I have an adventurous heart beating in my chest. The longer I live the more I realize that Life in and of itself is a daring adventure. Our normal days are full of little adventures that take our courage and perseverance. And that are thrilling or hard and beautiful.
But ever since our England adventure in 2012 I’ve been craving a different kind of adventure. The kind that gets you all giddy and alert and alive.
So, tomorrow we are off on a grand Shumway European tour. We’re headed to England, Austria (with a day stopover in Prague on the way), Switzerland and Ireland. All those fall photo shoots I worked on are finally turning into an adventure!
I booked the tickets in April when life felt pretty stuck. And just booking them ignited a spark inside, made me feel alive after that long buried winter. I couldn’t decide if we should really do it. We got REALLY inexpensive tickets and we’re staying almost entirely with friends and family, but we’re still spending a chunk of money. But we’ve been blessed to be able to save up for this for a few years and I’ve never regretted spending money on an experience, on exposing my kids to something rich and new that lodges in their souls and becomes part of the fabric of their little beings.
I had visions of getting them totally prepared for this trip, learning a ton about all the countries we’re going to, but life is busy! I just returned 47 prep library books that I checked out, 5 of which we read. We’ve been trying to walk or run or bike a mile every day so that their legs can keep up. We’ve been watching movies set in the countries we’ll visit. And I think my big kids can at least locate these countries on the map….but we’re going to keep up the learning while we travel. I find so much more time to discuss and teach and read while we’re adventuring.
Someone asked me the other day what made my heart leap. What really gets me excited, what makes me feel full and alive. I’ve been thinking about it and one of the main things that lights me up is adventuring with my kids. I love exploring new places with them. I love the way time slows down when we’re pulled out of our routine. I love how my brain starts firing in differently. I love being disconnected with all of the to dos of my everyday and just having my kids and the experience to focus on.
I’m also a little terrified. It’s just gonna be me and the kids getting over there and moving our way through London and Prague to Vienna where Jeff will meet us. We have a triple stop over (cheapest tickets) tomorrow and a red eye thrown in. The kids are gonna all be strung out and me might miss a flight.
But, traveling is an adventure. And adventures aren’t always wonderful. They’re bumpy and glitchy and full of surprises, good and bad. I have to remind myself that those are all part of the big glistening memory we’ll have stored up in our hearts after this is all through.
The three mantras I’m gonna try to keep in my head are:
“Enjoy it! Because it’s Happening”
“Live in Anticipation of the Memory” –Mary Ann McFarland
“It’s all part of the Adventure.” –Hazel Shumway
I’m still hoping for an uneventful journey to London tomorrow though! Wish us well. I hope to blog a bit from the road.