…a year ago…

“You see, Avon, it all depends on you.  If you want it to be different, it will be different.  Don’t look at the world with your eyes but with your heart.”

- Edward in “The End of the Beginning” by Avi


One year ago today, we left on our big adventure.  A year ago.  I vividly remember what it was like that morning – finishing our packing, wrapping up the house, and saying goodbye with butterflies in our stomachs.   So much unknown ahead…so much exploring on the horizon.

So I ask myself now, “where are we today?”  Besides the obvious – at the kitchen table (Sian), in NYC (Per), at school (the girls), I still find it hard to say where we are on a deeper level.  If you think you are tired of hearing me say, “I’m not really sure”, imagine how tired I am of saying it!  But it is the truth.  Last January, I wrote a blog about transformation.  People kept saying, “this trip will transform you”, and I believe it is true, but HOW?

Therein lies the biggest mistake.  The question is not, “how did the trip transform you?”  The question should be, “how is this experience going to change you moving forward?”  What is transformation if not seeing things from a new perspective?

So instead, I ask myself, “what next?”  We will write a book.  In complete honesty, a book has been in the back of my mind since last January, but I’m still struggling with what it will look like.  But now I’ve said it out loud to you all, so I’m committed.  As we know from the very beginning of this crazy idea back in 2008, accountability keeps us motivated.   I am also designing a curriculum enrichment program so we can take this journey into middle schools.  The richness of our adventure came from experiencing it with Linnea and Kajsa.  Kids have such vivid imaginations, an incredible sense of possibility, and an inherent ability to find fun.  If sharing our experiences motivates just one child to have their own adventure, I will be thrilled.  Again, I’m not sure what this program will look like, but darn it, I’ve said it out loud, so be sure to keep me accountable.  I am open to suggestions, ideas, and help of any kind.  :)

This past weekend the four of us had lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant, and I posed this question:

“If I told you we could leave on another trip around the world in 2 days, would you go?”

The answers were, “yes, yes, yes and yes”.   Enough said.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Back to Top

6 Responses to “…a year ago…”
  1. Laura Arcari

    I think it would be fascinating to write a book about your own experience, along with those of other families who have undertaken similar adventures. I learned today of a former work colleague’s plan to set sail around the world for 2 (and maybe more) years with their two young children. They are cashing out and setting sail, quite literally. Comparing your experience to those of others would be really interesting I think. Just a thought. . . .

  2. sophia

    Sian and family -

    I echo the comments above especially, Mary’s about being inspired by your journey – oh so true!

    I have archived all your posts and have reread them so am totally thrilled that you are going to write a book and give us more – beyond the posts of your journey!

    My sister is a graphic artist – not sure what you are thinking about regarding illustrations for your book but if you’d like to connect w/her to chat about ideas/possibilities – would be happy to connect you.

    Keep all of us posted on your progress – you have a “journey family” out here to support and encourage you – don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

    Happy New Year to all of you -


  3. Elysabeth

    A book – I can not wait to read it, so please work very hard on moving it forward ;-).

    Since our children go to a World Languages and Cultures school, we have some exposure to the strengths of introducing a global perspective into curriculum. I now think it would be so cool if they infused the “adventure” aspect of your experience into the school as well. I can’t wait to hear about he curriculum idea as well. Are you familiar with the International Baccalaureate Program? I knew of it for high schools, but discovered that they have a primary education program as well. I will send you some links, you might enjoy it because of the inquiry-based design and global focus.

    Also, if you have not seen “We Bought A Zoo” yet, you must. I will warn you that I think it should be PG13 because of language, but it is a very good movie exploring the ideas of living with an adventurous heart.

    Thanks for posting another blog entry!

  4. 01.05.2012

    Perhaps the book could be the Wingerups’ perspective on The Geography of Bliss?

    Of course your perspective has changed. We could tell when you came back in August. You were all so much more self-confident. Able to reflect on what goes on in the world in a more nuanced way.

    And kids look at things in ways that are not shaped by the baggage of prejudices that we develop in the course of our lives. Last night we watched the movie “Big”. You probably watched it almost 25 years ago when it came out but it was new to both of us as we somehow missed it. We both loved it!

    Maybe you should see it again. The film ends with Josh completing his “trip” of being BIG. In a way, that’s where you are now.

    It would have been very interesting to find out how he would lead the rest of his life making choices that are different from those he would have made if he had not been on his trip into the world of grown-ups.

    Likewise, it would be fascinating to find out how going on your trip around the world will affect the choices that all four of you will make during the rest of your lives.

    Go Wingerups, go and write that book!

    Hugs from wet and windy Illstorp, also from Lene,


  5. 01.05.2012

    Hi Sian, Per, Linnea & Kajsa!

    How happy I was to see a post from you!! I followed your journey last year and I have to tell you that it completely INSPIRED me! To take a chance, to be brave, to keep moving forward even if you’re scared to death.

    So…not only will your curriculum encourage young people to have adventures, your BOOK (which I am already dying to read!) will inspire countless adults who may be stuck somewhere and just need a little but of inspiration to get them moving again.

    Thanks for sharing yourselves with all of us….you’ve done more than you can know by doing this!

    Much love and Happy New Year!


  6. Lawler

    Sian (and Per, Linnea, and Kajsa),

    Love your perspective and you are so right on. Life can give us experiences of all sorts–good ones, bad ones, and extraordinary ones. What is key is how we react to them, and leverage them, in ways that both give us clarity as to the gifts of the experience and how those gifts can be shared.

    I cannot wait to read a draft… and I’m sure my daughter will have some good ideas re: the enrichment program idea. Maybe we could get the girls together for a brainstorming session??

    Best cheers, Lawler

Leave a Reply