We knew we wouldn't be staying.
After returning to the States from India, we moved to Alaska so that we could have baby number five.
My mother lived there, it's a place we had wanted to visit, and it seemed like as good location as any to give birth.
Now seemed like the perfect time to go
But we knew we wouldn't stay.
Warm sandy beaches, coconuts and mangoes - that's more our style.
So even as we drove the Alcan Highway through BC and up to the Last Frontier, we were planning our next move.
Hawaii? Colombia? Thailand?
It's tough to decide where to go when you can go anywhere in the world.
When you have a big, important decision like that to make, you have to get real clear on what it is you want.
Here's four questions we asked ourselves before planning our next big adventure (and there's no reason you shouldn't start planning it now):
1. What do you desire?
While pregnant and discussing our plans, I was really into finding a place to be 'home base' - a nice tropical location where we could get a home established, have a place to keep all our 'stuff', and travel from there.
So we considered Hawaii - it was tropical, yet stateside and would provide the luxuries I craved after the 'hardships' of living (while pregnant) in rural India.
2. What do you value?
After our new little one arrived - Atlas - I realized that the 'home base' theory was founded on pregnancy 'nesting' hormones - what was I thinking?
What we really value is exploration, discovery and freedom from 'anchors' such as homes, mortgages and 'stuff'.
Forget the home base in Hawaii - as beautiful as it is, we don't want to be 'stuck' there.
A remote island is a difficult location to be a travel base. Besides the immediate islands, there's not much exploration that can expand from there, without a lot of expense.
How about Colombia? Or maybe Thailand?
3. What do you want?
We knew some of the things we wanted included warmer weather, fresh food (like mangoes), cheap living and inexpensive hired help.
(I had a maid in Costa Rica and I really enjoyed that).
We also wanted to be able to go to the beach, and my husband really wanted to learn to surf.
Another thing we wanted was to go somewhere we hadn't been before, someplace it would be easy to obtain (and renew) visas, and someplace that was less expensive to get to, since there are seven of us now.
4. What are your priorities?
As we discussed the options further, we realized that flying seven people to Thailand, plus setting up house, getting a car?, etc. would cost more than we wanted to spend or were able to spend right now.
Flying to Colombia would be less expensive.
But where would we live? What about transportation when we got there?
Based on past experience, although we could take public transportation (taxi's, chicken buses, etc.), we had a lot more freedom, options and fun when we had our own vehicle.
In the Dominican Republic we took the gua guas, but we were limited to their routes, unless we wanted to walk - which was slow and at times strenuous.
In Costa Rica we had our own vehicle, and we explored that country and it's back roads on our time and according to our desires.
We loved the freedom it brought, and the additional adventure and exploration!
We also recognized that it wasn't simply moving to a new location, however tropical, that was exciting to us, but the discovery of a new place.
Staying in that place after exploring it wasn't what we wanted.
Our priority was having the freedom to continue discovering, again, and again, and again.
Spending a lot of money to 'move', even to an exotic locale, wasn't going to help us get that freedom we craved.
As we considered, and reconsidered our next move, we asked ourselves these questions again and again.
Analyzing, prioritizing, re-valuing, we were finally able to pin down exactly what it is that we desire, want, and value.
Now we had our 'Big Adventure' priorities established.
Once we knew what those were, we were able to plan an expedition that would fulfill our yearning for discovery and exploration.
So what is our next 'Big Adventure'?
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