the repairs it’s now, when will it get sold, how much will it sell for, is it priced right, will we need to drop the price, getting out of the house on a moments notice so it can be viewed, cleaning it daily and on and on.

The good stuff

If anything is learned from all this, it’s that every experience in your life is a journey. Enjoy the great things about it and learn from the not so great things. I’m just waiting to get to the good stuff now. The planning of the travel and the getting there!

#toddler #caminobabies #changeyourlife #familyadventures #familytravel #forgetnormal #holidaywithkids #LPkids #sellthehouse #teentravel #toddlertravel #travelwithkids #traveldeeper #worldschoolers #worldschooling #caminobaby #bebrave

Are you CRAZY?!

No doubt those are the first thoughts of many people when I told them I would be, not only walking an almost 500 mile pilgrimage across northern Spain, but also taking my 17 month old daughter with me!

If you have not heard of the Camino, let me give you a little background on it.  The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried.  The most popular route is the Camino Frances, which stretches 780 km (nearly 500 miles), from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port, France to Santiago.  This is the route we will be walking.  It is the route I am most familiar with since I walked part of it by myself back in 2012 and have spent a lot of my time researching before I walked and since then.  It is the most well known route and has steadily become the most populated route with pilgrims each year.

Over the years I have gotten a lot of different responses from people when I’ve told them about my excursion.  Some people cannot even begin to understand why anyone would want to throw on a backpack and walk, day after day, for a month or more.  Other’s see it the way I do, as a great adventure and enlightening life experience that is unlike anything we could ever have in our everyday lives.  In fact, I think more people must think this way since the Confraternity of Saint James shows the number of pilgrims receiving the Compostela (certificate you get in Santiago for walking a minimum of 100 km) has increased from 2,491 in 1986 to 277,915 in 2016!  I am sure there are more than that actually walking, since not everyone who walks receives a Compostela.  When I walked in 2012, I did not walk all the way to Santiago, so I did not get a Compostela, yet it is listed that 192,499 people did!  That’s a huge increase of pilgrims in just the five years since I walked.

Ok, so a lot of people are into throwing on a backpack and walking a really long distance, but why throw a baby into the mix of blisters, shin splints, snoring pilgrims and long walks?……Why not?!  What an amazing life experience for anyone of any age!  But ok, if you have to have a reason…

My oldest daughter is 18 and graduating high school this year.  She knows the life path she wants to start out on, has made her school plans, living plans, grown up life plans.  She went through her school years as a smart girl, working hard to get good grades, find that thing in life she thinks she wants to do with the rest of her life, that she’s interested in and would be good at.  I’m a proud momma for sure!  With all of that comes a lot of stress and anxiety unlike anything I ever saw or felt when I was growing up.  To my surprise, since it is completely unlike her, she decided she wanted to take a gap year.  My first thought was, why not utilize some of that time for self reflection and relaxation while also exploring and learning about different cultures?!  The fact that I had a toddler only discouraged me a little and only for a brief moment.  I knew there were people who had walked with children, even babies before.  I had seen it first hand even!  When I walked the first time, there was a mother who pushed her two small children in a jogging stroller by herself, and even had their dog in tow!  When I had seen this the first time, I thought it was unusual, but that the mother was brave for taking on such an experience by herself.  It never crossed my mind that I might, someday, be doing the same thing.  I have read blogs and social media posts of many others who had also walked with their children.  Some with babies as young as only a few months old!  It certainly isn’t impossible to do, so why shouldn’t I be able to do it?!

So here we are, a few months worth of preparation and training and only four days before we begin our adventure!  In the next few days, I hope to post some of the experience of preparing for such a trip and then our experiences along the way.