While we have talked for years about doing a trip like this, when it became a reality we decided we needed to officially get the kids on board. We have three incredible boys, Parker (13), Tyler (10), and Luke (6). While this will be a marvelous adventure for them to be a part of, we knew there would be some difficult times and challenges along the way as well. In anticipation of those times, we wanted them to feel like they had a part in making the decision to come and it wasn’t just Mom and Dad dragging them around the world.
So on a trip to Bend, Oregon for the weekend we decided to “present” the idea to them. Jeromy made a powerpoint presentation 2016-2017 RTW Trip and we drew up contracts that each of the kids had to sign Kids RTW Contract – 3. They were able to ask questions and voice their concerns. Now I’m not going to lie, we definitely highlighted the things they would really like to do (Ride a camel in the desert, stay the night in a castle, help care for orangutans, go on Safari!) but we also let them know of some of the difficult things we would face as well (weird foods, lack of sleep, long and boring travel days, and being around your family 24/7).
They knew we had been considering this trip so it didn’t come as a surprise to them but it seemed like they appreciated the effort and the ability to voice their concerns.
Each of them had a different reaction to the contract. They were mostly OK with things but a few issues stood out:
Parker was concerned about having to shower EVERYDAY. With a little prodding we convinced him, but now you can see why we made sure that was in the contract!
Luke was worried about the same thing we are worried about for him. The Food. He wasn’t sure he would be willing to try new foods, which was no surprise to us because he doesn’t do that now at home. It took a little longer for the 4 of us to convince Luke that he needed to be willing to try new foods until he finally gave in and signed.
Tyler, always ready for an adventure had no reservations and signed immediately.
Many months have passed since the contracts were signed and I am writing this post. In that time, a few things have changed in the things they were supposed to do, or expectations we have for them. But the overall experience of going through that process and each of us making a commitment to each other that we would do everything in our power to make it a meaningful and positive year, is still with us.