What if your spouse deployed, and instead of burning time at home with work or kids, you traveled the world?
That’s exactly what Air Force spouse Shannon Jones plans to do starting in late July. With her nine-year-old and 10-year-old sons, Jones is packing her bags and planning a worldwide trip using Space-A flights over her husband’s six month deployment.
“He was up for a deployment, and I jokingly said ‘when you depoy, I’m going to quit my job and travel the world,” she said. “It started as this really unrealistic thing that we talked about, but then we realized that I can make this work.”
Jones, stationed at Offut Aif Force Base, Nebraska, has been working as a nurse until she quit her job in late June to get ready for the trip. She is planning to homeschool her boys on the road via an online program. She sees this chance to let her boys see the world as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and she doesn’t want to let it slip by, she said.
“It provides us the only opportunity that we will ever have with our kids, who are still an impressionable age, to travel the world affordably. There really wasn’t a way I could say ‘no,’” she said. “They’re still young enough to like me, and to want to hang out with me on the trip – but old enough to remember and generally appreciate what we’re doing.”
To pay for the trip Jones will be dipping into a small savings as well as using their extra income they have coming in thanks to deployment-related pay. She said they will be staying with friends they know stationed across the globe as well as using Airbnb lodging. Staying in places that also have a kitchen will help them reduce their food bills.
To kick off their trip, the Joneses will be heading first to England with plans to travel around the United Kingdom. From there they’ll fly back to the U.S. where they will travel the East Coast. After they finish that, they’ll likely go back to Europe, then to Travis Air Force Base, California. They hope to catch a flight from there to Asia, where they will spend time exploring countries in that part of the world.
Jones said she knows that it’s easy to come up with reasons not to take a great big adventure like the one they are planning.
“You can always come up with reasons why not – all you need is one compelling reason why,” she said.