So, since we started this little thing, we’ve gotten a certain question a few times: “Why HomeMade Suitcase?” For us, there were several things that went into that name…and that lifestyle.
The simplest answer to that question is that we are trying to take our passions and make them a part of our everyday life. When Kristina and I first started dating, she told me, with a straight face, that she didn’t want to get married until she was 28 years old. I, being the kind and understanding person I am, laughed right in her face. She was 18 at the time, and I had no intention of dating for a decade (not that she wouldn’t have been worth the wait – but three years turned out to be plenty).
Her reasoning, on the surface, was hard to argue with. She wanted to experience life. She wanted to see the world and visit other cultures and, she thought, that kind of freedom could only be had by the single. My response came quickly. I said that seeing the world could be better with another person to enjoy it with, and that I had every intention of seeing the world and experiencing new things as well.
Fast forward two-and-a-half years, and we are doing our marriage counseling with the pastor who married us. Part of that conversation included us making a commitment to one another that we would take those desires to see the world seriously and that we would budget money each month, even if it hurt at times, so that we could see parts of the world each year. For us, travel was more than just a want, it was a passion…and you have to make time for your passions.
We have managed, in our 8 years of marriage, to see many beautiful places and meet some lovely people who are committed to experiencing as much of the world as they can as well. For us, traveling became such a big part of our life, that we began saying that we were our best versions of ourselves, and our best as a couple, when we were traveling. The question, then, became how to make our passion for travel and desire for new things a part of our everyday life.
And so, HomeMade Suitcase was born. The idea is that our home (which we define as anywhere Kristina and I are together) reflects that passion. Making our home a suitcase became the new mission. How do we incorporate our love for travel into our everyday life. This can be surface-y, like adding a Grecian flavor to your Los Angeles home. Or it can be deeper than that. We searched for the deeper thing. And this will be different for everyone.
For us, it meant moving to a beach town that was walkable and had an up and coming foo. It means going on regular dates with each other to try new things, see more of where we are blessed to live, and eat some great food. It means adding smaller trips, like weekend camping trips or long-weekend road trips, so that we can feel that same joy we have traveling without the time and financial commitments of a big trip. It also means using our travel in our home decorations and allowing the amazing food we eat to inspire our cooking (by we here, I clearly mean Kristina – she designs and decorates our home and she cooks 99.9% of the meals – and she is wonderful at bringing our past travels into our home in this way).
But let’s push deeper still. For us, having our home reflect the suitcase mindset also includes taking more risks (like making a big move to become landlords, leaving a steady paycheck to start a new business, or even just being a little more vulnerable with your writing and pursuing that dream of publication in earnest), saying “yes” to more things (like we often do while we travel), going against the grain and taking the road less traveled. Cliches aside, it’s easy to do all the things everyone else does when they visit a new country or town; we opt for a different travel experience. It’s the same in life. There is a way to live that seems right because everyone else seems to be living that way; we are choosing to do things that many would call crazy. And the goal? The goal is always the same, to do our very best to make our dreams a reality. We don’t do it alone (the story of our most recent home purchase alone is filled with obvious divine intervention), but we do it. We say “yes.”
And we are not alone in saying “yes.” There are people all around you creating their own homemade suitcases. Coming up, we will feature some interviews with friends of ours who aren’t afraid to answer when adventure calls. Do you know anyone living a HomeMade Suitcase life? Let us know. We’d love to meet them.