It’s ONE Year Later: The State of the Mighty Got Passport Empire of Three

Did we come a long way or did we come a long way!?

“If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it”  ~Brendan Francis

Why Got Passport?

Why not?   Right before we went off on our 2009 summer trip we needed a twitter name for our little family and so J came up with one.   A family twitter account was originally created to meet other travelers and locals for travel tips and advice, etc.  Then we thought hey why not do a Got Passport FB Page to share pictures and updates of our travels with family, friends as well as those who are  just interested in family travel in general.  All this of course was before we started a blog!

Who’s Got Passport?

We are an ordinary family of three who is saying emphatically, “NO to the status quo.”  We have chosen to simplify our lives by living with fewer material possessions and by being of service to those in need.

Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service. – Martin Luther King

Where’s Got Passport Going?

First leg: Camping our way from Texas to LA, hopefully via Colorado, Utah, all the way to Vancouver (maybe), Washington, Oregon down to LA :-).

We have family and some friends in LA.  We’ll be visiting with them for a few days, then onward to the big move we’ve been preparing for on the second leg:  LAX to Chiang Mai, Thailand (our new home!).

Why is Got Passport Going There?

Uhhh Hmmmm! Change of scenery?  It should be a crime for living in one city (Houston, Texas) for that many years…  Thirty!   Thirty, I tell you, for J and me both.  Here’s why Chiang Mai will be our new home.

For How Long?

It’s no fun planning that far ahead, is it?  Let’s see which continent the wind will blow us to after Thailand.  Lots of experiencing and living  to do in Asia first.  Come visit!  Ya never know, we may have a “Got Passport” guest house you can stay in!  🙂

How did we get here?

(Don’t say, “A plane?”)  We really didn’t plan on having a blog of our own.    We sort of tossed around the idea.. but both were too lazy or busy (that sounded better) to write.   I mean, who wants to write when you’re having so much fun traveling, immersing, taking it all in.  FB and Twitter micro-updates were so much more fun.

However,  while in Chiang Mai, Jack decided to write a post entitled, Declaring Our Independence, on July 4th of last year.  We had no idea which direction we were going to take with the blog,  as it was more spontaneous blogging at the time.  We really didn’t write that much.  I did not write any posts at all.  J did most of them.  I was good at giving ideas, just like a backseat driver!  We also decided a year ago that Chiang Mai will be our next home.

That decision has fueled us into writing some more on the blog and we decided that the blog would be a place where we document a series of memoirs of our life together as a family.  Given that M was only six at the time, we felt is was important to create a family journal for her to revisit when she’s older.

Here are some of the posts we’ve managed to write in case you missed them! 🙂

Got Passport:  Will Travel

What We Consider A Souvenir

The Shower Curtain

We Love Quotes, How About You?

Resting Place of Mahatma Gandhi

Our Got Passport Family Theme Song

The Shock Will Wear Off When I Get To The Airport

All Kinds of Yummy Food

Got Passport’s Recipe for Traveling Smart

Travel Tech

2009 Summer Adventure Series

Got Passport:  Will Serve.  Live Green. Live Small.  Give Large.  Take Little. Take Notice.  Take Action.

Our Beloved New Orleans Series Part 1, Rebuilding: Part 2, Rebuilding: Part 3

Passions and Missions Emerged in Mexico

Let’s Build a School Together

Why We Support Passports With Purpose

For Haiti:  What We Can Do Now

My Morning Walk in Thailand

Live to Work or Work to Live

Travel and Service:  Therapy for the Soul?

Wake Up And Smell The Corn

How We Choose to Live Small

Bad Habits Revealed

Hippy Freaks Unite

Have We Lost Our Sense of Outrage

Purging All For New Beginnings:  Chiang Mai is Calling

First, Educate Thyself

Weekly Themes from Got Passport Head Quaters

Carpe Diem


Now, a year later, we’ve  purged most of our belongings, including my Empty Closet, The Empty Lexus, and leased our home to reliable, obsessively clean tenants.  As I write, we are staying at my parent’s house, eagerly anticipating our new beginning.

M finished first grade earlier this year.  She will begin 2nd grade at the new school in August. She is a little planner, performer and a chatter box.    She’s easy-going and just happy wherever we are together.    It’s refreshing to watch her become amazed and mesmerized by her surroundings no matter where she is.

J is no longer full-time with the college where he dedicated  his passion for teaching for nearly 10 years.   No, he did not leave it, really.  Truth is, an excellent idea was proposed to expose the school on a more international level with launching of an Service Learning (SL) Program with Jack’s leadership.  To our surprise and disappointment this idea with amazing potential was not supported.   No matter,   we can view this as a loss, or as an opportunity.  Our minds are now free, and open wide with readiness to bring new and exciting challenges to college students on a global level.   J will continue to teach on-line classes as an adjunct for various colleges, and work on consulting projects-hopefully with many more publishers!  He will also continue to write about his obsessions with anything TECH, such as phones, gadgets and cars.  If you have something on wheels to test drive-trust me, ANYTHING on wheels–or a gadget for him to obsess over, give him a holler!  Trust me, your gadget will have his full attention! So much so that he titled one of his posts Nokia N900 – It’s addictive – Ask my wife!

A – I am still  in shock that this is finally happening.  Wow!  We did it.. we are here.. we’re close to take-off and damn, we worked our butts off.  It’s no easy matter.  I will continue to write on the blog and document our travels, the foods we consume, recipes I come up with, the service projects we initiate or involve ourselves in, and whatever else I fancy.  And once we are in Chiang Mai, I could have a smoothie stand, or run a guest house or organize international volunteer groups.  I could try the tour guide thing,  maybe.  Hmm maybe  a  Local Expert.  Who knows what the future holds.  What I know for sure is that I’ll be in Thailand with ample opportunities to hop around the continent- living my dream!

We would not be here had it not been for my very supportive parents. Though my father had a heart attack back in May he has been in recovery and rehab since the event.  Both my parents have been to our (now leased) home to help with the cleaning, with the moving sale at their home, and in the  past two weeks have allowed us to stay in their home before our departure.  We have cluttered up their entire home (living room, bedrooms, and garage with our stuff).  Thank you for putting up with us.  Thanks to my dad though I don’t say it often enough for his foresight and guidance throughout.  We do appreciate them both.

We will be seeing them in Chiang Mai, hopefully in November or December of this year.  I’d love nothing more than to be able to hop over to Burma together as a family (hopefully, including my brothers).  What a nice family reunion that will be for all of us after all these years.

As for J’s side of the family, we’re hoping they will come visit us in Chiang Mai as well.   We hope to reunite and visit with Jack’s extended family in Taiwan more often also.

A girl can always dream, eh!

And yes, dreams do come true.   I had a dream.  I had a dream  that one day I will live abroad experiencing a new way of living and being, allowing Emma to immerse in the Asian culture, similar to a life her parents once had during their childhoods.

I had no idea that it would be based on the “LESS is MORE” philosophy.    No regrets here though.  No regrets.   It’s the best kind of living.  It is ever so liberating.  I will take it ten times over.

So here’s to leaping and seizing the day!  Carpe Diem!


Message To M:

“I didn’t get where I am by thinking about it or dreaming it. I got there by doing it.”  ~Estee Lauder


We Say No To The Status Quo

Live Small.  Live Green.  Give Large.  Take little.

Take Notice.  Take Action.



  14 comments for “It’s ONE Year Later: The State of the Mighty Got Passport Empire of Three

  1. July 5, 2010 at 10:28

    Woohooo, happy one year! You guys rock!

  2. July 5, 2010 at 12:04

    Congratulations on making your goals a reality!

    Blogging is a powerful thing. My wife and I made a public declaration to get rid of our things and change our lives on a blog as well. That is what gave us the conviction to really take action.

  3. July 5, 2010 at 12:20

    Good luck!!! It’s going to be an awesome trip!!!

  4. July 5, 2010 at 14:20

    Many congratulations for wrapping up things with a home base, and cheers to many adventures ahead for your family!

  5. July 5, 2010 at 22:04

    YAY YOU!! and happy anniversary! looking forward to following your further adventures…

  6. July 6, 2010 at 09:47

    I’m so excited for your family, good luck with everything and if you come into any trouble remember to fling. hehe

  7. Brandon Pearce
    July 6, 2010 at 17:47

    Awesome story! And I can relate in so many ways. My family of four sold our possessions last year and moved to Costa Rica, for who knows how long. It’s been a fantastic adventure for our family! We’re already getting ready for a change of scenery, though, and plan to visit Asia (including Thailand) in the near future. Mayb we’ll see you there.

    Thanks for the inspiration and keep the blogging and twittering, etc. coming. Otherwise, no one can learn from your experiences.

  8. July 8, 2010 at 05:06

    I`m so happy for you guys and wish you all the luck in the world! Live your dream and don`t forget to tell us/tweet on how you guys are doing. Loved reading this article on what you accomplished in the last year. Heads off 🙂

  9. July 8, 2010 at 15:55

    Yay! For you!!
    I’m excited for you + will look forward to reading your posts through your travels within the US + in Thailand.
    And if you pass through Seattle before August 31st (our departure date), do look me up.

  10. July 8, 2010 at 19:16

    Safe and happy travels. See you in CM next winter.

  11. Rebecca Gosen
    July 9, 2010 at 07:27

    Safe journeys! Keep us posted. Looking forward to following your journey to Asia.

  12. July 11, 2010 at 03:36

    Carpe Diem indeed! Plus good luck in the next stage – it’s great that you’ve paused to look at how far you’ve already come.

  13. July 16, 2010 at 22:40

    Love you guys! Congrats on all your success and upcoming adventure…so glad we’ve gotten to be a part of it and can’t wait to see you again (oh yeah and “officially” meet the rest of the fam :)).

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