Our Little Troopers

Change is hard. It’s harder when you’re little. I have to say, I’m so impressed with the way our girls have been handling this massive shift in their lives. We’ve been talking about this for 6 months, so their initial resistance has gradually turned into excitement. They give their ideas on where we should go and what types of service projects they want to do. They ask questions about how homeschooling will work. They seem to be adjusting to this concept better than I had imagined they would.

Yet, as things are really starting to happen – i.e. selling the house, packing boxes, getting rid of furniture – we’ve seen their fears come out now and then. The ways they express those fears are as different as they are. I’ve had a couple long, tear-filled conversations with Emily, our ten-year-old. She’s the one that needs to verbally hash things out. Alison, our youngest, has been somewhat oblivious up to this point, but I think we’ll see her reaction come out a few weeks after we leave. Last summer when we went to Colorado for two months she had a full blown temper tantrum two weeks into our stay. Liv, our seven-year-old, doesn’t really like to show or talk about her emotions on anything, but they still come out in her own little ways. Like when she collected the “SOLD” signs we had put on different pieces of furniture and scrawled out her true feelings on the topic of our furniture sale.

sold signs (890x291)

As a parent you constantly worry that you will inadvertently scar your child’s fragile psyche. Selling almost everything we own and leaving for an open-ended international trip is hard for even Brian and I to wrap our heads around at times. I wish I knew what was really going on in their little brains right now, because we know this change isn’t easy. Yet, we also believe the lifelong impact this travel and service experience will have on them will outweigh those difficulties.

Or perhaps in 30 years they’ll be telling their therapists how their crazy parents ruined their lives by making them travel around the world. We’ll see.

About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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  1. Awww….how hard :( BUT kids are so resilient, and it’s such a good thing for them to learn to deal with impermanence and change – both of which will be a constant for the rest of their lives.

  2. Bye Emily. I’ll miss you (a lot)! I hope to follow your family’s blog. Post lots of pictures! I LOVE to travel.

  3. I think you’re doing an amazing thing for your children. They will have an appreciation for other cultures, people from all socioeconomic groups, the freedom the U.S.A. affords them, and so much more! You can’t get that life experience from textbooks or the movies.
    I really admire what you’re doing and am looking forward to following your journey.
    I’m an American (from FL) living and working in New Zealand for 2 years…if you come to Auckland and need any pointers, let me know!

    1. Thanks so much! We definitely plan on seeing New Zealand during this experience. You might be hearing from us in a few months as that part of the journey gets closer. :-)

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