Death of our American Dream

Chris and I had one of those whirlwind romances fit for a screen play.  When my eyes first captured him, his figure was wrapped in sunlight as if he was glowing.  Do you believe in love at first sight?

Two weeks of intoxicating late night conversations and endless bottles of red wine later, we boarded two different planes.  He was off to Austria to compete in his first Half Ironman triathlon, and I was going to spend the summer in France and The Netherlands.  But, we couldn’t be kept apart.  In May, we spent four glorious days together in Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.  In July, he came to meet me for a weekend in Paris.  In August, he crossed the Atlantic yet again to find me in The Netherlands.

Couple in Paris

L’ amour in Paris. July, 2009

Long story short: we fell madly in love in May, got engaged in July, and were married in August.  And, guess what we found out in September?

We felt we had it all including a beautifully restored log house on 1 acre, two cars, traditional jobs and a baby on the way.

Chris admitted that before meeting me,  he feared spending the rest of his life in that house.  While he mowed the lawn each weekend, he would ponder, “Is this it for the rest of my life?… Will I die in this house?”  Yes, he had everything he had so fervently worked for, but he still wanted more.

After our separate and joint trips abroad, we had caught, “The Travel Bug.”  We were infected with a disease without cure.  We had tasted just a few bites of travel, and we were ravenous for the world.  What could we do… just give up everything to live an uncertain vagabond life?

Yes, we actually could.  It took a couple years to prepare–Chris quit his day job and joined a friend in building a remote software development company.  We tested out this crazy lifestyle over the Summer 2011 in Norway, with a little blonde addition.  We threw in one more child for good measure, and then booked non-refundable tickets to Costa Rica on New Year’s Eve, 2012.

Hike near Drammen, Norway.

Near Drammen, Norway. June, 2011

Trondheim, Norway.  July, 2011

Trondheim, Norway. July, 2011

Toddler in Oslo

Oslo, Norway. August, 2011

And the rest is history.

An amazing, unforgettable history, actually.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Alajuela, Costa Rica. October, 2013

Do we regret giving up that sweet home in the country of Maryland?  Do we wonder what our lives would be like had we stayed?–No, not at all.  Not for a second.

But, we’ve discovered an issue along the way.  We now have too many options.  We have trouble deciding where to go and for how long–back to Costa Rica? Down to Peru? Cross over to Europe?  Journey to Asia?  Once we settle on a decision, it never stays put.  It wanders over the possibilities over and over again and finally dives off in the opposite direction.  Then it turns around again.  We’re driving our friends, family, and ourselves crazy with our ever-changing route.

So, we can’t in all certainty tell you where we’ll be tomorrow… not until we get there.  However, we do know we won’t be staying put in a cozy white country house in Maryland.  Instead of thinking, “Am I going to spend the rest of my life in this house/at this job/with these dreams,” we’re asking, “Where on Earth will we be next month, and what will it be like?”  I think it’s a good swap of wonder.

And, by the way, I still think Chris glows.  He is beaming brighter than ever, in fact.

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. January, 2013

Have you given up your “American Dream” to explore the world?  Where are you now?

Do you want to, but can’t figure out how?  If you truly think you have a spirit for wandering all over this incredible planet, I hope with all my heart you can find a way to make it happen.  There is much to see!

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