I’ve joined a great Facebook group “Families on the Move” with other nomadic families. The group holds writing projects and today’s is about what we have learnt to live without. At the bottom of this post you can get to know some other traveling families and read about how they are living with less.
We’ve left behind so much stuff at home that was part of our regular lives. Here’s a sampling of things we have learnt to live without.
An alarm clock. Sandeep’s asleep by 9 and up at 5 to work. I blog at night, sleep at midnight and wake up at 8. I suppose what is said about humans needing eight hours of sleep is correct because we both wake up naturally to the cocks crowing in the morning rather than our rude alarms.
Cell phones. We’re nomads, not hermits. We still communicate with the world, but instead of being glued to our cell phones or running to the crackberry every time its red light goes off, we’re communicating at our own pace. We stay in touch through this blog and have purchased a Skype package so that we can make local and international calls. Being cell phone free has been a key factor in setting a slower pace of life.
Choice of shoes. This was a big point of contention while we were packing. Sandeep insisted that he needed a bag to himself because his shoes are bigger. He wanted to pack six pairs of shoes. In reality, we each only use two. One pair of walking shoes and another pair of casual flip-flop/sandals. To Sandeep’s credit, he has been running so he uses his running shoes as well. Mine are sitting idle at the bottom of the bag.
Wine. Food and non-alcoholic beverage is so cheap in Thailand, that it feels wrong to spend $30 for a bottle of wine. Ordinarily, we would order wine at dinners out, but we’ve become used to getting our anti-oxidants from fresh juices instead. Sandeep’s enjoying the local Chang beer, but since I avoid gluten, I’ve been dry for the past couple of weeks. I’m not sure this is something we’re going to live without for too long, though.
Children’s utensils. At home we had an entire cabinet in our micro-kitchen dedicated to children’s kitchen paraphernalia. Sippy cups, pacifiers, bottles, plastic forks and spoons, bowls and plates. We agonized over what to being from this assortment. In the end we brought a small Kleen Kanteen for each child, two plastic bowls with lids, and two plastic cups. The Kleen Kanteens haven’t been used and the plastic cups have morphed into bath and pool toys. We do use the bowls, but as food storage more than kiddie ware.The reality is that Kayan was forced to graduate to adult ware sooner than he would have at home. In the end we could have done without any of these.
Toys. Ava and Kayan will say that they want more toys, but they’ve certainly learnt to live without the scores of books, puzzles, dolls, bouncy balls, and blocks we had at home. Ava has even learnt to make do with just a handful of hair accessories. We spend a lot of time out together, so the kids are busy learning from the colors, noises and smells of our surroundings. We made a trip to a toy stall here to buy a set of markers, coloring book in Thai and puzzles. These few toys, along with inventive uses of various household goods, have kept the kids entertained during down time. I do confess that the iPad has also become a children’s toy, which I don’t mind too much since educational games such as Monkey Preschool to keep them entertained.
Here’s what other families are saying: