This week, the family is taking over the Learning Across America blog. Each family member will be sharing their stories about our first year of full-time travel. Pull up a camp chair, and see what we’ve been up to.
Today, Brian shares about the fears and concerns he had about leaving the familiar behind.
One Year Traveling | Brian’s Story
When I joined the military in 1981, I had no desire to travel. My first assignment was Europe and I was sure that my life was going end. Six years later the Air Force FORCED me to go back to the United States. That experience would shape the rest of my life. Fast forward 33 years and I saw the same fears and concerns in the faces of my children when I told them that we were going on the road full-time. I knew I could not convince them with words that what was about to happen to them would change them forever. I knew they had walk that path, or travel that road, in order to understand what I was telling them. They all stepped up to the plate, some under protest and others that were a bit more open to it. As you have read in the preceding week’s posts by the children, they have enjoyed this opportunity more than any of us thought possible.
I, myself, had quite a lot of reservations about this trip, and I truly relied on God to give direction. It was easy to tell my children that this trip would be a grand adventure, and it would be good for us all as a family. It was not easy to think about walking away from a good job, good friends and a place we called home for 26 years. Because I am driven to make sure my family is safe and cared for, this seemed like an idiotic thing to do. How would I guarantee a safe place for my family every night not knowing what the next place would be like? How would we know for sure that we would find employment to maintain a family of 9 living on the road? How could I know my children would stay healthy? These were the constant questions leading up to the departure of March 17, 2014.
I kept asking God for reassurance and guidance. I was looking for any reason to call it all off. Shortly before we were scheduled to leave, a friend died. His name was Daryl Stephens, and he was my mechanic. As the date of our departure approached I decided to go and say good-bye to him. As usual, we talked for about an hour and in that conversation he told he was finally going to retire in November. He was going to travel with his wife and visit his children and grandchildren in Texas. I was so excited for him to realize the dream he had talked about for years. Three weeks later he passed away from a heart attack at work. That was a wake up call that reminded me that we have no guarantees in this life. I knew I had to put my fears aside and seize the opportunity that was ahead.
It has been a little over a year now, and we have survived, thrived, and grown even more than I had imagined we could. My children have learned more about this beautiful country of ours in a year than most people learn in their lifetime. It has brought a tight family even closer and tighter than I thought possible. And it has changed me.
Am I certain that this was the best choice for me and my family? Yes. Yes, I amI am confident that this choice was the best choice for our family. I am confident that this is something my children will never forget. I believe this adventure will change my children’s children.
Am I certain about my future? Not in a specific way, no. I know there are more adventures ahead. Sometimes I think that the United States maybe too small for the Godfreys. There is so much to learn outside the borders of this country. Wherever we go, we seem to find ourselves through travel.
Remember: “Not all who wander are lost.”
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