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New Zealand had to be a miss. Christchurch was still shaking, and was not a place for tourists. We signed our tickets, already purchased, over to the Red Cross.

That left a lot of ocean between us and home. Where could we spend our next few weeks?

We chose Fiji, for the unknown. And Hawaii, because it was familiar.

When traveling with our kids, we had learned to be flexible. And thankfully, so had they. We had spent more than one hundred days together, mostly in the same immediate space. If you asked most teenagers, that would almost be seen as a punishment of sorts. Luckily, we still liked each other. In fact, our relationships had never been stronger.

Life no longer passed us by. Each and every day, we were able to celebrate new learning, share in the tasks of living, and make decisions based on consensus. We had become a better family.

And we were getting excited to go home.

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