The “When” Of It All

Since the previous blog post, I’ve had a lot of wonderful conversations with people about our decision. The main topics tend toward the “when” and “how” we will be moving. Right now, I’ll address the “when.” The “how” is a little more complicated to explain, so I’m parsing my words carefully. That blog post is concurrently under construction. I’m moved by the interest and response people have shown, and I hope the current energy continues and eventually translates into visitors from the United States. Remember people, we won’t actually be in Chile for a while, so let’s not peak too early!

One of the toughest parts of this decision is imagining our kids being that much farther from their extended family. Our kids are quite accustomed to seeing their grandparents regularly. We’ve been very lucky to have such generous and active grandparents for our children. Even though none of their grandparents live in California, our kids probably never go more than two months without seeing them. This summer is going to be really important for all of us to spend time together, and allowing our children to deepen their relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

That being our goal, we are looking at the middle of June to leave San Francisco. From here, we plan to spend about five weeks in Idaho with my family. Then in late July, we’ll head to Indiana to spend about 5 more weeks with Krissy’s family. Our goal is to be in Chile the first week of September. If you are in Idaho or Indiana (or plan to be this summer), please let us know when we can get together. Even if you are already imagining your visit to Chile (are you doing that already? Awesome…), we’d still like to see you before we go.

But before all of that meeting up in Idaho, Indiana, or Chile can happen, we need to leave San Francisco; a process that won’t be painless, but we’re motivated by the adventure that awaits. This has been my home for 16 years, by far the longest I’ve lived anywhere in my life. Like most residents of “The City,” we believe we live in an amazing place. Yes, amazingly expensive, but amazingly unique, diverse, creative, and vibrant, as well. So as much as we are drawn to life in Chile for a while, it won’t be easy to leave San Francisco. One thing that makes leaving particularly difficult is that we don’t know where we will land when we return to the U.S. We have a goal to be in Chile for about two years. After that, we’ll just see. Although, in a recent conversation I pointed out to a friend that about a day after our kids are settled in school and we all have beds to sleep in in a house in Chile, we’ll start our discernment process for where we want to end up in the States! This is life. It moves in cycles. Much as we truly want to live in the present, when kids are in the mix, we are always thinking about our future. Krissy and I try to pay attention to the signs of the times, be true to our values, think about what is good for our kids, and discuss these decisions. That’s what has gotten us here now. We’ll continue to trust that process going forward.


The decision

(not to be confused with this decision)

I’m flying to the United States from Santiago, Chile, for the fifth time in my life. Each of those flights was preceded by a stay in the country that varied from 10 days on the short end, to 11 months, when I came to live and volunteer at Hogar San Jose, a home for children, essentially an orphanage. Besides the length of time traveling, each trip had its own uniqueness associated with it: people I came to know, places I visited, some experience that altered my life in a very big way (that actually happened at least twice!).  For the first time on all of these trips I’m accompanied by Krissy. And this trip will lead to the longest Chile trip of my life.

Krissy, Lucy, Caleb and I are moving to Chile in September. (I tried not to bury the lead too deeply!) Krissy and I just spent nine (long, missing our kids) days in Chile and Argentina during Christmas vacation.  We were going through the final stages of our discernment about whether or not we wanted to relocate our family to one of those two countries. I use the term discernment because we have been thinking about, talking about, imagining, questioning and soliciting input from others since last February. Some of you have been (an integral) part of that process. Others are aware that we have been considering the move. And others may be hearing of this move for the first time. Regardless of how long you’ve been aware of this process, there’s something you need to consider right now.

When are you coming to visit?

One of our goals for living abroad is to practice “radical hospitality.” If there was a bumper sticker for radical hospitality, it might read, “If you can get yourself here, we’ll take care of (basically) everything else!” I should add that our kids will attend school there. Krissy and I will do as much volunteer work as we possibly can, either planting our flag with a single organization or supporting different works within the community. So if you come, be prepared that we might put you to some volunteer work with us. I’ll save some of those details for a later update.

Along with volunteer work, there are lots more details that I look forward to sharing with you as our family moves through this life change, but I’m not going to write it all in one blog post. This is my first time really blogging about anything, but I imagine that veteran bloggers might tell me to save some things for later. Any of you that have ever had a conversation with me will attest that is not my strong suit. We’ll see if I can grow into it as I chronicle our adventures!