Around in Circles is a perfect name for our crew. When Matt and I travel, we often (okay, always) find ourselves going in circles. Before I met Matt, I swear I was a great navigator – I just figured out where I needed to be and got myself there. So why do we go in circles now— well, here is what I think… “I am really good at directions, but Matt is really good at making me question myself!” I will say, “Turn left here.” Matt will say, “Really? I thought we had to go up a little further.” At which point, I start to think… oh, well, maybe… hold on, let me look again… as we pass the point, and then realize, nope, I was right… turn around and go back! haha. Since we plan to travel the world, we know we will be going in circles – either in one big circle around the world, or little circles around an island, or lost and going in circles, or we have even thought about naming our boat, Circles – and we would then literally be traveling around in Circles.
So, who are we?
Matt is a jack-of-all-trades – he is one of those guys who can do anything – can fix anything – can make it work. For example, he just replaced the radiator on my car. Who does that? In our last home, he gutted (to the studs) a bath and closet to create a larger bath – he did the plumbing, electrical, walls, installed the sinks, toilet, tub, tiled the floors, etc. The dude is ridiculously talented. This ability will be invaluable when we are living on a boat and something breaks.
Michelle (me) is a planner. It is in my blood. I do it for a living, I do it in my sleep. I like to plan. I have to-do lists everywhere (some of them honey-do, of course). I’m the one who put the family on a budget and figured out how long we needed to save enough to travel. If I set my mind to do something, it will get done. I am the task-master (as my co-workers called me in my last job, lovingly. haha.) This skill will serve the family well as we set out to live and travel the world by boat.
We have four kids – two are from Matt’s first marriage – both teenagers now and most likely will not join us for the trip as they will have graduated high school and be in college by then. Our boys are currently 6 and 7 years old… and should be 11 and 12 when we take off! They are addicted to electronics (already!) and curious, and we hope this adventure will shape their views on the world. It is by far the main reason we want to do this. We want them to grow up open-minded and empathetic and cultured and have life-experiences that will stick with them for, well, a lifetime.
Matt is the dreamer. He’s the one who came up with this crazy idea to buy a boat and travel the world. But I am the one who logistically figured out how to make it work. That’s how we have worked together for the past 10 years. Several years ago, Matt, a great photographer, thought about owning his own photography studio – So I set him up, found the clients, scheduled the appointments, did the bookkeeping, kept the calendar, etc. Matt just showed up and took the awesome photos. (Just kidding – he did so much more, but since he liked to call me his “assistant,” I decided I would tell everyone that he took pictures, I did everything else.)
If they work so well together, what could go wrong?
Matt fears that I (and/or the boys) will hate it. What happens then? What happens if I am sick every single day? (Did I mention that I get motion-sick? Oh yeah… when Matt told me he wanted to buy a boat and travel the world, my first thought was – Um, you know I get sick, right?) What if the boys whine more every day? What if living together doesn’t bring us closer, but makes us all fight more? What if his whole family hates this dream? What then? Or even worse, what if he hates it?
I, on the other hand, fear that Matt, whom I (lovingly) call the “grass-is-greener guy” because he always thinks there is something better around the corner, will get out on the boat and realize nothing much has changed… we are still the same people, but now we are forced to live MUCH closer to each other. And the grass-is-greener mindset always leads to “buyer’s-remorse-guy.” The shoulda-coulda-woulda scenarios… “We should have waited to buy a bigger boat, then things would be different.” “We should have left a year ago (or a year later, or anything except what we decided to do).” Whatever it is, Matt will come up with how what we decided would have been better if only _____. Instead of just realizing that there are going to be times that are not going to be as “perfect” as it is in his dreams.
So that’s our story! We would love to hear from you! Let us know how the reality of travel measured up to the dream. Leave us a comment!