I want to be in South America traveling in the Yoda Van! Allison and Matthias, you guys are my heroes! So many of us talk about traveling for a year with our kids but you guys are actually doing it! Look at you go, woooohooo! These photos are from your first blog entry, I hope you don't mind me stealing them - they are so great!
Allison is American and is married to Matthias who is from Germany. They have two wonderful bilingual boys. We got to know them in our local German language playgroup, Kinderstube, and quickly became friends. Perhaps it is our mutual die-hard hippy perspectives that brought us together? We both drive VW vans (ok, we don't actually DRIVE ours right now since it is broken down but one day we will drive into the sunset again with our Vanagon!) and they used to drive a Eurovan but sold it for an air-cooled VW van (the Yoda Van) for their year-long trip. Way to go hippy friends! Drive on, drive on!
When we heard they would be quitting their jobs, selling their Eurovan, purchasing an air-cooled VW van, and driving south through the Americas for a year with their two sons, we were in awe. What a fabulous thing to do. This is the kind of experience that can define you for a lifetime, for many lifetimes! How envious I am of you guys. You are actually living your dream.
I remember travels in our VW Camper Van when I was young. Those are some of my most wonderful memories. It isn't really any of the actual events that stick in my mind, it is more the overwhelming feeling that overcomes me when I think back on those trips from California through Mexico. There was something that felt like total freedom, the unknown unfolding before us, even though I was only a child. I remember wind in my hair as we drove along the desert roads and drawing pictures of what I saw pass by on the fold-out table in our VW. This is a taste of travel and freedom that has stuck with me for my entire life and has helped to define who I am inside and out. This may even be the source of the joy that I feel each time we take our road trips from Seattle to California and back.
I long to see what Allison and Matthias are seeing, to smell the saltwater, feel the sand and sun but most of all, to simply be there, that place which is different and so foreign. To live, even for just a little while, in the unknown can be so eye-opening and the world can take on new meaning. And knowing that for the next year, the world is your oyster, all yours for the making.
However, I also cherish my home and knowing what each day will bring. I guess in the end what I want is to have both worlds (between worlds again). I want to have my home, my income, my security half of the year and then the other half, I want us to have the freedom to travel, to roam, to see the rest of the world, to live without having to plan out tomorrow and the next day and the next. Is this too much to ask for?
Unfortunately, my husband and I haven't figured out how to make this happen for us. In the meantime, I will travel vicariously through the lives of those who are winding their way through the unknown, like Allison and Matthias. Maybe Rick Steves will contact us and ask us to travel the world for his "family vacations through the back door!" Here we are Rick, give us a call! We can be packed up in an hour, I swear! And no, I'm not kidding, give me a call!
Make sure to check out "Travels of the Bay Family and the Yoda Van" here: blogs.bootsnall.com/TheBays. Enter a comment, say hello from wherever you are! They will love it!