A Magical Island Kingdom ™
DAVID STANOWSKI &
2608 East Pierson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85016-4821
Phone 602-468-9778 or 602-468-9937
June 03, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL MEDIA
Dateline PHOENIX, AZ
Our recent trip to Galveston Island, Texas allowed us to finalize several important decisions that we have been trying to make for some time. Our previous visits to Galveston, over the past few years, have captivated and inspired us which allowed us to consider making dramatic changes in our lives. This made us so fond of Galveston that for the last two or three years, we have been trying to decide whether to continue living in Phoenix or move to The Island.
This last visit helped to clarify what criteria are important to us in choosing where we want to live, at this point in our lives. We decided that we would like someplace that is on the ocean, south of the Mason-Dixon Line and in a city that's smaller than Phoenix. After many years in the desert, we feel it's time to live near the water, and we find ourselves most comfortable with the culture of "The South". We also prefer cities that are not as large or growing as fast as Phoenix. We both moved to The West many years ago, drawn by the same urge that many Americans have to leave their home towns, in search of a new start; but now we want a different environment, and the Southern lifestyle is what appeals to us at this time.
Of course, Galveston meets all of the criteria that we are seeking, but recently we began to consider other locations that may also fit the bill. We feel that we need to check out these other alternatives before we make a final decision. When we started evaluating the possibilities that were: "on the ocean", "in The South" and "relatively small, established cities"; we discovered several interesting areas. Our intersecting criteria begin in Galveston and move East on Interstate 10, along the Gulf, to New Orleans, LA; Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula MS; Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL. From there, we might consider towns further down the Florida Gulf Coast, but their roots to The South are rather tentative.
After we sample the Gulf Coast, we will consider the Atlantic Coast, starting in Jacksonville, FL and moving up the coastline to Brunswick and Savannah, GA; then on to Beaufort and Charleston, SC and finally Wilmington, NC. Once we selected these areas, the next issue was how to determine which place was ideal for us. Our first thought was to take eight or ten weeks and "visit" these locations.
However, we decided that this would not give us a sense of what it was like to live in these areas, only what it was like to "visit" them. This is not what we wanted. Therefore, we determined that we needed to live in each area for about a month to get a feeling of whether we wanted to stay there for a longer period of time. Since we are far from "independently wealthy", we had to figure out how to do this.
After extended discussions and much contemplation, we decided that we need to temporarily move to each location so that we can live and work there for a period of time rather than just "visit" each one. David plans to continue his commodity trading, which can easily be done anywhere that has a phone line and a place to set up a computer. In addition, he will maintain his other business activities that he presently performs in Phoenix. To supplement his own business endeavors, he will try to pick up some short-term temporary work, to help cover our expenses, which we hope to keep relatively low during this process.
In contrast, Jackie wants to do something completely different from what she is presently doing. Therefore, she will shut down her Cognitive Training business, at the end of June. She recently started an arts and crafts business, as a new outlet for her creative energies, and David will also work with her in this new venture. In addition to her new business, Jackie will pursue other business and employment opportunities, as we move from place to place, to explore other interests and to get a sense of the local economies.
Our first steps to set this process in motion will be to:
dispose of any "unnecessary" possessions, pack those that we do need into both cars, and put the rest into storage. Then we will head for New Orleans, at the end of August. When we get there, we plan to rent a furnished apartment or condo for about a month. We will do what we can to earn a living in the Big Easy, and when we have a feel for what it is like to live there, we will move on to Gulfport or Biloxi and get a taste of life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
We will probably continue this process for as long as it takes to explore the areas that we have selected, and then just see what makes sense to us when we're done.
Q. Have you lost your minds?
A. Yes, you have to lose your mind to come to your senses! Those of you who have read the first draft of the Book that David is working on, know that our intention is to break away from our Safe Harbor and get back into to the Flow of the Current. Life is an adventure when you're in the Current, but since we have allowed ourselves to become trapped in more stagnant Waters, over the last two or three years, it has become rather mundane and stale.
Richard Bach described the same situation when he wrote about "a village of creatures who lived in a great crystal river", in his book "Illusions":
Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the
twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was
their way of life, and resisting the current what each
had learned from birth.
But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging.
Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the
current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom".
The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the one carried in the current said, "The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."
We are eager to let go of our rocks and get back in the Current. We may get bruised at first, but we believe in the end the Current will take us where we need to go. You do have to lose your mind to let go of your rock. What better place to take the plunge than in the areas that we have chosen?
Q. Is this some sort of a Mid-Life Crisis?
A. No, the Mid-Life Crisis takes place between the ages of 38 and 42. We have already been through that. Jackie turned 50 earlier this year, and David will hit the half-century mark on June 16th, but this has nothing to do with any age-related milestone. Even though we just joined AARP, we are not looking to become idle and coast into retirement. This is the perfect time to welcome and create change. In fact, we probably should have done this two or three years ago.
Q. You still haven't gotten with "The Program"?
A. No, as tempting as it is sometimes, we continue to resist getting the "secure" corporate or government jobs that you are suppose to have, at our advanced ages. For most people, security seems to be their overriding concern in life, but we don't want to fall into that trap. We want to experience life fully, and we can't do that if we just try to accumulate more money and possessions. We haven't maximized our 401Ks, and we don't have a pension plan or medical and dental insurance provided by some employer. We still choose to assume full responsibility for all of these things ourselves. It is an archaic concept in today's world, but we are just out-of-step.
We know that by most standards, we have missed our big opportunity. If we had chosen to get with "the Program", we would be ready for retirement in five or ten years so that we could spend the rest of our lives playing golf here in Phoenix. But the concept of retirement is foreign to us. We have nothing to retire from. We only have more adventures to share, new experiences to encounter and more things to learn. We want to stay active and involved with "life" as opposed to having an "active retirement".
Q. Will there be visiting hours at your asylum?
A. Yes, we will post them when they become available. We will try to chronicle the highlights of our new life to share with those of you who are interested, and we expect a few of you hardy souls to track us down, just to see what we are doing, out of morbid curiosity. If you choose to visit us, we will enjoy seeing you.
Q. How can we stay in touch with you and keep abreast of the latest developments of your journey?
A. The best way will be to use email. If we don't have your email address now, please send it to us. We will email regular updates on our latest location, address, phone number, etc., as well as a summary of our adventures, as David has done in the past with the "Island Updates".
You can also send regular snail mail to our current Phoenix address and it will get forwarded to us for at least a year after we leave.
Q. Are you trying to start a new trend?
A. No, but we are trying to create a new lifestyle for ourselves that is more flexible and spontaneous than we have been able to achieve prior to now. It may even include a method to live in a variety of different places over the course of a year while maintaining an ability to generate our own income. If this new lifestyle works well for us, it may attract some interest from other people who want to find a way to live besides their present choices. We also believe that more and more people are becoming interested in an alternative to spending most of their lives in a corporate or government job, and the rest of it in "retirement". If we have any insights into these subjects, we'll share them with you.
Q. This must be a lot easier because you are doing this together. Would you do something like this if you were both single?
A. That's hard to say. Neither of us knows whether we would want to go on this particular journey if we were by ourselves, but we are both ready for a new adventure. Fortunately, we are both excited about and committed to the journey that we have outlined, so our interests and choices are very much in sync. We also feel that the whole process and experience will be greatly enhanced because we will be sharing it with each other, but that doesn't mean that single people couldn't do something just as crazy.
Q. What if it doesn't work out?
A. We'll try something else.
Q. So your plans may change?
A. That's right. This Press Release is just a reflection of our direction, at the Present Moment, but we wanted to give you some indication of our current plans. We will NOT try to keep to a rigid plan or schedule on this journey. We want to stay as flexible and spontaneous as possible so that we go where life wants to take us. Everything in this Press Release is subject to change without notice.
As the song says, "We are going to look for America". We'll see YAWL later!