One Family’s Dream of Living the Courage Vibe

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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One Family's Dream of Living the Courage Vibe - Living the Courage Vibe documentary

Today I turn my dream day over to a new friend and guest dream contributor:  Jody White

As a motivational speaker who encourages people to jump into their dreams – I have the honor of meeting many who do.

And this is one such family. If you’ve watched the video featured below, then you’ve already met them. But here today you will meet the Whites. And if you’re like me, your life will be better for it.

Today I not only dedicate this post to them – I turn this post over to Jody, the mother, to give you a taste of her story.

May it inspire and encourage and empower you to leap.



WHAT IF WE TRAVELED AROUND THE WORLD THIS YEAR? The Story Of Our Family’s Decision to Go For It

By Jody Temple White CEO, The Courage Vibe Author, Living in the LeapOne Family's Dream of Living the Courage Vibe - Jody White

There are moments in your life when something shifts and you know you will never be the same.

There are other times when a seed is planted and years later it grows into something that changes your life. This is what happened to us.

A Conversation on a Plane.

Fifteen years ago heading east at 20,000 feet in the air a seed was planted in my imagination during a conversation with Karen, a colleague. The idea seemed both outrageous and incredibly appealing.

She told me that when her children were 8 and 11 their family decided to sell everything and spend a year traveling around the world.

She told me story after story of their experiences. I was in complete awe.

I had never heard of anybody doing this (this was way before Google and TripAdvisor).  I felt excitement surge inside me as I silently made the promise to myself that I too would travel the world with my family.

I shared my secret dream with my husband, John, and my then 2 year-old son Riley.

Every once in awhile, the three of us would talk about a world trip over dinner or while driving. What if? How? When? Life went on and the conversations gradually turned to a completely different kind of adventure – an adoption.

In 2002, after years of dreaming of adopting a little girl, John and I traveled to Russia to meet our daughter, Allison. In August of that year, we brought her home to be part of our family – an 11-month-old beautiful, smart and very busy little girl.

A short-time later, our world took a sudden turn.

Allison contracted a virus, which stole her ability to speak and eat. She lost all oral motor control. For 30 days, we walked the halls of the hospital with many other families and realized we had entered a new world, a world that would include years of MRI’s, biopsies, speech therapy, doctor’s appointments, and anything else that could possibly help her regain her speech and oral functions.

We were told not to expect much because the doctors had never seen a case like Allison’s.

So life went on, now with a special needs toddler and an active first grader. In between our busyness, we would occasionally ask ourselves What if? What if we were to travel the world? Where would we go? What would we do? How would we pay for it?

Fast Forward to 2012.

Life had become pretty typical around our house. Good, but predictable. We needed something different. How about a trip around the world?!

We were all in.

Our plan was in place for an uncharted, low-budget, high adventure trip. Over nine months, our family set foot on six continents, visited 24 countries, 85 cities, and participated in over 25 service-related projects.  We met incredible, brave and brilliant people all around the world.

We learned about magic and miracles, gratitude and unconditional love, and how to connect with people without having a common language.

We learned to say YES more often and came home tighter than we left, in spite of or because of sharing 10 x 10 rooms for most of the trip.

To learn more about our travels and experiences, visit

One Family's Dream of Living the Courage Vibe - PanamaOur YESES opened many unexpected doors.

One of the most exciting was an invitation from Giggling Gorilla Productions to film parts of our trip for a documentary to inspire others to live their dreams and be of service.  (Click here to watch the trailer and find out how you can help get this to the big screen.)

Our dream to travel around the world as a family seemed way out of reach.

Our friends thought we were crazy, but we didn’t let that stop us.

We took our leap and the results have been absolutely astounding.

So, I ask you…

Who do you want to be?

Where do you want to go?

What do you want to do? Change? Become?

Take a leap that excites you. Want ideas to get you started? Download 30 Ways to Live Brave, Give Big and Have Fun. These are some of the things we do as a family to keep ourselves out of the RUT and moving forward.

Thank you,

Jody White


About the family:

Jody, John, Riley (17) and Allison (12), live in Portland, Oregon. They took a low-budget, high-adventure trip around the world for nine months and came back in love with the ways of Courage and a desire to follow it to the ends of earth, and here at home, with people like you.

The Courage Vibe was created to be a global catalyst to awaken individual and family courage and inspire people, and ourselves, to live brave, give big, and have fun in an era of chronic boredom, stifling conformity, and shrinking optimism.

For promotional and joint venture opportunities, invitations to speak, write, or interviews, please email LiveBrave(at)

To interact online, Facebook: Twitter: @ thecouragevibe or Pinterest – Website:

One Family's Dream of Living the Courage Vibe  - Walk across the border