TURNING OUR LEMONS INTO LEMONADE ...
To answer the first part of the question, we are a family of four from Seattle, Washington - Tami, Ryan, Madeline, and Maya. We've always enjoyed traveling together and for many years have dreamed of taking a year off to see the world. Our dream never actually seemed as if it could become reality, until ... the global economic downturn. As Ryan was employed in the domestic auto sector, the world's economic woes affected our family quite quickly. Needless to say, even after almost 25 years at the same dealership, unemployment was inevitable. Well, as the saying goes, "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade" - that's just what we decided to do. We're off in two weeks to begin our family adventure of a lifetime!
As to the oft asked second part of the question, the quick answer is, "We don't exactly know." At present we only have a vague plan of how we'll spend the next year. We're beginning in South America, with Ecuador and Peru, and we'll just wait and see where we end up after that. Of course we each are drawn to our own dream destinations. For me, Botswana is calling, with its amazing abundance of wildlife. For Madeline, classical European sites fit the bill. Maya has been enticed by the adrenaline rushes on offer in New Zealand. (Have you ever heard of zorbing?) And Ryan is just happy to enjoy a less stressful existence.
So, that's the beginning of our story. Only time will tell how it all plays out.
Photo of Maya and Madeline after 6th Grade Graduation. (Text below photo.)