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Nomadic life of 5

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

- written for, July 2021.

I wanted to write this text several times in the last few months, but I just couldn't put it into shape.

What is sometimes very simple also sometimes has its own reasons for not coming from the first (sometimes even from the hundredth).

But for the last few days, I have been thinking intensively about how to best convey to you the decision that came suddenly and which required both courage and willingness to make it.

I'm writing this text in the shade of a fig tree while listening to the songbirds singing. It will soon be 3 months since we left Denmark. What was supposed to be a short break from the problems and challenges that last year brought (in our case it was a very intense period of renovation and difficulties with the house) literally overnight turned into an adventure that will last maybe a year, maybe even longer.

It was a logical move for us, but the more I tell it to friends and acquaintances, the more I look at their faces in amazement and listen to comments of admiration, concern and delight, I realize that it is not something that many would decide to do.

And maybe that's why it's difficult for me to grasp all the threads in the ball of thinking, beliefs and feelings in which we live and act for the last two years, since we left the norms of the system and live according to our intuitions and convictions.

But first, here are the facts: we rented a house in Denmark for a year. We have deregistered the address of residence. We are written out of all the systems that most people take for granted. We don't have an address, we have a tentative plan and wishes, but we don't have anything permanent and secure. We made the decision to travel the world for the next year, all five of us. In two days, five days before we were only supposed to come to Croatia for a short time, we decided to rent and completely empty the house. Instead of packing for a month of travel, I suddenly needed to pack for an entire year. What many people struggle with when they go on summer vacations: packing for myself and children in several suitcases for a few weeks, I did for the whole year. I tried to predict what we need the most, what we will not be able to do without, what is nice for us to have, but also to reduce everything unnecessary. In five days, we said goodbye to everything we know and drove the car full of things to Croatia in one breath. The children slept through the night, in the morning we stopped to eat and stretch our legs and continued on. It was surreal to know that we were leaving for such a long time, it was strange to drive on the almost completely empty roads of Germany, Austria, and Slovenia and to come from pandemic, a closed Denmark, to the streets of Zagreb, which was moving, living, breathing.

We didn't have to get used to being in other people's apartments, living out of suitcases and living in the moment. Living in the present is what we have been practicing for a long time. It's not that it's always easy and that life on the move doesn't have its challenges.

We are all individuals in our own right and we are different, we have different desires and needs and the art is to find a compromise and feel that no one is wrong.

Our children are free, they don't belong to the system and now their school scene is the world we move in, but they still have moments when they miss certain things and people from Denmark.

But if it wasn't like that, it wouldn't be normal, maybe only then would I ask myself what's wrong with us.

I miss the routines, constancy and predictability of everyday life: morning coffee from my favorite vending machine, buying organic products for which I don't need to read labels, dumpster diving, the peace of the forest behind our house. They miss our dog and chickens the most, which we couldn't take with us. I accept their sorrows and memories, keep them in a safe presence and try to be a support in moments when it is difficult.

Sometimes I need support too. Suddenly tearing yourself away from safety means looking into your own insecurities and fears.

Returning to Croatia for me brought the dimension of returning to a part of my identity.

It can be intense, ugly, difficult, but at the same time it is so fulfilling, rich and satisfying.

For now, our plan is to stay in Croatia until the end of August (my husband received a residence permit for 10 years). After Croatia, we are going to Spain, where we would like to explore the history and culture from Barcelona to the south. In La Herradura, there is a Worldschooling hub - a place where other world travelers who educate their children while traveling are located and gather, and we plan to spend a month there, then slowly return to Denmark at the end of October to leave the car and things and then fly to Central America in November. We have a return ticket to Europe in March next year, but whether we will change it or not is an open question.

Is it crazy to dare to travel with children at this time, to change addresses, countries and surroundings? Is it crazy to give them an insight and experience of life that they would never experience in the environment that Denmark gives them? Is it crazy to have all the time in the world that we share for better or for worse 24 hours a day, every day of the week?

Does anyone have a sure answer to anything that life is?

Two years ago, I heard in a podcast about digital nomads, a man who will often come to my mind. He talked about what made them live in a bus, educate their children from home and even think about such a radical change. What he said was something along the lines of: people often live for breaks, for vacations, annuals, holidays. It's like they need a break from everyday life, but I don't want to live in the past, I don't want to take a year out of my life to feel alive.

There is a Danish writer and poet named Dan Turell, who wrote the lines in one of his famous songs: "I love the everyday ("Jeg holder af af vådgende"), which deeply resonates with what I believe in. And that's why I try to live life (even together at five) as if every day is my year.

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