On January 12th of 2015 we will most likely enter a plane in Helsinki to Singapore, which will be the starting point of our trip around the world. It will last for around 7 months. My wife Annika and me will be joined by Linnéa and Niklas, our wonderful kids. By then they’ll be 3 years an 7 months old. Annika will work during the travel as freelance translator and journalist. Me, I’ll take care of the two little ones. And together we’ll spend every free second to experience new places, cultures and people. Sound exciting? A little crazy? Like a lot of fun? Right! But how did we get there?
When Annika was eight years old, she lived with her family for a year in Israel, close to the Golan Hights. There her father was located, serving within a UN-mission as a doctor. Annika’s sister was around three then, her brother six. Last year we organised a family trip to Israel, where we met Annika’s father and brother, coming there from Finland. This trip brought us to a really interesting place, uniquely intense, so full of history, conflict and politics. The experiences we made there served for dinner-table discussions back in Munich for the weeks and months to come. The trip was wonderful, interesting, inspiring - but far too short. And two thoughts got stuck. It is actually possible to do such a thing with kids, as the memory got more vivid, how Annika’s parents just did it, and we want to spend more time in the region.
Right after the trip, we got the news, that Niklas is on his way into the world. As I took just a short parental leave of two months [link] with Linnéa, it was quite clear for us, that it should be shared equally this time. So, we were planning the time ahead and came up with the idea, that it would be nice to spend part of the time in Israel. Annika would just need an internet connection to be able to work, and I could take care of the rest. Once the decision was made, that we should aim for it, a second thought arose. Why just two months? Why just Israel? So we started thinking what the constraints would be for us to start such an adventure. Besides the internet connection I mentioned before, we thought:
* Good medical support has to be available during the entire trip * If possible, no additional vaccination has to be required * If we go to several places, we should stay always around a month, to get to know the place better and to be able to calm down and get a rhythm and sort of an everyday life
After we settled that, I ordered a plexiglass and a huge map, and put that up onto the wall. I got some pens, papers and stickers and we started drawing. We just marked every place, which sounded interesting for us, and which matched the constraints we defined. We started researching of possible places to stay. Further, we tried to figure out what the weather would look like at the time of the year we planned to go. Which plane ticket to use. Which insurance to take. How much it would cost.
Finally the route is fix, even though the dates might change. We will start in New Zealand and continue east. More info, more places, more about our plans, success and struggles I will put here in the next days and weeks.