Friday, 1 May 2015

Tough questions

One of the most common questions I get when I tell people what we're planning is simply why?  What has possessed you to choose to disrupt your life this way?  Why pull your kids out of school and away from their friends?  What about everything you're leaving behind?

That's a tough question.  Its tough for a couple of reasons.  First, our motivations are complicated.  There are layers of emotion and reason and intuition mixed with regrets, fears, dreams and aspirations.  Some days it all gets jumbled together and it takes hours of talking and thinking and glasses of wine to sort through.  Second, it can be hard to talk about the reasons for making choices so radically different than those made by people closest to you. Its easy to give the impression that the decision we're making is right and the decision others have made is  wrong.  There is no wrong or right here, just different paths that we all can choose.  What is right for us may be wrong for others and, who knows this may not even be right for us.  So care must be taken when answering the question "why?".

  1. The only thing you can't get more of is time.  If you make this realization, then let it drive your course, amazing things can happen.  That's not to say people who trade their time for money, or their time for things are wrong, it's just not where my priorities lie.  That's easy to say coming from a middle class home in Canada, but I suspect I'll feel the same when I'm living below the Canadian poverty line.
  2. There will come a time when my kids don't want to spend time with me.  This is like the axiom that youth is wasted on the young.  If I had the choice why wouldn't I spend time with my family when they (and I) are young, even if it means cat food for dinner after a long day working at Walmart when I'm older?  (For the record, I've never tried cat food and am confident it won't come to that and I'm actually not that confident that Walmart would hire me.)
  3. Health and life are unpredictable.  Lets face it - we've all heard about the 66 year old who retired only to drop dead weeks after leaving work.
  4. We got tired of living on 'autopilot'.  Go to school, graduate, go to University, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house, have more kids...  It felt like we were doing what was next just because it was next.  We decided we wanted to live intentionally.  And this is where it gets dicey.  I am not saying that anyone who leads a more traditional life is not living intentionally, but we have chosen a different path - eyes wide open.
  5. Its a big world, and we want our kids to learn from being in it, not reading about it.  There is so much that travel and seeing the world can do for our kids, we're looking forward to showing it to them and watching them grow.
Really, this just begins to touch on the question of why and when I read these, they don't begin to do justice to the soul searching done over the last few years.  I guess what it  boils down to is that we felt something was missing - life wasn't what we knew it could be for us.  Ultimately, we want to live differently than we are so we're going to take a chance and see if this fits the bill if not, we'll find a different path.

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