The Big Announcement

Dear Family and Friends,

We are so excited to share with all of you the big plans we have for this new year! After more than a decade of daydreaming and months of intensive planning, we are thrilled to announce that 2012 will involve embarking on what we’ve come to call our Family Sabbatical! Believe it or not, that is an actual thing. There’s even a book about it, (I know, I was surprised too). Book or no however, spending a significant amount of time abroad has been such a Big Grand Hope of Bo’s and mine both individually and then, thankfully!, as a couple. Finding this to be a shared desire really fueled a fire within us to someday see it through. Interestingly, in all those early conversations about what it would look like and where we would go, we never once considered this as something to do right then, when we were sans little ones and it would undoubtedly have been easier on many fronts. Not once. We always spoke of this daydream in terms of something we wanted to do with the children we hoped someday to have, as a family.  We are now two darling little boys later and with a number of other factors coming together; on February 1, 2012 we will begin living out what was only imagined 10 years ago by boarding a plane in Denver, CO with 4 one-way tickets to Ecuador.

By sharing with you the date of departure and destination country, I have very nearly shared with you all that we concretely know we will be doing for approximately the next year of our lives. Mind-boggling, yes?!  We are jumping into this intentionally plan-less, which for those of you who know us (and by us, I mean Bo, whose favorite Christmas present to date is the Franklin Covey planner I bought him when we were engaged), know how out of character and comfort level such a leap is. And herein lies our goal: to completely shake up every single familiar thing. Our environment, routine, meal choices, language; to rattle all that is known, save the four of us, and see what the view is from there. We’re aiming to see differently. We don’t expect the perspective to be better or worse necessarily, but we’re banking on it being different. We’re banking on it being different because we believe that’s valuable. We’re hoping the boys will learn a new language and make friends that live in homes and cultures vastly different from their own. We’re hoping to explore, and volunteer , and read, and study, and write, and dance, and eat cuy, (okay, I’m not actually committed to that but Bo and the boys promise to tell me all about it). Force ourselves out of the familiar paths we’re currently on, find that foreign is grazing our fingertips and grab on for the ride. So there’s not much to say at this point about where we will be, just what we will be doing; we’ll be finding foreign.

We’re inviting everyone reading this to follow along with us as we try to use this blog to translate with words and pictures and videos this adventure we’re heading into.

Hope you will join us!


Jamie, Bo, Vaughn, and Luke Stambaugh

Categories: From Jamie | Tags: , , | 35 Comments

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35 thoughts on “The Big Announcement

  1. Sounds like a great adventure for your family!! Enjoy!


  2. Jacqueline Manfre

    Congratulations. Best Wishes. And carry this as inspiration for those moments when you may lose faith in your next step or forget why you began this journey in the first place,

    “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

  3. Kim and I are so excited for you, Bo and the boys. We will follow your adventure through David & Linda and your blog. We also hope you will find time to send a post card once in a while to us in Gateway.

    Ken & Kim

  4. YaYa Gann

    Very excited for you all, and yes…my passport is current! Who knew I would be traveling to Ecuador in 2012–bring it!

  5. Tricia S

    i don’t think i can get any greener!! i can’t wait to see and hear the adventures and follow along from afar! given the business of preparation (i can’t imagine how you’re going to organize the packing of the super hero outfits…), i do hope i’ll get to see you before you head out!
    much love and discovery to all of you!

  6. Kat Hassebroek

    Jamie – This is incredible! I think it is wonderful for all of you – and for the boys… priceless. What a cool experience to have! Good luck and best of wishes on your journey and through all your travels.


  7. Fantastic! This is a top bucket list item for sure! I’m proud of your courage & commitment to this experience – its a game changer in every positive way. I will thoroughly enjoy following your news and adventures! All my love and blessings for a fabulous trip. Happy new year indeed!

  8. Thank you all for sharing the excitement with us! xoxo

  9. Good Luck. Brave New Exciting adventure…Glad you are both SO adventure related. IT takes both in this situation. I will be following.

  10. Diana Scherr

    We’re soooo excited for you and thrilled we got to see the first chapter in person!! Wishing you adventure, excitement and beautiful, long, drawn-out days of spontaneity! Please get in touch if you have a question we might be able to help with or need a shot of additional courage… you will have those moments, but it is SOOOO WORTH IT!!! Carpe diem, for sure!! Bien viaje y abrazos – Diana, Mateo, Piper y Duncan xoxo

  11. Kim D.

    Well you all are just awesome for doing this, and like we talked about on the phone, you may just be entertaining the Dunns this summer, wherever you are… 🙂 LOVE you and already miss you. xo

  12. cherith

    So excited for all of you!

  13. Karen Harris

    Dearest Jamie, I have enjoyed reconnecting with you through your FB writings, and will love seeing your blog. This adventure takes real guts, confidence, and most of all, the soul that makes your dear parents proud. This message that has guided me back to Colorado is yours to carry on… “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
    God Bless You Girl!

  14. susan

    Fantastic!!!! I am sooooo excited for you all. What a fabulous experience this will be. I have taken two – year long (or longer) sabbaticals and dream about going again with Hannah at some point. I look forward to reading all about your adventures.

  15. Hey guys! I’m so excited for you. Believe it or not, we meet many families that are in the same path. It will be unbelievably rewarding, exciting, and educational for everyone in the family. My only hope is that you come see us in your travels! We are, literally, 3 kilometers off the InterAmericana Highway, about a half-hour north of Panama. We are even thinking about starting a family-oriented volunteer program here at the finca, and would be thrilled if you all wanted to come check it out.

    Safe travels!!!!

    • Hi Erica! That sounds amazing! We were actually hoping to work our way back up Stateside via the Finca if at all possible, I’ve been dying to see your place for as long as I’ve known it existed. 🙂 And we would be VERY interested in learning more about the family volunteer options, you’d be amazed at how hard those are to find when your family includes young children. Thanks for the encouragement, hopefully see you along the way! xo

    • David Gann

      Hi Erica, Jamie’s dad here. I was in Bocas del Torro a couple of years ago working for The Nature Conservancy. How far are you from Bocas?

  16. Diane Torlone

    OMG!! I’m jealous, envious and wish I had the nerve to do the same!! I already miss you Bo and now you are going to be even further away!! Congrats and I wish you nothing but happiness. Please keep in touch.
    Cheers from your favourite Canadian!

  17. Giddy up boys and girls. I love it! I can’t wait to see where you are going down there. Our friends are building a house in Cotacachi, Ecuador. Hope to see you February, but if not, we will definitely keep up with you through FB. God bless and I hope he broadens your world view even further.

    Sunny and Troy and Luke

  18. Bittersweet!! I look forward to following your posts!

  19. Lou and Ted

    So very happy for you…and envious!! What a great experience for your whole family!!

  20. I love your plans and cannot wait to hear about them through this blog. I hope that Bo remembers his Spanish but I know that you are fabulosa con la lengua. Ojala que todo vaya muy bien. Muchos abrazos de los Cortest!

  21. Mary Swetkoff

    Wow, Jamie & Bo…I am excited for your family! What an extraordinary opportunity you giving to those precious boys and what an enriching & I’m sure rewarding adventure for you all. Thank you providing a way to share a little bit of your family travels, trials and thoughts. Walt & I thought we were the pioneers when we moved with our 3 month old from Philly to Colorado back in 1978. Although we spoke English and could mostly understand everyone, we were told we had strange accents! You have stretched me a little from my comfort level by requiring me to blog in order to follow you to “foreign” – this is my first blog and not sure if I’m doing it right, but I’ll find out real soon! You will all be in my prayers throughout your journey and I look forward to your posts. If there is anyway we can help or do something for you, let us know! Hugs!

  22. Good luck with it all, and please let me know if we can be of any help with your adventure, and if Brazil is on your adventure list, let me know ahead of time, maybe we can all meet there… 🙂

    Andrea & Chris

  23. Mary Borgia

    Bo and Family –
    I am so happy for you. This will be an extraordinary and life changing experience for your entire family. No book can provide the education your children will recieve…. for that matter you too!!! One way tickets too… that’s commitment. Enjoy every moment. I will try to follow your blog. Warmest regards, Mary

  24. Tim Rasnic

    Wow! Unbelievably exciting! I can’t wait to follow you through your blog and the Rasnic family wishes you all a wonderful, eventful trip filled with the greatest of adventures. Have a great time and keep in touch!

  25. Sunny

    Oh my goodness, Jamie!! What an adventure!
    I can’t believe I didn’t know about this excursion! (how did I not know?!) I am unbelievably excited for you and your beautiful family!! I am so INSPIRED that you and Bo are taking a long-term sabbatical with your WHOLE FAMILY! What a wonderful experience for the boys; I can’t wait to see how they’ve changed and grown from such an experience.

    I will miss you and your sweet boys dearly (Stambaugh babysitting sabbatical, too!), but I can not wait to blog-follow your journey!! I would love to say bon voyage, and I will defiantly stop by your goodbye party! Treasure each moment you have on this great journey.

    Much love,

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