Guest Post: Ken Grossman on Brilliance and Absurdity

Ken has been a good friend to our family for many years. He’s a deep thinker with a sense of humour skewed in directions we like. He sent this as an email, and at Sue’s request is allowing us to post it here.

The nomadic lifestyle took awhile to sink in with me but I’m on-board now. I cannot say whether it is an absurd idea or brilliant but I suspect it is a bit of both. Here is what I like about it:

  • It serves that inner voice in many of us to live life with gusto
  • It also serves the inner voice that speaks to our wanderlust (But we may need to be aware of too many inner voices as we may end up on medication:)
  • A chance to meet people and REALLY get to know them
  • I think you and Sue have the brainpower and personality to pull this off
  • The world has become very virtualized and there are not many things you cannot do over the Internet
  • Freedom, not total freedom, but freedom to a degree that most industrialized people will not voluntarily seek
  • Exposing Fiona to an unconventional and rich array of experiences, I suspect she will grow up to be a different sort of person and I can’t wait to see
  • I would hope there is a potential through your website to catch an audience that may fuel you both spiritually and financially
  • If you can be successful, I would think you would achieve a comfort with living your life in a predatory world and not fear the future. (See Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

There are probably more things I can think of I like but on to the things I am fearful of:

  • You WILL be very dependent on the Internet; stay tuned into potential changes there
  • I don’t know what kind of safety nets you have in place but I suspect that it is not many. Your level of vulnerability concerns me
  • A big safety Net issue is Health care…
  • Traveling the roads makes you very dependent on your vehicle
  • There are bad people out there. Some of them really really seem like good people. Be careful
  • Fiona is blessed to have you both but I would be concerned about her none the less. I don’t wish to verbalize all the reasons…
  • It is a truly crappy economy out there and this might be the perfect way to face it, but, we relentlessly move towards the future and preparing for that should be somewhere on your radar.

OK, a couple of thoughts.

  • The My-Fi from Verizon is very good for browsing the Internet but it sucks for file upload/download especially outside the 3G range. I’ve read about new technology for cars but I don’t know anything about it. You will need to find hot spots.
  • You may want to put a Android phone near the top of your list. If you can try one for 15 days before returning it (Verizon included a $35 restocking fee for my Droid X) then that might be worth it. If you cut loose on this project, I think a Droid phone would be like a Swiss Army Knife for you.

What do you think about Ken’s lists? Are the pluses enough? What about the concerns? We’d love to hear your comments below.


  1. Ken, as I come to know these clever folks a little more, and as I was quite taken with the little elf, Fiona – who seems to have seduced my dog and vice versa – I share many of the items on both your lists.

    My contribution to the lists – and they could go on either the likes or fears, depending:

    – leave room to be tourists. Find out what the locals value (in this case, Stanley Park, Grouse Mt Skyride, Jericho Beach, Kits Beach, Granville Island, and so on) and check some of it out.
    – consider enrolling Fiona in some classes, courses, day camps, or lessons with other kids. For all the obvious reasons.
    – consider having a young babysitter show Fiona some of the cool aspects of a neighbourhood (hopefully, your hosts can recommend someone safe and experienced.) Fiona’s job is to pay close attention so she can play tour guide later that evening, or a couple of days later, for her parents who spent the few hours she was away from home putting some undivided attention into whatever projects are on the go. If the family values the opportunities of seeing and learning about new cultures and neighbourhoods, how nice if Fiona has some responsibility for bringing that to the family.

    Some ideas … ones that go in the like, but also come from some of the standard fears of raising kids well – whether you stay put or travel as it happens.

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