Here is a bit more about each one of us:
Andrea Bizzocchi, former entrepeneur for fun, decided to write when he realized in 2002 that his lifestyle no longer fit his transformed ideals. He writes (Andrea has published 12 books and many articles about ecology and other social, political and economic issues in Italy, his native country ), but he does not consider himself a writer. He prefers to refer to himself as a human being. He is the free spirit of the family, the man with the ideas (and how many he has: good, not so good and every once in a while truly amazing!). He is a doer and does not like to procrastinate. He is a man that has a natural ability to inspire and motivate, or as Kelly Corrigan (author of the book Glitter and Glue) puts it, he is the “Glitter” of the family. He loves adventure, spontaneity and change, change, change!
I am Dannielle Bizzocchi (formerly Levy), Danni or simply Ango (which means ‘peaceful dwelling’, a name that I chose for myself several years ago when I was feeling homeless and everything but peaceful!). Former New York lawyer, I have been a 360° mind, body and soul personal trainer for over 20 years. I am also a blogger newbie, vegan cook and detox expert. I am currently working on a series of children’s books that aim to inspire all types of children to feel happy, peaceful and accomplished in this complicated world. I am the “live in the moment”, “do one thing at a time” type. Although I was much more zen before all the lightness and movement in our life, I aspire every day to keep calm and gain simple wisdom from every (extra)ordinary moment. I am as Corrigan puts it, the “Glue”. I satisfy the practical needs of the family (meals, clothes, space, suitcases, homework, patience and more patience…). I am often called into duty as the mediator, I breathe a lot and accept my constant imperfection during early morning yoga, brief anywhere-anytime opportunities to sweat, and rare, short spouts of heavenly silence. My life (and my family) often drives me crazy, but I wouldn’t change it (or them) for anything in the world!
Kenia Nelson Bizzocchi was born in Costa Rica in 2004. She speaks 3 languages, has changed school 6 times (and has been homeschooled (and unschooled)), often on the road, for the past 3 years. Kenia is a wiz at problem solving, and has been observing everything from plumbers to the details of women’s shoes since she could walk. She is extremely mature and maternal (she dreams of one day having lots of babies), and falls deeply in love with every place she encounters. She is proud to say that she still does not possess her own smartphone despite all the temptation. She loves animals, fashion and Taylor Swift. As much as she would want a dog of her own, she prefers to be able to travel.
Havana Jade Bizzocchi (Bianca Jade on her birth certificate) was born in Costa Rica in 2007. She speaks two and a half languages (hasn’t perfected Spanish yet), has changed school 5 times, and has also been homeschooled (and unschooled) for the 3 past years. Havana is a free spirit like her daddy. She is crazy adorable, affectionate, super sensitive and very intense. She goes back and forth between being still, silent and pensive and being overactive, silly and on a non-stoppable talking streak (especially when it is time to go to bed!). She is extremely flexible, makes the best funny faces and does one heck of an imitation of a laughing pig. She loves sweets and at the sight of something insanely unhealthy her already huge eyes seem to pop out of her head and say “YES, give me a dozen!” She loves animals, dancing and Miley Cyrus. As much as she wants a dog of her own, she prefers to be able to travel.
Now a little history…
Andrea and I met during the summer of 1995 in Sint Marteen, an island in the Caribbean. He had moved there from Italy a few months earlier in search of another adventure and decided to open an Italian, fast food restaurant. I had just graduated from law school in New York, and after a summer of studying for the bar, was sent on vacation by my parents to relax before entering the working world. Our journey together began with instant attraction (of opposites!), a language barrier and Hurricane Luis (Hurricane Luis killed over 500 people and destroyed much of the island). With no money, my school loans and tons of enthusiasm for life, Andrea moved to New York and we started a small distribution business. After two years of working long days and extra jobs at night (Andrea in a pizzeria and I as an assistant to a Personal Trainer), we decided to move back to Andrea’s hometown in Italy. Whereas, the first 8 years in Italy were filled with the launching of several businesses, a variety of carefree “occupations” and quite a bit of travel, the past 13 years can be defined by the terms life changing experiences, personal relationships, voluntary down-sizing and freedom.
Our views on life started to take a change of direction in 2001. At the time, we still had a small franchise of videostores throughout Italy, and I had just started working as a Personal Trainer in a small gym that I set up in our garage. Andrea wrote and published his first book as a reaction to 9/11. He was angry and the “entrepreneur for fun” label no longer fit him. We began to get a first glimpse of what was actually happening in the world. When we found out I was pregnant with Kenia (in 2004), we knew that we didn’t want her to grow up in the world that surrounded us at the time. With the intent of relocating, we decided to give birth to her in Costa Rica, a place where she would be able to “simply” grow up. However, when it came time to put our dog, India (a rescued pitbull who passed away on Feb 16, 2013 at the age of 16), on the plane, we backed out and decided to put off relocating until she would no longer be with us. In the meantime, we sold off all of our businesses. I continued to work in the gym and Andrea wrote his second book based on a conversation with James Howard Kunstler, author of the book The Long Emergency Letting go of our businesses gave us the opportunity to spend several months a year in Costa Rica. In December of 2007, Havana (Bianca Jade) was born (also in Costa Rica). We were even more convinced that we needed to raise our daughters in a different, more sustainable way and continued “looking” for a place, or rather a community, that felt right to us.
Through the years, our lifestyle has changed quite radically. We freed ourselves of all things that kept us locked to one place, including our house. We have reduced our expenses, reduced waste and the purchase of packaged food, changed our eating habits, and don’t consider what we do to economically sustain ourselves as work. Andrea writes about ecology, sustainability, sobriety and freedom. He also conducts conferences and seminars about these issues. He has published 11 books in Italian and is working on his 12th. I still train and teach yoga here and there, occasionally organize vegan cooking workshops for children and adults, and do some translation work, along with my job as a full time mom. My new series of children’s books should be published in Italy later this year.
While in Italy, we spend much of our time in our RV while travelling to fairs and festivals where we sell books for Andreas’ publishers (natural medicine and cuisine, sustainability, organic agriculture, spirituality, etc.). We barter as often as possible, pick olives in exchange for olive oil during the season, and do many other odd jobs when they come our way. As a result, our girls see many different places and environments and meet tons of interesting people and new friends. We travel and work as a family and notice the positive impact such a lifestyle has on both of them. They are friendly, alert and very easily adaptable. They learn things about people and nature that cannot be taught in a classroom. When one of Kenia’s former classmates asked her how she can get to “go on vacation” as much, Kenia answered, “It’s simple. Just tell your parents that they need to get an R.V. and start selling books!
We we aren’t travelling someplace else, we spend many months of the year abroad between Central and South America and the United States. We are constantly doubting our status quo and are always curious to see what life has in store for us next while living the moment… the only moment that truly exists.
Wishing you peace, love and glorious freedom,
Andrea, Danni, Kenia and Havana