When Lainie Liberti, a 42-year-old single mom in California, said goodbye to her staff and closed the doors of her office for the Christmas holidays in 2008 she knew she wouldn’t be opening them again. The recession had hit her business hard and she had lost clients by the dozen. Other small boutique consultancies across the world were suffering the same fate. Branding, PR and other ‘additional’ consultancy services were the first to be let go as bigger businesses struggled against the recessional tide.
Sitting at home and sighing about how good things used to be and worrying about the debts that had to be paid was one option, but Lainie decided to think outside the box. She decided to do what she had done for so many businesses over her 18-year career – to rebrand. To rebrand her life.
“I decided to be the change instead of the victim. Miro, my son, was growing up and I wanted to have stress-free quality time with him. I said to my son, ‘What if we got rid of all our stuff and went on an adventure?’ He said, ‘Yes’, and when I told him he wouldn’t have to go to school he said, ‘OH YES!”
Lainie and the then 9-year-old Miro began the process of redesigning their lives. They sold and gave away all of their possessions, and six months later the pair hit the road for an adventure. Rather than be a dictating mom, Lainie took him on as a partner – for every decision they were in it together.
“The plan was to spend a year traveling and to reach Argentina by the end of the year.”
Four years and 14 countries later, Lainie and Miro have not yet reached Argentina. They currently reside in Peru and intend to continue to slow travel around the globe, living an inspired, possession-free lifestyle.
“Of course people thought we were crazy! A blonde single mom from California traveling with her son to all these ‘dangerous’ places. Yes, people thought we were crazy. A friend even recommended that we get kidnap insurance!
“Fear cripples a lot of people and stops them doing what they want to do. I’ve chosen to live without fear and live through inspiration and intuition instead. We decided to participate in the world without fear.”
When Lainie realised their travels were becoming a lifestyle rather than just a one-year adventure she looked into alternative schooling for her son and discovered unschooling.
“Once I discovered that learning never stopped, our world opened up with possibilities. I started learning again, and learning with my son. Learning about unschooling and trusting the process has been a huge gift for both of us.”
Lainie looks back on how they were when leaving and their transformation to the people they have become. Their relationships with the world, with cultures, and their attitudes have changed completely.
“I don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. I don’t need a lot of money to be happy. I am just happy and my relationship to stuff has definitely changed.”
However, learning to appreciate and live in the moment seems to be the biggest discovery for Lainie.
“I no longer needed to be the ‘doer’ and within the first year, became perfectly fine with just being still, in the moment. Other people had a hard time with that, but that no longer was my problem. For me, that was huge.
“There is nothing more precious than the moment. To think, I almost missed the ones that included my son’s tween years. I missed a lot of the younger years because I was working. Working. A. Lot. I’ll never compromise these [moments] again.”
To hear the podcast of Rosie’s full interview with Lainie click the link below.
To follow Lainie and Miro’s Travels:
To learn about their unschooling in Peru project:
Recommended Reading About Unschooling:
Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education
The Unschooling Unmanual
The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom (Prima Home Learning Library)
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