They yearned to share that experience with their kids.
“We sat in that conversation a lot late at night. We didn’t want to fold into something we weren’t, but we saw it happening. You have to pay bills and plan for what ifs with kids,” Gina told Healthline. “We began to understand all the phrases our friends who are parents would say, like being stuck in a rut and running on a hamster wheel. We thought there’s got to be another way.”
The Gordons are travelers at heart, and the itch is constant.
At 32 years old, Gina left her teaching job in the Chicago area to work for a California-based company that holds social and emotional learning workshops for middle and high school students. It was there, she met Jon.
“We were gone Sunday through Thursday from coast to coast and throughout Canada. Then our company was covered on ‘Oprah’ and a documentarian in Amsterdam saw the show. She wanted to bring a handful of workshop facilitators over to Belgium and the Netherlands and they chose Jon and I to be on that team,” Gina said.
The job required them to be in Europe three months of the year.
Before they knew it, they fell in love. A few years into the job, the Gordons got married and discovered they were expecting their daughter, Reny.
“Everything was cruising along at a fast pace. We had just signed our next contract to be abroad the following school year and it hit us that I was going to be pregnant during that time. But we kept the contract and started life as parents traveling with a newborn,” Gina said.
They brought their daughter along on seven trips during her first year of life. When she was 9 months old, the Gordons learned Gina was pregnant with their son, Kaleb.
“We thought we needed to [bring] that career to a halt. The conversations we had with students for our traveling workshop job were about self-harm, drugs, alcohol, and gangs, and we felt that many were all rooted in not having enough time with adults or loved ones, and we realized that we’d perpetuate that with our own kids if we kept up the lifestyle we were living,” Gina said.
Jon found a job in a similar industry near their home in Oakland, California, and Gina decided to start a health and wellness business selling Arbonne products from home. Within in the first two years, she doubled her income from her previous job.
Feeling stable, the Gordons began living a traditional domesticated life, focusing on similar goals many parents have.
But they soon began to feel that they’d let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction.
“While every few months, we’d dream up a sabbatical, we’d still play it safe with traditional thinking like getting a bigger house because we thought we outgrew our old one,” Gina said.
“There was a two-month period when we sold our house and had money sitting there and we thought ‘let’s just go,’ but we got nervous, bought another house, and the sabbatical talk went away again.”