Wouldn't it be fabulous if home educators could receive the same tax payer funding as the public school system? With that kind of money per child, we could go to Egypt, Greece, and Rome while studying Ancient Civilizations. Since it was always more of a daydream than a possibility, we visited those places in our imagination with the help of living books (lots and lots of books) and internet resources. It definitely spurred a wanderlust in all of my children.

I think they also an inherited the travel gene from my Dad's side of the family.  As a teenager, his father took an unexpected journey as a stowaway on a slow boat to China (literally), which eventually led to a career in Aruba, where my father was born.  As an adult, my dad joined the military and raised his family all across the USA, with 4 year stint in Okinawa.

I once counted that I had attended 16 different schools before finishing high school. Don't ask me to recreate that count. My memory isn't what it used to be.

Married life has me spending 10 + years at a time in the same location. So foreign to my nature! (Dear Husband says I make up for it by rearranging the furniture every 3 months). We did take the kids to Rome for the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul, the Great. A tremendous grace and incredible experience! Definitely dropped our coin into Trevi Fountain to ensure a return trip.  This coin was thrown into the fountain 16 years later, during Pope Francis' Jubilee Year of Mercy,  by dear daughter, Katie.

So you can see that my kids are determined to spread their wings and take flight. One son is in Maryland with his beautiful wife.
His twin brother left the Gulf Coast to go to school in Texas. He worked for Apple for several years before moving on to a traveling sales position, eventually landing in the Colorado Rockies.
The next son in the line up works on a barge, traveling up and down the Mighty Mississipi.
After graduation from college, my daughter (and "mini-me"), traveled to Kolkata, India, for a 2 week mission trip with the Missionaries of Charity.

Then she worked for a year, commuting from Baton Rouge to New Jersey via JFK in New York City.
Really. Can you imagine? Determined that I should start checking off my bucket list, she is the one who made sure I went on the trip of my dreams. I will be forever grateful that she refused to accept that I couldn't see myself leaving for a 15 day pilgrimage. Love her determination! More about that later.

Meanwhile, her older sister was surprised with an unbelievable opportunity to travel with a friend to Berlin, Brussels, London, Budapest, Prague, Munich and Rome on a 4 week whirlwind tour.

Did I mention that they also attended a wedding in Paris?
How precious!

 Not to be outdone, her younger brother traveled with his girlfriend and her older brother (chaperone) to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, and Germany for a Christmas break vacation. Geez! Unlike any college break vacation I ever had.  Hard work, disciplined saving, and awesome scholarships are definitely worth the extra effort.

Next came a trip to Ireland in the Spring- only this time his older sister volunteered to chaperone.  I mean, who wouldn't?

Some would say that they should save their money, finish school, and hold on to that 9-5 American Dream. I say, if your grades are good and you've earned the money, there is plenty of time for the daily grind later. Go on that adventure, jump off the waterfall, explore that castle, and live to the fullest. Embrace and enjoy the life you've been given. Not in a selfish - "I never want to settle down" sort of way. But in the same spirit of adventure that you will use to step out in faith to raise a big family, or to follow a religious vocation. Who ever said that the 9-5 grind was the ultimate goal? How about doing what you love for a living, no matter the # on the $$$ paycheck. What about doing what is right, even when it isn't profitable? How about living in the moment instead of working toward some illusive dream in the future? While it is true that you are only actually young once, if you do it right, you can "live young" your entire life.

How about that view?  Priceless!

 I can guarantee that the rest of the clan will be renewing their passports in order to follow suit. The wanderlust runs deep in our veins. God must have put it there for a reason.


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