As usual, I can't help but throw a few money tips in, so here is what I have learned from this amazing family:
- There is no goal too big if you just set your mind to it and keep putting one foot in front of the other...you will eventually reach your goal!
- This is yet another example of what you can do if you are debt free.
- The parents pulled some funds from their retirement plans to help pay for the trip. Definitely a wise use of their money if you ask me.
- Their living expenses have been actually very low since they mainly buy food and some replacement gear/clothing. What they don't buy are the typical consumer items that keep the average American family on the debt treadmill (ie: cars, a massive amount of clothes, a massive amount of toys for the kids, and all of the other typical junk that ends up cluttering our homes).
- This is the way to raise kids. I'm not saying you need to pedal behind your kid for 17,300 miles, but all of the things they have done with their kids (setting a big goal, reaching a big goal, the physical challenge, relying on their kids to be an integral part of their team, etc) is the priceless stuff that builds kid's self esteem, keeps them out of trouble, teaches them how to be leaders in their family and with their peers, and sets them on the path for a lifetime of success. If I could send every kid I have ever worked with in the juvenile justice system on this sort of adventure, we would have LOTS LESS troubled kids to take care of as a society.
- When the going gets tough, the tough get going. They have had plenty of difficult times, plenty of challenges, and a couple times I thought they might quit but they just kept going and now they are celebrating in Ushuaia. This is the same type of stuff that happens when you are trying to get out of debt. I can't count the times that something broke or a big unexpected bill came up that wiped out our emergency fund and made me feel like all of the hard work just wasn't worth it. Like this family, however, we persevered through the hard times and eventually all of our (and their) hard work paid off.
- Moral support, in all of its forms, is a good thing. This family probably hasn't met most of the people who have been cheering them on throughout their journey. Most probably stumbled across their blog or FaceBook page and joined in on the fun by offering comments and moral support as they traveled on their journey. It's the same thing with many of the bloggers and others you "meet" online via the comments section or friends who have heard about whatever particular goal you have set for yourself, financial or otherwise. Some will think you are insane when you declare such a big or life-changing goal, but the people who are the most important are the ones who will cheer you on to reach the goals that are important for you no matter how impossible seems.