Colorado: Rocky Mountain Awesomeness

On our epic road trip for 2014, one of the most highly anticipated places for us to visit was Colorado.

When I was 16 I visited once and fell in love with the snow packed mountains. I think this was mainly because it was so different to what I grew up with in Hawaii. 15 years later and I was once again, captivated by the mountains, the lakes, the sun, and what seems like the healthiest bunch of people in the entire United States. I heard stories of 300+ days of sunshine and endless amounts of outdoor activities to choose from. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up in Colorado if/when we finally decide to settle down.

Here’s some highlights and great travel information from our visits to Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Denver.

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Announcement: Our New Business

Though we’ve actually been in business for several months now (some of you may or may not have known that) and have several clients, we wanted to officially introduce our new company:

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special thank you to Becca at RSJ Creative for our awesome identity


A Conventional Solution for Unconventional Living

A lot of people have asked us how we afford to live unconventionally. “You have to make some sort of income, right?”  Yes. One of the things we discussed prior to returning from Peace Corps was the idea of starting our own company, one where our services could be done from a computer connected to the internet, to allow us the most flexibility and mobility.

What Kind of Company?

Consulting was the best word we could think of that could hold all the ideas we had of services we could provide. It allows us to do a wide variety of things, which is what we wanted. We don’t want to be known for one specific thing. We want people to hire us because of who we are, our skills and experiences, our values and passions. We are branding and marketing ourselves.  We both believe that this is not a long-term career company, but a conventional way (having a job, so to speak) for the time being to live unconventionally. Since we also know that being very vague is not the best way to market ourselves, we narrowed it down to:

Project Management

  • Brand & Identity Development
  • Website Development
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Event Coordination

Michelle and I love being in charge of projects. We love to coordinate and implement programs. Projects can range from helping a small business owner get their business online to helping coordinate events and conventions. If there’s something we can’t do ourselves, we have a big network of talented folks who we can contract.

Social Media & Website Management
Because of our experience in blogging and managing websites, we were contacted by a few people to help them with their social media accounts and manage their online presence (websites).  We do everything from creating original content, uploading blog posts, engaging with an organization’s audience on facebook, etc.. We also have a lot of experience teaching people the basics of how to use online tools for themselves.

This is mutually beneficial for us and clients as we can do this kind of work anywhere we have internet.

There are tons of things we can also do that we didn’t list which is the beauty of why we started our own consulting company. The most important thing we want to get across, though, is that we want people to see that, as individuals and as a team, we can provide a lot. We have a range of professional and personal skills, and now, the time and flexibility to work on a wide range of projects.

We’d love if you would help us and connect us to people who might need our help. You might have a conversation with a family member, friend, or co-worker and be like, “I know a couple that could help you out.”

We want to be that couple.

Our Company Websitehttp://www.j-and-m.org/

Side Note: Housesitting

We still have available housesitting dates for late October to Thanksgiving for 2014 and beginning of 2015 from January to May. If you or someone you know needs housesitters, let us know. Here’s the link: http://jeddandmichelle.com/house-sitting/

Epic Road Trip 2014 Recap

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Our Epic Road Trip of 2014 is over. For one month we traveled from Portland to Seattle; to Canada’s Vancouver B.C.; Kelowna B.C., Banff (in Alberta); back to the states to Glacier, Montana; Salt Lake City; Fort Collins; Boulder; Denver; Boise; and back to Portland. About 5,500 miles in all.

We participated in a World Domination Summit, helped friends with their backyard project, got to attend a wedding of two dear friends, went to another country, attended an international night market, drove through Canada’s wine country, hiked to a teahouse in the Canadian Rockies, came back to America, saw disappearing glaciers and lots of wildlife, explored the American Rockies, and reconnected with friends and family.

It was awesome. Just what we dreamed of after two years on a small island!

At one point during one of our many 6+ hour drives, I looked at Michelle (briefly because I was driving) and said, “Can you believe this isn’t vacation? This is our lives.” (To which she, of course, laughed and nodded.)

Though it’s been 3 and half months since we’ve returned from the Peace Corps, this was the first time we felt like our new lives were starting. Before this road trip, we had a chance to reconnect with our families and readjust. This trip was a kick-off of our new, unconventional lives – the life of Professional Digital Nomads.

Trip Highlights

Reconnecting
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Though we loved seeing new sites and doing amazing hikes, easily the best part of the road trip was reconnecting with family and friends that we haven’t seen these past two years. Going to our friends’ wedding in Seattle and seeing that another one of our friends is pregnant, was really special. Then in Boise we got to meet our friends’ adorable son who was born while we were away. That was one of the hardest things about living abroad and will continue to be a challenge of this kind of lifestyle.

There will be times where we will miss important milestones and more importantly, the day-to-day sharing of life with friends and family that we love. Though constantly being on the road and living unconventionally is amazing, there are definitely sacrifices and this is one of them. However, on the flip side, this lifestyle also gives us flexibility and time to visit people, too.

A special thank you to so many people that hosted us on this trip!!!

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“Jumping Jedd” at Red Rocks

So Many Beautiful & Interesting Places to See in America and Canada
When people learn that I’m from Hawaii, they tell me how lucky I am to have lived in such a beautiful place. They’re right and I am grateful. But just as people are amazed with the beauty of Hawaii, I too am amazed with places like Banff, Glacier, and all of Colorado. Heck, I’ve come to love Seattle, Salt Lake and Boise, too.

When we travel to these places I often find myself wondering what it’s like to live amongst mountains, so many trees, actual rivers, and a state that sees about 300 days of sunshine (Colorado). Some of these places like Banff and Glacier can only be described as magical, unbelievable. Rock formations that are majestic and mighty. Rivers flowing through canyons and valleys carrying colors and tints that seem fake.

I felt so thankful to have seen the sights that we did and kept saying to myself, “I wish I could share this with others.”

Other Random Observations – Links to our travel blog with more details

Next stop: Europe!!!

-J

Thank You Mr. Williams

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Dear Mr. Williams,

We’ve never met. I can’t say I really know you. I haven’t seen all of your movies. I’m surprised that I even remembered that you were from Canada. All I know is that when I learned of your passing a couple of days ago, it felt as if a part of me was broken off and torn from me. I went from denial, to shock, to sadness. I checked with Facebook and Twitter hoping the news was a hoax. It wasn’t. I didn’t realized I cared about you that much.

As the day went on, I read tribute after tribute from your friends and family. People who knew you much better than I did, people who loved you, who were inspired by you, who will miss you. I choked up. Tears ran down my face. I’ve never been emotionally saddened by the passing of a celebrity. I realized I was going to miss you.

What’s strange is that till a couple of days ago, I didn’t really think about you. I didn’t know what your schedule was, where you were at, what you are were doing at the time. But over these past couple of days, I can’t stop remembering you. Now that you are gone, I remember how much you mean to me.

Hook-robin-williams-26577002-1200-799The first movie I ever saw with you in it was “Hook”. You portrayed a man that cared more about his career than his family. A man who had forgotten what it was to dream and to imagine. A man who forgot to play. A man who needed to remember what was truly important. You were Pan the Man. Only your ability to be serious, fun, adventurous, and childlike fit that character.   Even though I was 8 at the time, you made me believe that life was and could be magical, that we had forgotten this. I believed.

genie-aladdinWhen I was 13, I auditioned for the school play. Of all the songs I could have picked, I thought of “Friend Like Me” from “Aladdin.” I did it because of you. I loved the personality you gave to the character of Genie. I tried my best to do all of the voices, the different intonations with my voice. You gave such life and joy to a lot of your characters and Genie seemed a great reflection of you. Fiercely loyal.  Incredibly humble and compassionate. A major goof. It also reminded me of the person I wanted to be.

mrsdoubtfireYou were such a genuine person that I would forget that you were acting. In “Mrs. Doubtfire” I was touched by the way you portrayed a father who would do anything to be with his children. I think of that often. The love that one must have to go to extreme measures to be with the ones they love. In my own life, will I have that same courage? Will I love so deeply?

robin-williams-7But it’s your role in “Good Will Hunting”, the lessons I learned from you in that movie, that changed how I see life today. I was that cocky brat like Matt Damon’s character. I’m not as brilliant, but I definitely thought I knew enough in life to think I had most of it figured out. Things like love. I was wrong. I remember you explaining that love was about the little things, the special moments you get to share with someone that nobody else knows, the good times and the bad. And then you said:

“You don’t know about real loss, ’cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.”

I was in a point in my life where this was true. I never dared to love anyone that much, not even myself.

You see Mr. Williams, though you played many roles, you might not have known how big of a role you played in my life or millions of others. Though I never knew you, it felt like you knew me. I could relate to you. You possessed that rare talent to make us laugh, make us cry, to comfort us, and to remind us of how special life is. That is why I feel like something was abruptly stopped, torn, and broken in my life. You are an important icon for our generation.

Though I can never imagine what you went through in your life, I can only hope that you knew how thankful people are for you, how much they loved you, how much they will miss you.

Thank you Mr. Williams for being a huge part of my life.

Rest in peace.
-J

Dreaming Out Loud – I am Writing a Book

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Dreaming Out Loud

Since attending the World Domination Summit 2014 last month (recap here), I’ve come to realize that being a dreamer, or an idealist, is not enough in the world if there is no action, no intentional effort to turn the things you want in life into a reality. One of my favorite speakers and stories from the

Jadah Sellner of Simple Green Smoothies

summit came from Jadah Sellner, an amazing entrepreneur and community leader who built a huge brand and community around healthy, green smoothies. I’ll share her amazing story later from WDS 2014 (when they publish her talk) but there were two main takeaways that I think about often:

1. “Dream Out Loud” – Talk to people about what your dreams and passions are. When you do, you actually learn if it’s possible or not. You take action to make it happen. You find others with similar interests. Things start to happen.

2. “Take Imperfect Action” – I like the way she phrased this. It literally means to start and don’t worry about having it all together. Our biggest hinderance in life is usually the fear that prevents us from doing anything. You can’t accomplish anything that you don’t start.

That being said, I thought I would dream out loud for today and share with you something I’ve been thinking about doing for a couple of years now: I want to write a book.

I want to write a book for high schoolers, college students, and young adults about…life (and for anyone else who would read it).

Basically, I just want to share life lessons that I’ve learned from the 31 years of experience of life that I’ve had. I’m worried about our up-and-coming generations. I feel called to debunk myths about the so called “game of life” that many feel so compelled to follow and yet feel horribly inadequate when they don’t live up to made-up societal standards of what many believe someone’s life should be like.

I want to write a book in the hopes that someone will read it and think, “Wow, I’m not a failure, a mistake, or unworthy,” because I’ve felt all of those things. I want someone to read it and know they have the potential to do amazing things with the life they’ve been given. I’m writing this book as if I was going back in time to tell the Jedd that was stupid, naive, and lost that you’ll learn some cool things that will help you, give you focus, and help you to become happy with who you are and give you the confidence to be the person you want to be.

Why me?

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I’ve been thinking about writing this book for a couple of years now and always come up with this question, “Why me?” and I’ve always been able to answer it with “why not?” I’m not in any record books. I haven’t won a gold medal, nor achieved any national or international fame. I don’t have even a slightly significant following on Instagram or Twitter.

But that’s why I feel compelled to share some life lessons I’ve learned because I’m wonderfully average. I feel that I can relate to a lot of people who question their identity, self-worth, and big life decisions. I’m finally in a place in my life where I’m happy with who I am, comfortable in my own skin, and it only took 31 years to figure some of that stuff out (it’s a work in progress).

So What’s Next?

First off, I’m putting myself and this idea out into the world. There’s a good chance that I’m not meant to write a book, but I can’t decide that until I try. So…the first thing I’m going to do is to try a blog series called, “Life Lessons of a 30 Year Old Nothing.” I’m going to post  some life lessons I’ve learned in my life once a week.

I Need Your Help.

Every time I post, would you tell me what you think? Give me honest feedback. Share the post (if you like it) with others, especially the target community of youth and young adults I am writing for (or whomever you think it would help). Help me figure out if this is what I’m meant to do. I’m “dreaming out loud” and “taking imperfect action.” Thanks for journeying with me and here’s to whatever happen’s next.

-J