Hey I’m working on a new fangled website. Click here http://brookvisser.com/ and then we can party!
My blogger friend, Amy Scott who writes the blog http://www.nomadtopia.com/ asked me some questions, so I figured I’d tell you how we got to Andorra that is not an info-graphic (like I did earlier) but a written version.
1. How would you describe your current lifestyle (Nomadtopia, if you will)? How long have you been at it? Are you planning to continue as you are, or are any changes in the works?
- Me and my family live in Andorra (I’ll wait while you Google it). We are on our 6 year and LOVE it. Since we have three kids, we will remain here until they are out of school- they are 9, 11 and 15 and then we might look elsewhere, however Andorra has so much that we love.
2. What was the first inspiration/motivation that led to your current lifestyle? How long did it take you to get from “here’s a crazy idea” to making it happen? Was there a particular moment when you realized you could make your idea/dream a reality?
- We had a few inspiration/motivation that led us to move out of the US: We looked at our carbon footprint and decided it was time to down size. We didn’t like the way our government was working (or NOT working). We wanted to be closer to our families. We wanted our kids to learn another language and to live in a place that was different from the US. And finally, at 45, I had a stroke (!) and that got the ball rolling..There is no dress rehearsal. After a year of recovery we decided to auction our house, furniture, kids toys, lawn equipment, books, etc and move to Uruguay. I just heard you say, I thought you live in Andorra.? You’re right, but first we moved to Uruguay. We lived in Punta del Este, on the beach and really enjoyed it. The kids liked the school and the people were really sweet, however we were too far from our families and getting used to the reverse seasons was really hard and I found out my husband doesn’t like sand-whodathunk?
3. What is the most unexpectedly useful thing in your current Nomadtopia?
- We sat in our newly purchased house in Uruguay, and thought, if we are going to move, we better do it now before all our boxes arrive (yes, we packed a few things like our bed and desk chairs and a few kids books). We looked at a map and considered the Canaries Islands and Mallorca, and then I noticed this little tiny country called Andorra. We Googled it and decided it was THE ONE. We like that it is not an Island, that we can hop in our car and drive anywhere in Europe, that it is small, has no army, it is a ski country, there is no industry so we have really clean air, and the weather is gorgeous. We have weather that is seasonal (which I adore) but lots of blue sky and it is very dry so it’s not ‘damp cold’ at all.
4. What do you miss most that you didn’t (or couldn’t) bring with you?
- I don’t miss anything. My kids would say that one missing box with the Calvin and Hobbes book in it. Our mail works here, but it takes about three weeks to get anything from the US, so we don’t depend on our mail like we did in the US. We only write one check a month to our cleaning lady. All the rest is deducted from our account.
5. What is the most challenging aspect of this lifestyle? What’s the most satisfying?
- I would say the most challenging aspect is my lack of language. Hardly any people speak english over here, yet there are more people learning it now then 6 years ago. Our kids speak fluently, english, spanish and catalan (the national language) and my older daughter, french. The most satisfying is that people are not on a rat race here . I also enjoy the fact that our kids go to a spanish public school where they have a 3 course meal at lunch, and there is not school sport. After school each comu or parish has tons of sports they can play. My son swims, does karate, is in the ski club where he learns how to race every weekend and during the holidays. My daughters are involved with rhythm gymnastics where they practice three times a week and then compete. My oldest daughter is in the federal rhythmic gymnastics club where they compete in different countries. There is a sense of pride for the country and I like that.
6. What advice would you have for others who are hoping to do something similar?
- It is a Grand Adventure. Be curious and try new foods and activities. Go small. Live in a smaller house, smaller car, smaller everything. You’ll be surprised how much you don’t need. Start a new chapter and see where it leads you.
7. Just for fun: Would you rather spend one month in a place you’ve been to before, or 24 hours somewhere new?
- I would rather spend 24 hours somewhere new. It is a big world out there
This is a picture of my kids when we first moved here. What a view!
My husband and kids goofing around in the spring.
Getting ready to put my skis on.
If you have any questions, please comment and I’ll try to answer as best I can.
Come join the adventure!
Yesterday, in my birthday bliss, I created this graphic quote from Buddha. “Our mind is a very powerful thing. What you think you become.”
We think that the mind will be the first to get what’s going on, but we are wrong. It is our gut, our inner self, who senses when things aren’t going the right way. However, our mind creates our reality, yet our gut instinctively knows what to believe and what not to.
Let your mind find the goodness in life and listen to your gut.
It is steering you from the inside out.
Peace be with you,
Today I am taking another trip around the sun. Yup, today is my birthday. Here are pictures of my past passports.
The first one is 1977 and I’m 16. I was new to the world. Trying my best.
Second one is 1982. Still in college still trying to figure it all out.
Third one is 1987. Out of college, living in New York City, trying to find an acting job. It looks like I’m just a bit more jaded.
Yet now I reflect more on life and think about the next generation and their survival.
More wisdom, less judgement and around the sun I go.