In August of 2011 I left a real estate banking job to take a break and to give my children an education they couldn’t get in the classroom. My wife planted the idea of taking our four children on a trip around the World in February of 2011. It was one of those freezing cold and dark Chicago evenings where the Scotch started making ideas like this seem not so crazy.
I didn’t take this idea too seriously, but two months later we both agreed: “why not?” A lot of people wait a lifetime to do something like this and either never get around to it, or find that the circumstances for themselves or for those whom you want to take along have changed. We realized that this was the perfect time to do this with our four young daughters, and to this day we have no regrets. We traveled for 8 months through Europe, Southeast Asia and China. We lived on a shoestring budget and came back to Chicago with a lifetime of memories and a better perspective on life and the diversity of cultures that are not our own.
Since our return, we’ve been re-assessing what we want for ourselves and our girls, and we recently made the decision to move to Berlin to begin the next phase of our collective lives. My wife is German and our children are each bi-lingual as well as dual citizens. We simply felt that this would be one of the only ways to keep them truly bi-lingual and afford them the opportunities that come with a bi-lingual and multi-cultural upbringing.
We moved in June of 2013 to Berlin, so now I’ll continue to blog to reflect on my perspectives as an Asian American in Europe and how life is going with our four kids in tow. This will be a big change for us as we rebuild our lives: from discovering new jobs to recreating a social network of friends. It’s a lot to ask of our children to leave the friendships and familiarity of their Chicago life behind, but I know they will thrive here and I’m confident we’ll each find our way. I hope you enjoy the posts from our trip and our more recent experiences in Berlin. And I hope that our story inspires more people to pursue the freedom you have to discover the World.
Without haste, without fear, we conquer the World – Anonymous Chinese philosopher