005- Military Life Abroad, Cancer, and the Minivan Caravan with Choose Your Own Adventure Family!
Today I’m honored to introduce Melanie from the Choose Your Own Adventure Family. In this episode, she dives into military life abroad, cancer, and their new adventure, minivan caravaning!
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While the military life isn’t for everyone (but I’m so thankful to those who are called to it), this interview will be great for anyone looking to live abroad. I also am appreciative of how Melanie has opened her life up to us about not only her battle with cancer but her daughter’s as well. This is a powerful interview y’all. Like if Melanie and her family can do this, after all they’ve been through, then anyone can. And if the price of an RV or plane ticket is off-putting to you, then her idea for traveling the country may be just what you need to hear about!
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Who is Choose Your Own Adventure Family?
The Taylors are a family of 6 about to embark on a year or two of travel, both internationally and domestic. Joe spent 22 years in the Air Force and while he was active duty their family lived abroad for 8 years. Their 4 children, ages 5 – 10, were all born overseas and love adventure themselves. While battling cancer in 2013, Melanie would daydream about traveling as a family and the time it would afford them to experience new places and cultivate a stronger relationship together. They talked about it all the time but couldn’t decide when it would be a good time.
After adopting a little girl from China in 2017, they found themselves once again facing another cancer diagnosis, this time their adopted daughter, Everly. That was when the Taylors realized that life is too short to not take full advantage of their dreams and are excited to hit the road as soon as Everly is done with her medical treatments for a while.
You can learn about another family traveling with medical conditions here!
Prefer to watch the interview?
In This Episode With Melanie From Choose Your Own Adventure Family We Cover:
Bringing Baby to the Beach
On Melanie’s blog, her very first post is called ‘Sand Between Their Toes’ and I found it so relatable. I actually started tearing up, and then laughing, remembering the beach trips I’ve taken with Boogie when he was a baby. Especially how similar how memories of breastfeeding on the beach were! So we briefly talk about what a baby’s first beach trip will look like versus later with more experience lol.
Military Life Abroad
Melanie and her Air Force husband, Joe, spent 8 years living abroad as a military family. First in South Korea and then in Spain and Belgium where their first three kids were born. Melanie has a unique perspective on living in Asia and Europe as a military wife and mom that I think all those thinking of moving abroad, military or not, will appreciate.
Cancer While Living Overseas
While Melanie was living in Belgium she discovered she had cancer and very quickly needed surgery. She relates what it was like to use civilian medical facilities and face this life-changing diagnoses far away from family back in the USA. We also talk about what she faces now that her youngest daughter, Everly, is going through her own round of cancer treatments and what that means for their travel plans. Melanie also discusses how dreaming of traveling with her family is what got her through those cancer treatments in the first place, and now with Everly experiencing the same life-threatening illness, how it’s become a priority.
The Minivan Caravan and Voting to Travel
Now it’s time for the family’s next big adventure across the USA and even the world! Melanie and Joe have come us with a fantastic plan for being able to travel together as a family without sacrificing some of their favorite amenities, space, and two vehicles. She’s deemed it the minivan caravan and it’s brilliant if you are wanting to explore the travel life without investing too much before you know it’s for you. In the interview, Melanie covers how they’ll travel, how they’ll work around the medical appointments Everly will still need and the exciting way they plan on involving their audience in the decision-making process. They figured they were used to the military telling them where they were going next, so why not allow their fans to make some of those decisions for them in this new adventure! And that’s how “Choose Your Own Adventure” came to be!
Where to Find Melanie and Choose Your Own Adventure Famly:
Facebook: Choose Your Own Adventure Family