Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Itch

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You may know or have read that my husband is in the wine business. Pre-kiddos, we took some the time to travel through Italy and France, staying at various vineyards. Now that we have two small children, we don't travel like we used to. Every once and awhile, though, something will trigger a memory... a beautifully rich cup of coffee, the scent of fresh rosemary, a picture of a stony, rural hill top, or a photo of the azure of the salty Mediterranean, and the memories of those travels--so other worldly--suddenly and vibrantly return. I am certainly not an expert of all things European, but what made our travels there so notable is that their country lifestyle is so different from ours. The pace of life is slower, the work week shorter... I think of it as more of an Epicurian lifestyle. And when those memories return, I start to get the itch: the itch to travel, or better yet, the itch to stretch past the typical day-to-day.

I rarely have time to read any blogs lately, but this morning, for the first time in a long time, savored a cup of French press coffee and bounced around online a bit. I found Stephmoto's blog and read about her story of purchasing a home in rural France {pictured above} and renovating it. It's interesting, indeed! I don't know if I would want to purchase a vacation home in Europe, but I have often thought it would be interesting and not too far reaching considering Robert's career to live in Italy for a year.

I think so often we can become mired in convention that we see life as a series of typical steps: college, married, house, kids, work {work, work, more work} aside from the annual 2 weeks of vacation, and eventual retirement. But just because that's how most people do it, doesn't mean it's how it has to be done. Why not live in Europe for a year? Or do what Blue Lily Photo {who just recently took our family pictures} is doing and take 9 months to travel around the world--and, yes, they are doing it with two small children!

Owning a business has taught me many interesting things, but one of the most notable is that this life God gave us is saturated with possibility! I want to go out there and seize it: take a risk, travel, have fun... live beyond the conventional 9 to 5, or more realistically, 7-6:30. Robert and I work so much and so hard that right now that we often feel we live to work, rather than work to live. But, we've committed to discussing weekly how we can adjust the pace of our life and make time of our dreams... create the life we want to impart to our children. Maybe that won't be living abroad, maybe it's just slowing life down enough to breathe, rest, and play more!

What about you? What are your dreams? How would you break convention? Maybe it's take your family on a really long mission trip? Or own a cabin by the lake? Negotiate a month-long vacation? I would love to hear...

7 comments:

Melanie said...

My husband and I traveled a lot before we had our little girl too and I get that bug every once in a while - okay - all the time. I just want a plane ticket with my name on it.
We did take her for a week long camping trip to the states last year, then a couple provinces over for my Grandmother's 80th, but the best was that in November we got to take her to Bali. My sister in law lives over there as a missionary, and got married there and the experience of showing my daughter a different part of the world was one of the highlights of my life.

We're planning to move there to work in an orphanage for a year or two. I think there's something so invaluable about teaching your kids that this (Canada for us) is not all their is. That they're so lucky to have been born here or in any rich country. So yeah, we'd take her into missions for sure!

Anonymous said...

We hoped to buy a secluded waterfront property in the next 3 years. We will grow our own fruits and vegetables. I sew so I will make most of our clothes, my husband hunts and fishes(so do I), we hope to catch most of our own food. Basically live off the land as much as we can. That is our family dream.
Sarah

Megan said...

its not France or Italy, but we enjoy camping...we hook up our camper and just go for a weekend with our 4 kiddos. it really reconnects everyone, not just my husband and i. we own a boat and go boating whenever we get the chance during the summer...its a good hour and a half drive to get to the nearest lake big enough to have fun on, but we love it. i even love the car rides, as crazy as that sounds..but you learn so much about your children when you turn off the radio and talk for an hour with them about anything and everything. my husband is a small business owner so vacation is not in our vocabulary but we make certain that whenever time allows we are able to take a weekend for the family. it may sound odd but i love that little camper with its size and space limitations..it has even helped me pare down at home. being forced to utilize what little sapce you have makes you realize how much junk we have around the house that just stresses me out for no reason. in the long run we would love to buy 100+ acres somewhere in the country, bulid a home or my dream would be to renovating an old farm house for our children and a place where our grandchildren can visit, maybe buy a few horses. its a simple dream but i am a simple woman and as long as i have my family and some fresh air, i'm in heaven.

Element Boutique said...

Beatifully written. Couldn't be more true. We live to work. I know first hand about owning your own business and at times it so overwhelming, that work day become an 24 hour routine. My husband and I used to travel often, prior to our kiddos (2 girls under 5) We dreamed big, and loved to explore the beautiful world around us. We talk on the daily basis about getting back to traveling and enjoying life while we are young. One of our dreams is to go to France and see the gorgeous city life and Italy and explore the beautiful country hills. I still have hope and thats what makes me go forward, that one of these days it will happend. Life is to short- enjoy it!!!

kpriss said...

Hmm. I feel that bug itching me pretty often too! We used to travel a lot before the kids. We even took a moment for ourselves right inbetween kids (I was pregnant with Mia the last time we crossed the border) but now we feel it more than ever.

With four kids under 7 (from which the fourth, a healthy, wonderful baby boy is still at its nursing age) it can get pretty crazy around the house. And, kid you not, when somebody asks how is it to have four kids (so young), I answer briefly, to everyone's surprise, that my favorite part of the day is when they're all tucked into their beds, away in Dream Land and I and my Adored, patient Husband can hear ourselves thinking and breathing. It's clear that we value silence like never before. ;)

I realize the above may sound like bits and pieces of bad motherhood (does it?) but I'm there with you - breaking the daily routine makes everything far more charming and challenging. I love what we are blessed with every day, each day, and I thank the Lord for all He's given us! But that traveling bug byte is itchy...

Oh, and (how rude of me!) congrats for the launch! It's a dream come true!

Jessica Haley said...

Melanie--love that "I just want a plane ticket with my name on it." That pretty much sums up the feeling!

Sarah and Megan, I agree, that it doesn't need to be out of the US. When I was little we took fishing trips to lakes in Wisconsin. They were wonderful memories, and I hope to do something similar with our children in the next few years.

Kpriss, thanks for the congrats! I will be even happier when the shoes are HERE! :)

WENDEE HOLTCAMP said...

Jessica - manifest it! Print out a ticket (not a real one obviously), write your destination, and wait for it to happen! :)

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