Happy To Be Homeless

We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary of living in the van–of living Sprinter Life! Here’s the story of how and why we chose to be homeless:

The History

Two years ago, I was dragging bags of clothing and food from our Venice apartment out onto the boardwalk and giving them away to the first homeless people to cross my path.

At the same time, Tree was packing dry-bags full of splash jackets, headlamps,  sleeping bags, neoprene booties, and all of the countless base layers we were going to need on our upcoming twenty-one day, private raft/kayak trip down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon, with fourteen other family members and friends.

We were both so overwhelmed by the tasks-at-hand that neither one of us quite realized the transformation that was underway—namely, that we were becoming homeless people ourselves.

At the time, I was on the precipice of getting laid-off from my corporate sales job that I hated with a fanatic intensityand, yet, I was aggressively interviewing to get another one just like it.  In any case, without my added income, we would no longer be able to afford our expensive beachfront apartment, so we were moving out of it to “stay in front of” our finances.  Beyond that, we had no plan.

But all of those handwringing, hair-graying, silly socioeconomic concerns like paychecks, places to live, and job titles had to be put on hold for three whole weeks while we went on, what Tree kept calling, “A Trip of a Lifetime!”  He was insufferably excited—like a little boy about to go camping in the wilderness with all of his best friends or something—while I, on the other hand, was on my Blackberry afire with pissed off clients, cursing the failure of some modern technology with too many acronyms, as my signal cut in an out the whole way to the put-in.

How the Grand Canyon Changed Everything

Finally, the time came to leave it all behind. Bye-bye cell phones, emails, traffic jams, alarm clocks, clients, and my passive-aggressive prick of a boss.  We got in our big yellow boats packed with enough food and supplies to sustain us for twenty-one days. Once we pushed off, there would be no easy way out. We were going off the grid, completely self-supported, shitting in ammo cans—pack it in, pack it out—the whole nine yards.

Now, at this point, I could wax poetic about how relaxing it was to sleep under the stars and drift downriver through billion year old schist and granite walls, but that would not be telling the whole truth. Running the Grand Canyon, as a self-supported trip at least, is not always relaxing, comfortable, or particularly ‘safe.’ It’s not three weeks sipping Piña Coladas in a luxury resort in Cancun. It’s foot blistering, cuticle cracking, backbreaking hard work, and sometimes I feared for my life.

But that’s what makes it so…rewarding. Working hard for the right reasons is a good thing.

I was happy. VERY happy. Happier than I had ever been in my entire life.

Why? 1) Tribal Connection and Relevancy to the Big Picture, and 2) the Read-and-Run.

Tribal Connection + Relevancy to the Big Picture

In my corporate job, I spent countless hours attending team meetings, updating Salesforce, creating Excel spreadsheets, troubleshooting technical problems, and presenting Power Points, after all of which I would ask myself, what does this have to do with my life?  Contrarily, there is no irrelevant job on the Grand Canyon, and there’s plenty to be done.  Every person has a chore to do, and each chore is equally important. We all worked together towards a common goal–mostly to eat, drink, have fun, and make it to the next camp alive–and I felt a peace in knowing that my contribution mattered, that I was more than a replaceable cog in a capitalist wheel, that I was truly valuable.

I felt more fulfilled rolling up my sleeves with a tribe of peeps to whom I was emotionally invested, doing grunt work that was relevant to the big picture of my life, than I ever did working for the man.

The Read-and-Run

I learned to paddle an inflatable kayak, called an IK or a ducky, through some easy, read-and-run rapids while we were on the river.  Read-and-Run is a term used by paddlers to both describe a rapid and to indicate how it can be run.  It means that you don’t have to get out of your boat and scout; you can “read” the water by locating the obstacles from your boat and simply “run” the rapid.

Here’s what you do: You point your ducky straight downriver on the V-shaped tongue that leads into the rapid and paddle hard. You avoid big rocks called ‘pour-overs’ and big churning mosh-pits of foamy water called ‘holes.’ If you get pushed sideways, you straighten out.

The trick is to relax, stay present, go with the flow, paddle hard, and not worry about swimming or the next rapid or anything else for that matter, because if you do, you invariably do everything you are not supposed to do. You have to stay calm and in the moment so you can respond with ease, clarity, and precision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The payoff is exhilarating. To be frozen in motion, existing fully one nanosecond at a time, living in technicolor with your life stop-framing, senses on high, sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste…oh to taste thin tinny fear mixed with the bloody iron of courage–to taste living–that is happiness.

Life is a Read-and-Run rapid, not by virtue of it always being easy, but because there is no way to get off the river to scout it.  The more present and aware you are in it, the smoother your line will be as you navigate your way through the obstacles.  I was anything but ‘in the moment’ back in my ‘normal’ life. My mind was constantly elsewhere, running circles around some hypothetical stress exploding in the ether—always thinking about the next rapid.  It’s no wonder I felt like I was being cycled in a rabid hydraulic, barely able to catch a breath before being sucked back under the foam.

The marked difference in my level of happiness between the real world, where I felt irrelevant, alienated, and outside of life–and the river world, where I felt valued, a part of and in harmony with nature and my tribe–was too big to ignore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

Considering my own quest for happiness, I began to ponder the broader, more famous Pursuit of Happiness.  The concept was first discussed by the philosopher John Locke before being modified and applied by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

What exactly did Jefferson mean when he substituted happiness for property as an inalienable right?  It seems to me that for many of us these days, Jefferson might as well have left property in place.  Today the pursuit of happiness often means no more than the pursuit of wealth and status as embodied in a McMansion and a Mercedes.  (Oh, wait. Don’t we drive one of those? :) )

One thought is that Jefferson was inspired to make the imaginative leap from property to happiness from John Locke’s 1693 Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Locke explains that the pursuit of happiness is more complex than mere materialism or even hedonism. Rather, it engages our deeper faculties, requiring the careful discrimination of imaginary and fleeting happiness (the kind you get from drinking a six-pack and watching Friends) from “true and solid” happiness (the kind you might feel by doing something good for someone else, summiting a mountain, learning something new, or perhaps  by watching your child takes its first step). Indeed, it is the “foundation of liberty” because it frees us from being enslaved by those base desires (say, for designer jeans and yet another surfboard) that may only fulfill us for a brief moment.  In other words,

The Pursuit of Happiness is a manner of living that enriches our life experience and expresses our liberty–something consumerism (lust for property) cannot do.

The American Dream

I had not been living the happy lifestyle. In fact, mine was the opposite. I felt like Sisyphus pushing a really heavy rock called the American Dream up a really big hill, and it was time to let it go.  The irony, of course, is that the American Dream is supposed to be about having the financial freedom and economic security to live “the good life,” but so often we spend all of our time and energy working to ensure our freedom and security, only to spend it on a cycle of debt and ownership that enslaves us and ends up costing us the time of our lives.  The American Dream is an illusion fueled by always wanting more.  It is the unattainable carrot that runs us ragged with the fear that if we stop chasing it, we will surely perish, and only if we catch it can we ever be happy.

The Birth of Sprinter Life

Clearly, it was time to say fuck the carrot and to reclaim the pursuit of happiness from the clutches of consumerism.  It was time to give up the American dream to pursue our own dream. It was time to bring Sprinter Life into the world!

Tree and I had already discussed driving the Pan-American Highway, but after the Grand Canyon river trip, the deal was done. I was definitely not going back to corporate America, which suited Tree just fine.  He lived in a van when I met him (I really know how to pick ‘em!) and was more than eager to get back to road-life. We decided that we were going to sell my car and move into the Sprinter fulltime.  From there, the rest of the plan seemed to write itself.

Life On The Road

In the spring of 2010, we drove from Los Angeles to Canada on a self-led wine tour that took us to over 150 wineries. We also took a brief detour and went to Cuba (click for photos). During that time we learned a key lesson about living together in small spaces and how to appreciate The Time of Our Lives. 

In the summer of 2010 we won another Grand Canyon permit and ran it for 14 days, this time just the two of us! We got engaged at the bottom of Lava Falls and had Epiphanies about how to stay in love as beings in flux.

In the fall of 2010, we crossed the border into Mexico, let go of the State Department induced fear and became open to experiencing ‘other.’ We started opening our hearts to the Have-Nots, declaring our Global Citizenship, and speaking out about the Drug War.

 

In the winter of 2010 we discovered that there are more of us out there! We embraced a community of expats, overlanders, backpackers, and adventurers, who are also living alternative lifestyles, reclaiming their own pursuit of happiness. We love you Jene, Miranda, Miguel, Ceci, Tanya, Eddy, Joyce, George, Emily, Chad, Dave, Ann, Espen, Malin, Alex, Monica, Zach, Natazha, Shaun, Paula, Guillermo, Mauricio, Nati, Nico, Charlie, Cami, Claudia, , Daniel and Marcela… The list goes on, and, if I did not write your name, please forgive me. Leave a comment, raise holy hell, and let your voice/my love be heard!

On February 16th, 2011, we deepened our commitment more with our sweet and intimate wedding on the beach, and Tree’s family welcomed me in with my Iron Faith tattoo. 

 

Somewhere along the way we expanded our Pan-American trip into a full-on lifestyle and announced our intention to Drive Around the World.  But is the lifestyle specifically being nomadic? Or minimalist? Or RTW overlanders?  No.

Our Philosophy

It’s a lifestyle of reclaiming the pursuit of happiness and how we do that will change as we change.  For right now, slow travel is a manner of living that enriches our lives and expresses our liberty, but that is not set in stone either.  It’s a lifestyle about being authentic and finding a way to express our souls’ unique purpose on this planet. It’s a Read-and-Run lifestyle.  It’s a lifestyle that is relevant to living and loving and communing with nature and other beings on this planet.

It’s not a lifestyle about dreaming the good life; it’s a lifestyle about Living the Dream . -STEVIE

 

 

 

Comments

  1. LOVE it, Stevie! You two are the BEST! xo from Hood River.

    • Thank you Val! I love when I earn an accolade from you! And, we still (meaning ‘me) need to get our booties in gear with the project. Soon we will be in Huanchaco, Peru, where we plan to rent an apartment for a couple months, which means, I will be cooking up a storm! Let’s skype once Tree and I settle in there. XO.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, yes, yes! I have lots to tell you about the Project, so let me know when you get settled in Peru, chica, and we’ll talk.
        Un abrazote!

  2. Holy smokes. Now that I’ve written once, the can hath been opened. Prepare yourselves.
    This is seemingly, so time appropriate in my life right now (like many others I’m sure). Having been laid off last year and searching for the perfect balance; balance between making enough to pay the bills, but having enough time with my girls that are only getting bigger. That proverbial carrot is so true – I see it here all the time. Dan and I try to keep it real between ourselves – but sometimes I admit to getting lost in it all. We just watched Fuel last night and are now looking to purchase a ‘new’ old car.
    The read-and-run life anecdote is SO damn true! Somehow just giving it that perspective makes me more prepared for what is, or isn’t, ahead.
    Stevie – you freak me out – I feel like you’re in my head.
    Oh – and tell Tree we’re all for a vaca if the Sprinter can carry a family of 4 ;-)

    • Hoop..I feel like I know you already! Maybe I am in your head. (Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone about that time when you were young and needed the money. Only you, me, and the midget need to know about that night :) . No, seriously, thank you for commenting. I’m glad that this post resonates with you, that you get it. I too struggle with the balance thing. I love our lifestyle, but we make sacrifices to live like this, and usually those sacrifices directly hit my vanity and lust for stuff….and sometimes my hygiene. Anyhoo, yes, Sprinter Life CAN accommodate a family of four. We would love it. Come on down!

  3. Climbing Life says:

    Very well written – thanks much for the inspiration.

  4. Cecilia Paredes says:

    WOw U are inspiring :) I super Love u and it makes me happy that people like ou exist in this MARVELOUS PLANET!! Gracias..Mil besos :)

  5. Excellent post! Congrats again on getting me thinking and on actually following through with pursuing your dream! You’re both a huge inspiration as we continue to downgrade, pay off debt, and get back on the road again ourselves!
    Keep on dreaming!

    • Hooray!!! I’m excited for you guys! And I’m so happy that our homelessness is inspiring yours :) I say it every time, but I mean it, I hope we meet up down the road!

  6. Boy, Stevie – that was superb writing. You put into words what we’ve been feeling since our tour of 50 national parks in 7 months in a Sprinter Interstate came to an end. The idea of going back into working for the man simply cannot be held in my brain anymore. It rejects it. We found we are happiest when we are “out there”, living and experiencing creation and the people along the way.

    Thanks for an excellent post.

    • Holy moly. Stop the press!!! I never thought I’d receive a compliment comment from you Rob. You really made my day! I knew we had common ground…maybe not politically, but politics seem to matter less the longer we live on the road. Where are you guys now, if not ‘out there’? And, when will you be hitting the road again? Also, did you guys blog or document your national park tour? John told us about it, and Tree and I would love to follow in your treads some day. It sounds like an AMAZING trip.

      • Rob Wilson says:

        Now why would you think that I would not compliment something good when I saw it, Stevie? Our only differences on the political side is I have studied history and you guys have not. History may not repeat itself exactly but it sure does rhyme well…there is nothing new under the sun in politics or government. It is all rinse and repeat, as each new generation seems to fall ignorant to what went before.
        I happen to believe you guys are on the greatest of great adventures, and your writing in this post in particular is superb. I always admire good writing, but especially so when it hits the heart, and yours certainly did that.
        We did document the tour of 50 national parks… You can read about it on face book at sprinter tour, under the notes section.
        We’ve also been doing a redux until about a month ago (we have some catching up to do) at http://www.1yearago2day.com , and also write at http://www.backtotheparks.com about our struggles to get back on the road permanently. When one is broke, funding travels becomes a giant challenge. But then, we were broke when we organized the Sprinter Tour, and that was the adventure of our lives.
        If you ever decide to follow in our treads, let me know and I’ll save you some time and grief – along with some insights into what to be sure to see along the way. Just our perspective, of course, you guys seem to do very well without guidance of any sort :D
        Stay safe out there, and keep writing!

  7. Sophia Villa says:

    Wow!!! What a story! I didn’t want it to end….really I didn’t. My hats go off to you, Stevie, and Tree. You both live an incredible and exciting life. Thank you for reminding us the definition of “Pursuit of Happiness”…..I think we all need to be reminded every now and then. Life is precious and short and it looks to me like you are getting everything….. absolutly everything possible from this precious gift called life…continue to enjoy your adventures and thank you for taking us with you!

    Love ya!
    Sophia

    • Sophia!! I can hear your voice in my head. I’m so happy that you commented. I’ve actually been meaning to write you a FB message. Get ready because it’s coming! As far as the Pursuit of Happiness thing goes, I’m thrilled that you liked that part. I was worried that that section was a little nerdy. But, since you liked it, another interesting fact is that Ben Franklin, who co-penned the D of I with Jefferson, strongly supported the substitution of happiness for property because he said that property is a ‘creature’ of life, a secondary thing, and thereby can be taxed, whereas happiness is integral to living and should be an inalienable right. Also, Bhutan measures their GNP in happiness. Super interesting! I think they literally call it GNH, Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product. Food for thought! Much love!

  8. Dave Adair says:

    Kindred spirits, we are! I love reading your thought-provoking and moving writing. If I wasn’t already on the road in MY van, I might decide to after following you guys. By the way – I met a couple today who are working their way around the world. Sitting on the couch it seems impossible, but when you get our here, you find it’s not as uncommon or difficult as it seemed. I hope we actually meet one of these days. Until then, safe travels, keep writing…

  9. BEAUTIFUL! Happy Anniversary Sprinter Life. Here’s to many, many more miles. I love you.

  10. Wow.
    That realy freaks me out.
    some of this that you have written, was allready in my mind.
    I realy only have to let go….

    Thanks.

    BB

    • Yes you do my friend! It’s time to let go. And just know, that it is a process. Every day we work on not allowing our time/energy/consciousness to be consumed by fear and want of more. We work on cutting down our costs, learning to live with and expect less, but at the same time, I feel like we have so much more now than we ever have. Our daily life and our relationship is so much richer, stronger, more lively and invigorating than it used to be before we started this journey. If you have any questions let us know. We’d love to help out in any way we can.

    • Felt so hopeless looking for answers to my queiostns…until now.

      • Thanks for commenting. I’m happy that we have provided some inspiration :) Let us know if you have any direction questions too….we’re more than happy to reply.

  11. Lisa La Bella says:

    That was inspiring! Makes me think! :)

  12. Ahhhh! Literally shuddered at the salesforce comment…been there. Great post, per usual Stevie!

    • I hovered over that phrase for a good few minutes wondering if anyone besides me knew what Salesforce was. In the end, I decided to keep it in the post, and now I am so happy that I did! You know the hell I lived! You lived it too! Good god, WTF is that CRM for? And why am I now typing in acronyms? It’s like mind control. The second I speak the word of SF I fall back in step. I say ‘Fuck the Carrot!’ We miss you guys…..are we ever going to catch up? xoxo.

  13. just because I think this post is so bad ass, I will comment. nice writing.

  14. reagan gagnon says:

    damn girl, you’re on juice! props to being really productive in the writing department…and more importantly proficient. every time i read your writing i feel like your command of language has improved. i would describe reading your writing as a conscious-altering hyper-kinesthetic experience. your descriptors are visceral…you are doing what the best writers do- invoking the vibrant, lived experience. and ya can’t stop won’t stop….i love you!!!

    • I love you Reagie! Your recognition means so much to me. When I’m writing/proofing my work, I always ask myself whether or not I think you’ll like it. You’re a really good barometer for me…you keep me honest and on my toes! Of course I know you love me no matter what, but I also know and appreicatie what an elitist you are when it comes to what you read. Plus I know that you are up to your ears in study/work with your PA program so taking the time out to read the blog AND comment is HUGE. Thank you for being so supportive. I love you my sweet soul sister!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow, like reagan said above. Who would of thought that living in a van in the jungle at $10 a night hotels can improve your sensitivity and your ability to express yourself. That’s a new one for me – thank you!

    Rick

    • Thank you Rick! I attribute my inspiration to the barbecued guinea pig and coca leaves :) Now, when are you guys going to get in that plane of your and head south? I’ve heard they have really nice landing strips in Peru.

  16. Luis Roselli says:

    Hey – Stevie congrats on the Big 2 years on the road – Keep on !!!!!!

  17. Tanya Diaz says:

    Felicidades!

  18. Peter Stevens says:

    Congrats! 2 1/2 in my truck camper and little desire to stop. 6 gallon hot shower is priceless. Hope our paths meet out there somewhere soon. Safe travels.

  19. John Rich says:

    Stevie,
    That was an AWESOME post! Happy anniversary!!

  20. Oscar Sosa Reina says:

    Great guys, I wish I could be on the road for that long, what’s your secret?

  21. Walter Burkhardt says:

    Keep on trucking on!

  22. Yeah- I quit my teaching job last year, and my wife is now quitting her life as a nurse (20 years) Some things are just not as important as we once thought. Our family is what matters most, and who wants to miss that?

    • I can’t agree more. There is nothing more important than time spent with loved ones. It trumps all. After years of fighting the good fight and being of service to children and sick people, I’m happy to hear that you two are looking forward to some family time!

  23. Pilar Ryan Crew says:

    i just love it-the beautiful life;) Hope to catch you somewhere out there..xo

  24. Luis Enrique Getter says:

    Woo hooooo! Felix aniversario “Vida Sprinter”

  25. Tatiana Katarina says:

    ohhh, so beautiful, as ALWAYS :) Today i got a comment from a friend, “I dont have the balls to put life on hold, so I’ll just have to live vicariously through you two”. Aaron and I looked at each other and thought, “What the hell is being put on hold?” Hip hip for two years! May there be many many more :)

  26. Cathy Fanandakis Alexander says:

    Time flys when your having fun! To bad I’m so old I’d do the same!!!

  27. Zaina Shuibi says:

    Bravo!! I love the way you write girl! Keep on keeping on!!

  28. Teri Hogan says:

    Brilliant post Stevie!

  29. Monica Kelly says:

    GREAT STORY !!!!! <3

  30. Anonymous says:

    I clearly remember being thirteen years old, sitting around the campfire with my Boy Scout buddies after a day of outdoor adventures and saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could just to this for the rest of our lives?”

    Of course, I lost my way for a while, but I’ve been living this way now for many years and I wouldn’t go back for anything.

  31. Mauricio Arredondo L says:

    Steeeeeeeeviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ujuuuuuuuuuuuuuu ……. lo mejorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Tree… Parcero, mil abrazos hermano….

  32. Good article, Stevie.
    Well thought out and put together.
    A very enjoyable read.
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson

  33. molly leith says:

    Oh my GOODness! It’s like yesterday I was rubbing lanolin into my fingers praying the cracks wouldn’t reach my knuckles. only to realize the only way I could stop the cracking pain was to dip them into the beloved river again…and again…and that’s what I loved about that trip. never turn your back…..just dive in DEEPER!
    LOVE your pics from the Grand trip and feel like we are all reliving it together. Senior and Diane were just here for dinner and we had a blast toasting you and the life changing decisions we made during and after that trip ( hello little lava!) I can NOT wait to reconnect and share in that space with you. Have you invented a flag for the Sprinter yet? Maybe KIKI as your mascot? Reinterpretation of the CA flag with KIKI instead of the bear???
    I think it needs to be done. LOVE you both sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much.
    xxxxx, lava’s mama

    • I love the Kiki California flag idea!! That is HILARIOUS!!!! And not too far of a stretch either. She could easily be mistaken for a baby black bear. Isn’t it crazy how so many of us went through transformations after the Canyon? You guys take the cake though….nothing beats LITTLE LAVA!! I remember having a premonition that you would get a belly full of baby…I think she was whispering in my ear. And remember you found the Angel pendant!! A sign for sure :) I too can’t wait until we get to spend some time together again, feeling that tribal connection and relevancy to the big picture! Thanks for leaving such a great comment! We love you!!!!! And give Lava some good squeezes for me. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  34. Mauro y Naty says:

    Chicos… no se ni por donde comenzar, acabo de leer la historia y me llego directo al corazon, como me gustaria poder estar alla y darnos un gran abrazo.
    Escribes super bien Stevie…. tus palabras tienen alma…. no sabria decir que haces mejor, si escribir o the highheels thing…. you rock girl.
    Tree hermano, te mando un abrazo muy grande, que la suerte los acompañe a todos lados.
    Como van con el Español??

    • Hey Bro. Love you Man! PLEASE come and visit us in Northern Peru. We will be in Trujillo for a while. Great surfing. I have surf boards for you and Naty. Fly to lima, then Trujillo. We will have an apartment at the beach and we will pick you up from the airport. Ok, come fast! TREE

    • Mauricio….gracias por tus palabras….me llennaron mi corazon. Recientemente, yo decidi a estudiar espanol todos los dias otra vez, porque quiero mejorar. Un dia, quiero hablar tan bien como tu y Nati pueden hablar en ingles. Buenos…necessito que ustedes nos vistamos para conversar conmigo! Como ha estado tu viaje??? Donde estan ahorita?

  35. Happy Anniversary Beloved Ones! See you soon.
    Mom

  36. Amaze-balls! So many people could wish they could let go of the chains that bind them to conventional lifestyle values and if only they had the courage to listen to their heart and TRUST in themselves. True happiness is very related to meaningful purpose and work (not the conventional kind of mind numbing work but satisfying, self rewarding work) and it seems you and Tree have found it. Of course no one said it would be easy to get to this point and you two have shown that if you believe in yourself in spite of what others may say or think, you can get there. We had considered moving to the US last yr to work either around NYC or Cali as we had job opportunities but in the end we turned them down b/c we didn’t want to get in that trap of the American dream. In the end the stress of working those types of positions would have adversely affected our happiness and health. So although we aren’t quite as free as you are in your nomadic lifestyle, I feel we have made the right choice (or steps towards anyways) to get to our ultimate paths. Freelancing now and working for myself has also been a HUGE step for me personally to finding the ultimate, lasting happiness,

    • “True happiness is very related to meaningful purpose and work (not the conventional kind of mind numbing work but satisfying, self rewarding work)”……This is SO true!!!! I’m happy that you guys chose quality of lifestyle (freelancing, slower pace, time outdoors) over the American dream/nightmare. And the best part is that you share your investment in your health and happiness with ‘a beautiful life’! And I think that the beautiful life is contagious….once people are exposed to it, they want to create it for themselves too! Keep on keepin’ on! xo.

  37. What do you do for money? I worked at a state University for 20 years when one day I had enough and quit…1 1/2 years later I still haven’t found what I’m looking for? I sound like the U2 song, but really I want to live free like you all are doing and travel! We bought this house in a nicer part of town after living in a more affordable one for 14 years, but now we think we made a mistake and the house is too big, not huge but 2400 sq ft is way bigger then a 1600 sq ft. It’s nice to see deer and turkeys sometimes outside though where we live…still I do not feel the love for this house and need to be free. So my question again, I know you sold your car but what about money? We converted our 2 car garage into an apt and rent it out for $600 a month so that helps us out towards the mortgage. We just don’t know if we want to keep it up and it’s also on a acre lot with tons of oak trees…again beautiful location of this city but not feeling the love! I’m just as down and out as when I worked a great job in the coorporate world.

  38. Love your spirit and your writings! Very inspiring! There were 2 lines that really hit home for me:

    “Life is a Read-and-Run rapid…The more present and aware you are in it, the smoother your line will be as you navigate your way through the obstacles.” So true!

    And this one is just beautifully written and so powerful: “oh to taste thin tinny fear mixed with the bloody iron of courage–to taste living–that is happiness.”

    Your life is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  39. I don’t know how I missed this post. *Sigh* I love it.

  40. Alejandra Mendez says:

    LOVE THIS… GREAT WRITER, GREAT LIFE, GREAT FAMILY!! MISSING YOU GUYS!

    • Ale!!! We miss you too!! So soooooo much. I’m still dreaming of our eco-commune and permaculture greenhouse, little kids and yellow pollitos running in the yard :) Sending big love to you. xoxoxoxo.

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