Posted on August 31, 2017
Getting a Home Base
Being on the road for the last year or so has been great. Bean and I have learned so much about the world and different ways of life. The number one thing I have learned: I have lots more to learn. And I like it. It keeps me interested in the world and people around me. While we have enjoyed traveling from one destination to another, it was not my Plan A. Plan A was always to teach in a foreign country and travel while there.
There are many things that we haven’t done in the past year that Bean and I are looking forward to. Bean has been talking about pets for months. Every time we pass stray dogs and cats, she wants to talk to them and adopt them.I have had to tell her more times than I wish to count, that they are dirty and have fleas and can not come with us. That doesn’t stop her. She will do her best to make friends with them.
Once, in Morocco, we were shelling peas. Inside of one pea pods a caterpillar was living. Bean adopted him for several days;taking him outside to play with her. She let him sleep in the bowl by her bed. She might have named him. He stayed with us until he started to turn a different color. I convinced her that he would be happier outside and she finally let him go.
The latest is a snail that was on grapes that we were washing. Bean is very good about giving it leaves to eat. I have to tell her not to take it everywhere because that is not what snails would like to do. All of her adopting strange pets let me know it is time to have a home base for a while.
I had forgotten how much I like to decorate. Simple, minimalist and pretty decorations that Bean and I can be proud to show others that this is where we live. I have redecorated and rearranged different lodgings in my mind for many months, letting me know that it is time for me to find somewhere and indulge my interests.
There has been no need to cook or clean for so long it may take some effort to get into the habit again. Where we are going, restaurant meals are super cheap. Bean prefers to eat out because we are around other people.I am happy not to wash dishes every day. As for cleaning, if everything has a place and everything stays in its place, cleaning should be simple. The most difficult thing will be finding a place for all of our few things.
I am excited to be able to try a few things that I have thought about and read about over the last year. For example, spending nothing. Getting all the paperwork necessary to go to China has seemed to be one long series of handing out money. Going back and forth to the consulate meant travelling four hours one way. Gas, car rental, more for the papers needed to process our visas, airplane tickets, items we may not find in China, eating on the road and on and on the money flows from my hands. I feel like I am acting as if money grows on trees the way that I am spending it. I will be glad to spending nothing for a time just because I have no need to spend money.
And if I am spending nothing, that means I am buying nothing. I know that I must buy things that we need. We need things. Bean needs clothes. I need shoes. We need food and soap and shampoo. Like I wrote previously,it is not so much about buying the things we need, it is the amount of time we spend in stores. It seems unavoidable, because as we travel, it is necessary to find a store that has what we are looking for. We spend a lot of time looking for things we need. Even though we may be shopping at a mega store, it may not carry the same items that American mega stores carry. We may need to go to somewhere else to find deodorant or tea tree oil or baking soda. I will be so glad to get all of things we need and stop shopping for a while. Bean asks to go to the mall. As a minimalist, that is not what I am trying to show to my child.
I would like to experiment with no waste as well. There are stores that sell only fruit and vegetables. Street vendors who sell meals and set tables and chairs in front of their booth. Electric kettles are widely used to boil water and I don’t need to buy bottled water. The list goes on and I am ready to see if we can successfully create less waste.
I have used a type of capsule dressing for the last year or so. There is just no way to have one suitcase and lots of clothes. I would like to try uniform dressing. The school children all wear uniforms. Bean will not need to think about what she will be wearing every day, I believe I will benefit from that as well. As our schedules will be demanding at the beginning, for my peace of mind, uniform dressing just may be the key.
We are excited about what this opportunity is bringing us. There is always something to discover. If you would like to know about something in particular about what we plan to do, leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer you!