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From Here To Uncertainty – Bob & Brenna Redpath

June 16, 2009

I posted a short article a couple of days ago about Bob and Brenna Redpath of Los Angeles who are chucking it all and hitting the road with their two kids.  I had an opportunity to talk with Bob and Brenna this morning and I have to say they are very aware of the risks involved with giving up their home, their income, their roots, and going on the road in this economy.  It certainly seems contrary to all common sense when those around them are hunkering down and stocking up for the winter.  What the heck are they thinking?

FHTU“It’s a hard time, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now” says Brenna, “there’s something empowering about choosing my own uncertainty”.  Bob adds, “It’s not about taking a vacation, it’s about exploration and about what we want to do with our lives, it’s about growth.”

Brenna Gibson Redpath, an accomplished songwriter/musician in her own right, has been  focusing on the care of her family and home, as well as home schooling their children, 6th grader Owen and 2nd grader Eleanor.  Bob got sidetracked twenty years ago and became a Hollywood sound editor, which has proven to be seasonal and non fulfilling work for him.

This crazy idea started almost a year ago as they contemplated the ole work hard 14 hours per day 6 days per week and miss your kids growing up versus spending time with your family and not being able to pay the bills dilemma.  They realized “this isn’t working for us anymore” and made a decision to do something radical and take control of their lives.

They started making plans to sell everything, quit the job and travel for a year.  They didn’t say it, but I wonder if, for a few days at least, each one was just playing along with the notion and waited for the other to say “kidding”.  But, neither one caved and now they’re committed.

They decided to focus their travels primarily on Eastern and Western Europe and perhaps Turkey and northern Africa.   OwenEleanorThey connected with the home schooling community for ideas on how to continue with the kids’ education, mixing in local cultures and history and perhaps even languages.  They held a cocktail tag party to kick off the sale of their household goods in garage sales, on Craig’s List and on eBay.  They made plans to wind down the job and made plans to make plans.

Visit and have a look around.  You can find their blog there as well, and you’ll be able to follow their travels and experiences in real time.  Have a look at their video which does a great job explaining their intention.  By the way, that’s Brenna singing The Who’s Goin Mobile and you can download it from their web site:

Six days and counting.  Renault Eurodrive, a company I had a great experience with, just completed the lease paperwork on a new car they’ll pick up in Europe.  The Redpath house is sold, both cars are sold, their possessions too; even the kids got into the act and sold most of their belongings.   They just have several small things remaining to do like canceling car insurance, calling their credit card companies, updating their web site, and scattering their few remaining possessions amongst family and friends for safe keeping.

They’re in San Francisco for a couple of days saying their goodbyes to family, having “last suppers” with friends, and will be flying out of LAX on June 22nd.  I asked them who is sending them off and they said they’re just taking an airport shuttle.  No big send off with waving and screaming hordes, they’re just going to slip away in the night.

Their first stop is Serbia where they’ll spend the first three weeks with their friend Darinka, a teacher, who splits her time between Serbia and California.  She’ll then return to California and will serve as their mission support specialist so to speak.  Their strategy is to move around every one or two months setting up home bases in different parts of the continent, and then take day trips and short overnighters away from the home base.

Brenna said “We’re going to let serendipity take over and we love the idea of absorbing what it’s like to live in other cultures”.  They are taking along a fair bit of electronics to document their adventure and will be posting  journals, pictures and videos on their blog as regularly as they can; that means when they can find an internet connection really.

We talked a little about coming home; they’re a little concerned about re-integrating when that time comes and they’re not sure what they will do then.  But, we all agreed, that’s part of the adventure; there’s something intriguing about the unknown.

They’d like to hear from you.  They don’t have the entire trip mapped out, so if you have a second cousin once removed in Luxembourg and you think The Redpaths ought to look them up, then let them know.  If you think they should visit Hallstatt, Austria because it was one of your favorite places when you went to Europe last year, then say so.  In a time when we’re all uncertain about our own futures and livelihoods, this is a chance to participate in their journey and perhaps influence their direction and discoveries.  It can be a nice escape from your own routine, and who knows, maybe you’ll develop a yearning of your own.

Now that the first phase of their quest is coming to an end and the thing they’ve been working so hard for is about to begin, I asked them what they wanted people to know about what they are doing.  “We’ll be seeking out others who’ve decided to change their lives and take control; we want to make new connections; we want to experience global community.”

Well, that’s hard to argue with and hard to top, so I’ll just wish you all the best Redpaths, go have the time of your life.


Melody Watson, their beloved Squarespace Goddess and web re-designer

Sixintheworld, the story of a family of six and their 11 month ’round the world odyssey, that provided some of the inspiration for this trip.

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