What about your careers?

"What did you do at work today honey?"
Hosed down a crowd of kids.
Aren't you scared to leave it all behind?  Yes and no. We both love our careers and it’s very hard to imagine working for any other employers. But to put it simply, we eventually realized that Austin was not the city where we could see ourselves eventually raising kids. We have no family here anymore and we would both love to escape the humid climate.  We have come to understand that our family is the most important element in our lives, so the decision has become clear that we need to relocate. 

When life gives you lemons, say screw it and make orange juice instead.

Since we'd have to quit our jobs to relocate, we figured there would be no better time to take advantage of our predicament and travel for an extended interval.  We wanted to invest our hard earned money into making memories that will last a lifetime and gain valuable experiences that will reward us in the future.  This break will allow us to get some creativity flowing and discover what we want to do with the next 40+ years of our lives.

UPDATE: everything works out in the end.  We relocated to Western NC where Shannon's parents and siblings live.  Brenton got hired by a great fire department, and he's very happy to be back on a fire engine.  Shannon got hired by a great hospital and is now teaching at the community college as well.  We are really happy that this leap of faith worked out and we were able to continue our careers here. This adventure has also led to some amazing opportunities, helping others tackle similar journeys and planning for big expeditions, along with some volunteer work and disaster relief. All we had to do was put ourselves up there and be open to new opportunities.

So far, the Asheville/Hendersonville area has been a great place to start our family.  We had our daughter in 2015 and our son in 2017.  It's been amazing having Shannon's family here to help us and create such strong bonds with the kids when they're little.  When the kids are old enough, we still have dreams of some day relocating to the Pacific NW to be near Brenton's family but for now we're very grateful for our surroundings.  
Now that we have achieved something of this magnitude we now know what grit and determination can get you.  Hopefully when we retire, we'll still have our health and be strong enough to tackle another extended journey around the world.  We met so many retirees along the way who were doing just that, so we know it's possible but maybe we'll have to do it in something a little more comfortable than an '87 4Runner.