“Mexicans are lazy”

If there’s one resounding truth that can be said about Americans it’s that we’re hard workers. It’s in our cultural DNA. Before this trip, I used to routinely work 10-12 hours a day during the week and then cap it off with another 10 to 20 more on the weekend. And when I’d complain about it to a co-worker, the response was usually something like, “Good to have that work though, huh?” Or maybe, “You’re gonna be loving that O.T. though, right?” We’re culturally programmed to accept this. We even compete with one another for the title of, “Hardest Worker.” “I haven’t slept more than two hours in the last 2 weeks,” my buddy used to boast to me. “In the last month, I haven’t seen my wife for more than an hour except for sleeping,” another would brag. “My kids don’t even know for sure if I live at my own house!” This would bring much laughter and pats on the back.. “You win, big guy!” How have we possibly reached a point in our cultural evolution where this is acceptable, even applauded? Our freedom, our independence, the time to be a parent, a spouse, a human, our life itself, is for sale. We are selling our lives to other people and we’re thrilled to have the “opportunity” to do it! We actually cling to the idea and hold it up over our heads like it’s a shining virtue. It’s madness! ( Authors Note: As a person who has the luxury of being able to sit by the pool all day eating nachos and drinking cerveza, any opinions about how people should or shouldn’t live their lives are to be completely ignored.)

Impromptu mezcal tasting. Delicioso!

Impromptu mezcal tasting. Delicioso!

 

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The List

As we start on our little adventure, it seems the most common question we’ve been asked is,  “How did you plan and how are you doing this?” It’s a good question, a reasonable question. The answer is less so because it’s unreasonable to sell your house and most all of your possessions, pull your kids out of school, buy plane tickets all over the world and then just go. Almost everyone will tell you so. But, that is indeed what we did and it’s been a long, arduous road getting here. Read more

French Waiters

When I travel to new countries, I try to do a little research ahead of time about cultural norms and expectations of behavior. Did you know that in Argentina showing up to a party on time is considered bad form? In Japan, it’s customary to decline a gift at least twice before, ultimately, accepting it. You’re not supposed to smile at strangers in Russia. The idea behind it is, “You don’t know me so why are you pretending that we’re friends”? I especially love that one. It fits so nicely with the stern, austere image that I have in my mind about the Russian people.  Read more

Scarred but Smarter

When my daughter, Matilda, was younger she’d often get herself in situations where we could clearly see that injury was imminent. An 18 month old probably shouldn’t climb to the top bunk without assistance. They shouldn’t play with scissors or go near the stove. And so we stopped her. We shielded her from her youth. But one day, I realized that she wasn’t learning a lot about what to avoid and how to make smart decisions on her own. She had no savvy. No smarts. Not the practical kind anyway.

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