Thoughts on our wanderlust lifestyle

June 22, 2009 Katja Presnal

Big news: we are not moving anywhere this summer.

It seems like it was just yesterday when we moved here in New York, rented this temporary apartment and kids started school. School is almost out – two more half days left – and we already got a notice we should either renew our rent lease in two months or move out. We’ve been in New York for almost ten months already – where did the time go? On the other hand I feel so at home here that seems impossible it’s only been ten months – did the life in Europe, then traveling across the US and living in Colorado really even exist?

We have moved almost every year the past 7 years we have lived in the US. Out of the past 7 years we have lived in hotels or furnished temporary apartments for total of over a year. It may not seen that much out of my life, but that’s over 15% of my kids’ entire lives. You know those 100 days projects kids do at school – my kids do world maps and “100 places I’ve been” on those days.

We have decided just stop and breathe and enjoy life right here where we are. While it is tempting to move again, find a nicer place (we have tried, no such luck finding anything), maybe even closer to the city, but kids like their school in our little town and have gotten some friends. And the pool season just started and I finally found my way to the free gym we have in our club house. I miss owning my own home, renovating, painting and ripping of the carpets and installing wood floors. Maybe there will be a day that we can buy a house again but as of now our kids won’t have a “childhood home”, they just have a childhood of adventures, new experiences and they are getting different kind of tools for life with the lifestyle we have.

I do feel we deprive our children things – like their grandparents. One set lives in Texas, other set lives in Finland, and we live right in the middle, New York, and equally far away from both. The thought being away from family and my parents not seeing my kids to grow is killing me. My father said a few years ago they’ll come and visit us when we “settle down” and our life is “normal”. I hope he’ll change his mind some day, because I do not seek “normal life” and settling down, I seek living in the moment and experiencing every bit of life I can.

While our life may seem too chaotic and crazy and even totally not stable, the traveling and moving around isn’t the only thing we do differently in our family. On the other words: I am not a soccer mom. Since we travel and move so often, I want our every day life to be as low key and calm as possible. Kids don’t do soccer, nor baseball or take any other classes after school. If we are not doing something skimbaco, adventurous and exciting, we lead pretty boring life. You need to balance it, you know. We don’t do many play dates, don’t go to movies or hang out at the mall on Saturdays. We don’t have babysitters, we never do anything without the kids. Think of it – the way we move around and travel, if our every day life was the typical suburban busy family life with baseball games, sleepovers, date nights for parents- our life would be so busy that I would never have time to actually get to know my own kids.

This summer, the summer when we are not moving anywhere, our kids are also not going to summer camps, and we haven’t even planned a big family vacation. This summer we are having a “Summer Camp At Home”, we have set rules for activities like reading and TV and list of fun activities kids want to learn and do. I will keep you posted how it goes – because after all, while the kids are on summer vacation, I will be running business as usual while organizing all the summer fun for the kids.

Ask me after two months if this was a good idea.

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (13)

  1. Our lives are the same way, and you articulate it so beautifully.
    It is true; while we go on exciting adventures, our day to day lives are pretty tame. My kids don’t do anything when we are home, heck, I hardly take them to the store with me!
    BUT they have seen some amazing things in our travels! I even found out I was pregnant with my first the day before I went on a trip to Ankor Wat in Cambodia. Now if that isn’t starting out a life of nomadic adventure I don’t know what is!

  2. I am so happy for you. This post speaks to me deeply. We are moving this summer. I don’t feel like it, but it’s for the better. We plan on making this move semi-permanent. I’m trying to take a breather as well but a little traveling wouldn’t hurt ;-).

  3. I am curious how your summer without any plans goes. I think it will be fine. your children look very sweet and cooperative. You might want to think about getting at least one unlimited pass to somewhere fun like a waterpark, science museum, zoo or amusement park. You could go once or twice a week after they get their reading and chores done.

  4. Sara

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you write again soon!

  5. Shoot, I DON’T have a crazy and adventurous life and I still try to stay away from too many activities. True, we did a week of day camp and soccer this spring, but I need a break now. Soccer in the fall? Not in my agenda. Free nights to just BE and breathe and see what happens? Sounds good.

  6. I can’t believe I found your blog! I didn’t know there were other “crazy people” out there with kids who do what we do!

    My kids are little (3&4) and we just started on what we call “Permanent Vacation” last fall. We spent a couple months at the beach, six months in Orlando, another month at the beach and are now preparing to go out west. It has been so fun and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    Still, I do get a little mommy guilt at times. Are they missing out by not being in preschool or doing soccer? I don’t know! I do know they get their mom and dad with them more than most kids and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  7. Aw. Funny, we had big plans to move this year (though not out of the city) as well and when time came up we were caught somewhat off guard. I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying ( the house for example), but I’m glad you’re staying and that I’ll have more time to get to know you better : )

  8. Naomi

    Sometimes it’s good to take a breather. And it’s not like you’re exactly standing still!

    Also, totally irrelevant but your kids are so gorgeous.

  9. Enjoying family is so important. I am a true believe that family isnt in a house it is in the quality and quantity of memories that are made. We use to have kids come in and out of our house with foster care and nothing would be more settling as having breakfast the morning after one left and enjoying each other and our family the way God designed it.

  10. I spent a great deal of my 20s moving all over the place. We’re fairly settled (for now!), but I get that wanderlust. I itch to take off and go somewhere new. I applaud you for not getting into the “normal” routine of playdates and sports, etc. I think it’s important for kids to have unscheduled time…and for family activities.

  11. I don’t blame you for not wanting to go anywhere if you don’t have to, considering how much you already have traveled and do travel.

    That waterslide place near you guys if kind of fun, though, despite the long lines to get in. I want to say it’s off Rte. 9 if I recall correctly? Has a miniature golf place, too, if you’re looking for that sort of thing :)

    Beautiful pic of the kids :)

  12. We don’t move around a lot…anymore. But, much of what you said I could agree with. We are involved w/soccer, but that only takes, maybe, 5 weeks. I don’t have the time constraints, though, as we home school, so I’m w/my kids all the time. Love the flexibility of it. We’ve talked for years about hitting the road for a year w/the kids, but it has never been feasible. Now, the oldest is 19, so probably won’t happen with him anyway. Life is about change.

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