Our Reasons for Going Around the World ...

Experiment: As a family, after dinner, before turning on the TV or computer, ask each family member to write and discuss reasons they would take a sabbatical, to travel to a distant land, or go around the world. And then talk about these with each other. You might be surprised to find out what adventures each other hopes to find in their lives.


  1. Because I don't want to get to the end of my life and say that I never did anything that I truly wanted to because I WAS TOO AFRAID. I'm fed up with being afraid of things that really don't amount to much – things like legislative cuts in funding my work, if we filled out an IRS form correctly, if my daughters make the grade, if our car is going to break down. I'm ready to be afraid of real things. And because, in doing this, it may help others take that same leap of faith, and do something splendid, something that will help make our world a better place and better understood.
  2. For Sam & Cassidy – to give them the gift of incredible memories (my own favorite childhood memories center around our annual family road trips). To show them that dreams can be lived, not just put away to gather dust or be stared at with wistful sighs and "what ifs" over yet another load of laundry. To give them a peek at what an incredible place we live in, and the people and things we share it with. And to spend time, real time, with them, our children. They will be my 50-hour work-week.
  3. To see the paths of others in the world. To see where their deliberations have taken them, how their earth and songs and loves and Gods have shaped their lives. And through their paths, find our own. To see the sun come up in places and among people I can't truly imagine. To learn new things, and remember others.
  4. Because we are drowning in a sea of things and commitments and I want to drown in a sea of experiences and time.
  5. Because even though I have a wonderful job and work with people I adore, I find myself dragging in, drained. They deserve better. I deserve better. New energy. New vision. New perspective. New knowledge. New appreciation. And just maybe, a new me.
  6. To see if we can do it. To see if the real difference between a dream and a fantastic reality is simply action.
  7. To experience the web of the world, the inter-connectedness of things, to share it on the Web, and to add a shining new strand of understanding for those we meet in person—and in cyberspace.


1. I'm terrified we've grown to where my two greatest thrills are that week's new video release and the annual lawn mower sales at Sears.

2. I look forward to a day in the distant future when Grandma Salli and I sit at the Thanksgiving table with all our extended family and our two daughters and we swap tales about the sunset over the Ganges River, the kind leper who shared his hut in Zambia, the time I had my lights knocked out by a boxing kangaroo in the Outback.

3. We desperately need a new perspective about our country and our world if we hope to stay sane.

4. Because it's there. (Heh, this reason has worked for decades for mountain climbers. Why not us?)

5. To demonstrate to the world how interconnected it now is, how accessible and how personally empowered it is as a result of the Web and personal computers.

6. To see if we can do it.

7. Because as a species we've evolved from a distant time when our migrations took generations, to a time when our moves take a weekend; from a time when thick novels requiring years of study to digest, to now, when thin videos sneak across our Friday nights; from long courting and slow marriages that grew into rich grandparenting, to today when calculated pick up lines suffice in smoky bars; from detailed journals and photographs of elaborate expeditions, to E-mail msgs and coffee shop banter. I need substance back in my days.

8. To stand on the Himalayas, wade in the Ganges, smell Calcutta, hear the mullah's morning call to prayer from the tower, fix a cup of tea for Mother Theresa, look up at the Southern Cross, eat zebra, miss home, marvel at our togetherness, curse an Uzi-toting uniformed official. Plus, there's nothing good on television next year.


1. We're in a rut, it's boring here, and we need to do something crazy before we all go nuts.

2. To spend time with my family (no matter how treacherous it might be!).

3. Why not?

4. If all else fails, we'll at least have one hell of a story to tell!


1. I want to see new things.

2. I want to touch new things.

3. I want to discover new things.

4. I want to taste new things.

5. I want to learn about the temples and legends of India.

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