1. We want our kids to experience different cultures.
2. And not just for the sake of merely experiencing them, but also for empathetic reasons- so that they can relate to those from other cultures and have more compassion and understanding towards others.
3. Learn to speak another language – partly because it’s so good for brain development, partly because it’s a great skill to have. We’ve chosen to spend 5 months of our trip intentionally working on Spanish as a family.
4. We want them to actively engage and develop friendships with people from other cultures.
5. Travel helps us drop stereotypes and preconceived ideas about other people.
6. Have an understanding of what poverty really looks like.
7. Get a global view of the Church, instead of seeing it only through a Western lens- how does the Church express and live out its faith around the world?
8. To have opportunities to serve other people.
9. Time to spend together as a family. After several intense years of getting our businesses up and running well, we’re exhausted and our long-term goal has always been to use our businesses to ultimately allow us to be together more.
10. Be exposed to music from different cultures (if you know my musician husband, you’ll totally understand this).
11. Have unique experiences together and create special memories
12. Take homeschool on the road and learn things that you just can’t learn from books.
13. Explore historical sites from Bible times (Greece, Italy, Turkey, etc.).
14. We also want to explore ancient and historical sites in general, and really make subjects like history, geography and science come alive to them.
15. Learn to live with less (and wean ourselves off of the consumer addiction).
16. Experience food cultures in different places and broaden our palates.
17. Learn to work together as a family and overcome challenges as a team.
18. Allow our kids to see amazing things and kindle more of an adventurous spirit in them.
19. It felt like we were in a season with our work that made this type of trip possible, since we’re able to work digitally while traveling, so why wait? Carpe diem!
20. Experience a culture from the inside, by trying to live like locals (instead of tourists), which is why we have several extended stays built into our itinerary.
21. Use this as an opportunity to help our kids gain a love for learning because of what it does for them, and not just for the sake of having the head knowledge. They’ll learn things through immersion, experience and practical application (like attempting to speak with another person in a foreign language, or grasping the significance of a historical site because they visited it rather than just reading about it).
23. Grow closer and really appreciate their siblings as their friends.
24. Realize that North American ways of doing things are not the only valid ways to do something. Not that we need to do away with our Western ideas (because some of them are valuable), but to be willing to consider other lifestyle choices as well.
25. Have a grand adventure as a family.