Roots and Wings: How we’re choosing both this year…

I love my life.

I’m frequently in awe at my good “luck”; working with best friend (EntreSteph) every day, homeschooling my kids, and adventuring around the world with them.

When we first started traveling, one of our biggest motivations was that we wanted to give our kids the gift of an open mind. We wanted them to wrestle with new ideas, expand their creative palette, and learn to love other people and the differences they embody.

And while our traveling has definitely shaped them in that way, I’ve come to realize that our children need more than just adventure… they need to belong.

I first came to this realization when I heard this quote somewhere…

“The best gifts we can give our children are roots and wings. Roots to remind them where they are from, and wings to show them what they can become.”
– Hodding Carter… {kind of}

Turning a blind eye to the fact that my version above bears very little resemblance to the original quote, I was still impacted by the truth in it.

I realized that I had been focusing almost entirely on giving my children wings (read: a sense of adventure and possibility), and have been neglecting this deep need of theirs to belong somewhere; to forge deep friendships and shared memories. And if I’m totally honest with myself, EntreSteph and I need that too.

We’ve spent 19 of the last 36 months on the road, visiting 43 countries, and “living” in hundreds of different “homes”.

Throw in a big move to a new city and the start of a couple of new business ventures in the midst of it all, and you can see that our adventure quotient had been achieved with healthy margin. But our new paradigm requires a new schedule.

EntreSteph and I have definitely had “enthusiastic” conversations attempting to figure out exactly what that new schedule should look like, but we’ve come to an agreement on one that we believe will help us to nurture both that sense of belonging and adventure in our family (brace yourself…it’s not rocket science): For every 12 months, we’ll spend 9 months at home and 3 months abroad.

While we’re at home, we’ll intentionally invest in our community through church, EntreEvents, and kids activities.

And when we’re on the road, we’ll fully embrace the adventure; learning new languages, eating new foods, and taking on new challenges.

As simple as that sounds, it’s taken us awhile to be willing to “settle down” for any length of time, and it’s going to take some discipline on our part to stick with it.

I realize and respect that you may not be at a place where you’re able to spend 3 months abroad every year, and am so grateful that we’re even able to consider it as an option.

I’m also keenly aware that there are other ways to develop that sense of adventure and possibility in your family.

How do you find the balance between roots and wings in your family?

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