Traveling, Parenting, Growing, Learning, Sharing

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A bit of history on the Gustafson tribe

As our India Departure date draws near I wanted to provide you all with a bit of background as to who we are, what were doing, and how were doing it. My husband Dan (who I hope will also be contributing to the blog at times) is a travel RN. Hes lived all over the world and has done all sorts of crazy stuff in doing so. We meet when I moved to Montana to do an undergraduate internship.

Dan and I Montana summer 2008

After a few months together in Montana we hit the road and heading to Guatemala and Honduras where we traveled around for the winter. He did some work off the coast of Honduras as a dive master, and during the time I was able to get my scuba certification. After that winter, we headed back to Montana, got married, worked for the summer and then took a nice little month long retreat exploring Hawaii. Following that we headed back down to Central America, only this time we drove there, FROM MONTANA. That drive was no joke, and oh the topes! Anyways during the trip our hopes were to actually relocate in start a life in San Marcos La Laguna in Guatemala. However, life had other plans for us. 1. Our pipes burst in our rental home flooding our entire storage studio where all of our treasured belongings were, and 2. Suprise, I was pregnant! So after a short 4 months in Guatemala and Honduras we started the long journey home.

San Pedro, Guatemala, Jan 2010


Luckily were able to file an insurance claim and replace most of our things, and Dan was able to rebuild the studio. After that job was finished we felt like with baby on the way we were looking for a bit of stability in our life. Thus prompting Dan to go back to school and earn a second more “practical” degree. his first degree being in Ceramic Arts. He decided to enroll in an accelerated BSN RN program and was accepted to a program in Green Bay,WI. Thus a big move for us. Before he  began the program however, we did a short move to Minnesota where we stayed with his folks and he did a bundle of prerequisite courses at lightning speed. I love my in laws, but living there with our two dogs and baby on the way was not the most ideal situation Ive ever been in.We had baby girl Ryah and then moved to GB for Dan to start nursing school. While we were there we were fortunate to purchase a nice little home and settled in living inexpensively as possible off savings.

Dan and Ryah, Midwest 2011

That following summer we were offered to go on the trip of a lifetime with Dans family and of course couldn’t resist. We packed up little Ryah for her first international trip and were France and Italy bound! Honestly one of the most amazing trips of my life, and I will be forever grateful to my in laws for bringing us along. We returned home, Dan finished school and got his first job in a rural Montana town White Sulphur Springs and we were on the move again.

During our two year move to Montana we kept busy.  Managing to take a month long journey to Indonesia, a trip to Glacier, got pregnant, went to South Carolina, bought a house, went to Nevada, and then had baby number 2. After baby number two we were feeling the itch to go again. We are both gypsy souls by nature and just cant seem to settle down in one place as hard as we try!

Dan was offered a travel position in Naples, Fl that we couldn’t refuse so we rented out our house, packed up and headed south. Once the end of his contract began to draw near, we started to think about options for our next move.  Both of our homes were being rented, the majority of our belongings were packed away, we had no job commitment anywhere and our children are still young and flexible. During the time we were pondering our next move I took an Ayurveda course at the yoga studio I frequent. I was fascinated! holistic health is something both of us had felt passionate about for a long time and something we practice in day to day life. We both started doing some research and decided we wanted to do some studying again. What better place to study Ayurveda and yoga than India? the birth place of both. We found a certified school in a part of India that appealed to us (northern, mountains, cooler climate, less people) and decided to enroll Dan in an Ayurveda practitioner program and myself in a yoga teacher training 200 hour course. We booked one way tickets, started the obnoxiously difficult Indian Visa process, and committed to making this move happen.

Our rough outline of a plan goes something like this….Arrive in Daramshala May 6, spend approx 4-6 months there studying and exploring, then likely tour other parts of India, and hopefully other parts of southeast Asia as well. The world will be our home for the next chapter of our life and that’s what I’m hoping to document here! A little journal accounting travel, study and life abroad with 2 littles in tow!

Cheers! Kari

Lotus Temple, New Delhi

Lotus Temple, New Delhi




This Life is Preparation for the Next

There are many ways to interpret such a quote, but it is one at the forefront of my consciousness as my family and I are at the beginnings of an epic quest of life, love, laughter, and adventure. Of course, just having traveled 25 hrs with a 3 yr old and 9 month old; I know life is not just bubbles and bliss.

Since we became pregnant in 2010 (yes ladies, I said we…ask your partner what I mean) our lives of work a little, travel a little, worry and stress even less has drastically changed. The shift to survival mode began. How are we gonna provide? Where are we gonna call home? Are we ready for this? How do you be a parent? In the words of our 3 year old “Whats going on here”? We concluded that our current lives and ways of being at the time were not ideal for birthing and having kids. After all, what would we cut the umbilical cord with if we gave birth on a deserted island, with just coconut trees and sand, off the coast of Central America and how on earth would we ever find cloth diapers and baby bronners there.

We jumped into the mainstream for the first time in my adult life. Went back to school, got a stable job that allowed the wife and kids to raise each other, tried to buy a home and settle down ( 2 different homes in 2 different areas of the country), bought 2 new vehicles, subscribed to a TV service for the first time and put a TV in our living room (which had always been taboo in our previous lives) and scratched and clawed to not become a victim of the war on the middle class and to reap the rewards that was owed to us by sacrificing most of the freedoms we sought to protect in our previous existence.

The corporate net, woven and designed by few, and implemented by the governments of the world had wrapped around us tightly. At this time there are still many strings attached, but they are strings now and not a tightly knitted web. Space to move around freely and see other possibilities. Yes, we have a great responsibility to our kids and all of our safety. Part of that responsibility is to show them the world and all the different ways of being and living. The world is too interconnected now and to easy to view as a 3rd party through a screen. First hand experience, is the only truth that any of us really know. The point of these rantings and of this blog is to share the trials, tributes, defeats, and glory of this adventure with our loved ones and anyone else who is interested….but most importantly to have it documented for all the children of the world.

Back to the subject of this posting. For the Past four years, we had given up on our dreams and vision of our existence and focused and providing a safe and secure environment for our children. I believe that we had accomplished that goal and realized that we had lost a little of ourselves and the original vision had become very cloudy. Honestly, it was never my goal in life to work 12 hr shifts in an extremely stressed environment, have a new truck, live in the pictured American Dream house, and watch Sports Center more than I care to admit. My dream is to see the world, make life an adventure, continually learn and grow spiritually and intellectually (haven’t been focused on physical growth since adolescents and after 1/2 a decade of neglect I should probably throw that element in as well), and be the best husband and father that my abilities allow. Our families collective consciousness is focusing on living life to the fullest and for us that was hard to do within the confines of the “American Dream”. For us, there where too many distraction and limitations in that way of life. Not sure, if we have abandoned it indefinitely. But, we most likely will find a way to do it part-time, or hopefully even less than that. There are people and places that we love in America and will find time in the future to revisit. For now, join us on this quest and any ideas, comments, suggestions to this blog or to our emails if you would like it personal, will be happily received. We have never blogged before and I have read one maybe a half a dozen times in the past. Haven’t written any thing in years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Oh, except for grammatical advice…I gave up on that in High School. You gotta know when to cut your losses.

Next time I will post on the logistics. How are we financing it, pinching pennies while seeing the world, visas, housing, utilities, traveling with kids, etc… Until then, please understand that this is a blog about our families life, ideals, beliefs, and values. In no way is this about throwing stones at people who are living and enjoying the life that I just described as undesirable for us. Until next time be well and merry

(I will sign in the spanish masculine form of dreamwrangler to help distinguish between who is posting what)

Making the leap.

Making the leap.