Simon said to me today: “I think that for the first time in our lives we have made a decision about what we want”. “Blimey!” I said, “Have we?”. Am I so sure? Maybe we have! One thing is for sure, life has been less than focused for us for a while. We’ve made lots of changes – moving from the city, taking that mind-bending step into parenthood, overcoming debt (the result of having more, doing less). But work has been unfocused and our home has been really cluttered.
For a long time we thought that living abroad is what we wanted but it clearly isn’t quite right otherwise we would surely have done something about it. Having children makes it seem not quite the move right now too. Yet we do want change, adventure, the chance to really experience different places as more than holidaymakers. Sometimes I wish I had taken a gap year all those years ago and traveled the globe backpacking. Now though, I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t want to travel quickly. I don’t want to spend hours in airports, checking in and out, moving on, scratching the surface of a place. I really want to live somewhere long enough to get acquainted. I know that we won’t see the world that way, but we will experience a quality, shortlist of places that really mean something and become an influential part of our lives.
Just recently we’ve been moving towards a feeling of decisiveness. Reducing possessions. Clearing space and minds. Changing how we work. Location independence and simple living are part of it but not quite all of it. What we want is a combination of these – a permanent home which has only minimal stuff which can be packed away easily, a home we can swap, rent out. Work which can happen anywhere for a part of the year. A focused portfolio of portable projects. At least 10 weeks a year living somewhere else alongside stability and a sense of somewhere to return to and recharge ready for the next adventure.
So there it is, temporary location independence alongside a minimal but homely home. Maybe that doesn’t sound like such a major decision, but believe me, it’s taken a lot of thought about a lot more than it might seem. Decisions about work, life, our children, their education, fulfilment, motivation. But now that decision is made life itself feels so much simpler. We know where we’re going (well, not literally, that’s the next decision!) and sort of when – we’re aiming for the first, what shall we call it, extended trip, home away from home, adventure – we’ll come up with a better name – next summer, 2010. That’s the goal.