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Monday, April 06, 2009

I want to leave the nest too...

Son Ryan ... Pirate for hire?

Zoey and friends in Bolivia

Son Ryan (21) is living the bohemian life in Vancouver, with requisite crappy job in a restaurant staffed by characters galore, living in a house with friends who do art projects day and night, playing gigs, writing poetry and stories, busking for money to go to shows... hiking in the mountains and at the seashore - and generally doing the job of finding himself while having fun and learning lessons. I don't envy the details, but love the spirit of the thing.

And I've been able to visit every month of so.
Which involves lots of walking talking and eating good food I pay for. Legendary Noodle House on Denman if you must know.

Daughter Zoey (18) is mid-way through six months traveling in South America. I didn't even know that the
largest salt flats in the world existed in Bolivia, let alone know how amazing they are (she's there today). Did you?

She's hiked three days into Machu Picchu in Peru, sailed across Lake Titicaca (at 12,000 feet) and for contrast, rocked to a live Radiohead concert in Buenos Aires. Yes, now I'm feeling envy.

She's also been robbed by pickpockets (twice), been on 40 hour bus rides, experienced altitude illness and seen poverty that doesn't exist here (like that I mean).

Me? I'm in the partially empty nest, with a wonderful new bird friend and wondering why we don't just follow their lead. Any advice?

I highly recommend listening to adult children. They have so much to teach us.
I agree - I want to leave the nest too! Your kids are living the life I want.

Can they fit us in their backpack?
You have some pretty wonderful & amazing kids.
If you follow their lead, there will be no nest for them to come home to. But, hey, home is where the heart is. Follow yours!
I am moving to Vancouver to hang out with my new friend Ryan and enjoy your visits every month.....
I think your kids have the right idea. What's stopping you?

Ryan could be a model.
Somehow I'm just not ready to move back to this decade's version of Armadillo Arms because I remember it very well and it's something best enjoyed when you're young. He looks very happy and Lisa's right.

As for S. America? Well, that sounds very tempting but I'm no longer certain my knees or lungs could take the altitude. I hope she hasn't had her camera stolen :-)
i thought the biggest salt lake was in utah, so that's what i (don't) know. lucky zoey, spening a winter in summer. i'm jealous.
ryan is a hawtie.
what kind of bird?
and now that you have a bird, you can't go and spend six months anywhere!
dumb dumb dumb
I wish I were doing what Zoey is. How is she managing? I envy her rocking to Radiohead among other things. She's got a gorgeous voice!
P.S: My travel would include two canines...might be problematic. I shall dream in my head.
I feel that I didn't take full advantage of that time in my life. Bummer.

Still, it was fun reading about the adventures of your young'uns. That's almost as good. And I didn't have to be robbed in order to share their moments.

So, when are you leaving that piece of heaven you call home for the wanderer's life?
Hi Gary
I know the feeling – lots of good food that I pay for !! but its great that you relate so well with both children.

Maybe the best bet is a 2 way one – spend some time together on a combined holiday with a 50% work and see how you feel.
best wishes
...and this thoughtful comment from my friend Brian, out in Nova Scotia.

I read with interest your latest blog recounting the adventures of Ryan and Zoey. Bravo. Wonderful. They are fortunate to be doing what they are doing and to have a parent who encouraged the kind of vision and breadth of spirit which supports such exploration and personal growth experiences.

You went on to ask – my reading of it, not your words – should we all emulate their daring and vision. I propose a small counter balance to what seems to me the prevailing message you are getting from your readers. They seem to say, Yes, let’s throw off the shackles, get naked and dance in the sun. Now, don’t get me wrong, naked dancing in the sun has a lot to commend it. But I think there may be another perspective which merits some attention in this matter.

First, divorcing one’s self from one’s familiar culture, support systems and values to experience those of others and to explore and come to value the wisdom of other life styles is a good thing to do. We can point, for example, to the huge contribution often made by first and second generation immigrants to a new country and recognize that there is something different about a person who has taken steps which expand their life view and their understanding of who they are and of what they have to offer by invading new and different climes. So this is a valuable growth experience for anyone – young or old. It is especially good for those moving out of their adolescent years – a time for exposure to the greater world, of which they are a part, but which at that point may not yet be fully a part of them. If one has missed this experience in youth, it is never too late to try to grasp its benefits when opportunity presents itself. To personalize my comments and probably to make evident that my belief is rooted in my limited experience, I recall my own cultural exposure coming in two waves: first in my early teens as an immigrant to this country, and later in the arctic among Eskimo and in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba among the Cree. These experiences offered me a much greater understanding of who I am as a person and particularly as a Canadian. But here comes the crunch – I have gone on and grown and developed from the foundation such experience afforded me, but to go back could be a trip to nostalgia and probably not much of a step to further development. Further growth and development, which I would hope is the aim of all of us, calls for doing something new and different, exploring new vistas and new challenges, not in reliving the victories already won. In short, we need to be tasting different experiences. Again, to preach what I practice, for me that has involved exploring creative, instead of reactive writing, taking the form of novels, book reviews and academic papers. So I say, if one has gone off into the ‘wilds’ (of South America or Vancouver) and lived under a different set of values and conditions, great. If not, certainly give it a try. But if you have already gone that route, it is time to attempt some other direction.
I'm glad I came back to this and read Brian's comment on the subject. I wholly concur with his point of view. Let experience and wisdom guide our way home.
bravo, fledgelings. fly!!!!

tho i don't regret the adventures of my younger years, i'm not up to repeating them.... remember how much energy all of that took, Gar? and, hopefully by now we HAVE found ourselves. (tho i'm beginning to lose... or at least forget where i put.... things on a regular basis, so self could become a casualty, i suppose) ... but leaving the nest....? there are precedents in nature. the nest is for raising the hatchlings.... parents often leave it for another generation to use, and move on. home is where the love is. it's not limited to, or defined by a wad a sticks and mud.

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