Reactions to Adventure.
I was at the bank earlier (if you follow my Instagram, you know why) and was finishing up some paper work pertaining to our trip, when one of our long-time "bank-friends" (meaning an employee of the bank) happily came up and was asking a little more about what was going on. I briefly explained "we're buying a boat in the Caribbean and plan to sail around for a year". I said this very casually as if I could have been saying "after this, I'm running to the store to get some bananas".
The strangest thing happened next: I think I actually saw the colour of her face change. I think she actually paled: she actually lost that healthy colour in her face, you know, blush in her cheeks, red in her lips.
I repeated myself, with a couple of new adjectives and (as anyone who knows me will attest to) with lots of hand gestures. But alas, none of her colour came back. She could still smile, but she could almost hardly mutter "well, can the kids swim?" to which I replied that yes, they are in fact very good swimmers. She sighed heavily and started to breathe again (and blink, too: I think she had stopped blinking entirely).
"Oh, good, good. Well, if the kids can swim, well, well... good", stunned, she wandered away.
I was legitimately afraid that she was feeling genuine fear and trepidation for our survival during our trip.
I also fear that she is not the first, and won't be the last. People's reactions sway between fear-of-the worst-case-scenario, to the bad-longterm-financial-decision to that's-cool. And everywhere in between. As much as I welcome people's questions and remarks, I am slowly having to brace myself for them as well. I am not used to having our life decisions critiqued. There is nothing normal about these decision, I suppose: I can't expect normal reactions.
I was recently grilled by a well meaning friend about all of our financial upheaval and "how are you going to re-enter the market?" and "have you thought about X, Y and Z?". I say "grilled" though I actually felt slightly accosted, but they were all good questions to ask, and yes, we have thought it all through.
The truth is, this won't make sense to a good chunk of people. The truth is, that this probably won't be a good long-term investment choice for the current real estate market. But the truth is, we will probably come back with an entirely fresh perspective (even if it is with zero dollars) because, the truth is: we don't care.
We will be experience-rich and house-poor. But we'll have spent a year building deeply into each others lives and living richly while watching our money slowly blow away.
But it's just money. We can make more. But I can't relive my daughter's eighth year of life or my son's fifth. These moments are sacred, and this is a dream we have shared for a long time. We have thought out every angle, and there is a pro and a con for every way you slice it. As is everything in life, right?
We've truly felt the hand of God weaving us through so many of these processes and we do not feel alone in this. Also, we have felt the love and support of those close to us and that counts for a lot. Even though the choices we are making sound completely crazy to some or just plain foolish to others, we're so glad to have you along for the journey. Truly.
PS: For those of you who might have lost some colour (or just plain old respect for me), just know our children't post-secondary eduction is paid for and we still have a solid downpayment for a home in the future. And for all of my friends who are asking, I am keeping my Vita-Mix: hence, we can totally survive for a long time.
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Laura (Friday, 12 August 2016 10:17)
I'm so excited to follow along! Any negative comments come from people that are jealous because they don't have the "balls" to it themselves.
Rose Bingham (Friday, 12 August 2016 10:33)
Well I think it's totally awesome and I applaud you for your perspective. I also agree with it 100%!.
Very few regrets stem from throwing caution to the wind and chasing a dream. Most of them are clustered at the opposite end of that Spectrum
Chervelle (Friday, 12 August 2016 10:43)
For each post you make, I get more excited for you guys. This trip is the "Ventilly" family, and what others are failing to also realise is that you and Matt a smart individuals who think this through. What works for one family won't work for the other. People will always find disregards, even if you were to pick up Cheetos vs beet chips at the grocery store. This is an experience not many get to have, and I'm glad you get to honour your dad with it. Enjoy every bit of it! Even the negative. Xxx
Chervelle (Friday, 12 August 2016 10:48)
Dangit. I meant to say *you and Matt are smart individuals who think things through.* Autocorrect incorrectly corrected my grammar ;)
Matt Ritchey (Friday, 12 August 2016 13:14)
Congratulations! This is going to be one of the most pivotal and influential years you will have with your kids. I envy your courage and vision to do something that most people wouldn't dream of.
Lots of love,
Matt & Laura Ritchey
Dolina (Friday, 12 August 2016 20:39)
We all are responsible for living our own lives the way we choose to.What better way than to actually live it,instead of living it worrying about the future.That you have already prepared for that is amazing,but really is not anyone's business.Your children will learn more on this trip than they would sitting in a class room.I am excited to follow along.Keep the faith and keep on living life,the way it was meant to be lived.
Robert Boender (Sunday, 14 August 2016 10:12)
Dream Dream big. I had a friend who built his own sail boat and decided to sail down to mexico when he got there he liked it so much he sailed around the world it took him five years . It was a amazing trip. He left Vancouver with 3ooo.dollars .As Mark Twain said 20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.So throw off the bow lines, Sail away from the safe harbour, Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. All the Best