Meet Josh & His Family

“Don’t even think about proposing to me if either of us is in school or is unemployed” is all I could hear as I inspected a collection of loose diamonds for the first time. After spending five and half years together, I didn’t care that she was in grad school and that I was making just over half the national average teacher salary. I needed to marry this girl.

Marrying her was the best thing I had ever done.

In 2013, Brittany and I took our honeymoon in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It was here that we discovered our love for travel. As those who travel can likely relate, we started planning our next trip the week we returned. Another trip in 2014 to Ireland only validated our feelings towards international travel. Yet again, we started brainstorming our next destination just after our return. We considered Greece, Turkey, Iceland and other European countries, when out of the blue, Brittany texted me:

Thoughts of fear and excitement washed over me…
“We live in Florida. Where would we train?
“We live in Florida. What will going from 0′ to 19,341′ do to my body?”
“We live in Florida. We don’t own a jacket.”
“We live in Florida. We don’t own close-toed shoes.”

The prospect of going somewhere so out of our comfort zone and accomplishing such a dream filled us with a drive that payed off 2 years later when we summited Kili on Christmas Day, 2016.

Today, we credit this moment as one of the most significant turning points in our lives. Following our trip to Tanzania, we were now armed with hiking boots, backpacks, and experience that had us begging for more. Between 2014 when we decided to venture to Africa and the Summer of 2018, we backpacked all around Florida, into the Grand Canyon, around Banff National Park, in the Himalayas, and through the snowy Dolomites. We tried our hand at ice climbing, took up mountaineering, and added 9 stamps to our passports. Our old selves quickly became unrecognizable.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was the best thing I had ever done.

In the Spring of 2018, Brittany took a flight out to a city I couldn’t have found on a map. As a matter of fact, its own parent state, Arizona, just about ignores its existence altogether…ask any local and they will likely refer to their home as “Page, America” instead of “Page, Arizona.” During this trip, she interviewed for a promotion that, long story short, moved us cross country to the middle of the desert.

Page, America is gorgeous…it’s the most gorgeous city in America.
Page, America is small…reeeeeeaaaaal small.
Page, America is isolated…reeeeeeaaaaal isolated.
Page, America is where we were meant to be.

If you can get used to driving on open highways long distances, Page is where you want to be:

Living here, we have been able to enjoy the heat, the cold, deserts, mountains, rivers, canyons and more. We are surrounded by one of America’s greatest playgrounds and life has been fun exploring our new home. We never imagined ourselves as desert rats, but we now wear the title proudly.

Moving to Page was the best thing I had ever done.

But it wouldn’t take long for our world to be turned upside down. Our next big adventure was looming on the horizon…and it would be described as, “immeasurably harder, but immeasurably better.”

In January of 2021, our son Callan was born. Little did he know, he was already strapped in to one heck of a roller coaster ride. In the back of our minds, we heard the echoes of well-meaning friends and family who commented, “it’s great you’re traveling before you have kids.” They always followed this sentiment with either, “we did and we are so glad we found the time” or “we didn’t and we wish we had made time to travel.” Immediately, we knew we had to find a way to continue our hobbies for both ourselves and our son. We enjoyed them and we knew they would help mould our son into a well-rounded human.

It started small. At just 4 weeks, he had completed his first National Park hike…a 1 mile walk on a paved walkway in Zion. But it quickly grew to car camping in Joshua Tree at 6 weeks. With the help of other parents online who wished the same for their children, we were able to muster up the courage to take our son backpacking at just 4 months of age…a 1 mile trip into Tonto National Forest. Our first BIG backpacking trip took us to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park at 7 months. These trips along with other shorter camping, hiking, and backpacking trips in between, allowed us eventually be able to tackle snowshoeing and trekking in Spain, circumnavigating Mont Blanc, and much more!

Having a son is the best thing I have ever done.

Now, I’m sitting in my kitchen eating cheese and crackers with a glass of wine, knowing full well the next big turning point in our lives lies just ahead…for our time in Page is dwindling. This summer, 2023, we will be moving once again. I can only imagine that it may become one of the best things I have ever done.

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