3 Years, and We Have Surely Grown
We’ve now been on the road over 3 years, and felt it was time to update our ‘About’ page. I removed the following copy from that page which was written as Q &A before we left on our travels. If you are a fan of our site, you will notice how much we’ve grown. I didn’t want to just erase page this since it’s outdated, but it serves as a reminder that our journey is a process. Please enjoy our writing from 2008:
We are here, and there’s no desire to turn back. The “where is here?” question is unimportant, since our physical location continues to change. The freedom in that movement is part of the answer. We are a mother and son, living a nomadic lifestyle and have no destination in mind or an end date to count down to.
I’ve anticipated your questions and since this is a formal “about” section, I’m going do my best to answer them here:
First of all, who are you? (Age, rank & serial number, please)
My name is Lainie Liberti. At the time of writing this, I am 42 (that was 2 years ago, and am currently 4) and single. I am a mother, ex- business owner, artist, designer, brander, writer, creative thinker, activist, liberal, dog lover, culture-jammer, costume wearing instigating human being.
My son is Miro Sevin Siegel, 12 years old in this current time-stream moment. He is not very athletic, and prefers fiddling with all things tech. He likes bricks, card tricks, wearing a cape, playing RPG’s and going to burning man. He’s uber intelligent, charming, articulate and funny. He’ll engage you in his fantastic imaginative worlds and surprise jump on your shoulders for the occasional piggy back ride while telling you a library of “…a guy walks into a bar…” jokes.
What were the circumstances that led to your current lifestyle?
I am not exactly sure of the single point, but I know it was an amalgamation of many things lining up to create a path of least resistance: But for sure, there were at least three main factors that led to our jumping ship from the conventional lifestyle:
3.) mental sanity
Consideration #1: Inspiration
For many years I was inspired by living a simpler life, something that is now trending in progressive circles, defined through the term “lifestyle redesign”. Before I even heard this phrase, I was itching for a life off the “grid” and outside consumerist cycle of ownership and debt. I created as much peace as I could in my professional life, even through I still functioned in a world of consumerism & marketing. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I did not and as more clients demanded my services, my expenses as a business owner went up. Although I’m not going to specifically talk about my former business, clients, successes (and failures alike) here, you’ll catch bits and pieces through references throughout this blog. If you are interested in seeing the company website, which is still up, please feel free to visit it here.
Consideration #2: The Economy
8 was the magic number. My business name was jungle. 8 years in business, 8 employees, and it was 2008.
Good at math? (Because I’m not)
All those numbers added up to one thing: A brutal year for my business. 2008 had it’s ups and downs. I worked really hard but I lost many clients due to the economy. Because my agency focused primarily on serving green eco- companies, non profits and arts organizations, I couldn’t have chosen a more targeted audience for California’s failing economy to effect. Needless to say, as the year closed, there was pretty much no choice, financially speaking. The only question left was how much lemonade were we going to make?
Consideration #3: My Mental Sanity
OK, come on, I know you are thinking, “is she just having a ‘mid-life”’crisis,” right?
Perhaps, but for those that know me, you know I am not unstable.
I’m irrational, unpredictable and an anti-conformist…
but I am not unstable.
I did, however have a bad, bad, bad case of BURN OUT. I worked a lot. When I say, I worked a lot, I meant, I WORKED A LOT! (and yes, I”m shouting)
For the most part, I have raised my son on my own, ran a business and tried to keep some sense of a personal life (which I wasn’t the greatest at). The most common phrase I heard from my son (after “I love you” of course) was “Mom, you work too much. You never spend anytime with me.”. Every time he uttered those words, my heart shattered into a million teeny pieces..
My mental sanity is important to me and when it was compromised through stress, I was open to a better alternative
OK, I understand it was a tough year, but most people just downsize their expenses and look for another job. Why was becoming a “nomad” the path you choose?
Yes, agreed, the financial challenges where a catalyst, or the “fire” that got our booties in gear, but the choice to adapt the nomad lifestyle was as natural to us, as breathing.
The idea of meeting people from around the world, and discovering new perspectives, was exciting to us! Miro and I hosted couch surfers in our loft in Los Angeles for a couple of years and Miro loved meeting new people and discovering a little about their countries. More about couchsurfing.org here.
What about your career?
My career does not define me and it will still be there if I decide to go back to it. But with “burnout” looming over my head I’ve found it difficult to stay inspired. Working in “ client services” as a “creative” in advertising, branding, marketing, new media, for over 17 years has taken a lot out of me.
During that time, I have many success, (and quite a few failures to be completely honest). I’ve ran my own agency for 8 years, worked with some amazing brands, created many campaigns and designs I’m proud of. But again, it was something I did. For more about my professional experience, feel free to see my linkedin profile here.
Where are you going?
It’s difficult to answer this questions in the physical sense. We have a rough “desires” list of places we want to visit, but the short answer is, wherever we are inspired to go. Again, the freedom to be in the moment and follow that inspiration is part of the draw. Here’s a few of the physical places we’d like to visit, but either they will or they won’t come to fruition:
South East Asia
(did I leave anywhere out?)
What do you hope to find?
I am not looking for anything, rather freeing myself to be open to whatever life brings. I clearly know, what feels good and using that as our inner guidance we never go wrong.
Are you ever afraid?
Of course. Sometimes I’m afraid of things that are beyond my control. Then I remember that I’m projecting into some other moment other than the present moment, and in the present moment, everything is always OK
How can you afford this?
How can we afford not to do this? But I suppose this question is about the financial aspects of the trip. We didn’t have a lot of money to start out with. We didn’t own property and I don’t’ have a trust fund. I am, however, resourceful. I was able to scrape up about a year’s worth of cashola by selling our possessions and doing a little freelance. But when all is said and done, we are living / traveling on a shoe string and sometime mid 2010, we will not much any savings left. Part of the reason of this site is to continue our travels, earn a minimal income from this site and inspire others.
What’s the point?
Great question. Is there a point to life? Some people say “yes”, some say “no”. Some people believe it’s about doing something, maybe even creating value, giving, serving, making money or succeeding.
In my opinion, it’s about all of those things and none at the same time.
There is no point, other than living in the moment and being present to all of the experiences and constantly finding the joy. I realize, the nomadic lifestyle is our path to joy, so that’s exactly where you’ll find us living.