An Irish couple and their three children will next week begin an incredible 30,000 mile journey, travelling through four continents over the course of a year to eventually set up home in Galway.
Brendan and Gillian Lally, originally from Galway and Cork, have been living in the United States for 16 years. After deciding it was time to head back home the Lallys have spent the last two years preparing for this big adventure which begins on Monday, September 1, and promises to be an amazing experience not just for them but for their three children Kate (19 ), Tess (15 ) and Zak (13 ).
The couple moved to the US in 1991 to live in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, where they run a small IT business. According to Gillian it was Brendan who convinced her to move to the US and then “Brendan started asking the question again - how about we move back to Ireland, the long way home? What about a world trip, kids included?” Brendan got the bright idea from watching adventure shows on TV as a child and also from the notion of doing something different.
Different it certainly is. After two years of research, planning, and saving, the Lally family are currently putting the finishing touches to their preparations, holding yard sales to sell off various possessions and putting together the essentials. The journey will see them exploring the wonders of the US from Alaska to Texas and travelling to Mexico and Central America crossing the Panama Canal. They will then drive to the very end of South America and up to the Amazon river in Brazil, ship across the Atlantic to South Africa and travel north through the Savannah grasslands to the Sahara Desert and the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Crossing the Mediterranean they will explore the antiquities of Europe before finally making their way home.
“We hope to make a positive impact wherever we go, building our children’s sense of the one world we all live in,” says Gillian who added that the children’s education will broaden with exposure to many new cultures and customs, living their classes daily, experiencing first hand what many children see in a book. The two youngest children, Tess and Zak will have access to virtual home schools but will also visit local schools along the way, sharing and experiencing how other children live and learn.
The Lallys plan to settle in Galway and by September 2015 their eldest child, Kate, will move to Cork to attend college while the other children will settle into local school. However, another adventure could be on the cards for the Lallys in a few years time.
You can follow the Lally’s journey via their website TheLongWayHome.us, on Facebook by searching for TheLallysLongWayHome, or via Twitter.