“What do you not compromise on?” the journalist asked.
Picking up on the underlying assumption of the question, my immediate internal reaction was “Do we make that many compromises then?”.
I struggled. I did not know what to answer. Elmer was working at the time, so he couldn’t save me from giving a rather stupid answer (which you can probably read when the interview is published).
Even hours after the interview, the question lingered in my mind.
“Do we really make many compromises?” Something just did not feel right about that.
You can compromise about small things, like what to eat tonight. But this is not what the journalist was referring to. Instead the question pointed to a more long-term or impactful aspect of our nomadic lifestyle, whereby often our home is 8 square meter big and we repeatedly have to pack our bags for work. Compromising in this context would mean that we agreed upon something intermediate between two things we wanted or needed, often less preferred or of inferior quality than of the two things separately.
It’s this negative connotation of the term “compromise” that just did not correspond with how we feel about the choices we make to actualize our new lifestyle.
Designing our lives
It all started with our dream to explore the world. The more we talked about it, the more we realized how important this was to us. Once we committed ourselves to this new goal, making choices were less about finding an acceptable compromise and more about actively designing our new life.
Of course we still had to figure out how we would accomplish this, but with a direction in mind we knew better which decisions and actions to make or not.
Yes, sometimes it still felt like we were making compromises. But since few things in life are final, also those feelings were fleeting; we just had to add steps to our plan to sort things out. A ‘negative’ compromise slowly became a challenge.
For example, we realized that we would miss a lot of family-time. This is not always easy. But because we’re becoming more conscious of the fewer occasions we have with them, the more effort we put into it (e.g., camping in the Ardennes or enjoying breakfast together).
And living on 8 square meter? You don’t see us complaining. We’re even surprised how spacious the truck feels. And don’t forget how big our garden is 🙂
So how would we now respond the journalist question “What do we not compromise on?”
On creating a life full of dreams, laughter and adventures.
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