What about your family? This is another question we are often asked. So many people who hear of our plans, immediately say "Oh, we could never do that. We can't leave our children/grandchildren/elderly parents/friends, etc." I have to admit being away from my children was one of my biggest concerns when we first started exploring this life change.
I have been a lurker on many fulltimer websites, blogs and travel journals for a few years now. I was surprised to find out how many of you have family members you "left behind" in order to fulfill your dream. Knowing this made me feel better about our plans. Thanks for sharing your stories!
Our immediate family consists of our two grown sons and my mother. Kevin's parents are both deceased. We do not have grandchildren yet. I also have a brother in the area and Kevin has a sister in Wisconsin and a brother in Iowa. Our youngest son moved to Minnesota last year for his job. Just so happens his girlfriend lives and attends school in Minnesota as well :) Our oldest son lives in this area, but is considering moving to a warmer climate at some point. My mother has been a widow for four years. Last year she met a very nice man and they have been dating ever since. She is very happy. I guess what I'm saying is that everyone in our family has their own life to live; just as Kevin and I do.
When we started discussing our plans with our family, we got mixed reactions at first. They are all very happy for us, but had emotions of their own to deal with. I think both boys at first felt a little sad seeing their "home" going up for sale. They lived in the same house most of their lives. My mother was worried that we might be making a financial mistake and that we would be leaving her. She will not be alone as my brother lives nearby. Once I pointed out that she and my dad had spent many enjoyable years after retirement traveling and that it was now our turn, she understood better.
Does this mean we won't see them often and call frequently? Absolutely not. My children bring me great joy, and I can't imagine going more than a few months without spending time with them. I believe that by living a mobile lifestyle without many of the encumbrances we now have, it will be possible to see them often. We can drive to where they are, they can visit us or Mom (that's me) can fly in for a short visit (get ready boys). We plan to spend time each summer in Wisconsin so I will be able to see my mother as well. With cell phones, Skype, blogs and mobile internet; my family will probably be sick of hearing from me :)
"Change your thoughts and you change your world"....Norman Vincent Peale
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