When we started this trip we didn’t know how it was going to end exactly. We had an idea what we wanted to do back home, but didn’t have a good plan on how to execute it. We also wanted to leave ourselves open to possibilities on the road.
And now, the end is here.
Some people have asked, why do we travel like this? To be honest, that is a question we have asked ourselves repeatedly during the last year and a half as well. For me, a top reason is because this puts me in the “present” all the time. There are no plans, no agenda, nothing except being open to experiences, people and possibilities ~ ALL THE TIME. It is an awesome way TO LIVE.
Of course there are other reasons too, like learning from other cultures and broadening our perspectives – which are actually not lip service. After traveling for this long, yes, many things before unimaginable, unacceptable, are now normal and part of us.
And there is an amazing sense of freedom to call all the hours of the day as our own. The only time we ever look at the clock is when we put our
bosses kids to bed.
Going into this trip, a top motivation was to spend more time with our kids. In our old lives, Ty spent 10 hours a day at preschool, and I spent 12 hours a day between working and commute. Now as the trip comes to an end, we are surprised (and relieved) that our favorite part of this journey was indeed the memories we created as a family.
It just doesn’t get closer than this, living with each other 24/7. And looking at Jamie, the things that we observe and laugh about, we now realize were sorely missing from our time with Ty when he was younger, partly being first time parents but more because we were just too busy.
So what now? How do we go back to “normal” life after this?
As much as the past 18 months had been incredible, we are so ready and excited to move on to the next phase of our lives. We are going to to start a farm!
If you have been following this blog, then you know we have spent a lot of time on farms, like in Peru here, Ecuador here and here, in Mexico, Nicaragua and Colombia. Simon and I had always been drawn to the farm life. Even years before we had kids, we had dreamt of owning a ranch and be the Asian cowboy and cowgirl in the wild west.
As the years went on, the seed of the farm dream grew even without us consciously realizing it. Simon became a student of permaculture and grew a food forest in the front yard of our home. We raised chickens and brooded them on our bodies and our dog, Rocco! (It became kind of a problem when the grown chickens kept coming into the house!) We kept quails with Ty and collected their colorful eggs for breakfast. Over time we also started to buy more pasture raised meat, as we became aware of the horrific facts of factory meat farms.
So, we are going to be farmers.
Our plans are to raise pigs and chickens on pasture to start, then maybe get a dairy cow, and hopefully some sheep, definitely a huge produce garden and a small greenhouse. Over time we will grow as much food as possible for our animals, and keep supplemental feed to a minimum. Simon has a lot of earthworks ideas, from water harvesting to composting to tree planting. The land we have in Castro Valley of Northern California is pretty raw and dry. But what we have learned is that the soil is a living thing, and with careful management and the help of the animals, it will improve. The possibilities – and the work – are endless.
We would be lying if we said we aren’t a bit scared. The learning curve is going to be steep to say the least, and we will be living with even less (materially) than we did on the road. But the past year and half have prepared us. In many ways, our lives will continue to be full of each other, the outdoors, new discoveries and simplicity.
Last but not least, thanks to everyone who have been supportive of our journey down the Americas. Your words and support have helped us stay on the road, and feel connected with a community even though we were mostly alone. We started this blog as a place to record memories for our children, but we have made friends and strengthened friendships along the way. As we move on to the farm, we will continue to write about our new life here. Obviously it is going to involve animals and permaculture rather than traveling. We thought about getting a new domain, but we are on a farm budget now so here it will stay. (And friends, if you prefer to unsubscribe from future content, that’s ok, we won’t feel offended!)
So off we go. We hope to stay in touch with y’all. As they say, one journey’s end is another’s beginning!