Take the leap.

What Do You See Over The Horizon?

Welcome to the new chapter of Orangutan Swing.

I am typing this in Another Cafe in San Francisco, where I will be for just a few days before I head up the coast to Seattle. Dipika and Kush have been traveling in Vietnam for the last six weeks.

The intention that we set, about a year ago, is that we will make our work and livelihood fit around our life purpose. We wanted to widen our input, reach, and impact. We wanted to experiment with the idea of being “always on the go.”

So, during the next two years at least, we will be based in four different communities in Asia, 6 months at a time. We have our first destination picked out: Sikkim, India. But beyond that first spot (and even aspects of that first stop), everything is up in the air, for us to figure out along the way.

Why? In our adult lives, we have always moved every 3-5 years, switching the culture and the community we lived in, and who influenced and guided us.

Some might call this rootless. We felt this way, too, for a long time. “Why can’t we settle? What’s wrong with us?” We kept asking each other from time to time. We didn’t have a good answer.

Until, we realized: that’s a perspective of rooted people. And we are anything but. No matter how hard we tried, even if we wanted to try, we would never be “rooted” in true sense—neither of us came from anywhere close to where we lived as adults (Dipika’s parents are immigrants, and a transplant in the south since she was in her teens. I came from Japan when I was seventeen)—and knew very few people from our “home” towns.

So we are flipping the model: what if we declare that we are always going to be moving on? What value can we bring, as transient-by-default people, to a community?

In the history of humanity everywhere, there has always been people who would come in from outside, and change things. Some of it was deemed good, some bad. Some, both. But the undeniable fact is that often, these changes propelled us forward. Navigation technology. Commerce. Transfer of new ideas and things like tea, gunpowder, religion, music.

We are inviting ourselves to take part in a tiny part of this tradition.

Basically, though, we are just owning up to who we are: nomads. Gypsies. Transients. Dreamers. Artists. Renegades. And, Instigators of Conversations.

Not that this is an easy path: for us, being true to ourselves and floating without a solid base requires us to be comfortable with the accompanying uncertainty: where are we going to live? What will we do in each location? How will we eat? What will we make/get out of it all? These questions need to be asked, and then answers suspended. We simply cannot know until we are there.

And, that, is UNCOMFORTABLE. Our innate tendencies are such that we want to fix the variables. “If only we could get X and Y,” we keep saying to ourselves. “Then we can feel safe. Then we can do Z.” But as long as we are trying to solve it for X, we are just running ourselves into a tight corner.

We’ve been there. Figuratively, and more literally, too.

We have been part of failed ventures. We fought against authorities who didn’t want to change. We fought with each other, clinging to our own “idea” of How It Should Be.

But, as uncomfortable as it may be, good, interesting, resolution-reaching IDEAS come about when you let go of your expectations, and be willing to suspend your belief and comforts. When you loosen up enough to say, “heck, anything is possible. I might be wrong but it could be interesting,” and become willing to wait, gates will open, paths gets cleared, and sometimes, even clouds and water part, to make room for you and your intention (mind you, it probably won’t be the way you planned it).

I’ve spent the last month floating around in Durham, hopping from a couch to another one, living through the kindness of friends and acquaintances, meeting with people, hosting conversations and generally wondering “What next” quietly on my own, and out loud with people I’m talking to. Dipika and Kush are bumbling around Vietnam, without a plan nor destination. We are holding our intentions (we are groping for our next “move”), and waiting, while staying curious, open, and willing to accept (nay, welcome) uncertainty.

And, that is the idea we want to spread: creativity is about accepting unknown, and staying curious, and attentive. It is also about knowing yourself, and focusing on the intention you are reaching for. Our project/life is what we are teaching, and learning from the experience.

The rewards, the ideal outcome, is that more of us will get to practice being creative, in the way that we believe to be the most effective: letting go of control, and being uncertain, curious, and intentional.

Will you join us? Follow along in our journey—we will share our fears adn trepidations as well as our joys, passion and triumphs.

Make sure you sign up on our email group—more stories will be shared there, and more often.

See you on the flipside!


  1. Love it! I will definitely be checking in on your adventure. Safe travels on your journey. Can’t wait to see what develops! Thank you for sharing this experience with us. We are overjoyed to be a part of it.