• Laura T Petersen

Nomads No More?

Four months is a long time, especially for a teenager. It’s been four months of traveling as a family. Time spent learning new currencies, different norms, greetings and polite bits of language and eating varying cuisine of twelve countries; China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia (Bali), Singapore, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, French Polynesia (Moorea) and Ecuador. More than enough experiences and adventures to reflect upon and see the world in a different light. This nomadic life of ours has been challenging, it requires constant diligence in planning and stamina to overcome obstacles. However the rewards are vivid and life changing.

Early on in the trip Naomi began to crave stability and predictability. Being a nomad in hot humid weather was not easy. She had spent a triumphant summer in Ireland interning as a film maker and having an impact on children. This experience made her more eager to pursue her degree in film/digital arts, especially when she found her health challenged by the weather during our travels. She managed to apply to transfer to Gonzaga University while abroad and has been accepted for this Winter/Spring semester. Today she will be leaving the 85 degree weather of Guayaquil, Ecuador and heading to the 30 degree weather of Spokane Washington. We are excited for her and grateful for the precious 4 months we had together as a foursome.

Keegan is also having some serious pangs of homesickness. He wants a fridge. He wants to be able to grab a snack and a drink of water at will. He wants his friends and to hang out with peers. So we have decided to stay a month in one place in South America. At the moment we are seriously considering Cartagena, Columbia. We welcome any ideas and input. We are looking to enroll in a Spanish learning program and do some volunteering starting in January. Keegan is excited and is actively looking for accommodations, that have a fridge.


In the meantime the three of us will be continuing our adventures in Peru where we will meet up with friends, Brian, Val, Brynn and Marley from Seattle. We will be together in Machu Picchu on January 10th and then on to Ollayntameo and Cusco.

It has been a great gift to have this time out with our two young adults. John, Keegan and I will miss Naomi even more deeply than the usual "going off to college" pangs, having spent most waking hours together for these last four months of adventure. Naomi is a special person, following a path that she is passionate about, and we hope that Gonzaga will be the ideal place for her next steps. Safe travels, Sweetie!

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