A while ago Matthew Morrison reached out to us as he and his family were doing an extraordinary thing, they were traveling around Europe during the COVID pandemic. Naturally, we wanted to hear their story.

We will be posting a multi-part series of their adventures, we hope their stories give everyone some happy vibes during this time of global aviation meltdown.

Introduction


Brooke and I had traveled most of our lives, long before we had known each other. We both grew up in adventurous families who loved the outdoors and travel. We traveled a lot before our kids were born and have tried to give them that adventure for travel from an early age.

As an airline pilot, I travel weekly for work, which I love. Additionally, when I’m not working, I always look forward to planning our next trip with our family and experiencing new adventures. Our kids have grown up traveling and often ask, “Dad, when is our next trip?”

We often travel on long weekends or during the summer or whenever we can. I have my go-to places like Hawaii and California, but Brooke is always making our family broaden our horizons with new worldly places.

Traveling during the pandemic is filled with mixed emotions. First, there is obviously the risk of covid and getting sick while on the road and in a different country far away from home. That is in the back of my mind because I would be fully responsible for anything happening to anyone of us.

Throughout my military career and as a pilot, I have gotten used to making educated decisions and weighing risk versus reward. I carry that mentality with decisions I make in my life now, and Brooke and I make joint decisions together on that basis.

Over the last several months, since the pandemic has begun, we have listened to the media, been through lockdowns, homeschooled our kids, and have been through all the emotions of what is right and wrong, like most Americans. With all that in mind, when the opportunity to “escape our bubble” and travel came along, it was a silver lining.

Brooke and I both made educated decisions and agreed that the adventure outweighed the risk. We were ready to escape the bubble! We did not want to be cooped up at home any longer. If our kids had to sacrifice their schooling while sitting in front of a computer for several hours a day, we might as well allow them to experience and learn about the world firsthand!

That was the risk we were willing to take!

About us


Matthew – 45 years old. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii. My father was in the Air Force, so we moved around quite a bit when growing up. We lived mostly around the US, but we also lived for 3 years in Australia. I was used to traveling from an early age and have continued to enjoy traveling throughout my life. I went to college in Arizona, where I met Brooke one summer. Post-college, I entered the Air Force and went to flight school. I was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and flew F-16’s for 20 years. I served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the early 2000s. In the last 10 years in the military, I was in the reserves where I worked part-time as an F-16 instructor pilot. I retired from the military reserves in 2018. While in the military reserves, I got hired on to a major U.S. airline in 2007. I’ve been with the airline for 13 years and am currently a Captain. Our industry has been crushed by the pandemic, and many of my peers at other airlines are being furloughed and without jobs. I have enjoyed traveling my whole life since I was a child and throughout my military and commercial pilot career. I am very grateful for this opportunity in such unprecedented times!

Brooke – 40 years old. Grew up in Prescott, Arizona. She took many trips as a child and has always loved to travel as well. She went to college in Arizona, and post-college worked as an event planner until our son was born. Today, she enjoys volunteering at school and raising our two kids as a full-time mother. We have traveled together around the US, Korea, Thailand, New Zealand, France, and Costa Rica. We take frequent trips back to Hawaii to visit my family. Brooke loves adventure and experiencing new places also. Brooke is an avid kayaker and skier.

Parker – 13 years old. Born in Phoenix. Loves the outdoors, biking, camping, theatre, and playing video games with friends. He has recently developed a growing interest in history.

McKenzie – 11 years old. Born in Phoenix. Loves dance, theatre, gymnastics, and acting. Also looks forward to outdoor activities such as camping and kayaking. A complete lover of dogs, cats, and all animals!

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