Our plan came together one night earlier this spring. After a day filled with work and home ownership frustrations, my husband woke me in the middle of the night and said, “You know that idea we’ve had? The one about selling the house, putting our stuff into storage and travelling the world? Let’s do that. Let’s do that right now.”

And so three short, stress-filled months later, we are.

Doing some long-term travel was something we had talked about for years. But the actual decision to do it came about rather quickly. And once we started taking the first steps, there was no going back.

Within a few days of that middle-of-the-night decision, we were selling off possessions and decluttering like mad. We called a realtor in early June, brought in a home stager, had the house on the market two weeks later, and -- because we live in Toronto, one of the most ridiculously overheated real estate markets in the country -- our house was sold within five days.

My husband and I arranged leaves from work (He works for the federal government, I’m a writer here at CTVNews.ca)  We spoke with the school to tell them we would be home schooling our two kids, aged 10 and 8, for the better part of a year, and thankfully, they said it sounded like a great idea and wished us the best of luck.

So now we’re on our way. We’re not the first to do this, or course. The internet is filled with the blogs of family travellers. Of course, most of them don’t do this on a whim; most plan their trips over years, saving their money, mapping out their journey, and preparing their house for a tenant while they are gone. We just decided to go, using our house sale to fund the trip. We have no idea where we’ll live when we get back, but we’ll worry about that later. Life is short, and we know we are lucky to be able to take steps to fulfill a dream.

Now, after a summer of filling a giant storage locker with furniture, sports equipment and boxes and boxes of books and clothes, we’re setting off for Europe.

We’ve had people tell us they envy what we’re doing; we’ve had others tell us we’re crazy. But from everyone I’ve spoken to who’s done similar trips I’ve heard the same thing: it’s a trip that changes you forever and one you will never regret, even if it’s filled with small disasters.

Yes, there will be arguments, squabbles about how to spend the day, tantrums over trying new foods, and sibling tussles. But as one mother told me, those are going to happen anyway no matter what continent you’re on.

As we travel, we’ll be learning as we go: about how to homeschool; how to handle our kids’ homesickness; how to see the world through our kids’ eyes. Even practical things, like how to pack efficiently and how to take a decent photo of the family.



Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about what I’ve learned and passing on the tips of others. Check back on CTVNews.ca, where I’ll be sharing my experiences weekly on Dream Big Wednesdays.