For years we’ve dreamed of taking our kids and traveling the world together. But when is it ever the “right time” for something crazy like that? When they graduate high school? College? We’ve learned there’s never a right time for travel. We’re only guaranteed right now. And we might as well do it now.
So we packed our bags and jumped head-first into a nine-month-long adventure. We’ll travel by plane, boat, car, foot and who knows what else to 30 countries to step out of our comfort zones and experience and interact with the world and the people who call it home. We’re so grateful for the opportunity to take a risk like this—something that will allow us to leave our community in Oklahoma City and spend more time together as a family, meet new people and explore what makes each corner of this earth so unique. For us, this isn’t a vacation. This is all in. This is real life.
Before we made our decision to go on our trip, we asked ourselves a lot of questions. What’s important for us to see or do in our lifetime? How will the boys continue their schoolwork? What’s there to learn in this world—the one we read about in books and see in movies? How can we ensure our boys grow to understand and respect other people and cultures?
Our travels will bring us adventures and challenges we don’t anticipate, but we know it will also bring moments of tremendous growth for our family. The scariest part? We don’t know where this journey will lead us. And that’s okay. We’re embracing all of it and want to take you along with us for the ride.
Renzi “The Coach”
Renzi is the dad of the Roaming Stones crew and an entrepreneur, adventurer, reader and life-lover. On this adventure, he’ll be our “details” guy that helps keep everyone on-task and headed where we need to go. Our own cat herder, if you will.
Over the years, Renzi has focused on finding ways to grow his knowledge of trends that businesses and entrepreneurs are experiencing around the world, something that stems from his role as founder, chairman and CEO of Saxum, an integrated marketing communications agency headquartered in the U.S. He also serves on the Board of Regents for the University of Oklahoma as well as the international board of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
Renzi is our storyteller, and he’s a good one. His passion for communication has allowed him to be featured in PRWeek, Advertising Age, The New York Times and CNBC. On this trip, his biggest goal is to find the BOLD in every place we visit—people doing things that are big, innovative or just plain cool—and feature it right here on our blog.
And before you have to ask… He’s 6’ 10”.
Lee Anne “The Cheerleader”
Lee Anne is the mom of the Roaming Stones family and our biggest mentor. A foodie, motivator and the No. 1 best mom and wife (according to the boys), Lee Anne has a special way of keeping everyone’s spirits up and focused on what’s most important in life—being kind. On this trip, she’s our go-to guide for finding cool spots in each city for us to grab a bite to eat or check out.
Lee Anne has been blogging about our family for years, something that became a medium for sharing the story of our 11-month-old son, Isaiah, who we lost to epilepsy in 2010. Blogging has always provided a way for us to connect with family and friends in a way that we cherish.
For years Lee Anne has been able to work with many amazing high school students as the Youth Director for Leadership Oklahoma. She’s also a huge champion of the work we do on The Isaiah Stone Foundation, which raises awareness of pediatric epilepsy and supports parents of children who suffer from epilepsy.
Lee Anne’s biggest goal for this trip is to be able to see through the eyes of our children as they explore new and exciting places.
Jackson “The Man on the Street”
Jackson is our laid-back guy. He’s always rolling with whatever plans we cook up, and at 10 he’s already grown into such a confident, athletic, bright and curious young man. On this adventure, Jackson is the one who goes up to new people and asks them all sorts of questions about their lives. He puts these interviews on our YouTube channel in the hope that we can show his friends, classmates and our readers a glimpse of what we might experience on any given day.
Walker “The Observing Food Critic”
Walker is our hard worker who helps put in the work to get our family from place to place. A little quieter than his big brother, Walker is very observant about his surroundings and is always asking questions so he can learn. We’ve found he notices things on this trip that the rest of our family overlooks. Walker compiles what he explores in 1-second clips, something you can watch right from our YouTube channel. While mom and dad would say he’s a picky eater, he’s more of a self-proclaimed food critic. Walker tries different cuisines during our travels and rates them for our readers to see. So far hamburgers and chicken fingers get a 10/10.