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May

2018

Inside a Traveler’s Walls: Traveling Family of Inge Poell

Indonesia, INSIDE A TRAVELER'S WALLS, TRAVEL

This week I am pleased to introduce you to the Poell traveling family of Inge, Silvana, Sheree, and Susy! For three years Inge has led her daughters on a traveling adventure that has taken them around South and Central American and Asia. Talk about strength and courage! When asked about what makes a traveling life fulfilling, Inge said:

The simplicity and freedom. The fact that you have actually chosen your own path.

Isn’t that wonderful? The strength that comes from ownership over ones path! Ok, enough of my chatting, grab your coffee and get comfortable. It’s time to be inspired by this traveling family.

Traveling Family

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

Together with my three daughters I have been traveling for almost three years now. We have lived in all different kinds of homes, from tents in the desert to old Mexican school-buses, and currently a bamboo hut on a rooftop building. Silvana is my oldest daughter of 16 years old. She loves everything that’s pretty, from sunsets to crystal clear waters she can surf in. The view from our bamboo hut especially appeals to her! Sheree is the most adventurous of my three children. She’s a critical thinker and loves to question everything. To her, this unconventional little hut we share is perfect. Unlike her older sister, she doesn’t mind the lack of comfort (read: no mattress). Little Susy is only six years old, but such a world citizen. She makes every place her home within minutes. Whether we stay in a bus, a house, or a hut, as long as she has her tribe of sisters around she’s happy.

Where are you in the world and what are you living in?

We are currently in Indonesia, Lombok, and are living in a rooftop hut made of bamboo. It’s just one space, to sleep, but we love waking up to the sun, moon, and stars!

Why did you choose to live in your current arrangement?

In all honesty, we didn’t have the funds to rent a house this time. When we stumbled on these little huts we fell in love with the view of the Indonesian jungle. We look at it as another adventure.

What do you do to personalize your unique (less traditional) living situation?

In this case, our hut consists of only one space, so there wasn’t much to personalize. Plus, we travel with only the bare necessities. Silvana has her surfboard that makes her feel at home, and the two little ones carry along a bag of art and craft materials that are always spread out within the first two seconds of our arriving.

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

Tell us your favorite and least favorite room in your space and why?

We only have 1 room, so that’d be my fav and less fav all in one! I personally love the simplicity of having just one space to live, sleep, eat, and play in.

What is the biggest misconception you had about your current living situation before you started living in it?

Truth has to be said, we did romanticize our little hut. While the view is pretty, and the lack of a mattress is doable, we hadn’t taken into account the call for Muslim prayer at 5am. Add to that the mozzies, and you’ll understand that we are not getting long hours of sleep this time around!

Traveling Family of Inge PoellTraveling Family of Inge Poell

What is the one household item you carry with you every time you move or the one item you cannot live without?

We carry around our bamboo straws, and wooden spoons everywhere we go. There’s too much plastic waste as it is.

What do you miss most about permanent, stationary, traditional living?

I’d say not having my slow juicer to make all these delicious fruit and veggie juices! It’s just way to heavy for us to carry along, and I miss those yummy juices terribly.

What is the one item your children carry with them to make their unique (less traditional) home more comfortable?

I would say their stuffed animals that are as good for cuddles as they are as pillows.

Do you have a pet joining you in this journey? If so, has this been complicated? Any advice?

No pets.

What is your best resource to find items you need for your place?

For shopping we usually go where the locals go. We try and avoid Wal Mart and such. We also love second hand stores and markets.

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

If you could only have one of the following in your home which one would it be and why?

Space, natural light, dishwasher or above average internet

Natural light, for sure. I also need internet for work, but a space with no natural light will never feel like home to me. I love to feel connected to the natural environment I live in. Living in between the confinement of four walls is not my idea of happiness.

If you were to compare your unique (less traditional) home decorating style to a kitchen appliance or gadget what would it be and why?

A wooden or bamboo spoon?!

How do you keep traditions alive for your family in your unique living situation?

Traditions have become more of an outside thing.. like it’s a family tradition now to jump off every pier we see. We may have to reconsider that tradition though, when traveling to less exotic places!

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

How do you decorate for the holidays in your unique (less traditional) home or do you skip it all together?

We tend to skip Christmas in ways of decorating our home. Last Christmas we were living in a Buddhist country, which also raised the question whether we just wanted to celebrate a holiday or a birth of Christ. We do go out for dinner or try to make every holiday a special one.

What is your favorite part about this lifestyle choice?

The simplicity and freedom. The fact that you have actually chosen your own path.

Many traveling families subscribe to the “house is not a home” theory. What is home to you?

That may sound as a cliche, but home is where my girls are. Being near the ocean is also a ‘must’.

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

What makes you love the place you live?

Indonesia is part of my roots. My grandmother was Indonesian, and discovering part of our family roots is something we all love. She would have loved our little hut, I believe.

Can home be a person, or an idea?

Home for me is a person, or multiple persons. Maybe even an idea, the idea of being free from everyone’s expectations and beliefs.

Words of wisdom to anyone considering venturing out into the world of unique, less traditional homes?

Everything is a possible experience. According to the Buddhists nothing stays the same. If you truly understand this law of impermanence it’s much easier to be open to a challenge!

Traveling Family of Inge Poell

 Traveling Family of Inge Poell

What is next for you? Will you continue to live in your current home or try something different?

We do travel slow, but unfortunately our Indonesian Visas are running short. We will go via Malaysia, back to Thailand for a while.

How do you educate your children?

I have been unschooling my children for the past three years, and so far that has worked well for us. I am not against the schooling system per se, but traveling the world has provided my children with so much valuable knowledge and skills that I believe in unschooling more than I do in the traditional schooling system.

How do you make a living?

In this sense, I think we may not be the average traveling family. I am a single mom, and take care of my girls by myself. If I would have stayed in Europe, life certainly would have been easier in terms of finances. But, we have managed to stay afloat for three years now, traveling all over South and Central America, and currently Asia. I provide for my family mainly by writing. I also own an online shop in Europe that I fully outsource.

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Inge has a great reminder for us all,

Everything is a possible experience. According to the Buddhists nothing stays the same. If you truly understand this law of impermanence it’s much easier to be open to a challenge!

We can’t agree more and love how her and her daughters are open to challenges and experiences.

Go Adventure,
Jessica

Inside A Traveler’s Walls is where we feature families living in less traditional and unique homes (tents, boats, camper vans, yurts, flats, etc). If you think you might be one of those families and are interested in being profiled, please contact us for details.

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