It is interesting how people react so differently when we tell them about our trip. We noticed that the closer people are to us – and in particular to our children – the more negative the reaction to our plan. Logical of course, because they will miss the children (and maybe us a little too). They’ll miss a few essential years of the children growing up. There is skype etc. but it is not quite the same and this is the hard part of deciding to do something like this, we are taking loved ones away for a while.
Friends that we have met abroad and/or have been abroad themselves almost all react positively and think it is fantastic. Others have expressed that they knew it was only a matter of when rather than if we were going to do something like this. They know as too well.
Then there are the people that think it is very selfish and children need structure, routine and familiarity. They are right about the selfish part, of course. We as parents decide we want to do this and our children are not asking us the drag them around the globe. But if you are staying put in the same place because you are happy it is kind of selfish too though isn’t it? Whatever decision you make, you make it as a parent and do what you think is best for all family members and in your circumstances. You don’t really consult your 5- or 6-year-old in any of it. We as parents want to do this trip and have this experience and of course we think and hope that our children enjoy it as much as we do. They might not. But if it is really disastrous we will come back and hopefully pick up most of our old lives. Not much lost and hopefully lots gained, right?