|Forget-me-not by Martin W. Grosnick|
It's been a long time since I have written anything. My creative juices have been largely left to fend for themselves. I am still taking photographs, of course. Most of my energy though, has gone towards working & towards my internship at Charlotte Chamber Music. I have met some wonderful people, I've been learning so much, & I know that despite neglecting my blog it has been time well-spent.
In these months I have enjoyed the guidance of a dear dear friend & have become more certain of myself, & of what I would like to do in my life. It is still vague, & there are still many possible paths I would like to take - I am a Libra after all! But I am seeing what I am passionate about, what I love in life, with a clarity & focus that was never there before.
Sure, I've always been able to give some sort of little monologue about what I want to do "when I grow up." But those speeches have always felt inauthentic. They only represent a small facet of who I am. They are one or two of my interests combined with what our society expects people to be and do. Do I really want to limit myself to convention? Really? No. Or at least not yet. Yes, working as an educator at a nature centre would be fantastic, & I would love to do that. But would I want to do that for the whole rest of my life? Probably not. Do I love photography & think being a photographer would be one of the greatest jobs ever? Yes. But that doesn't mean it's what I want to do for a living.
A love of nature, a love of people, & a love of photography are all a part of what makes me tick. So are many other things I love! I want the freedom to be able to experience more than just one narrow sliver of what I enjoy from one day to the next. I crave adventures, new landscapes, hard work, & lazy days. I want to help other people. I want exchanges of ideas. I want to tread lightly on the Earth and meet other people who are trying to do the same! I want to dig into the dirt and get my hands dirty, & at the end of the day I want to feel I have accomplished something tangible. Did I mention I crave adventures & new places & the freedom of the open road?
In becoming more certain of what I want to do, I have taken my lifelong dreams & acknowledged that they can become reality. Travelling full time isn't just a dream, & neither is having my own small-scale sustainable (preferably urban) farm.
My short-term goal right now is to save aside enough money to purchase a travel trailer or motorhome. This will probably be an older model (such as a Shasta or mini Winnebago from the '60s or '70s), to which I would like to do some major modifications. One idea is to have a functioning composting toilet on the RV, because a) it's better for the environment, & b) who wants to deal with finding dump stations to empty out septic waste? Gross! I'd much rather compost! Another item I definitely want is solar power.
Once I have the RV ready to go, my plan is to travel the country visiting sustainable farms/gardens. I will get a National Parks pass, & stay at many of the National Parks & Forests. In order to sustain myself while on the road, my goal is to be a workamper or WWOOFer of sorts - working on the farms & other places I visit, & photographing & blogging about my experiences. I've been compiling a list of farms & other places I want to visit, and it is growing fast! There are just so many amazing projects happening from my friends Mary & Jeremy, who are working to bring edible landscaping to Memphis & Nashville, to Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in NYC!
My longer-term goal is to purchase some land & start my own sustainable farm after returning from my travels. Ideally I'd love for it to be an urban farm, but I'm flexible about that aspect of it. I want this farm to be accessible to whoever wants to visit, which is part of why an urban farm really appeals to me.
Originally, as a kid, I envisioned a place where basically everyone in my family & all our friends lived together on a big cooperative farm. Idealism like that is great, and it does have its place, but I think in real-life I am not up for all the logistics that would involve. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure few people I know & love would really want to come live on what would basically amount to a commune. So my dreams have been scaled down a bit. Instead of a giant earth berm/concrete dome home/bunker there will be a tiny home (maybe even my RV), which appeals to me more anyway. There will be wonderful fruits & veggies, laying hens, bees, & goats. Maybe even a milk cow & a couple horses. In short, I will be self-sufficient.
Will you travel with me on this journey, Dear Reader? I hope so! I look forward to having your companionship, advice, and encouragement along the way. If you want to follow me on Pinterest, I have started a board called Road Trip: Places & People to See, where I am posting some destinations for the cross-country trip. Let me know if you have other suggestions. :)
Thanks for sticking with me! Talk to you soon.