A little over a year ago Becky and I asked a very dangerous question.

What if?

On one hand I strongly urge you to ask that question. Ask it a lot.

But like the choice between the blue and red pill you cannot go backwards, you cannot return to bliss if you start asking that question.

However, reality will become more and more evident and clear.

red-pill-blue-pill

And so we asked,

  • What if we could sell our house?
  • What if we sold most everything we owned?
  • What if we could travel with kids?

And we did just that. We changed courses so dramatically, from living in the countryside attempting to hobby farm to world travelers trying to find a home. We named it Home Along the Way. We made home wherever we found ourselves.

We answered a lot of questions.

We did sell our house and became nomads.

And we have found the sweetness of reality.

  • Reality that our kids love traveling. They miss their grand parents, but they love moving to new houses, they loved exploring new places, meeting new people.
  • Reality that Becky and I still love traveling, and can totally do it with 4 kids!
  • Reality that my wife is a packing ninja, not only does she plan ahead and have exactly what we need along she’s able to shed stuff along the way and still have everything we need.

But some harsh realities set in as well.

  • We don’t handle the heat of South East Asia too well.
  • Life outside of SE Asia is expensive
  • Word of Mouth marketing fails when ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ comes into play

And so yesterday we bought tickets to return back to the US.  This is due to many factors, the most major one is that Connex’s revenue has dropped 90% in 6 months. The trip was budgeted at 50% of revenue and in SE Asia, unfortunately both of those changed and so the cold, harsh reality of the bank account dwindling has finally set in.

Three months ago, I freaked out in an email thread with a friend of ours. Freaked out about money, about failing, about life. Her response has clanged in my brain ever since.

What if,

What if you come home broke and penniless?

That’s it. That’s all the words of wisdom a friend offered. And it rattled me. It still does. What if nothing works, you spend all your money, return to the States, homeless, and car-less?

What if?

What’s the worst that could happen?

We’ll find out. We fly home tomorrow, October 1. It’s crazy how we’ve only been gone 6 months (it’s felt like  a LOT longer!) and how we’ve felt on the other side of the world despite being connected with technology and communication channels. Yet in the end, the total time from decision to boots on the ground is less than 48 hours. The fast switch from “We’ve decided to go back to Michigan” to actually being in Michigan is only 48 hours. 16 of those are spent sleeping and another 16 in an airplane. Thus there’s only 16 hours left. That’s one day of awake time.

Will we set up camp in Michigan? Will we buy a house? Will we settle down?

If the kids have any say in it–no, we will not.

Each one wants to stay in Michigan for a time but asked us to promise them we’d leave again. Even the 4 year old (separate from siblings) said he didn’t want to go back unless we were for sure going to go travelling again later.  They’re addicted to travel just like their parents.  So, we’re treating this “return” to the US more like the next stop in our travels than an end destination.

What happens next?  Well, we do what we have done in every other country…find a house and set up “life” in that area.

What will the future hold? We don’t know.

Does Connex become a hobby, or do we land a couple of large clients again?

We don’t know. I haven’t given up on Connex yet, but it needs to grow soon.

What would you do if you lost 90% of your family’s income?

 

http://paulkortman.com