I love Facebook. Maybe for the same reasons as most other people. I love that I hear from long lost friends, people who completely disappeared on the other side of the world. I love that I can see what my daughter is reading, what the other one is listening to, what video clips my nephew discovered and so on. Our children's friends and our friends' children share funny pictures and stupid tests. I can share an article on The Economist without having to send emails around. I can easily find out what Shakira did yesterday...
But mostly I love that I don't really have to work on this. I can screen through hundreds of posts in a couple of minutes and I don't have to click delete or like or send a reply. When the mouse reaches the bottom of the page it loads more posts. Nobody really expects me to get back to them and they don't need to get back to me.
Why then have I sent tons of posts around, begging friends to vote for our page "Noi6 Around The World?" Apparently if I get 25 likes I can get an userID for our page. I don't know how that would make things different. The Facebook page should help as a feed reader. We have a blog at http://noi6.blogspot.com. Today it has 700 days since the first post. Ileana started a separate blog at http://dejurimprejur.blogspot.com. I still don't know how we will use our blogs. Ileana's is in Romanian only to make it easy for our family members who don't speak English. They wouldn't know how to use a feed reader, they might not remember to look for new posts and would definitely be put back by the mixture of English and Romanian. On my blog I will mix English and Romanian and hope that the English readers will put up with it. But everything will be linked on Facebook. We might post every day or every week or every now and then. We try to keep it slow at this point, despite making a lot of progress in our plans, still nothing is happening, we only leave in 135 days. On the other hand, on Facebook I can post short, quick updates. I spend many hours reading about travels and I run into other interesting resources. Facebook could be a perfect vehicle to share that. I don't want to increase my number of friends there and I don't want to decrease my privacy settings. Having a page accessible to everyone would keep things separated. Having a two way communication with people posting on our wall or sharing pictures is another possible benefit. And in the end, I am sure that there will be some family that will get inspired to follow their dreams after reading our notes. On Facebook ;-)
We decided early that we need to document our thoughts and keep track of how they evolve. A diary is good for that and nobody needs to read a diary. But in the 21st century nobody writes for the drawer. Everything is out there and we should feel comfortable with that. But of course, we don't. We need to learn how to overcome our fears and our nature. We have to share the wealth of information accumulated and what more will come. We read thousands of pages of family blogs regarding family travel for a year or so around the world. Sometimes we discovered links to some blogs that were kept private. It was frustrating and hurtful. What do they have to hide? We felt cheated when some stopped updating their sites and sometimes when they would only put updates every couple of months. They should keep their end of the bargain. I subscribed to their blog and they should keep me posted. At least on Facebook.
We are going to travel as a family around the world. It is something special. Everybody knows this. Especially if I define "special" as being other than usual. Hopefully it would also be "special" in the way of "something distinguished by some unusual quality and being in some way superior" (Merriam-Webster definitions). Even being able to dream of this proves how lucky we are. But we probably wouldn't be here if it wouldn't be for some others who did it first and proved that can be done. They came back, better, stronger, happier. And as far as I know everybody said "I would do it again in a heartbeat!" They shared their experiences and wrote books about it. They started programs or joined organizations that promote travel. Some never stopped, continuing to travel in open ended fashion. They feel that travel makes them better people and makes this world better. I cannot agree more.
[Paragraphs self-censored because they were too serious][...] After a couple of days I got the Facebook userID and now we have a direct url http://facebook.com/Noi6RTW. We can print it on a business card.
I estimate that I told more than 300 of my patients that I am leaving in October. I estimate that 99% of responses where positive. Explaining to them I understand better why we have to do it. People are happy for me and for my children and praise me for doing this. My leaving will affect their life, sometimes dramatically, but they respect my right to do what I feel I have to do. Some people remembered similar experiences with their parents and how much it changed their life. Always in a positive way. Some people wanted to do something special with their children but never got to it. A lot of people said "you only live once." (!?) Some people say that they will travel vicariously through us, maybe on this blog, maybe on Facebook...