We have been receiving lots of questions about how our families feel about us taking a year off, so I thought I would address it here. When we told our parents it was received with mixed emotions. Initially they weren't very happy as they thought it was a mistake and that our careers would be affected. Then there was of course the money issue. Both sets of parents are immigrants so it was hard for them to understand why we would want to "throw" our money away on something so frivolous. They worked very hard (and continue to work hard) to be where they're at and as my dad said, "If you don't know what to do with your money, just give it to me".
The conversation I had with my parents is that they brought us here to give us a better life and allow us to realize our dreams. I'm aware the dreams they had in mind for us were more traditional, but that is exactly what we are doing, realizing our dreams. Once I had that conversation, they became very supportive and are now talking about visiting us in Australia. Andrew's parents also became supportive and dare I say it? proud. They tell everyone they speak to about our trip. So yes, our families are supportive.
Most of the feedback we have received has been very positive. There are a few people who don't necessarily agree with what we're doing, and they feel we should follow a more traditional path, but even when speaking with them or telling them about our plans, I get a feeling they are excited for us.
I think it's hard for everyone to understand why we would take a year off from our lives to travel the world, and they see it as something scary. And although I get nervous and question whether this is the right thing to do, at the same time I know I can come back and start all over again. It's the fear of the unknown which deters most people. And I think it would have deterred me too, if I didn't have Andrew pushing me along. The one thing I know for sure is if we don't do this now, we will never do it. And I'm more scared of not doing the trip and regretting that, than of any other consequences which we might face as a result of the trip.
I won't speak for Andrew (he can post his own version of how he feels about this trip - another opportunity for him to post :)) but I'm glad we're doing this trip together and I'm glad I'll have him along for the ride, if only to push me forward and to not let me look back...too often.