Freedom to roam
I may be finally wrapping my mind around this whole freedom thing. It's only been in the last few weeks that our current freedom seems to be truly setting in. I'm not sure what's bringing it about exactly, but i seem to be more astutely aware of the change in lifestyle than before. Maybe simply because our project is mostly wrapped up and we have a lull between it and the next big push (whatever that may be). Downtime has never been my strong point but I'm actually quite enjoying it this time around.
Of late we've been traveling/exploring a lot (mostly local), and are about to be doing even more. The AirBnB thing seems to be working out wonderfully for us. We want to be "at home" in the northwest during the summer, but as a reminder to get out and travel/explore our surroundings, it's proving to be absolutely perfect. July saw 2 weeks of guests book before we "shut it down" and kept the place to ourselves. A midweek to the beach to avoid the heat in portland was just what we needed. No surfing this time, but a bit of painting/renovation at a friends' vacation home and a lot of game time once they showed up for the weekend. Perfect!
In between trips I'm still marketing and meeting with potential clients, sure...but i don't yet feel any stress to get them (which, for those of you who know how easy it is for me to stress about money...is huge). At this point I'd still rather find the type of client I'd really be excited to work for. Those who share design styles and who are building/renovating for some of the same reasons that we did. Someone with a larger purpose who is really looking to make a change in lifestyle through a project. That sounds like an amazing thing to take part in...and one that I'd likely do for free (or very cheap) anyway.
The perfect continuation of what we've already been doing. We seem to be meeting a few of those people, and even before i pull together a bid for the work my brain starts spinning about it. Playing with designs and mocking up possibilities even for my own mind. We have now sent out a few bids- so we'll see what happens on the "work" front.
August already somehow snuck in three weeks of AirBnB guests. 2 weeks for a couple of ladies from cali trying to decide if portland is the right fit for them (i don't see how the answer could be no after two weeks in our neighborhood...), and another week that got booked almost accidentally when someone scooped it up within hours of our "testing the waters". Now that it's prime summer-trip time here in the PNW we almost even look forward to being kicked out of our house (by paying guests).
We are already looking into our first backpacking trip since maybe 2007 (how that can possibly be? Karma was just a pup, and i still had...hair. yikes!). We are also planning a kayak trip and another trip to the coast, or maybe even one out of state. It's exactly how we always wanted to spend summertime, but it's amazing how much easier it is to come by these pocket trips when you aren't confined to a 2day weekend. Yes, we knew this before. No, we hadn't actually ever experienced it firsthand.
Never before have we been able to actually consider it when a friend happens to throw out over a cocktail "any chance you guys wanna drive to montana with me for a week?". Now there's no need to check the calendar or ask for vacation time. The immediate response is "of course! We'll hop online and see if someone wants to rent our place to cover some gas"! That's a life-changer. Even when still in town our flexibility is huge. Friends need babysitters during the day; we're always available. Lunch dates? Always! Someone wants to pour concrete or have us meet a contractor for them during the day- of course we'll be around.
The last few days we spent sifting through our pile of gear and figuring out what we still have, what we need, and what needs a bit of work before relying upon it in the great outdoors. Backpacks, check. Tent and sleeping bags, check. Water filter...okay, that one needs some cleaning and a new filter, stat. Shoes- what happened to my shoes??
It's funny how when we left for our journey in the bus we loaded up pretty much everything we needed to live. Now, everything we need to live seems to be missing. It's all in the bus. I have no problem living day to day with only 3-4 changes of clothes. I think most of our friends have accepted the repetition. But not having a pair of shoes other than flip flops gets in the way when you want to go backpacking...even more so when you accidentally lose your flip flops after a volleyball game...
But as quickly as we are realizing all the things we really need are in the bus, we are also finding bins full of things we didn't even realize we kept. Things we had stashed away in a basement in our rush to leave. Stuff. Ugh! We cant have it. It's been a while, but it was clearly once again purge time. Jen went full speed into yard sale mode. Money is never the focus, so everything was priced to go. It was of course, a nice chance to meet a few more neighbors, to see some of our no-longer-prized possessions go to good homes and walking away with enough money for a few dinners out didn't hurt...even if the lemonade stand made more money than the yard sale. As always- what didn't get sold also didn't come back into the house. Some items stay out front in a free pile (and disappear almost immediately), the rest goes straight to donation.
That's the beauty of living in 480sqft. There are no lingering questions of whether to keep something "just in case". If you keep it, it lives in the living room with you. It's in the way. It's a reminder every day that all you need to do is let go of whatever odd thing it is you found in the bottom of the bin.
Now we can officially say that ALL our belongings are inside our small home (except of course whatever is in the bus). We feel light and nimble and free. It's a great feeling and all seems right in the world. Except maybe for the fact that i still can't find my shoes...