Home for the Holidays

We have been home now a couple of weeks. Our feet on the ground after three flights and 20 hours of travel from New Zealand felt really good. As we came in for the typical bumpy landing in Denver, Quinn was about bursting out of her seat, her eyes wide, breath held and body unable to be still. Several family members greeted us at the airport with joy and hugs. What a great way to arrive after thirteen months away. We went to dinner together and I watched as our daughters moved back and forth between their grandparents, Aunt and cousin fully glowing in the love they gave and received. It was really beautiful.

It was surreal to be back in Denver, both familiar and unfamiliar.  We woke up on our first morning home at my sister’s house. The first thing the girls wanted to do was ride their bikes (the first thing I wanted to do was drink coffee). Watching our daughters riding and running (Quinn needs some practice on her bike!) around the neighborhood, I suddenly saw how much they have grown. Maybe their growth was so very evident because of the juxtaposition of this scene with the image I have of them doing this same thing before we left. Maybe it is watching how gracefully they are navigating our reentry, Mackenzie speaking so maturely about our trip and Quinn exuberantly sharing funny tales. All I know is that our daughters have grown and not just in height.

So what is next? Well, Mexico. That’s right. Mexico. Sayulita, Mexico, a little surfer town north of Puerto Vallarta, to be exact. During our journey, Jacob and I continually spoke about our desire to fully immerse in the Spanish language and how important speaking Spanish will be for our daughters’ futures. Jacob and I both loved traveling in Spain, particularly the city of Sevilla (or Seville in English). While we were there, we daydreamed about staying for a year to continue to improve our language skills while the girls attended a local school. Because the international bilingual schools in Seville are expensive and about 20 minutes outside of the city, I began searching for a bilingual school in other Spanish speaking countries. We wanted a place that would allow us to walk the girls to school, live somewhere warm and somewhere with lakes, rivers or an ocean. Eventually, I found Costa Verde International School in Sayulita, Mexico. I have to thank Facebook for this discovery. Posts by a friend of a friend would often come up in my newsfeed and they were always of pictures of kids on the beach somewhere in Mexico. After a little investigation, I found out they were living in Sayulita. “What school is in Sayulita?” I asked myself. I did a Google search, read through the school’s website, requested enrollment information and then put the idea on the back-burner. Jacob and I just weren’t sure. We wanted to continue our journey. After all, we had only been traveling for a few months at that point.

As our year began to come to an end and we had made it almost completely around the globe, we knew we had to make a decision about the What’s-Next plan. I reached out to the school to find out if they had openings for the girls to start in January. We spoke to a family member who had recently traveled there and found out that her partner has friends living in Sayulita who also have a daughter Quinn’s age that they recently enrolled in the school. We found out that one of my friends has connections with people who are at this school and after talking to these various people, we began to feel more comfortable with the decision to go to a place we have never seen. However, it wasn’t looking promising. The admissions person wasn’t sure there would be a spot for Mackenzie to start in January. After receiving this email we spent the next few weeks tossing around other ideas of where to go and what to do. Could we delay until August? Put the girls in school to finish up their current grades? Was that a good idea for them? For us? Could we find temporary jobs? Should we find temporary jobs? We sat on pins and needles feeling the pressure to make a choice, the pressure to have an answer and wishing for the mail to deliver a package that had the solution. Shortly after an emotional meltdown, I received notice from the school that a space had suddenly opened up in Mackenzie’s grade and we could have the spot if we wanted it. Hallelujah! Our package came and with it the realization that we just didn’t feel finished with our personal journeys, with the opportunity to explore, with growing new patterns for our family, or engaging with another culture. So, here we are taking another leap of faith, trusting in ourselves, and for me, trusting in the Universe and our path.

We are in Denver until December 29th to reconnect with as many friends and family members as possible. We are getting our ducks in a row for the next chapter of our Seize-the-Davi journey. We have rented a cute little casita two blocks from the beach and a ten-minute walk from the girls’ school. I hope to keep writing and catch up on stories from the last quarter of our journey as well as share whatever stories we create while in Mexico.

Thank you for following, for supporting, for putting positivity, love, thoughts and prayers out into the Universe for us to receive. We have felt them all. I hope we always remember to seize the day. I hope we have taught our daughters to seize the day. I hope we have inspired others to seize the day and to follow your hearts because our hearts always know the answer that our monkey minds are trying to find. We just have to quiet the monkey long enough to listen and then go for it.

Hot Springs.NZ

16 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays

  1. I was JUST thinking about the Davi and how wonderful it was to see you all this past weekend. Actually, it was beautiful and heart-filling and – so many other things. Thank you for the time and I want you to know I am so excited for all of you as you head into this next journey! What a gift to give yourselves and we all get to live vicariously through you for another year. Win-win all around. Perhaps one day Kris and I will also seize the day and live for a year in Mexico. It remains my favorite travel place, with amazing people and food and a language I can actually learn 🙂 My love to all of you and I look forward to new stories and photos and my birthday slideshow – with a little something more – lol!

    • Heart-filling, inspiring, beautiful… so many adjectives to describe spending time with you and Kris. We are grateful for your influence, mentorship and friendship in our lives. Seizing the Day comes in so many different packages and it seems you are seizing your own dreams and aspirations. I’ll work on that slideshow, just for you. 🙂

  2. I love reading all your posts and enjoying these adventures through you! Wishing you the best of luck on your new adventure. How exciting!

  3. I am unbelievably happy for you guys. We are excited to come see you guys so scope out a place for us to stay!! You two are amazing and I love what you are teaching your girls.

  4. Amy (and family!) – Your plans sound amazing. I’m happy you are continuing your Spanish-language journey! And I’m jealous; I’ve struggled to improve at all after returning to Oregon after our time in Sevilla.

    • I miss Sevilla! I have lost a lot of my Spanish skills too. Excited to get them back and hopefully cement them in my mind this year. Here’s to more travels! Where are you off to next?

  5. Thank you for sharing your travels this past year. How wonderful that you will soon be off to your next adventure continuing to seize the day as a family – growing, learning, and loving life!

  6. How do I get in touch with you! Sent an email but probably not a valid address. Leaving for Peru/Ecuador on Thursday back early Dec. Want to see you before you are off again on your excellent life adventures❤️Julia

Leave a Comment