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Blessed To Live In The Pacific Northwest

Every state we’ve explored has been so different from the last, and each one is beautiful in it’s own unique way. But traveling further south through the hot, empty and beautiful roads of Nevada and to Idaho, I can proudly say that I am happy to live in the Pacific Northwest.

Once we entered southern California, towards Nevada, it was like a fight against the heat. The water really didn’t taste the same and the water crisis was even more severe.

We begged for a river, a beach, lake, anything to cool ourselves down, but all around us were dried up creeks and salt flats.

I am grateful to have experienced these areas, especially to drive all the way up Nevada on 93N with absolutely nothing but rocks, wildlife and mountains around us. It was our most peaceful drive yet.

The central Nevada area is hot during the day, but rains and storms with rapid lighting and thunder all night, it’s really quiet beautiful.

The heat may have caused us to flee from entering Arizona, but we shall be back in the future.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from these travels, it’s that nothing goes as planned no matter how much you plan it. But that’s what makes it exciting, that’s what allows you learn.

It’s not about reaching a destination, because there will never be one. It’s about realizing the beauty of the moment with you now. We could have turned off the road every five miles and explored something amazing because this Earth is truly magic wherever you turn.

But for once, I’m grateful for the rain. I’m thankful to lay on cold, green grass and be surrounded by evergreen trees and mountains. I now know for myself that I am so blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest.

We are coming back to you Washington. We can’t wait to swim in your lakes, be in your mountains and cool breezes.

Yet there is no end to our travels, they’ve only just begun. I cannot wait to plan our next adventure and to continue to explore the beauty around me every single day. I’ve realized that I thrive off of it, the journey and the beauty, to discover something wondrous. And letting go of one single destination has allowed me to appreciate every beautiful moment.

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Small Living, Big Decisions

It took a while for me to get used to making sustainable decisions while never being parked in one place for more than a week at most. But these decisions are important for me and so I have continued to strive to find ways to implement an eco-friendly living into a small budget, r.v lifestyle.

Some steps that I have taken so far is not taking a vehicle along with us. Though our r.v does not take bio-fuel, I’d say that we ride our bikes more than anything so far during our travels. Keeping our r.v in one spot, we travel by foot and by bike 80 percent of the time.

Not taking a vehicle to tow behind us was a tough decision, but it has already paid off and I thoroughly enjoy walking and riding my bike places. Everything is at walking distance, but if I had a vehicle I would take advantage of it, though it is not needed. This decision has saved us gas, by not caring the extra wait, it has spared Ricky the extra worry and also spared the atmosphere of the extra harmful fuems.

Some other simple decisions I have made is buying compostable garbage bags, though they are a little more expensive, it is far worth it. For any of you who do not know, plastic is not compostable and one of the worst things for our environment. Because of this we refuse plastic bags in grocery stores at all cost, and bring reusable bags for everything we need to carry. In Oregon, some stores give you a discount for using reusable bags as well.

Recycling is another big decision, it takes a moment to get used to not having your own garbage and recycle bin right outside your home, but it is worth finding other solutions. We have two small bins where we put our recycles, we hide them away from our eyes view so the house does not seem cluttered.

For those of you who do not already know, for the most part we have been boondocking, which means not paying for r.v parks, but rather parking in National Forests, parking lots and anywhere where we can overnight park at. This can make it hard sometimes to find garbage bins that we wont get in trouble for putting our garbage in.

Recycling is free to all cities, Oregon especially made finding recycling areas easy to find. So many of the things we use are recyclable and it makes a difference to take the extra second to clean your recyclables. We have found we can make most of our waste recyclable and therefore free.

When not being at an rv park, it can be hard to keep our water tanks full of water, currently they are empty. This can save us money on gas because the rv weighs less, but it is very important to stay hydrated in the California heat.

We have a few one gallon plastic bottles that we refill just about everyday. Refilling these bottles instead of continuing to buy more saves us lots of money as well as sparing the environment the extra plastic.

Decisions like these are very important to me, as they should be for anyone trying to live in an eco-friendly way. Our experience can be a prime example that no matter the situation, it is possible to decrease our carbon imprint as much as we can. It’s all about putting intention into your decisions.

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Smaller Spaces, Bigger Love

I guess you could say that living in a small home can really challenge a relationship. There’s not much room for any personal space or personal time, nor much space to hide your living habits. To some people, these circumstances can seem intimidating, we considered it a new opportunity for growth.

At first I thought such a little space of living wouldn’t require too much cleaning, but three animals along with all our belongings has required us to come together with creative ways to keep things tidy.

Every obstacle is a new challenge for us to solve together, how to keep certain things away so Forrest wont chew them up, places to put the cat food so Forrest wont eat it, making sure the animals have plenty of fresh air while were gone, how to hide things that we don’t want to see, like garbage, recycling, laundry.

We still find ourselves getting rid of things we don’t need and our ability to condense is a lot stronger than before. We both share a dedication to our living and to make sure that we are happy in it.

Our views have changed about personal space and personal time, we hardly have any personal belongings, we share everything together. This lifestyle, this home and our relationship has become our greatest commitment.

There is an entirely new feeling that comes along with living with someone in a small space, you feel incredibly close at all times, everything feels so much more intimate and you begin to be even more involved in one another’s thoughts and lives. This a feeling I will never give up.

Smaller spaces has not created bigger arguments, it has allowed us to grow even closer. Before we left on this journey, I can say that any arguments were truly due to the impatience and dissatisfaction with how we were living, and I think that many couples feel this.

We had a different set of priorities, like money, rent, bills, work with an endless cycle of not going out and doing what really made us happy and never speaking about what really mattered to us.

But I have never been happier than I have, being set free in these smaller spaces and making our big dreams happen together. I realize that a new lifestyle has made me continue to see the man of my dreams while we speak of genuine conversations and see the beauty of the world together.

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Limiting Our Things For Limited Spaces

Anyone who walked into our home would definitely think that we didn’t have many things. Within the last few months we have been selling so much and I felt quite minimalistic. But when we officially started packing all of our things, we made the decision to rent a U Haul because we weren’t going to have enough space, I realized I really had a ways to go before considering myself a true minimalist.

We thought this U Haul would have plenty of space, but after an hour or so of loading, we began noticing that we would need to fill the bed of the truck as well, and that was still pushing it for space.

Some things were going with to be sold at a family members yard sale, but this was still in our home. We were on a time crunch and running out of space, we found ourselves simply throwing away the things that would have trouble fitting. Which made me question it’s worth to me in the first place and why I ever thought that I needed it.

To me, this was a big eye opener in my life. Why were all these things necessary? After getting rid of it all, I couldn’t remember why I ever needed it and I felt so nice to let it go. This really hit me as beautiful feeling that I needed to share, so that I may inspire someone to challenge themselves to do the same and ask themselves the same questions.

Even when we started moving our things into the R. V, we threw away and sent even more things to yard sales.

More than half of our previously owned worldly possessions are no longer a part of our lives, and it makes me feel so free of clutter. It feels good to know that everything I own, I treasure.

 

Clearly, when you are moving into a space that doesn’t fit all the things you have, you have no choice but to get rid of things; but if this is not the case for you, you could try multiple other things to simplify your belongings.

Something I would suggest is to get rid of one thing a day. I don’t mean tossing out your shirt with a stain or your overused toothbrush, I mean things you come by in your everyday life that you notice you never use.

It may be easier at first, but doing it for a month or two will lead to ridding so many items from your life and forgetting you ever owned them.

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A Letter To My Fellow Travelers

Dear Fellow Travelers,

The house is nearly empty, we’re selling things one by one, packing a box a day. The pile of things we are ridding from our lives is nearly gone and with each thing that sells, I feel fuller.

I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait, that leaving was too far away and that it would take forever. But once I stopped thinking about it so much, I stopped and realized that this month is our last month of rent. Our month notice needed to be in, we needed to sell more, put in our two weeks very soon, we needed to get R. V insurance, invest in carpet cleaning, buy a tow bar and start putting our things into no more than five boxes each.

It seems as if we’ve been planning this trip for a year with nothing but pure wanderlust and impatience at this point. We have planned every last detail, studied every map and yet I know that when we are settled in, when we start counting the miles south, we’re going to think, “what the hell are we doing?”

A question full of nervous excitement, a question that will make our heads explode and leave us screaming with either scare or excitement or both, I haven’t decided yet.

Remember to let this nervousness fuel us. Remember to let it fill us with ambition and remember to never let it lead to second guessing.

For what would we ever go back for? But think of all the reasons to go forward.

Remember to challenge ourselves, remember to constantly impress ourselves with our creativity and courage. May we remember that there is always a solution and remember to keep bringing positive energy our way.

May we always remember the last trail and the next waterfall when we feel trapped. Remember to take advantage of time. Time to write, to be creative, to find ourselves, fill our passions, to meditate and never stop learning.

And if we ever find ourselves scared, remember why we did this…

To be different, to challenge ourselves, to adventure every single day, to find creative solutions, to remember to be content with what we have, to grow, to live fully, to learn about ourselves and learn the things we never had time for, to sleep under the stars, to connect with mother earth, to escape the boundaries, to escape the gossip, the schedules, the “idealistic” life.

Remember we did this to prove that we could, to finally start the endless exploration of our lives and remember that it has just begun.

Because this is what makes us happiest, if only we let go of all negative energy that cannot live in our lives no longer.

 

 

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The Adventure Destinations

I am excited for so many things to come during this adventure, but of course the most exciting is going to be experiencing the beautiful locations and nature around us. We have an elaborate plan as to how exactly we’re going to travel these six states and they’re amazing natural wonders.

We would like to keep things as spontaneous as we can, knowing that we are never on a timed schedule so we can slow down and really soak in every moment. Though we have a detailed plan, we are open to new ideas along the way.

We currently reside in Spokane, WA. Coming this May, we will work our way down to the Mt. Saint Helens Ape Caves. We will stay in Portland, OR for a week or so while we explore Lower Lewis Falls, Ponytail Falls, Oneonta Falls, Latourell Falls, Elowah Falls and Mahclella Falls and the Columbia River Gorge. These seems like quite a bit of waterfalls, but each of these are followed by beautiful nature hikes.

From there, we will move down to Bend, OR, where we plan to stay for several weeks, travelling to Drift Creek Falls, Opal Creek, Silver Falls State Park, Cougar hot springs, Tumalo Falls, which leads to a beautiful small, incredibly blue pool, the Painted Hills and Proxy Falls.

On our way downward, we will also see Toketee Falls and Crater Lake before we move towards the coast to the Oregon Caves and Boardman State Park. After this, we will enter California, where we will stay in Crescent City for about a week, exploring the Redwood Forest.

Next, we will move towards Central Valley, CA, where we plan to also stay several weeks while adventuring these beautiful waterfalls, Mossbrae Falls, Burney Falls, Whiskeytown Falls and Subway Cave and Lassen Volcanic National Park. From there, we will move south to Lake Tahoe, spanning off to Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, Rainbow Falls and Devil’s Postpile.

Then we will head west to Big Sur, CA, where we will get time on the beautiful coast and see Pfeiffer Beach and Mcway Falls, where the sand turns a brilliant lavender at sunset. We will stay here for several weeks before moving on to our next destination, the Sequoia National Park, to Death Valley, then crossing over to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Neither of us have been to Las Vegas since we have turned 21, this will be a fun experience for us both. But you would be surprised how beautiful Las Vegas is outside of the casinos. There we will stay several weeks exploring the Valley of Fire, Gold Strike Hot Springs, Big Falls and First Creek Waterfall.

Arizona is real close by, we will venture off to Grand Canyon and see many incredibly beautiful waterfalls as well as deserts, including Rock Falls, Beaver Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Grand Falls, The Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Antelope Canyon and of course the Grand Canyon.

After this, we will begin to head up north again, but by no means does the adventure end. We will head up to Utah to see Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, we will be staying in Junction for about a week to see some other nearby locations.

After that, three hours north is Salt Lake City, where we will stay a few weeks and see Stewart Falls, Cataract Gorge, Upper Provo Falls and Grotto Falls.

Another three hours north is Twin Falls, Idaho, where we will travel to Shoshore Falls, Deadman Falls, Cauldrin Linn Falls and Malad Gorge State Park.

Only an hour up is Boise, where we’ll also see Jump Creek Falls, Kirkhas hot springs and Gold Fork hot springs.

Technically, this is the last of our trip. We have several road maps of every state with every destination pin-pointed, as well as the time and miles it will take to travel to these locations, which on average is only three hours from one city to another.

There are so many other destinations I wish we could see in these states, but we must plan smart. I am also sure that we will find more excursions in every place, upon asking the local tourist information places.

This may all seem like a lot, it may all seem impossible, expensive or risky. But life is not meant to be spent in one comfort zone, or behind a desk right out of college, this is the message I wish to teach to everyone who responds to this with, “I wish I could do that.”

We must realize within ourselves that there is more to our lives than what we experience every day, and we must go out and find what it is that really makes us happy. This will not be the same for everybody, as it shouldn’t. We are meant to challenge ourselves and the role of which we play on this Earth, what sets us apart from one another.

I think we will always surprise ourselves with all the things that we can do that we believed we never could. Not one person can tell me that I will fail, and if they do, then they don’t understand passion and the power of the mind.

In my next entry I will explain exactly how we are financially planning this adventure. I will explain every step until I leave and every exploration on the road. <3