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  • Writer's pictureKristin

The BIG Announcement!!

Welp…..we are officially NOMADS! Like true definition of the word ‘nomad’…..no home, no settling and moving from one place to the next. On one hand it’s like “holy s#!@ what did we do?” but on the other hand, we are so excited for this NEW adventure. This is something we have tossed around the idea of doing for years, but honestly who would have thought that Covid would give us this opportunity?? (BTW, that will be the only positive vibe that Covid will ever receive from me.)


The Plan….or at least as much as we can 'plan' at this point!

The Plan for the next year (or so…) is to slow travel to different places around the world – likely spending 3-4 weeks in one country before moving onto the next. If we learned anything from the past year, it’s that plans are easily broken. Therefore, we won’t have a set itinerary, but will purely be deciding which countries to visit 2-3 weeks in advance, based on the travel requirements currently in place. Hopefully by the summer of 2022 there will be a lot of countries to choose from!


However, the countries we visit will have a few basic qualifications: no Covid quarantine entry requirements, affordable, and lots of things for us to explore, especially outside! Another goal for us is to spend time exploring countries that aren’t mainstream tourist destinations. While we don’t have an itinerary, we do have a few countries in mind. We’re likely thinking we’d start off in Eastern Europe, but of course, that could be subject to change. Otherwise, the only other plans we have is to visit the Christmas Markets in Germany in December. However, Connor (4.5 yrs. Old) wants to go to Egypt, I would like to spend some time in a Spanish speaking country learning Spanish, and Clara (7 years old) would LOVE to go to Australia to see her beloved Koalas. While Australia might be the most difficult, we’re crossing our fingers it might be a possibility in a year or so from now!


Because we are debt-free, sold our home (i.e. no mortgage), and will be visiting low cost countries, monthly travel will be quite affordable for us. We will also be homeschooling our daughter Clara, who will be in Grade 2 next school year.


Let me explain how we got to this point….

Alex and I spent 3 months traveling in Southeast Asia in 2010. We were only renting at the time, so it was pretty easy to just pack our stuff up, put it in a storage unit and head out for 3 months of adventures. We had an absolute blast and always fantasized about living and working somewhere outside of North America. Along with that experience, and the year we lived in China in 2005-06 (where we met!), we started to see the real value of ‘living in’ places and not just visiting them. When you have a decent amount of time you really start to appreciate and learn about the culture and country. After having kids in 2013 & 2016, we’d often lump together our holidays into 3-4 week increments so we could really focus on exploring one country. This is how we explored places like Spain/Portugal, Turkey and Morocco.

However, there was never the opportunity that really presented itself as ‘this is it….our opportunity to travel’; until Covid hit. (Ironic, I know.)


The Covid-19 pandemic hits and changes our family plans….

When the pandemic initially hit in March 2020, we were largely affected by the fallout of Covid and the restrictions. I was laid off from my job as an event program manager, and Alex had a drastic reduction in work hours due to low demand in the travel industry. Then only a couple months into the pandemic, he was downgraded and was moved from a Calgary base to a Toronto base for work. He was able to commute from Calgary for most of his work, but thus far it has been a drastically reduced schedule. Our new reality was that once he was back to more normal monthly schedule he’d have to be closer to Toronto; and we knew long-term in his career he’d eventually be based out there anyways. So rather than moving the kids out there when they were older, we decided this would be the catalyst for us to move – sooner rather than later. However, we didn’t want to make the move too soon….so we tentatively set a goal of selling our house in spring/summer of 2021.


House SOLD!

At Christmas, the kids and I were able to visit my family in Nebraska and they had an absolute blast being near family. We jokingly started throwing out the idea of moving there and Alex could commute to Toronto for work….but the joke kind of wore on us and we started to think more about the actual possibility of doing it. The housing market started going crazy in late February 2021, so we made the quick decision to get our house listed before the market became too oversaturated with sellers. We prepped our house for sale, listed it, and 30 hours later got an offer for our asking price. All of a sudden, we had a ton of decisions to make!


At a Crossroads…

At this point in time, we didn’t want to bind ourselves into one house/one location for the rest of our lives, and then regret it later. If we moved to Ontario, the housing market was even more crazy than it was here – houses/acreages were becoming hot commodities. We definitely didn’t want to buy on the high end of the market. On the other hand, we don’t know if commuting from Nebraska is realistic either. If we moved there, we’d likely build, but price of lumber is equally crazy as the housing market!! However, we DID know that Alex might be working a non-traditional work schedule for a while; and that the kids were going to be displaced and have to start a new school no matter what. So regardless of where we moved, I would have to quit my job. My biggest concern about doing a year of travel was disrupting the kids’ routines or schooling (Clara is in Grade 1 and Connor is in preschool), but the way the situation laid before us we’d be in a time of transition regardless. So why not take this opportunity to just extend the transitionary time by traveling? And making more memories together as a family??

Then after taking some time for the markets to cool, for us to test out commuting and to really define where we want to live, we could decide on our ‘home’ and start the kids in the school system where they will graduate.


Travel During a Pandemic?? Are you Crazy??

We realize we might have some skeptics…. How do you think you’ll travel during the middle of a pandemic? What about quarantines? Will other countries accept you? In regards to health and safety of us and the people where we travel, we are confident that we can do so safely. Our family is relatively low risk, and we follow the main principles of mask wearing, washing hands, and keeping physical distance from others. Alex and I will also be fully vaccinated before we start traveling as well. In reality, we will have less close contacts when we travel than when we live our normal everyday lives here in Canada, even with restrictions in place.


While some countries still have quarantines in place for those arriving, there are several other countries that just require a negative test upon arrival or proof of vaccination. Plus, many countries in Europe and Middle East areas seem to be eager to bring tourists back if they are vaccinated. As a result, part of the early part of our ‘adventure’ will be for Alex and I to get fully vaccinated. The vaccine roll out in Canada has been painfully slow, especially compared to the U.S. Just last week they opened appointments for individuals under 40 years old to get vaccinated. However, the bigger barrier is that they are spacing out the first and second doses by 4 months. We were able to get an appointment for our first vaccination just days before we depart, we will then get our second dose in the U.S. after the 3 week period passes.

By that time – late June/early July – the normal downward curvature should also be in effect and there will likely be even more countries accepting tourists. (Similar to how European countries already opened up last summer…at least that is the goal.) In the meantime, we will have the opportunity for a few weeks of quality family time with our family in Nebraska. I would say the kids are the most excited for this part!


However, if there is anything we have learned this past year, it’s that you can’t guarantee any type of plan. As a result, we will pretty much be winging it! We will evaluate the countries that are open and accepting tourists who are vaccinated (or provide negative Covid tests for the kids because they aren’t eligible for vaccination based on age) and make our decision on which country to go to next. The plan at the moment is to spend 3-4 weeks in one country – maybe only staying at 1 or 2 Airbnbs during that time – and then moving onto another country.


Crazy enough, after we made this decision, things really just seemed to fall into place.

Our initial plan was to stay near Calgary until mid-July, that way Clara could finish school at the end of June and I could complete the cumulation of my main event at work in July. However, as we started to look for short-term rentals, there were virtually none in the city where we resided. We inquired with a few asking if they would do a 2-3 month rental, but only heard crickets back. Some friends offered to let us stay in their basement, so we thought it would probably be our best option, but we didn’t want to overextend the invite. We shortened our intended departure plan and decided we’d leave Alberta on the May long weekend. Just a couple days after settling into their place, more restrictions were put in place by the provincial government – all K-12 schools were closed to in-person learning until at least May 25; and pretty much all other activities shut down until the end of May as well.

These were the two main reasons we were planning to stay longer, so we moved up our departure time once again. After our last medical appointment and goodbyes we will head out.


The countdown is on….

This Monday will be the start of the adventure! The kids and I will head to the U.S. with our truck and trailer (as I am American and the kids are dual citizens) to cross the land border. Because the land border is closed to any non citizens, Alex will have to fly to Montana to meet up with us. Then we will continue on from there to Nebraska where we will park our trailer with our goods for storage. We won’t be taking the shortest route though - instead we are going to take a week to break up the 29-hour drive to Nebraska by exploring Utah & Colorado along the way. Going this route will add about 7 hours onto the trip, but over the span of a week hopefully it won’t be too noticeable.


Follow us on this New Adventure!!

We hope you will follow along with us as we start this new adventure! We know this decision may not be for everyone, especially during a pandemic, but we feel it is the right thing for our family at this particular junction in life and we’re excited to begin!

1 Σχόλιο


junebug3301
16 Μαΐ 2021

You go girl!!! I have always told people you are my niece that’s our whole traveler always had it in her blood to adventure when you were in high school and college. Cant wait to see you guys be safe while traveling to Nebraska . Love you! AJ

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