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Experience before economy

Family is packing up and selling their stuff to take a yearlong vacation in Europe.

February 05, 2009|By Zain Shauk

It was an adventure hatched during a bedroom book talk: Quit the job. Sell everything. Spend a year traveling with the kids.

Bob Redpath and Brenna Gibson Redpath were sitting in their bed on a Saturday morning when it happened.

The kids, Owen and Eleanor Redpath, were watching Saturday morning cartoons in the living room and the parents, inspired by literature on making the most of life and taking on difficult challenges, got to thinking about their own lives.

Redpath was an Emmy- and Golden Reel-award-nominated supervising sound editor at Warner Bros. and Gibson Redpath was a musician and a teacher to her home-schooled kids, but something was missing.


Redpath was able to support the family, but while he was good at his job, he wasn’t excited about it.

“It’s never been a passion,” said Redpath, who has been nominated for Emmy awards twice for his work on the hit series “ER” and once for “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” “I’ve always kind of been jealous of friends that work and love what they’re doing right next to me.”

Gibson Redpath also felt like she and her children were missing out on experiencing the world, and felt they needed a change.

So in that moment of inspiration, the couple decided they were going to give up everything they had and plan a yearlong trip around Europe, for their kids and for themselves.

“We shook hands on it,” Gibson Redpath said. “And to us, that means that no matter what happens, this was going to happen. This was a done deal now.”

That was in July, before the stock markets tumbled and the government bailouts began, but the Redpaths have stayed the course, despite the global financial turmoil.

They hope to begin their journey between April and August by paying a visit to friends in Serbia, and will be chronicling their travels on their blog,

They will spend up to one month in each place they visit, learning from their time among different cultures and environments while continuing to home-school Owen, 10, and Eleanor, 7, through websites and other resources, the couple said.

Although they don’t know where they might end up after Serbia the Redpaths show no signs of letting up, even in light of the recession.

“If everything’s going to be uncertain, then why not?” Gibson Redpath said.

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