Saturday, June 23, 2012


I hope you haven't forsaken me, Dear Readers. I have not forsaken you, though it may seem I have.

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.



  1. Very exciting! It's a wonderful plan.

    1. I can't wait to get started! I just need to find funding. And perhaps it might be smart to purchase some land prior to the trip, since real estate prices are starting to go back up.

  2. Meaning of Ansley: One's own meadow :-)