The day has finally arrived. The day we dreamed about long ago, the day we have talked about for years, the day we have planned for months. The day we depart on our adventure around the world.
(Apologies in advance for the grainy photos on this post, we used my phone to take them as the camera was packed too deep to dig out!)
Our last weekend in Lincoln has been emotional. I'm sat sobbing into my laptop as I write this. The decision to travel around the world with our kids was never an easy one to make. So much seemed to stand in our way, so many fears and doubts.
Then one day something in us just clicked and we decided that we would no longer live our lives wading through a cloud of fear. It is always easier to find excuses and reasons not to do something. The hard option is to try something knowing that you could fail. The worst option of all is living with the regret, wondering everyday how differently things could have been if you'd only had the guts to try.
The hardest part of the journey so far, from announcing that we are going to today, has been rising above the criticism we have faced. Sticking to our path, sure and steady in the direction we have chosen, not letting the fearful words people have thrown our way drag us off course. (If you want to read about some of the criticism we initially faced then check out this post).
In the most part we have found people to be wonderfully kind and supportive. These positive messages far outweigh the negative ones which has helped us when some comments have cut a little deep.
Life is a funny thing. It's messy, beautiful, testing, loud and fast. In the blink of an eye it could all be over. This is what keeps us going. We never wanted to live a life chasing money and material things. We're not bothered if we live in a huge house or drive the latest cars. We don't wear designer clothes or expensive watches. We value memories not things. Because when you are facing your final moments in this mortal world it is not the things you'll be taking with you to the other side.
I realise that I have spoken about death a lot when I've posted about this journey. It is not because I am morbid. It is just I believe that one cannot be mentioned without the other. Life and death are intertwined, they are one and the same. We are made from stardust, and one day we'll be stardust again. How you choose to spend the time you have in between is up to you.
The biggest factor in our decisions has, and always will be, our beautiful daughters. We truly believe that peaceful parenting is the key to a better future. If we can succeed in raising compassionate, kind, balanced humans then I know we've achieved what we set out to with this journey.
Not everyone shares our opinion, but we stand by our beliefs, that the only way to learn about the real world is to experience it. You cannot ever prepare children for what is out there when they spend each day within the same four walls with the same group of people. Plus the UK curriculum is so outdated and whitewashed. We want our children to learn more than the old white men sat in parliament wearing their tailored suits decide they should know.
This time next week we will be with a guide walking around the largest slum in New Delhi, with our children, where they will visit a school and meet children the same age as them. Some people say this is dangerous, we are reckless, we could have picked nicer places to take the girls than India. Yes, we could have booked a package holiday to Europe and laid by the pool. Ignorance is bliss as they say. We don't want to raise ignorant children, there is more to life than nice things.
Life isn't meant to just be nice. Life is a spectrum of messy, beautiful, scary, crazy, wonderful colour, and we intend to bask in every part of it.
We choose joy, we choose uncomfortable, we choose memories over things, we choose to live, not just settle for 'nice'.