Presenting: Lainie Liberti – from California Digital Media Executive to Globetrotting Mom on the Road
We started in Mexico and it would have been simple to say we moved south,resulting in where we are today,Medellin,Colombia.But we didn’t and we ended up criss-crossing north and south through Central America.
We do try to travel over land as much as possible,meaning long bus rides,which don’t seem to bother us much.Like I mentioned,we started in Mexico,but after 6 weeks,we flew back to the states for burning man and our final departure.We ended up in Costa Rica first,and after one month we headed north to Nicaragua.From there,we basically traveled north until we reached Guatemala where we absolutely fell in love with the country.
We travel using inspiration as our compass.We are also practical in terms of trying to go to where ever is closest geographically.We plan our next destination when we feel inspired to leave the one we are at.
We request couches when we know we are leaving one place and having a friendly face greet us when we arrive at a new place always makes our traveling much more fluid.
8.How much time do you spent in one place and how do you know when it’s time to leave and move on? How do you settle into a new place?
We never know how long we’ll stay in one place.Again,if we are inspired,we stay.If not,we ask the people we meet on the way,what places they’ve been that have inspired them and we go.I think though as a rule of thumb,the least amount of time we spend in a place is a week.It’s very difficult to get to know a town or the people in any shorter amount of time.For me,the idea is a three weeks to two months to experience life and become involved in the culture.
9.Where are you currently and what’s special about the place where you are now?
At the time of writing this,we are currently in Colombia,Medellin.
This city is unique in many ways,including the friendly people,the eternal spring-like weather and the infamous history of drug lord Pablo Escabar.Medellin is also the birthplace of artist Botero and as we’ve become more immersed int the city,we are noticing just how much culture exudes from Medellin.
Our experience of Colombia and of all of Central America does not match any of the images portrayed in mainstream news.In the States we are meant to fear the Latin American countries with scary histories.Before we left the States,one of my friends thought she was doing us a service by recommending we buy kidnap insurance.This was from a progressive mom,whom I thought had more sense to buy into the kind of fear.But I’m afraid she did not.
Bottom line is,the world is a safe place and this is exactly our choice on how we choose to experience it.And we do.
In front of the Panama Canal in Panama City,Panama
10.You mentioned you have learned to live on very little money.How has your lifestyle changed to be able to do that? For the cash outlays that do come up,how do you take care of those?
We live frugally.We couch surf,we eat local,we try to cook for ourselves.We walk a lot and we volunteer.We have been living on a $1000 a month budget for two people and that’s doable.Twice on our travels we’ve been down to $10 but both times we have been expecting money from clients from past jobs I did on a freelance basis.However,I am completely and totally burned out on branding,web design and strategy for clients,I have vowed not to do it anymore.I am walking away from my past.I am indeed committing professional suicide.
That’s ok for now.
So,where we are at the moment financially? Well,we have very little money left.Seriously less than $200.How will that last? Not sure,but we are resourceful.I am completely and one hundred percent committed to making a living through our blog and podcast,and I can’t think of a better time to do that,than when we have literally no money.We’ve received a sprinkling of donations in the past and that’s helped keep us afloat,but this model is not sustainable.Now we are seeking sponsors and advertisers for our blog and podcast and the same way I have learned to trust the universe,I trust my intuition that we’ll be fine.
11.You do a lot of volunteering in the places you visit.What has made you decide to do that,what kind of organizations have you worked with and what has been your experience?
Both Miro and I are crazy about animals.We have found working with animals is natural for us,and specifically dogs seem to move us both.We’ve volunteered in Nicaragua at a makeshift animal clinic working in triage helping them after surgery.We also volunteered at a cat rescue in Belize,helping with the daily chores for over 70 animals.
In Nicaragua,I worked with The School of Comedy and Mime.I worked with the school’s founder and marketing team to help develop a promotional campaign for two upcoming events.I lso taught the team a little about brand messaging.Additionally,I taught a workshop to the core company on butoh,a performance discipline I studied for several years in Los Angeles,keeping my love for performance alive.
However,my passion is children.I have yet to find an opportunity where I can work hands on with children.In an informal basis,every country I have visited,I spend much time with the children in the community,often playing,reading and simply sharing with them.I have made more friends with kids than Miro has,but that’s an entirely different story.I think I would love to work with children with AIDS and children in orphanages.If there are opportunities out there among anyone reading this interview,I invite you to contact us.I am interested.
The hilltop cross on Isla Taboga,Panama
12.What have you learned about people since you started your journey?
No matter the language,no matter the circumstances,people connect with their eyes.We have the inherent ability to understand one another and connect authentically if we just give it a chance.A smile goes a long way,and people are kind.I have had so many heart warming experiences on the road that take place through a glance,but they are real.Humanity is so very beautiful and I’m so honored my son and I can share the experiences together.
Here’s a link to a blog post you may want reference.It’s a beautiful story of connecting with an old man and experiencing love:
13.You plan to be on the road for at least 6.5 more years.What other destinations do you have in mind? Do you have a set plan or schedule?
We will slowly make our way around the world.I know Asia will be a big part of our journey from India to South East Asia.Many times I feel excited and anxious to get there soon,so using that as a gauge,I think that will be our next destination.I would love to experience Europe with my son too,such a rich history and exploring that continent will help us connect to our family history.I am excited about exploring the Middle East and Africa.Australia and Indonesia is there too,so…did I miss anything?
14.What do you think may happen when your son turns 18? Do you see a return to a more settled,conventional lifestyle back in the US?
Miro shall determine that.But if I had to guess at this point,I’d guess he will join the Peace Corps and continue working with humanity.He is sensitive to his place in the world and has experienced how his participation can make a difference.Even a small difference is a difference and that’s important.
As for me,I will be 50 when he turns 18.Will I be ready to settle somewhere by then? Maybe,time will tell.I’ll just be starting my fabulous golden age then and since I have already fallen in love with life,perhaps I’ll have attracted the perfect partner by then who has the same love for life.One can hope!
I find it hard to predict anything,frankly we don’t know where we’ll be next week.And that’s ok too.How about I check in with you in 6 ½ years and let you know?
Miro’s first ice-skating experience,in Panama City Panama