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Why We’re Not Crazy

Posted by on 24 June 2010

Amidst all the excitement and enthusiasm, some very real consternation has surfaced among some who know us. Since its source is their genuine concern for us, and since others may well be thinking the same things, I thought it was time to clarify things so y’all know you don’t have to worry about us.

First and foremost, I will never knowingly endanger my family’s well-being or happiness. My primary job is to care for my wife and daughter, in part, by caring for myself.

And the first of the first is our spiritual well-being. Whether or not you share a specific religious bent, you certainly realise that there is more to life than what we eat and what we wear. I know that there are things more important than me, that the Greater Good outweighs my personal benefit, and, by extension, my family’s. We plan to continue, and, if possible, increase our volunteer work, and have plans in place to reinforce ourselves to offset the potential instability traveling can introduce.

Which brings up the second point: stability. Don’t we need a home, a car, a fixed place, to provide our daughter the life a 6-year-old needs?

No, we don’t. What she needs is not things, but people. The love of her family, undivided attention, counsel and guidance, correction and discipline, play and adventure—those, she needs. She does not need to live in the same house for five years, or know that the store is only five minutes by car. Those are luxuries which the bulk of the world lives without every single day. I want her to know that.

As far as luxuries, here’s a sneaky little tidbit: I firmly believe our standard of living is about to experience a serious upgrade. Now, we’re pretty frugal. We live a simple life. But not a life of deprivation. We love good food. We love sitting in front of a great movie on TV. We love good music (and my room full of musical instruments and recording equipment.) We like sturdy fun clothing, and maybe more than anything else, we like sleeping in a nice soft bed.

I’m not giving that stuff up. We’re not planning on using our backpacks for pillows as we collapse exhausted under the hedgerows. That’s no kind of life, and not what we’re seeking.

But we’re not materialistic. We have far more stuff than we could possibly need or will ever use. If we got rid of 90% of it, we’d barely miss it. Even if we decide to call this whole adventure off, that’s still gonna happen because we’re just plain tired of being responsible for all this stuff.

How can we possibly make a living if we’re traveling? Well, my short answer to that is, I sure haven’t been wildly successful making a living by not traveling. My last two jobs disappeared overnight when the companies shut down. Our own companies have started growing, finally, and that’s the very reason travel has become essential. There is plenty of work for us, but for now, we need to go to the work, since it’s not coming to us.

Aren’t we biting off more than we can chew? Not yet. Sure, there’s a banquet on the table. Right now, we’ve simply put a nice salad on our plate. The only thing we’ve committed to at this point is that we’ll be in Vancouver for most of the month of August. After that, we could come home and announce that the experiment is over and we’re done. It’s not likely, but for now, we’re not committing to anything without knowing what we’re getting ourselves into. This is an experiment, and each step is a gentle testing of the ground to ensure that we don’t lose our footing.

Sure; I’ve shared some wild goals here, talking about living without most of our possessions, a home and car, all that. It’s still the plan.

But plans change. We can’t foretell the future any better than anyone else. But we’d rather choose a future and try to make it happen than to simply sit here and let life be something which happens to us.

We’re seeking a simpler life, not a more complicated one. We’re trying to need less stuff and have more time.

We’ve settled on some tentative goals; I’ll share those later. But even those are subject to review and adjustment every step of the way.

Like I said: we know we can swim, but we’re still gonna make sure there’s water in the pool before we jump in.

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