taking one more step off the conventional train?

May 2012 073May 2012 120May 2012 063

I ask your thoughts…

I’ve begun to seriously wonder if owning a home is occupying too much of our time, efforts and of course, money. That perhaps it’s one of those choices, that though everyone seems to aspire to, might not have nearly as many benefits as one thinks.

If we aren’t tied to any particular school, or work then perhaps we could take the show on the road. What better way to experience life and garner an education for our children than to travel.

We made a significant work and community transition almost five years ago. We were simplifying life. We bought a smaller home. We brought the kids home to educate. My husband began to share a medical practice. We were definitely stepping off the conventional train.

People asked why we would do that. Make less money, leave a community of people we loved, choose to sell the dream house, take our kids out of the mainstream social system.

At face value, I have to agree. It looked, well, unusual at best.

Simply, we chose to do it to simplify our lives. And simplify it we most certainly did. There were interpersonal transitions along the way: that wasn’t expected. A willingness to be real and vulnerable, a willingness to be known and to really know others. Less show, more glow. Happier to be in the moment, experience the moment, rather than plan, plan, plan for the future. It has been very good.

I remember a friend saying she is happiest when she is camping. Not because there are meals to prepare on the open flame, or mosquitos to shoo out the tent, or perpetually dirty kids to clean. Rather, because there were fewer ties that vied for her time. She was more in the moment with her kids.

This is how I feel about travelling. I’m not planning for the next paint colour, or calling the plumber again, or washing another floor. I have fewer household responsibilities. And lest you suggest I just get a full-time housecleaner, I’ve already been there in my thoughts.

It isn’t just that the house is always calling, rather the mere act of stepping out of the familiar, getting to know new people, seeing the world through an entirely different groups’ viewpoint, being exposed to different ideas and ways of living, seeing things one has never seen before, has a profound effect on a person.

So I ask you. Is it because people assume they are limited by their present occupation, by their family or social circle, or something else that keeps them tethered to their home?