Today I think we finally decided. I mean we have talked about this for a long time, even before the kids were born, but now I’m sure as ever about it. We plan to travel the world with our kids starting July 2020. We will leave our Bay Area home and our jobs behind and start a new life outside of the US. Our kids are 4 and 2 now so they will be 7 and 5. That sounds like the perfect age!
They will both be in elementary school and ready to explore and learn as well as spend more time with their parents. I told my mom about my plans today, and I told her that the number one regret of the dying recorded by a palliative nurse is: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/03/top-5-regrets-of-the-dying_n_3640593.html
And I don’t want to have the same regret. My mom understood. We only want the best for our children. And I think that spending time with them while they are still children is the best gift I can give them. This article also agrees: http://theweek.com/articles/703660/moved-kids-america-best-parenting-decision-ive-ever-made
The reason this decision is hard for me is because my husband and I have high earning potential and we have sacrificed many years to be the best in our careers. I am currently a physician at a top academic center in the US earning a high salary in a secure and comfortable position. Most people would tell me I’m crazy to leave, especially since I only work from 8-5 and take home call. My lifestyle is better than most physicians, yet it is still not meaningful enough for me.
I became addicted to travel after our first trip to South America. I could only think about where I would go next as soon as I returned from our 3-month trip. But I think this curiosity and desire started much earlier actually. When I was a child, my heart rate always increased in airports and I was excited about travel and the unknown. I would love to see people’s reactions when they saw their loved ones and I wondered what it would be like if I got on the wrong plane and went to a new and exotic place.
I never really decorate my office or home because I’m not attached to physical spaces. Freedom is what I value most.