Utopic, Blissful, Uninhibited Happiness- Ahh! The Traveler’s Life
- At the Reina (Queen) Festival in Cartagena, Colombia
Some of my recent Facebook updates reveal how miserably unhappy I am on the road:
“Spent the day by the pool. Played guitar, worked out in the gym, took a nap, talked to Kobi for hours. Oy! Life is tough.” or the all-revealing “Feeling the cool breezes off the River Kwai softly pet my face. Kids are fishing. Kobi’s reading a book on the deck. I am watching the lilies sway in the sunset light. God, life sucks!”
Justin Mussler over at The Great Family Escape really did have it right when he said that he wanted to buy time, time to be with his children, time to wake up when he wanted to set the alarm, time to be with his family. He sure was right when he said he no longer wanted to live his one shot at life at a job he has felt trapped in for the last fifteen years. Justin tagged me in a little game we have going and I’m it: Were we running away from something or running to, when we packed up our lives and hit the road? Were we unhappy in our lives back home or were we just seeking something else? (Read his piece. It is excellent.)
What Was Life Like Back Home
Ahh. Home! I loved my life back home. I did. I had my own parenting radio talk show, a thriving business with group therapy and speaking gigs, and tons of time to write my Clean Your Soul and Actualized Family Life Products and Courses. I lived in the luscious, flowing-green-and-blue Upper Galilee Valley in Northern Israel. My home was own mountain-side paradise. I helped found a school (movie’s in Hebrew but really good) which was all I ever dreamed education could be, after un-schooling the kids so many years at home. I had friends, good friends who I cherished to laugh, and more so, to cry with. We have an entire, gorgeous network of family (Kobi’s), who are nothing short of miraculous. I was terrified of leaving the dream-life we had built and almost canceled this entire travel the world dream to buy another house for future equity. Why the hell would we leave?
( I wrote about this often. The most famous ones are Tasting Fears and Doubts and Aaron Howard at The Jewish Herald Voice in Houston did a great piece on exactly that. They’re really awesome and entertaining to look at now that we’ve been on the road for 15 months)
So Why Did We Leave It All?
So, why did we do this? Why leave all we love and know for ‘The Great Unknown”? Well, we had this delusional lie that we conveniently chose to believe. WE all have these kinds of little lies, but well, I really, truly, whole-hardheartedly believed in mine. You know that ‘when we get into that house/when I lose 20 pounds/ when (fill in the blank), THEN… I’ll be happy’ lie?
Well, I really did think that once we hit the road, then…. we’ll really k now the true meaning of happiness. And boy, did I get knocked over the head with that one.
The Unromantic Notions Die Hard on the Road
We were sitting in the RV in the middle of Navajo Country. The kids were complaining, no, I remember this one correctly now (and I wince while telling it), no, they were demanding that we give them the allowance we had failed to give them last week; while, (I hide my head in shame here) flailing arms and being outraged (at us!) for making them wash the dinner dishes.
OMG! What have we done! We took these unappreciative, whining brats on a trip around the world, forever, for this? We left all the comforts of home to be stuck indefinitely in very tight quarters with these parasitic mongrels? Why? Why? Dear-God-and-To-Hell-With-It-All at once, Why?
And then, in those moments (which we also had back home), something unreal happens. But, I’ll tell you first what doesn’t happen. Unlike in our lives back home, here it’s not as easy to go use the internet, go to work, send them to another room/school/a friend’s house, go eat something in the kitchen, or drown out and avoid my pain in some other creative, numbing way. Here, on the road, we are stuck together and face (no matter how painful) the issues. Head on. Here, on the road, our family has gone through a transformation, a closeness, a growth and maturity that I could have never dreamed of.
When you travel the world as a family, you’ve got each other. That’s it. Only each other. You and your kin are all you’ve got, so you hold onto each other for all of your emotional needs. You get closer. And, because the intensiveness of living 24/7 with your family magnifies the pet peeves and annoyances that lead to fighting and family stress; you start dealing. You spend more time talking, working through issues, sharing feelings, exploring new options, carving positive character development traits, and laughing about it all.
Finding Happiness of the Road
I made a little video to share all that rushed up in my heart and soul in response to these reflective questions: Were we happy back home? Are we happy now? Does family travel as a way of life lead to happiness?
[Actually, I spent three days trying to decide which take is better and can’t (too lazy to make such major life decisions) and so, here’s both takes. Tell me which one you like better. ]
I’d be honored to hear from you. Are you happy? What would make you happy? How would world travel bring happiness to you? What are you running to and running away from?Like Dr. Phil would say, “How is that working for you?”
I’m tagging Lisa at AroundtheWorldinEasyWays and she also has picked her brains in reflecting what they sought when they left their comfortable lives in Ohio for the Great Unknown. And, if you didn’t check out Justin at The Great Family Escape and his response to “Why Would Anyone Want to Travel Forever”, do it!
Share with me, scream at me, bite me. I can handle it. Just show me that you’re there, also, on your journey towards that happiness. Tell me now it’s not ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ but ‘deep, deep in there’. Let’s talk. RSS our awesome little blog, support us through subscribing to our YouTube Channel, see albums and updates on Facebook and Twitter. Come on, be happy now, connect with us!