“Oh Yeah… We need to tell our families that we’re moving to another country…”
This was one of the most challenging obstacles to step over because we just were not sure how everyone would take the news. We are both pretty close to our families and the news we were about to share was not what they were expecting. No, we are not having a baby :) We invited them all over for a Reveal Party and hoped for the best!
My wife, Alyssa, searched on Pinterest until she found this idea and we went for it! We wrote a note that said “It’s fun to be with family and play, but there is something we must say, Surprise! We’re moving!”
She packed a big bowl with flour and put the folded-up note in the middle. We used a cookie sheet to flip everything upside down and removed the bowl. It left a smooth mountain of innocent-looking flour, and a lifesaver on top finished it off. (No one knew there was a note inside)
- The goal of the game was to slice the “cake” without making the candy fall off the top. Whoever made the candy fall, had to retrieve the candy in the flour using only their mouth.
Costa Rica Reveal Party – Bring In The Families.
They were sure expecting something big when we called both our families and siblings together for an impromptu dinner – at the end of January, of all times. We had them take turns taking slices off the flour mound with a knife.
After about 10 slices the flour mountain collapsed, and Alyssa’s brother got to fish out the lifesaver from the flour. They read the note and were flabbergasted. They were wondering if it was going to be a boy or a girl, but were hit with some completely different news!
Then, we had to tell them where.
They were probably expecting somewhere like Arizona, Utah, or at most Maine.
Alyssa had made cards with the letters to spell out “Costa Rica” with a few adventure quotes glued on the back. Each person got a letter and they had to put them in the right order. They’re pretty smart and figured it out pretty quickly.
It didn’t click with them at first, but then they realized we were serious. We expected their puzzled faces, so we had them read the quotes on the backs of the cards.
The Travel Quotes Explained Our Feelings Better Than We Could in Our Own Words.
- “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
- “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”
- “Collect moments, not things.”
- “All you need is less.”
- “It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”
- “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.”
- “Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know what’s even scarier? Regret.”
A Few Shed Tears Later.
Our parents knew we were committed to this decision and didn’t try to talk us out of it, but that didn’t make it any easier for them to digest the fact that we were moving a long ways away.
We even suggested “Well, why don’t you come visit us? It’s only as far away as New York is. We’ll even meet you at the airport!” They bleakly nodded, and someone mentioned, “Well, one year isn’t THAT long.”
There, we had done it! We had broken out of the mold that society had jammed us into.
It sort of felt like jumping off the high-dive board for the first time – falling through the air for the first time, unsure how you’ll land.
Once you make your first dive, though, you’re hooked. You forget the first fear you felt and scramble up the ladder to do it again and again. That is how we have felt ever since we made the first jump to move to Costa Rica, and there’s nothing else in the world like it. Only 3 months into it we were already planning out our next trip, our next move, our next adventure, and how we could travel with kids once we turn down that route sometime in the future.
Most People Won’t Understand Your Reasons for Leaving the “Comfort Zone.”
It is difficult for most people to imagine life without the comforts & amenities that they enjoy in the U.S. They want to enjoy other people’s vacations to exotic places, expecting National Geographic’s adventures. However, they are unwilling and unable to leave the things around them they call home, and sometimes take it upon themselves to convince you of the same.
The newspapers do a disservice also by painting pictures of rare events that make the news around the world as common occurrences. This causes people to envision all foreign countries as places full of all the bad things they have ever seen, read, or heard – all of them combined.
They think you are going to be malnourished, not be able to understand a word of what anybody says, have to fend off a gunfight every evening, and participate in riots to overthrow the government. Granted there are a few places like this in the world, and people who travel there are a little more crazy than I am. I draw the line when citizens are carrying around guns to defend themselves. Wait, that’s what they do in Texas right?
On the other hand, some people will think you’re leaving on a year-long vacation with nothing to worry about except when to go surfing and what restaurant to eat out at next. It’s all about finding a balance with your lifestyle and budget.
Finding this balance is a different personal struggle for each person and their background. It is a super insightful and liberating experience. Life-changing, really. Soon, we realized that having a new blender to match the color of a pinterest-remodeled kitchen was irrelevant to the time and money we would spend making memories we wouldn’t ever forget.
We will probably need to find a new happy medium once the kids come and we find we want to provide an “American” life for them. Everything will certainly be influenced by what we have learned… It’s all a new experience for us, and is changing our life in so many ways!
Leave a comment to let us know how your Reveal Party goes! Good luck!