Three years after launching Kift, and explorations in dynamic communal living, we have decided to end the service and close the business.
The community we have collectively built, the relationships that were created, and the personal growth that bloomed will continue — there is no off switch for that.
Through thousands of connections, hundreds of side quests, dozens of houses and sites, several caravans, and more than a few magical moments, we took on a single mission that was much bigger than “keep the sink clean”.
We learned from each other as we modeled for one another a new way to live. From the heart and with empathy and curiosity. How to care for each other, respect each other, support each other, entertain each other. And we learned to look inside ourselves. As we learned and unlearned, we recognized this is a personal journey that we’re all on — revisiting history, communication, emotions, mindfulness, heath and movement — journeys are not easy, and we didn’t shy from taking on hard conversations around equity, race, gender and disability.
We are a diverse group of people with one thing in common — yes we have vans, but more than that, we all chose to step away from the norm and went looking for something new. The mission of Kift was to open this path up to more people, to give them a banner to rally to — not to be a product to buy, but a circle for us to step into where we have the permission to experiment with who we are, how we engage with each other, with community, with society.
And obviously, in the fashion of The Hero’s Journey, we all had that permission already. It didn’t come with Kift and it doesn’t go with Kift. My sincerest hope is that, as Kift members will go forward on their multiple braided journeys, they take this with them. Reminding and supporting each other that they have all the permission they need to live how they want, and to bring someone along who may be just starting out on the path, showing them that they have permission to question what we take for granted, to explore and experiment in the pursuit of a better way to live.
And some of those braided journeys are starting off now — Sante is working on Pops — a DIY version of a Kift house for shorter stays. The goal is to support the magic many of us found on a caravan in that sweet spot of a week to a month, in a beautiful location, with a strong intention, and a cool crew. It’s our hope that a number of community members (you!) would host one of these and we could string together journeys together of any length we want.
In addition to this ephemeral gift of adventure and focused intentionality, Zoya and Matai are working on the slow cooked bookend to this: putting down roots in a full-time community — a place we can go back to. Starting with the DAO and adding in an exploration of cooperative ownership, resource sharing, and governance.
What I’ve learned from living in a community is that “it is what you make it”. If you like to have someone offer you hot oatmeal in the morning, you’ve got to make hot oatmeal in the morning and offer it to someone. If you want to have a dope place to go for a few weeks in the fall with the community, find a house and offer it as a Pop. And if you want to have a place that you and your chosen family can all call home, then jump into the DAO meetings and get involved in finding that corner of the planet that we’ll collectively care for.
I remain incredibly passionate about the objective –living in community, with agency and adventure– but I’m trying to be unattached to the path, because the unexpected and unplanned twists and turns into uncharted territory is usually where you find the magic.
Thank you all for making Kift what it was, changing my life and so many others in the process.