Wes and I get asked a lot of questions about our upcoming adventure. I’ve compiled a list of the most common inquiries to help explain what we are doing with our lives!
Q. When are you leaving?
A. We fly to LA on January 25th to spend a few days in California. Our flight to Sydney is direct from LA. We depart late on January 30th and arrive in Sydney the morning of February 1st. And in case you are wondering, flight time is 14hrs 55min.
Q. How long will you be gone?
A. 6 months. We don’t have a return date. Probably end of July.
Q. Why are you going?
A. For fun and adventure. Seriously.
Q. But HOW are you able to go away for 6 months?
A. Wes, as a professor, is eleigible for sabbatical after 7 years. Last Spring, he applied and was approved for a full year sabbatical Jan 2017-Jan 2018.
Q. Why Australia?
A. Great question. I don’t have a great answer. It seems like we always talked about wanting to go to Australia SOMEDAY…which led to talking about it for a sabbatical SOMEDAY… It truly was a pipe dream that has become our reality. There isn’t a good reason why we chose Australia…why not Australia?
Q. Will either of you be working while you are in OZ?
A. Wes will be doing some research. To be approved for sabbatical, he had to submit a proposal of what he will do with his time off. Last January at his annual Transportation conference in DC, he connected with some folks at Univ of Sydney and they agreeed to “host” him. This means the Univ of Sydney is his sponsor for our trip, which helped us get 6 month visas. Additionally, Wes can have a workspace at the University, and he will probably collaborate with some researchers/professors from the University. For those interested in more specific info about the research Wes will be doing…stay tuned for a future blog post.
Q. Will the kids go to school?
A. We will be homeschooling them to provide us the flexibility to travel and explore. The kids originally wanted to go to an Australian school so they could make friends. However, the school year in Australia begins right when we arrive. They are currently on summer break. If we were going to be there for a full year, we’d probably send them to school. 6 months will fly by and we want to be able to come and go as we please. I’d also like to keep them on track, as much as possible, with their current curriculums|standards.
Q. How will you homeschool all 3 kids and not lose your mind?
A. I plan to lose my mind. And I plan to embrace the madness of trying to teach my own children. I also plan to farm out some math to Dr. Daddy. There are some homeschool networks in our area we may connect with or we’ll try and find some after school activities. The kids want friends. But we will have structured time each morning and then go out exploring. We plan to study, research and do projects about all things Australia. We also have goals set for each kid…some have nothing to do with state standards. I truly feel this is a gift of time with our children. Wes and I have had amazingly thoughtful conversations about each kid as an individual and what will be important for them to learn and what we hope they will gain from this experience. And then I will totally lose my mind again.
Q. Did Wes get a fellowship?
A. Okay….nobody has asked this, but I like to brag about Wes. He applied for an Endeavour Fellowhip through the Australian government and he got it!!! Very exciting. We had already planned to go…but this was icing on the cake.
Q. Where will you live?
A. We rented a house in Coogee, which according to Wikipedia is “a beachside suburb of local government area City of Randwick 8 kilometres south-east of the Sydney central business district, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is also a part of the Eastern Suburbs region.” I don’t know much of what that means…I’m working on my metric. We decided to go for it and live near the beach and also be close to shops and such…. We have rented a 3 bedroom duplex type home. Finding a house with 3 bedrooms near the beach was difficult due to very high rental prices. We will live there for 4 months (February – May) and someday I will write a blog about how we found the house because it’s kind of an interesting story. We’ve left our last 2 months open for travel. I’m hoping for a camper van adventure. Wes has a conference in Brisbane at the beginning of July, but otherwise we will be foot loose and fancy free for June and July.
Q. Will you have a car in Sydney?
A. Probably not. We will use public transportation and our feet. I’m sure Wes will buy a bike. I think we will also join one of those membership/ car rental things (like car to go or zip car).
Q. What about your house in Denver?
A. Trying to find renters. It is listed with a property manager. We’ve gotten ourselves a storage unit and are currently cleaning/organizing and packing up our house. It’s equally miserable and magical to purge and pack. We hope to only be left with what we actually use and need and love. We are cutting down our possessions quite significantly.
Q. How can we talk to you? What’s the time difference?
A. Email, Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts (chat and video), Facebook Messenger and video chat..still working on cell phone situation so stay tuned about phone calls and text.
As for time change…Sydney is 18 hours ahead of Denver.
Minus 6 hours plus a day. That’s how people in Denver can figure out what time it is in Sydney.
(Therefore, we will be 16 hours ahead of East Coast)
Q. Now that Trump is our president, will you be staying in Australia?
A. We get this a lot. No.
Q. Are you exited?