We’ve gotten– and still do occasionally get– lots of questions about our plans for the next few years. While we don’t have everything figured out and entered in a master spreadsheet, we do have ideas and a loose plan. Just to help enlighten all those who haven’t already requested it in person, here is a list of frequently asked questions… and their answers!
How long will you be gone? We plan to be traveling for the next 3-5 years. We’d like to start growing our family– biologically or through adoption– around that time, and we know we’ll need to settle somewhere semi-permanently when that time comes.
Where are you going? We (obviously) have Alaska on the master list, and Anchorage is actually the only place within the United States that we plan to live in the next few years. The other destinations include Asia (Thailand or South Korea most likely), Europe (Ireland or Spain most likely), and… a mystery spot.
How did you decide where to go? After that absurdly vague description of our future destinations, we are often confronted with how we chose them. Here is our thought process, according to locale: Anchorage- We’d both been (separately) in the winter, and we’d fallen in love with the area. We left knowing we’d someday return, and thankfully we met and married someone who felt the same. Knowing that we’d both visited and loved it in the winter, we figured we could only love it more the rest of the year through. Asia- This is an area of the world to which I have never been, and in which I don’t know that I would ever want to settle permanently. That makes it a perfect short-term destination in my mind. That said, I know this “area” is huge and it’s just ridiculous to say we’re going to Asia. And then we name two countries on almost opposite sides. Sorry! We have our reasons. For Thailand, I’m excited about the warmth and color and culture. Tyler is super excited about the food, which really sums up his entire motivation. As for South Korea, I have had a few friends teach English there, so I know I wouldn’t have any trouble getting a job. Even Tyler could get a well-paying job teaching there. It is known to be a beautiful country and a great home base for traveling around SE Asia. Europe- We are honestly still completely open as far as where we’ll live in this continent of many, many tiny countries. We’re thinking Ireland because of a few personal connections, or Spain because of (again) the ease of getting a teaching job for Linda. We’ll definitely (holding that word loosely) be in either Ireland or southern Europe. We plan to travel quite a bit throughout the rest of Europe to visit family and cross off some tourist sites too. Mystery Spot- This means we have no idea. Any suggestions? I’m hoping to convince Tyler to backpack through Africa, but I’m not sure that’s gonna fly. We’ll have to see where we are at that point in time, and what kind of travel we (and our wallets) are feeling up to.
How will you survive the tundra of Alaska?! This is such a frequently asked question! But I totally understand. I hate the cold, and I’ve let it be a well-known fact. The great thing about Anchorage though, is that there is so much to do here in the winter time! It doesn’t take planning a whole weekend or week away to go ski or hike or snowshoe. We’ll be able to do all those things in our city. Can’t wait! Bring on the snow!
How long will you stay in each place? We plan to be in each location for a year. This is a compromise between the two preferred travel styles of the Murphman duo. We think a year is short enough that it allows us to see quite a few places in the 3-5 years we have available, and it’s long enough that we can establish more of a routine and community in each place.
How are you paying for this? With jobs! We both feel pretty strongly about supporting ourselves in our travels, regardless of the places we go or the work we’re doing. We’ll see how that plays out for us long-term, but the plan for this round-the-world trip is to each get a job (or two) at each stop. We aren’t going for “career jobs” since we can only commit to a year (on each continent!), so we are willing to do whatever pays the bills and makes us happy. Tyler is already killing that with his bakery job. Bringing home the dough! (Pun totally intended…) And in case you didn’t pick up on it already, cost of living or ability to make a living wage are both pretty heavy factors in where we end up staying on each continent.
Is Hobbes going with you? So glad you asked!! You may have noticed he’s been absent from my Instagram feed lately… very sad. Tyler’s parents have graciously been cat-sitting for the past month, but they are flying him up to us soon! The Murphmans will once again be complete. However, we don’t think he’ll be able to come to our next destinations 🙁 We’ll have more updates on this once we get closer to the year’s end here, but we’re already compiling a list of prospective foster parents..
Where will you settle down after? What will you do? We don’t know. We are hoping these years of travel will help to enlighten us. We pray that God will use experiences, relationships, and jobs to open doors or stir passions that lead us to the right place later. Right now? We think maybe California. (#threetraderjoes for life) But we are leaving it wide open, and not giving it too much thought.
Can I come visit? Heck yes!! We LOVE visitors. Marion didn’t seem to draw the crowds, but now that we will be living in crazy vacation destinations, hopefully we’ll see some of your smiling faces 🙂 We have an extra bedroom in our apartment for those of you who know us well and want to really take us up on our hospitality. And any others of you who happen to be in Anchorage in the next year and want to hang out or sightsee with us, we’d love to be your tour guides or adventure partners! Have any other questions? Let us know!