Greetings from Portland!
We have finally had the opportunity to start reconnecting with friends in the Portland area these past few weeks. It has been wonderful to see everyone again, especially to meet the new little members of our friends’ families who arrived on scene after we left for Jamaica.
In the process of seeing everyone for the first time, we’re realizing that we still struggle to explain our plans and what we’re doing with our lives. We don’t really fit into a category right now. We’re not moving in anywhere. We’re not getting back into careers. It can be a bit confusing to not be able to categorize us.
So I thought it would be good to spell out the plan as it stands right now.
The Plan: Another Sabbatical
We’re planning to be very mobile but we will most often be staying with Michelle’s parents in Salem, our brother and sister-in-law in Portland, and also doing house-sitting gigs. We try to contribute a little free labor to make it more of a win-win for our hosts.
We’re committed to not spending more than our Peace Corps readjustment allowance this year. Even with our travel plans, we’re still saving money on rent, sharing meals with people, and owning less. We’re also working on starting up a small online business (more on that later) and doing odd jobs so that we don’t have to dip into our savings.
We are very excited to be volunteer Ambassadors at an event in Portland called the World Domination Summit. It’s basically a conference about Community, Adventure/Travel, and Service which brings in entrepreneurs, travelers, bloggers, creatives, movers and shakers from all over the world.
Mid-July to Mid-August
We’re taking off on a road trip. It starts in Washington visiting some friends and attending a wedding, then we head up to BC via Vancouver and Kelowna, camp in Banff, drive down to camp in Glacier National Park (Montana), visit friends in Salt Lake City, and meet up with Michelle’s parents and several friends in Colorado before making our way back to Oregon.
Mid-August to Early September
Enjoying the Oregon summer!
Mid-September to Late-October
We’re heading to France! We’re using our new-found travel hacking skills (frequent flyer miles) to fly practically free to Europe. We’re excited to escort Michelle’s 92 year-old grandma to Paris and stay with her Aunt and Uncle in their french countryside home. We are extending our stay with more free accommodations by doing a Help Exchange. This means we work a few hours a day at a chateau Bed and Breakfast in the Loire Valley in exchange for housing, all our meals, and the chance to explore.
At the end of our stay, we’ll meet up with Michelle’s parents in Switzerland for a week of hiking in the Alps. On our way back home, we’re actually making a stop in Boston. We’re going there on invitation of this couple we met at a triathlon in Jamaica. We hung out with them at the triathlon event two years in a row, and now we’re going to stay for a week on their farm. We’ve been wanting to learn more about farming/gardening so we’re looking forward to helping out and experiencing the community farmer’s market that they run.
Our goal is to be in Salem for Thanksgiving and Hawaii for Christmas/New Years. The rest of our plans for both Autumn and Winter are open at the moment. We’re looking at house-sitting options or potentially using more frequent flyer miles to return to Jamaica for a while.
We are looking at jobs that will allow us to travel or live abroad again, starting in 2015. We’re applying for staff positions on upcoming Semester At Sea voyages. We’re also planning to apply for JET (teaching English in Japan) which would depart in either April or August 2015 and be a one-year minimum commitment.
Down to Business
Our new online business is simply called “Jedd and Michelle Consulting” because we’re offering people our dynamic duo of complementary skill sets. You can check-out our new website here: http://www.j-and-m.org/
We have worked with a few clients already – setting up basic websites, contracting with graphic design professionals to make logos, and managing social media accounts like twitter and facebook for a non-profit. Our goal is to help small businesses and organizations get online and improve their presence on the web. If there’s something we can’t do ourselves, we use our network- acting as contractors- and bring in people that can make it happen.
- Do you know someone starting a small business? Do you know someone who needs a basic webpage or who wants help with social media? Please send them our way.
- A big way we’re able to meet our needs is keeping our costs low through house-sitting. We added a house-sitter profile to this blog so please feel free to share it. If you hear of someone going on vacation, please let them know about us. We are willing to travel around the country or even internationally, depending on the gig.
We’ve been posting more on our travel blog. If you’re interested, here are just a few of our recent posts: