Written by Whitney Buchli
As the school year comes to an end and with summer fast approaching, we find ourselves looking back on another year gone by. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the end of our almost two-year-long sabbatical. We wanted to take a moment to reflect and share our thoughts on how our experiences have transformed our perspectives and lives in so many ways.
Some of our best childhood memories
At the time, quitting our jobs, selling our belongings and moving our young family across the world to live in a campervan felt like the most natural and easy thing to do. As a couple, we’ve always gone our own path and welcomed new challenges and experiences. Despite having been raised in two different countries, languages and cultures, as a couple, we have a surprising amount of interests and values in common. Some of our best childhood memories were centred around quality time outdoors with our families and friends, whether it was exploring the mountains of Switzerland or the lakes and bays of Ontario, Canada. Our childhood memories in the outdoors not only ignited our sense of curiosity and adventure, but they gave us a profound appreciation and respect for the natural world.
As millennials, we are arguably one of the first generations to take pause and reflect on the so-called “deferred happiness plan”, where one is expected to spend their best years working hard to build a career, with the hope that you can finally enjoy your life once you retire. When we initially told our friends and families about our decision to take a sabbatical; our careers, pensions and retirement were some of the first concerns that were brought up. Taking a break from your career is definitely a risk and should be done with careful thought, planning and consideration. The beauty is that when and if you do decide to take a break, you’re gifted a whole new set of skills and perspectives that can open many unexpected doors.
So much beauty in simple things
As parents, we decided early on that we wanted to enjoy the early years together as a family, building a strong foundation and living through experiences that would shape our kids’ interests and values. We wanted them to experience wild and unique landscapes, and open their eyes to different cultures and ways of thinking. Where better to connect than in the great outdoors, where we feel most present, disconnected and appreciating the simple things that life has to offer. As we explored everywhere from the great plains, and ancient redwoods, to the arid deserts of the South West and beyond, we learned to live in rhythm with our surroundings and as one with nature. We discovered there’s so much beauty in simple things if you take the time to notice them.
Our unique experiences in the outdoors have gifted us with lasting memories, which we document through our collection of photographs and reflective letters for them to read when they are older.
It’s taken a long time to process the experience of taking time off and living on the road. We often reminisce about our travels and have deep reflections about our journey and all the ways in which we’ve grown as a family. We hope that one day you will look back and be inspired by the choices we’ve made as parents when you’re ready to start a family of your own.
Being a girl today has its own challenges and our goal as parents is to help you build your internal compass to navigate the storms in life. No matter what challenges you face, may you stay true to your values and trust your intuition. We hope that you will always carry the deep sense of connection you feel to the earth and that your experiences help you to see the world with open eyes and kind hearts. May you have the courage to choose your own path, dream big and let your heart guide you. Take risks and don’t be afraid of change; embrace all of the unexpected beauty and opportunities that come along with it. Never forget that time is the true luxury and that you have one life to live. Have courage, stay curious, and never lose your adventurous spirit!
Love always, Mom & Dad.