I was taught there's a contradiction between being cautious and being curious. But there isn't.
Thanks for this. My husband and I started the path to pursue full time nomad travels in early 2022 for real. We’ve only just begun and this winter has been one of significant health crises and deep personal loss. It has awoken a deep, deep fear in my heart that I had previously not felt as part of the equation. All work to do and it’s good to be reminded that others also work on learning their way through it in different ways.
Mums are hardwired to be cautious, so go easy on us. I had to make deliberate, conscious decisions to allow and, yes, encourage my one and only kiddo to stray from my side: Sending him on a college-run one-month stay in Costa Rica at age 13. Dropping him off in his mid-teens at Heathrow to find his own way to a small town in Bavaria alone and with minimal German. Letting him go to boarding school in a place that was a bit Lord of the Flies. Arranging a place to stay so he could spend a summer living and working in England. It was all terrifying for me, not him. I did it anyway because every kid needs that: I spent a year as a high school exchange student myself. As a professor, I was always frustrated by parents who wouldn't fund study abroad because they thought it was dangerous. Parents who have never gone overseas, and they're legion in America, are scared as hell. We have to work on fixing that, but I have no idea how at the moment, except supporting international exchange programs of all kinds.
Love this! I'm passing this post along to my husband who owns and defends the fear factor with pride. My curiosity and adventuresome spirit is on hold at the moment due to health issues. This read calls for a discussion and possible melding of the minds to move forward instead of standing still in a tug of war. Thank you for a great read!
This is a lovely and nuanced look at travel and the evolution of our childhood perspectives. <3
This is one of my favorite newsletters. Was good to see it again!
Thank you for this; I’m sending it to my mum immediately :)
I wish I could have met your mum, and that she had been mine, too, but there were far worse. They had intelligence and love of learning in common. For instance, mine taught me to read before I entered Kindergarten, partly using comics, partly books. Real ones, not kiddy books. Some teachers were highly annoyed because I hadn’t learned “the right way”. Still, I was always grades ahead of most my age in reading, and I’ve always been grateful to her for being an iconoclast.
Cautiously But Comprehensively Curious is a pretty good life motto!
I’ve recently heard another I like: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
I found foreign and domestic travel very intimidating if I couldn’t plan it out well in advance, but I did allow that some spontaneity might occur. Do you think your mother would have eventually approved of your digital nomading, or only been extremely fearful for you over it? Certainly, it agrees with both of you.
Thank you for sharing. I love the split level tree house story. It reminds me of the dwellings of some of the Tolkien elves. The five foot high section is for guests like Gimli who are less comfortable with climbing!