9 Month Trip

Family turns tail on rat race for nine months

October 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Craig and Danielle Parrent had it all—a beautiful, 4,500 square foot home, their own business that employed 16 and was thriving, and three healthy young children. Yet the couple felt they were missing out. Craig felt he was putting the hours of his life into paying for the home and lifestyle, and spending all his time with customers instead of the people he loved most, his family. After a boat trip in Saugatuk, he had a conversation with his wife, who graduated Rockford in 1993 as Danielle Lewis. He wanted to get rid of it all and see the country with his family. “We knew it was the right thing to do and we never looked back,” Danielle said. Her husband, who has several heart conditions, was tired of missing out on his family’s life. “He felt he was working for the granite counter tops, large home, expensive cars. There had to be more to life than driving himself into a stressed workaholic,” Danielle said of her husband. When the couple married 13 years ago, they had only $1,000 between the two of them. Deciding to jump off the fast track and spend nine months touring the country by motor home and with a ten-foot dinghy was a prospect that did not scare them. “You get back to the basics of life,” Danielle said. The kids were home schooled during the trip, which lasted from September 2008 until May 2009. They are back now, with plans to live life to the fullest and are planning their next trip. “We were simple people who were not leading simple lives, until now,” Danielle said. She said living like this is something many people dream about, but never do. They may wait until retirement. “We knew we weren’t getting any younger. The older the kids get, the harder it is to home school them, and for them to leave their friends. Now was the time.” They went as far east as it is possible to get with their time in Maine. They went as far south as well, to the Florida Keys, where they went beachcombing and watched manatees swim under their small boat. They walked in the depths of Carlsbad Caverns and Death Valley. “We weren’t […]