One of my personal goals is to get better at making videos to document our memories, and to share them with friends and family. I hope you enjoy a short look at our travels from 2015:
2014 was another eventful year, and we are so thankful for all the people and places we encountered! As usual, we’ve put together a short video of clips from our adventures. You’ll see footage from Peace Corps Jamaica, some road trips and National Parks, France and Switzerland, and more. We hope you enjoy!
I wrote this post in February 2012, before we left for Peace Corps, and for some reason I left it in the draft queue. My thoughts are still incredibly relevant to our situation today as we move from place to place…
Have you ever tried to imagine the perfect place to live? When you see yourself in that city or town (or in the middle of nowhere), in that house, is everything as it should be? If you could just live there, would you never need to move or remodel or change the furniture or improve the yard?
Would you be completely satisfied?
I’ve gone through this “exercise” more than once in my head, each time running through many places I’ve thought would be cool to live. A condo in the city with a great view! (Too much traffic, expensive parking, claustrophobic busyness…) Four acres of farmland with big sky and fresh produce! (Too far from the city, neighbors aren’t close enough, endless work to be done…) A colorful hut on a tropical island! (Too far from family, mosquitos, difficult to travel…)
Even if I truly enjoyed the place I was imagining, there were always other things that wouldn’t let me be totally overwhelmed with satisfaction and endless joy. There was still poverty in the world. There was still my own shortcomings and failures. There was still reality.
No matter where, the image of that picture-perfect place was always more enjoyable to imagine than to actually live in or own. There was always something missing.
According to the TV series/documentary “This Emotional Life,” human beings tend to expect that what makes us happy for a day will make us happy for a lifetime. There’s a fancy term called “Hedonic adaptation”- which means that human beings are good at getting accustomed to, or adapting to, positive changes in our lives. On the other hand, people find ways to like things when they’re stuck with them.
The few times I’ve gone through this thought process I’ve described above, I mourn a little. I have the overwhelming feeling that I will never truly feel “at home.” I will never find a place where I can be perfectly at peace. I will never truly rest. I will never arrive somewhere where I won’t need something else, something more. I will always be just a little bit restless. Do you ever feel that, too?
Maybe this is why I’m addicted to travel and I put off settling down. Maybe subconsciously I avoid finding a home because I know it won’t make me feel “at home-” I’ll get my hopes up and then have to mourn that loss of a dream. Instead, being a nomad is closer to my true nature. I do love to travel.
But why do I long to feel at home in the first place? Why do I try to imagine the perfect place, where I can stop searching for something more, if it doesn’t exist? Why do I have this life-long restlessness and the unshakeable urge to keep searching? The answer, I think, is theological.
I believe there actually is a home where I will finally feel at peace- it’s just not of this world. For any fears of dying I might conjure, this consolation is greater and I put my faith in it. I believe I was created for a heavenly home, and all the longing and dissatisfaction I encounter in this life are a result of not yet being there. The dissatisfaction is a reminder that something remains unfinished, something I have to look forward to.
All the same…
I suspect that some day we will settle down somewhere. It likely won’t be a typical set up, since we’ve sort of outgrown our ability to fit into anything cookie cutter. Perhaps we’ll try a tiny house. Perhaps we’ll still travel a few months out of the year. But we do value community highly, and I think that will eventually pull us back out of orbit.
Whenever that happens, it will be interesting to see how much I’ll still feel that existential homesickness. Will I ever be content to stay in one place? I don’t know. I know now that no place can ever be perfect, but I still hope to find somewhere that’s right for us. Whatever that means…
After six weeks of travel, we have returned to Oregon (just in time for the heavy rain)! We still can’t believe we spent a whole month in Europe. Not only that, we tacked on an additional 10 days to explore Cohasset and Boston, Massachusetts. This is all thanks to our new-found “travel hacking” knowledge, an intentional and unconventional approach, and the generosity of the friends and family who hosted us.
We shared more about our recent travels (with lots of pictures) over on IntentionalTravelers.com:
[Excerpt] Our farm stay in Cohasset was a thing of serendipity. It’s the perfect example of the unconventional, intentional travel that we love so much.
We met Michael and Michelle at Jake’s Off-Road Triathlon in Jamaica two years ago…
Read more via Visiting Cohasset (and Boston) | Intentional Travelers.
How to describe Switzerland?
What makes it special? The chocolate? The cheese? Both great but it’s Switzerland’s natural beauty.
Switzerland is breathtakingly stunning. Unbelievably beautiful (and we only saw part of it).
I made the comment this past week to Michelle and her parents that the whole country should be preserved and considered as a world treasure. No joke. That beautiful. We only visited a couple of major towns and cities and those were ok. The true magic of Switzerland are the pristine rolling green hills, the massive mountains, and the glacier fed lakes. If you hate natural beauty and don’t like the outdoors then this may not be the country you want to visit when traveling to Europe.
But for everyone else, take a train ride through the mountains. Walk through the countless, endless vineyards. Hang out by one of the lakes. Stare at the many snow-capped peaks. Feel like you could almost touch the stars.
You will understand.
(click on any of the pics below for a larger view)
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.
That time we went to Glacier and fell in love (with the park that is, we were already in love for clarification). Click on the pic above or the following link to see Michelle’s awesome travel post about our time in this awesome National Park. Intentional Travelers Explore Glacier
Two simple living, trustworthy, very responsible, easy going, and respectful young adults (who also have been married for 6 years) are seeking housesitting opportunities for certain time periods in 2014-2015 to help homeowners that need short term house watching/loving care while they are out on vacation, sabbatical, adventures, etc…Want to learn more about us? Check out our “about” page here.
- Care for pets, specifically well behaved cats and dogs (and or easy to maintain pets, sorry no livestock unless you teach us)
- Travel anywhere (well, almost- if the gig is good)
- Clean up after ourselves, and like ninjas make it look like we were never there
We would consider helping with:
- Small household projects such as yardwork, painting, etc… (you would have to supply the tools and materials)
- Short term (like a week) up to long term (a month or more)
Current Housesitting openings?
This past weekend, Michelle and I volunteered as Ambassadors at the 2014 World Domination Summit (an event that brought together 3000+ participants and over 80+ volunteers and staff together in Portland, OR). Before you ask yourself “What is that?” (too late) let me provide you with some context and history as to how we got there.
How We Got Here
4 years ago, life was going well. Michelle and I both had awesome jobs at 2 different universities in Portland. We were in the process of buying a house, setting down roots… But we decided, it wasn’t the life that what we wanted. Continue reading “World Domination Summit 2014”
“I am born and raised from Hawaii” and I know I am lucky to be able to say that. But for many of the years that I lived in Hawaii, I don’t think I fully grasped how blessed I was or appreciated home the way I should have. I remember watching “Wheel of Fortune” episodes and contestants would cry or go crazy when they won a trip to Hawaii. What’s the big deal I thought. It’s an island. I’ve seen it all.
I haven’t seen it all.
The truth is I never left Hawaii to appreciate it more. I left because I felt that I wanted to experience other things in the world, to cry or go crazy for other places the way the Wheel of Fortune winners did. That’s why I left and that’s why I love traveling today. But when you return to the place where you grew up, it’s suppose to feel like home and at first it didn’t. I felt like an outsider. A visitor. A tourist (it stings to even write that). Things seemed familiar to me, but yet, very foreign.
As the days went by, I started to remember what it meant to be from Hawaii. It started with the food. The diverse, rich blend of cultures and flavors unique to this place. The land of sweet and savory.
But most of all, what brought me back full circle, was spending time with my family. Doing the things we love doing together like fishing, surfing, playing games, eating, and hanging out. All of the things that I had missed these past couple of years.
If you want to appreciate home more….leave it.
But don’t forget to go back and rediscover everything all over again, and new things.