The Start - July 27 - July 30th

Welcome to the travel blog for the Kolb's Big Country, Big Adventure trip.

On July 31st our family of 5 (JAK 9, Anna and Katie 6) departed from our home town of Carmel, Indiana with the plan of spending up to 12 months traveling this great country. Our goal is to expose our children to excitement of exploration, immerse ourselves in unique communities, and spend time together (very close together!). 

Our sticks-and-bricks home and our soon-to-be-home hanging out together
The focus/theme for our trip is Family, Faith and Fun….with some Food and Fishing tossed in of course. The theme of our trip will provide guidance when it comes to focus/planning but also allow us to reflect on our days together. It's a bit generic, but it encapsulates the things we've decided are most import to us.

A bit of background: After losing our home to a fire last summer, we spent quality time as a family evaluating where we were in life, and what was next. Melissa and I have always been believers in asking for advice and direction from others.  We have had the opportunity to be loved by and know many great parents. Just about every one of those parents stated that they wish they could have spent even more time with their children when they were 'pint size'.  It's a challenge to find the time during those years of work, maintaining a home, saving for college and retirement, and going to the many grade school, church, and recreational activities. We decided our circumstances were such that we should shift gears and seize the opportunity take time to spend with our little rascals.  We feel very blessed. 

We have a basic route and schedule along with a few defined waypoints defined by family/friends we will visit/meet but are avoiding a set schedule so that can learn and adjust as we go.  We plan to stop and stay for 4-7 days in most areas. Our tentative plan has us visiting about half of the US states and a couple Canadian providences in the next 12 months….but maybe we will end up stopping for a month or two or decide after 6 months that we are ready to be home. Regardless, we know we will make the most of our time together.

We'll be traveling counter-clockwise starting in Indiana.

Before we hit the road, we had a few exciting events!

Friday July 26th - Sunday July 28th

A farewell BBQ at the office on Friday (complete with attempted pranks)!

An amazing celebration wedding for our very dear friends!

Now that's a party!

A surprise visit from Aunt Ruby from Alabama

And what would you do if you were about to leave your home for a year?  Can't get any better than going fishing with our cousins/nephews and smoking bacon with uncle Michael!

We deeply appreciate all of you who have helped us pray, plan, pack, and prepare for this life adventure!  We won't name names, but you know who you are. Thank you!

Ok, that's enough background, it's time to get on the road!