101 Questions People Ask Me
“So what does your family do-- exactly?”
This is the inevitable question I find catapulted my direction often. And while I don’t mind it at all, I sometimes cringe when curiosity causes people’s vocal intonation to rise with intensity as they land on the word: exactly.
Then, assuming that I am as confused about my lifestyle as they are, they attempt to answer the question for me:
“You wander around?”
“You’re looking for a new place to live so you’re trying out new locations?”
“You’re doing mission work?”
“You’re on a long term vacation?”
And when they’ve exhausted themselves, I gently try to put them at ease by explaining what we do with the best clarity I can muster.
“Well, we sold our house in May, and now my family travels full-time.”
Some people stare blankly, unable to comprehend. I like those responses the best, because the blank slate gives me room to elaborate.
However, the majority of people process my sentence with lightning quick speed and then interrupt me mid-sentence to summarize their newfound understanding of my lifestyle.
“Ohhhhhh, so you’re homeless?”
“So, you don’t have a home?”
“So, you don’t live anywhere? And you like that?”
Now their panic builds.
Their eyes worry for me, like “honey, have you not thought this through? That is not the way human beings are supposed to live life.”
And my reply, almost always mixed with throaty chuckles and calming words, attempts to soothe:
“You see, we put our things in storage, and travel to various places for 4-6 weeks at a time, then return to a home-base of sorts, in Alabama, to reconnect with family for 4-6 weeks at a time.”
Nodding, they’ll typically chew on that for a while, and then:
“So, how do you know where to go next?”
“Do you plan ahead?”
“Do you just throw a dart at a map?”
“So, you’re traveling on an around the world ticket?”
"WOW, YOU HAVE KIDS, TOO?"
And when I say that we do have kids, we homeschool on the road, we don’t know where we’ll travel, that we plan as we go, that we choose our next location based on very little criteria except 1) can we afford it and 2) do we want to go there, the response is one of three things:
1. They get really excited and tell us how much they’d love to do what we’re doing.
2. They’re happy for us, but think we’re crazy, and could never imagine living life this way.
3. Their brain implodes from total confusion at the incomprehensible thought that I am breaking every rule of responsible adult living.
In any case, I love telling the story of my family. Really I do. I think our story is daring and God-weaved, adventurous and inspiring in a freak-show-sort-of-way. So, continue to ask me about it any time you see me.
Just do so at your own risk. Or maybe take a Xanax first.