We’ve got a story for you…. Actually we’ve got quite a few, but the one I’m thinking of starts like this:
Life was going along just fine — three beautiful kids, a wonderful husband with a secure career, good friends, and a loving labradoodle. We even had a teepee and a llama. A llama! Who could ask for more?
But one day, my husband and I decided it was time to change it all up. Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t that anything was wrong, but we both knew there was another path that we wanted to explore. We didn’t change everything of course. We kept the kids and the dog. But we ended up doing quite a number on our lives.
We quit the secure career, sold almost all our belongings, found another good home for Bahama the llama, and left America to wander around Europe. For what? Stories!
In June 2016 we started a year-long trip around Europe to launch a company — Around the World Stories. Our commitment was to write and record 52 stories during the 12-month, 13-country trip. The stories are about children in those 13 countries — about their daily lives, their traditions and their adventures. The children aren’t real, but the cultural experiences, the food, the customs and holidays — all of those are very real. As we travel, every town we see becomes a possible setting, every person a potential character and every mishap — whether getting lost on a mountain or losing an important backpack —a potential a story line. We’ve written about the lavender fields we saw in France, the Picasso museum we visited in Barcelona, the mountain we hiked in Germany, the cork forest we explored in Portugal and even about the Swedish magician we met in Germany.
As people, stories are a core part of our existence. Whether a caveman captivating a crowd around a fire, an ancient Egyptian carving hieroglyphs into a stone wall, a mother writing a blogpost on a Macbook Air or a father tucking his kids in at night while telling a fairytale— we all tell stories. Stories are the way we learn and the way we live. We wake up every morning and a new story begins.
Stories are also vehicles — means by which we teach, entertain or inspire. Audio stories are the way we’ve chosen to inspire children to learn about other cultures, to open their minds to new traditions, foods, daily life and ways of learning. Our hope is that the stories and the lessons within lay a foundation for kids to understand and embrace the differences between people and ultimately help children become compassionate global citizens.
We’re nine months into our trip and have so far released 42 stories. After that we’re left to start a new story of our own. Or maybe we’ll see where we are in a few months and will make this story “to be continued.” If you don’t subscribe to our stories, come visit us at www.aroundtheworldstories.com to listen to some clips! We’d love to have you along on our adventure!