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Family Gone Free

What’s The Price of Freedom? Grandma’s Silver?

4,200 square feet of furnishings, clothes, games, holiday décor, purses, pots, tools, picture frames.  Piano lessons, pot lucks, car pooling schedules, play dates and PTA meetings.  20 years of accumulated memories, dust and piles upon piles of stuff.

How would you feel if all of the above disappeared from your life?  And all you had was a suitcase and your family?

My dear friend and sometimes-business-partner-in-crime, Brooke Castillo, has entered into a whole new level of contrarian behavior. Enamored by the location independent lifestyle, and in a relentless pursuit of what’s possible, her family has decided to sell everything and go on a year-long travel adventure around the United States and Italy.

But why would you DO that?

I’ve had so.much.fun discussing this with people. My family, friends, hairdresser, pals on Facebook. The reactions range from curiosity and admiration to outright panic and anger.  During this interview, you’ll hear me chat about my own husband’s outrage at the thought of selling our block of kitchen knives (the horror) and my daughter’s concerns about her art supplies, friends and flute lessons.  My son’s reaction was that he could throw a few things in a duffel bag and be fine. I (obviously) am fascinated by the whole idea.

Brooke also talks about how she has enjoyed exploring the patterns and expectations we’ve created in our culture:

1) Buy a big house

2) Buy lots of stuff to fill said house

3) Work really hard to pay for the stuff and house
Tons and tons of people work ridiculous hours and rarely see their families to afford that big house and all the stuff in inside it.

Crazy.

Clever, expectation-challenging woman that she is, Brooke wondered what it would be like to be free of her material things and able to travel and live in different, exciting, life-changing locations.

How are they doing this?

Over the course of the next six months, Brooke and her family will be selling their house (they actually sold their home in 2009 and are renting a large home) and nearly every.single.thing inside it.  From July 2012 to July 2013, they’ll rent homes for a month at a time – in places like Boston, Charleston, Florida, Maui and Italy.

Each person can save one steamer trunk of stuff that will stay tucked away in a friend’s garage. What can they take with them? One, single suitcase.

The kids will be home schooled and the Castillo’s had a custom curriculum created based on the locations they’re visiting.  They will operate their business from the road.

Have a listen to this interview and ask yourself –  if you were to go on an adventure like this one….

●      What would make it into your suitcase?
●      What would you put in your trunk?
●      What in your life can you question? Either “Why am I doing this?” or “Why not?

And some really powerful questions to discuss….

●      Am I doing my best to prepare my kids for life? Am I doing my best to prepare me for life?
●      How much of my identity is tied up in my location and home?  We all know that it’s not where you live, it’s who you are.   And you’re you wherever you are.
●      Like my Emily, do you get anxious thinking about leaving your friends for a year? Friends aren’t location dependent, are they?

My favorite line of the whole interview? Brooke says that what her biggest hope for this adventure is that they will return to with “appreciation – that we would choose this (their life in California) again.”

Would you choose your current life again? Why or why not?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!  This is going to be one juicy discussion!


Listen to the Interview MP3

xoxo, Susan

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