It isn’t just the material items we are getting rid of. For better or worse, we are deleting or at least putting on hold our professional lives as well. Although we have used the word “sabbatical” to describe what we are doing. That’s not really true. In a sabbatical you take a year off work and then you go back to what you were doing. We have a plan for a year (six months in the Caribbean + six months in the Meditteranean), but after that there is no plan. We’ve sold all of our stuff. And we couldn’t tell you where we will live, how we will live, or what we’ll be doing a year from now. And we’re not going to spend the rest of our lives on a boat.
Not everyone can do what we are doing as most people have a “home” whether that is defined by friends, family, or just the place you grew up. But by a fluke of our heritage, we don’t really have a “natural” home base. Allow me to explain:
I was born in London, England and grew up in the UK until I was 16. Then the family moved to Montreal, Canada where I stayed until I was 24. Since then I’ve lived in (list in chronological order), LA, New York, LA, Paris, Munich, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Francisco, LA, and finally New York. And my family (brother, sister and Father) have moved to Vancouver – a pace I’ve visited many times but never lived. So the 10 years I’ve spent in New York where we were married and had our children is probably as close to “home” as I could get. But the reality is friends and family are spread out all over.
Emma-Kate was born in Adelaide, Australia, and grew up in Melbourne which is where she was living when we met (in a film festival in Japan in 1997). Then she moved to Sydney. We moved in together in LA in 1999. And now we live in NY. But Emma-Kate grew up as an only child. And her mother passed away a few months before we met. So although Emma-Kate is more Australian than I am English she doesn’t have parents or siblings that she grew up with to go up to.
Between the four of us, we have four passports: English, Australian, Canadian and American. So we could live anywhere. Do anything. On November 6th, we will jump off the cliff. We’ll let you know where the water is when we land there. In the mean time, we want to focus on the important things in our lives: our family and friends, and the events that make an impact. And in the clarity that we hope will come from having nothing and no ties to anywhere or anything, we hope to be able to choose what’s next for ourselves rather than allowing the river of life to sweep us along.
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