CarouLLou * 88 countries & 23 years later… » freedom & flexibility



freedom & flexibility                                                            - KLip - KLip Aparts

Back In 1994, when my husband and I decided to leave everything behind to travel the world as Digital Nomads…, We also chose ‘Freedom’. And we feel extremely privileged to be able to live wherever we want… One other major attribute of our lifestyle is ‘Flexibility’…

So here is an example of one of the times we decided to change country, in accordance to that the Lifestyle we have chosen…

Seoul :
March 10 2013 – The day after we arrived in South Korea, North Korea declared the 60 years Armistice with South Korea to be ‘Invalid’.
April 9 2013 – North Korea has asked Diplomats to leave.

But still…, in the streets, it was ‘business as usual’… People smiling, children playing… the young, the old alike… I have asked so many people, Koreans and Expats, and nobody was worried, nobody were believing… For most, to the point of not even talk about it between themselves (I have however gone a little deeper in the subject with a good Korean friend here, who said that it is indeed not believable, but admits that we cannot really completely say that there is ‘No worry at all’)

Ironically enough, 2 days before, I had ‘3 interviews‘, and none were about the situation! 1st one was by a group of young students asking me who was my favorite Korean Star (of course I said PSY !). The 2nd one was by a group of University students asking what I thought of Korean people. The 3rd one was by KBS TV , the biggest channel here, asking me what I thought of Bukchon traditional village…

So The locals were saying it was same rhetoric as usual, no more, no less… The international medias were saying it was similar, but all agreed that this time it was “Louder”, most questioning if imminent danger or not. I was even invited to share my perceptions of the situation by a TV station in my native country (Canada).

But still, despite whatever reassurance there was, we decided to leave the country 1,5 month earlier than originally planned… So we chose to go to Tokyo ! (The day we left, North Korea warned Foreigners to evacuate South Korea. We saw that on TV at the airport… So felt like we made the right decision!)

We did Not leave South Korea because we truly believed that the North Korean threats, would turn into war and put Seoul at risk (although it could)… But rather, since we had our full freedom, no attachments or commitments there…, we just didn’t see the point of staying here during these times of turmoil. So really, why should we follow the story so closely?… and why should we constantly reassure our family and friends?

For us, It’s all about energy and quality of life, which is all part of our Digital Lifestyle philosophy… So we chose, once again, to be where we want to be, where we want to live… one of the numerous advantages of our Digital Nomads Lifestyle… Of course the downside of changing plans is that there are always extra expenses related to the move, but still, a part of the journey that is still worth it for us.

It is actually not our thing to live in areas at risk and we are not trying to get any honor or recognition of courage through that… but amazingly enough, we were so many times in some places where extraordinary historical events happened, all bringing international attention… Sometimes it was Natural disasters, sometimes Political or Economical crisis, sometimes Health threats, sometimes Human tragedies… We were always so lucky, protected, just barely missed, or escaped on time… To the point that friends and family keep telling us we should write a book about all our adventures…

Here are just a few of the extraordinary places where we were at extraordinary times… I will add some more eventually (because there is more! ). And as you will see, it is not the first time we change plans, leave earlier, or cancel a destination… So, a true Digital Nomad’s mind got to be flexible!

San Diego :
January 17 1994 -Earthquake. We were scheduled to leave the day before, but the flight was full, so we had volunteered to stay one more day. That night, We felt very strongly the earthquake all the way from L.A. We were on the 18th floor of a hotel and our bed on weals was rolling back and forth . Felt like 30 cm (1 foot) front back. We were interviewed at the airport.

Miami :
May 12 1997 – Tornado. This was the first time a Tornado touched down in Miami. My husband saw it just before his eyes.
July 15 1997 – Gianni Versace’s murder. My husband heard the 2 gone shuts and went on location before the journalists arrived
September 1999 – Hurricane warning. I was living in Bangkok at the time, and went to Miami for what would be 3 weeks. But there was a serious Hurricane warming and the city started to evacuate. I left earlier than planned.

Australia :
December 1998 – Sydney Hobart race Disaster. We were driving the famous Great Ocean road and just couldn’t believe how windy it was! We had a hard time to keep the car on the road. Once we stopped and got out, and we almost fell of the reefs. The wind was pushing us so strongly we were almost flying. We were thinking that may be it was always like that? Then, when we got to the hotel at night, we saw on TV all about the terrible tragedy. We soon realized we were in the storm…

Tapei :
September 21 1999 – Earthquake. That was the exact day I was supposed to pass by Tapei on my way back to Bangkok. But because I left Miami earlier, I passed by Tapei a week earlier, so I was saved from that earthquake.

Paris-Amsterdam :
September 11 2001 – New York. No, I wasn’t there. But i had some kind of connection to cosmic consciousness the day before, in the train between Paris and Amsterdam. A friend of my sister, Famous painter Ljubomir Milinkov, gave me one of his many books, which was a collection of all his >’paintings‘ of the Twin Towers in New York. I literally spent my whole 3 hours ride looking and looking again at all his paintings…

Barcelona :
2002 – 2 bombs, 2 nights in a row. Right in front of our apartment. Those bombs blew all the windows of the next door apartment. Both times, in the middle of the night, I thought it was a container falling from a plane…

Buenos Aires :
2002 – Economic crash. We had planned to go live there for a while, but were warned of the Danger in the streets following the crash. So we waited a bit and went there in October of 2003. We arrived just at the moment where things were starting to cool down and when it was safe again to walk the streets.

India :
December 25 2004 – Tsunami. We were on the East coast of India. The day before, our hotel was on the beach. THE day of the Tsunami, we had moved to a hotel inland, just a few kilometers away from the coast (not to far from Chennai area). My husband heard a Huge Crack and told be there was just a bomb… I never heard that sound, perhaps of a frequency I could not perceived… We were not directly affected, but left India earlier, knowing that there could be potential problems with water and sanitaries. We saw people at the airport people with faces showing they went through trauma and saw ‘death’.

Bangkok :
December 11 1998 – Thai Airways crashed, killing 101 people (the description of the tragedy matched exactly what we had experienced 6 months earlier, with Thai airways trying to land in Bangkok 3 times in severe rainstorm. That is the day we really thought we would die).
October 7 1999 – Burmese Embassy siege. 89 people held hostage. 10 blocks from our 14th floor apartment, so we were part of the police secure perimeter, witnessing everything from above.
2010 – Political crisis. Had planned to go to Bangkok for couple months. So cancelled that trip.

Istanbul :
May 2010 – Flotilla to Palestine. We had invited my mother to visit us in Istanbul, and went to pick her up at the airport (by mistake 1 day in advance because we had forgotten the +1 in her schedule), all the Turkish released by Israel were arriving at the airport. All journalists and ambulances were there…

Naples :
2010 – Garbage Strike. We had planned to go to Napoli, but changed plans du to the most horrible and terrible “garbage stike”

Tel Aviv :
we had reserved and apartment. Changed plans because of raise of tensions in the area.

January 25 2011 – Revolution. We were flying from Rome to Bangkok, through Cairo… And I wanted to spent 1 week there to explore Egypt a little, since we had never been there. My husband didn’t feel it was the right timing going there considering what was going in the area, specially recent events with Tunisia revolution. So we did not stay… And we were stunned to see that we would have been there if we had spent that week there!

Tokyo :
March 2011 – Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear crisis. We had reserved an apartment in Tokyo to be there that month. We cancelled that trip
April 12 2013 – Nuclear Threat on Tokyo. 3 days after we arrived, North Korea threatened that Tokyo would be their first hit in case of war.
September 16 2014 – Earthquake 5,6 ! which happened as i was updating this post for “Anna’s friends’ !
September 27 2014 – Unexpected Eruption of Volcano Mount Ontake, 200 km from Tokyo (we did not feel anything in the city though)
October 06 2014 – Typhoon Phanfone
October 13 2014 – Typhoon Vongfong

Athens :
Fall 2011 – Economic Crisis. We were there for 3 months during the Riots etc…

Mexico City :
April 2009 – Swine flue. We just had spent 3 months in Mexico and just had left only weeks before it broke out.
December 10 2011 – Earthquake. Our flight was scheduled to arrive the day after. So we did arrive, right after that high magnitude 6.7 earthquake
April 18 2014 – Earthquake 7,5 ! We were on the 9th floor…and it was quite a long shake! Dogs barking, alarm systems ringing, everybody outside in the streets…

Seoul :
March, April 2013 – North Korea threats. The day after we arrived, North Korea declared the 60 years Amnistice with South Korea to be ‘Invalid’. After 1 month, we decided to leave earlier than planned. We are leaving 1 day before Diplomats were asked to leave North Korea. And the day we left, North Korea warned all foreigners to evacuate South Korea.

Hong Kong :
September 28 2014 – Historical Protests and mass civil disobedience as never ever seen before. “The umbrella revolution” with People occupying HK, calling for full democracy… Just a few days before it all started, we had reserved an hotel in Hong Kong! So we went anyway, 5 days while still occupied…and another 5 days a month later after all was gone…

London :
April 3 2015 – what would be the greatest rubbery in history happened while we were here, just around the corner from where we live (in the jewelry quarter). Apparently the thieves operated during Easter weekend (and coincidentally during that time, we had walked those empty streets and passed in front of that building!).

And here we are… keep going with our wonderful journey around the world… still all smiles…

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