…advice to us…

After 225 days of travel, we are looking homeward now.    It’s been quite a journey.  And though I don’t know exactly what we dreamed it would be, it surpassed any dreams we may have had.  We saw beautiful, magical places.  We ate all kinds of fantastic and unique foods.   We traveled by plane, car, commuter train, night train, subway, camel, ferry boat, long boat, elephant, horse, tram, cable car and by foot.   We met people.  We met so many kind, helpful, funny, entertaining, gentle, smart, compelling, interesting, and wonderful people, it blows the mind.  Most importantly, we spent time together.  We learned together, we grew together, we talked to each other, we argued some, and we cuddled a lot.   We gained a new perspective of both the world and who we are as a family.

So now, I venture to give some advice to our family as a reminder of why this journey has been so important to us.  This is what I hope stays with us as it all fades into a happy memory.

To the girls: You MUST have adventures.  It is such a vital part of living, and the easiest, hardest, most fun, most challenging way to grow.  When I say adventure, I don’t mean you must go gallivanting around the world, though I heartily support that option.  No, an adventure is doing anything that makes you say, “That is REALLY cool, and I’m a little scared to try it.”  Maybe it is learning to speak Swahili.  Or starting a community service project.  Maybe it is speaking in front of your school, or submitting a poem to a contest.  Maybe you decide to try rock climbing, or go to trapeze school.  Whatever your adventure is, it must come from your heart, and personally, I think it should include a moment when you think, “Oh my goodness, what am I doing??!!” before you dive headlong into something new and exciting.

To me and Per: We MUST have adventures too.  There is nothing that makes us feel quite so alive as stepping outside our comfort zone.  It is especially wonderful when we can do it together.  It also gives us the opportunity to appreciate all the good things in our lives.

To the four of us: We will all have our ups and downs.  Life isn’t always easy, but it truly is beautiful.   If nothing else comes from this journey, we know that we can count on each other. Let’s learn new things together, support each other, and have fun.  Let’s do our best to lead with compassion.  And if all else fails, remember what Baba David says… ‘Hakuna Shida’.

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8 Responses to “…advice to us…”
  1. 02.18.2012

    Can you remember me? A Chinese boy who is the first talking with a foreigner and your family members on the train ,from XI’AN to SHANG HAI! Your long lovely journey made me think a lot and gave me many useful advices ! Thank you ,Per. and your lovely girls! Maybe we will see you again! Best wishes for you!

  2. Lesley Poisson

    Thank you so much.
    Welcome home.
    You are extraordinary and thank you for sharing yourselves.

  3. Anika

    Thank you for doing this blog. I will miss your entries and your stories. My aunt Elysabeth Bouton told me about your trip and even though I have never met you I was so excited to hear about another one of your adventures. I am from Germany and have lived in the States (that’s how I met Elysabeth) and travelling is everything to me. After reading and learning about your trip that is my life dream now. I wish someday I will go around the world with my family or with a friend. Just pack up and leave and see what comes next. I admire your family for just doing it, because I am sure there are so many people who would love to do what you did and are never going to. So thank you for showing me that crazy ideas can come true! :) I wish you all the best coming home!

    p.s. My parents were also in awe and they always wanted to do sth like that!

  4. Kim

    Two thumbs up.

    Love Kim

  5. Brenda G

    You will never know how much I enjoyed these blogs (and I will miss them). The insightful, reflective comments were very inspiring. Thank you for sharing so many special thoughts and getting me to think about how important the little things are! Welcome home!!

  6. ann

    love this

  7. Elysabeth

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey with us. Those lovely, intimate thoughts make me want to continue to hear about your journey. I also feel so thankful, that people that I care about, even though we haven’t seen each other for years, are in such a good, loving place. Peace be with you as you travel.

  8. Lawler

    Thank you for your incredibly insightful reflections! Happiness comes from the challenge of “adventure”. Yes, lead with compassion, stability, hope and perhaps most importantly (and what I believe you allude to) trust in each other….

    Just posted to my Facebook…

    Looking forward to meeting you sometime soon.. Best, Lawler

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