You have to have good reasons to leave friends, family, work, your dog and usual commodities to make this kind of a trip, because if not, you may at the first challenge simply stop in your tracks and catch the first plane back home.
You need a strong conviction that you are doing something that makes sense for the family and each individual member, and that is probably what our parents have. They consider the trip as a way of opening a door to the world and allowing us to form our own perspectives of differences and similarities in the world. They are convinced that this trip is going to change our lives, and that it will reinforce those values they have already given us – that the trip will have consequence for us all and there will be a before and an after.
The trip also gives us the chance to stay one extra year together, when each of us seems to be embarking on different routes in our student lives – with two children already studying abroad, it is a great opportunity to again merge the family and know that we will always stay connected.
We also feel that if we don’t do this trip now, we probably will never do it as a family. Neither of us who are studying is quite sure of what we really want to do and this means that the world trip may help us find out what and where we would like to continue our studies. The two youngest are respectively finishing junior high- and high school and may perfectly well take a gap year.
A project like this is without doubt a big challenge when each member of the family has developed her or his own personality and ways of doing things. We are different, but we are tightly connected as a family and too committed to this trip to give up when the going gets tough. We all have the responsibility to stay together and work toward reaching our goal.
We believe this will be a trip where countries stop being simple colored spots on a map, but instead becomes landscapes, experiences and people, and these people turn out to be neither exotic objects, nor anthropological curiosities, but human beings just like us (Martin 2004). This trip may be an optimal and ultimate way to give us all a chance to clear our ideas and get to know each other and ourselves better. It will also show us the huge opportunities there are in the world, probably show us how lucky we are, and help us decide what we want to do with our lives.
Professionally, our parents are free to decide on their time, and since Spain is suffering from the economic crisis, they think this is good time to leave.
Another consideration is our father’s health. Having been an insulin-dependent diabetic since he was a small child, he believes his time is “limited” and he wants to see and experience the world while he still is in excellent shape.
However, overall our time is limited to one year because everybody must go back to school and studies and our parents return to keep their businesses running.