It’s been a long time, friends, since we posted anything. Since we last wrote, Rob, Daddie Gizmo, and I have spent a magical winter in the Catskill mountains in Hunter, New York. Having the opportunity to experience a full winter – and some of the coldest temperatures here since the year I was born (hint: 35 years ago this April) – has been a dream come true for us. The snow and ice of this winter mean we have been fully immersed in all 4 seasons this past year. We walked through the super bloom of the Anzo Borega desert this spring while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, spent the summer soaking up the sun road tripping through Northern California, Colorado and wondrous New Mexico, and here in Hunter watched the full cycle of the leaves turning colors and then making a beautiful crunchy layer on the grass. As I write this introduction I am watching it snow out the window of the tiny bungalow we spent months remodeling this fall and winter. The same place I played house as a kid and am now playing house again, for a winter, with an actual husband this time!
I will ALWAYS look back on this winter with an intense fondness. As we drove to Hunter after spending all of November learning about Earthships in Taos, New Mexico, Rob told me that he thought this winter was going to be really good for us, as a couple. I didn’t really understand what he meant at the time, but turns out he was right. Nesting into a new little home, remodeling & working with our hands, having low stress jobs at the ski resort and working together towards our next goal has allowed us to continue to grow together. Hiking the 800+ miles of the PCT is nothing compared to the constant work being in a successful marriage takes and we both continually commit to make it our first priority.
I have never been more comfortable to be out of my comfort zone than this past year. Where is the adventure, excitement or challenge when it’s easy all the time? When you know exactly what to expect, how to act, how to react? I want to be scared, walk through my fears, prove to myself I can do things I never even considered in my life. Learn what I didn’t even realize I was ignorant of. This past year has been full of so many life experiences, relationships, accomplishments and failures that I wasn’t anticipating. And thank god for each and every one of them. Even those failures or disappointing moments aren’t necessarily bad. Without that contrast how could I possibly discern the good moments? And wow, what a wild fabulous ride it has been. It all started with a little dream my husband and I had to walk 2,650 miles from the border of Mexico and California straight up the country to Canada. Many thought we were crazy, others totally expected it from us. No matter the response we received from those around us, we were steadfast in our determination to be thru hikers and soak all of ourselves in the beauty of nature, rise and lay to the sun, climb mountains day after day and push ourselves to our physical limits. I will be the first to tell you I have learned that together Rob and I are a couple of badasses! We make one hell of a team. We pushed ourselves, encouraged each other and vowed to stop at every beautiful campsite along the way to savor the moment. Hiking the PCT taught us how to be teammates, not just husband and wife. You may be annoyed with the other person or even in an argument, but when you are climbing that mountain none of that matters. You have to work together to get through the wilderness you committed to. That is one of the biggest lessons we learned this past year that took our relationship to the next level. We are a TEAM and while every couple has their issues we share goals, and strong ones at that, in which we continue to be connected and continually focused. That makes the 2 of us tick.
What makes me tick? I learned a lot more about that, about me, this past year. Never have I been so comfortable in my own skin, happy to be me, unconcerned about what people think of me. More connected to the land. In tune with myself and those around me. Being comfortable in my own skin makes me desire eve more to be in situations that push me, take me to a place of discomfort so that I can settle into a new space. How freaking fortunate am I to have found a partner who enjoys the same desire for change and growth, supports my own and has transformed so much himself?! My evolution is nothing compared to the leaps and bounds Rob has come to get to the place he is today vs. a year ago. In short, I’m blown away. We have minimized our lifestyle, careers, luxuries and bank accounts to live much more simply and be more aligned with how we see our lives playing out. We have never been more content and fulfilled. Take the BS out, focus on the people and things that matter, nurture your own spirit and its amazing the places you will go. Opportunities continue to come before us that take us on new paths that we couldn’t predict and I believe it is because we are finally living our truth, the way we should be. Life is really good right now. Actually it is great. And no, I am not doing anything fancy this winter. Actually, we have spent the winter in a summer cabin that took many below freezing months to fix up and make fully habitable. We went the first 2 months without running water while the temperatures ranged from -10 to 30 degrees on average. We took care of business outside, but got to enjoy the stars as we did. Admittedly, once it got below 0 it stopped being as fun, but overall we had a great attitude about it. We were happy to be experiencing a winter together in the Catskill mountains, seeing the gorgeous layers of snow on the trees and mountains and feeling the chill in the air. I even made a great friend who introduced me to snowshoeing! Through Rob’s tireless hard work and my family’s wonderful generosity allowing us to remodel a little bungalow on the mountain, we made a very cozy home for ourselves with running water, heat and insulation. Challenges, yes! It just makes us appreciate what we have even more. But our time here is coming to a close as the winter season ends and our desire to move onto the chapter is growing.
As the universe has provided for us yet again, we leave at the end of March for another spectacular adventure that has come at just the right time.
Steps from the ocean…
Through the Earthship Academy that we attended in November we have secured a position as the caretakers of one of 2 earthships that they built last year on the island of Kenawa in Indonesia as part of the Eco Regions Indonesia project. Kenawa is a tiny island – only 34 acres – and known for amazing snorkeling as the coral reefs are protected. These are the first 2 earthships in Indonesia ever! The project addresses eco-tourism development, environmental performance, the needs of the local community and sustainable economic development. They are aiming to create Asia’s largest eco-region. As earthships are machines and need to be functioning properly to get the best performance, just like a car, our jobs will be to monitor the electric, fresh water and grey water systems, temperature inside the home vs. outside (by design, earthships should always maintain a constant temperature), make adjustments as necessary, continue parts of the construction and assess the cultural impact on the island with the local people. All while living in the type of home we plan to build for ourselves when we settle down…except this time our front door is ten steps from the ocean and we are in a little slice of paradise! Two to four former Academy students have been taking care of the homes on the island since December so we have many months of others’ experience to guide us. Our time in Indonesia will combine our passion for the outdoors, protecting the environment, the sustainability of earthships, our wanderlust (we have every intention of staying on that part of the world for another month to explore) and a little bit of sun and surf after a beautiful winter. Yep, this is really happening. We are still in a bit of shock as we only found out we are going less than a week ago. Kenawa doesn’t have any official population. People take a fishing boat over for day visits and camp on the island sometimes, but we will be living on a near private island. We are loving the sound of that right now. Stay tuned as we prepare to leave on March 28th and continue our blog from the beach.
If you have any travel suggestions for May, send us a message!
The beauty of Kenawa…
This is a good article I found about the Indonesian earthship:
Shameless plug #1 – If you know anyone looking for a 2/2 in downtown Dallas, TX send us a message! Our condo on Main St. is available for rent 4/1. Any and all inquiries accepted – thanks!
Shameless plug #2 – Hunter, NY truly is a beautiful place. Having spent much of my youth here, been married on the mountaintop and wrapping up a magical winter I would invite everyone to discover this little slice of heaven! If you find yourself looking for a special mountain area to explore in any season, check out my family’s rental home: