Alex and I are excited to announce The Earthling Dream — our vision for a sustainable lifestyle and our effort to document it. We hope the visual and written content on our new website, theearthlingdream.com, will provide inspiration for viewers to recognize their personal responsibility in the global environmental crisis and find motivation to be part of the solution.
The following are a sample of excerpts from my journal that I kept while I was on the road. I started journaling as soon as the 2016 spring semester of college finished. The day I left Ithaca College, May 14, is marked as “Day 1, Year 1.”
I have enjoyed rereading my journal over the past couple of days, and I wanted to share some of these moments from my travels. Continue reading “Journal excerpts from the road”
I stab my machete into the rain forest slope, hilt up so I don’t lose it. Tip when working a in the thick of the scrub: always leave your tools in a vertical position, or spend most of your time trying to find them again.
I sit down on the soil between a young orange jacaranda and a mango tree, the mangoes vivid orange and green fruit has been gashed by the cheeky flying foxes overnight.
The ground is soggy from days of rain and quickly soaks through my pants. The musk of the seeding mustard grass floats like a mist on the morning air.
I take a big deep breath in and sigh from somewhere deep in my heart.
A peaceful green valley lies lusciously before, curving like a naked body, who’s breasts rise into Jurassic cloud-catching mountains, the sentinels of an ancient volcano.
It’s all a…
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When I bought Hayduke (2000 Chevy Express van, 1500) last year, I thought I would probably drive him until he didn’t work anymore. But, as I’ve said before, plans change. Hayduke can’t come with Alex and I to Australia, and we plan on being gone for quite a while. I’d rather see the van enjoyed by a new owner than have it sit in a driveway and rust into oblivion.
Alex and I would like to sell Hayduke in the form that suits him best: a van-home. Our asking price is $3,200. Keep reading for more details, and click on the photo collages for a slideshow. Continue reading “Van-home for sale”
Back in the fall, My grandmother contacted me to ask if I would consider flying home for Thanksgiving, and offered to pay for my tickets. It was a sweet gesture, but I declined. I knew that I wasn’t ready to come home yet, even just for a brief visit. I knew I still had a long road of self reflection and learning ahead of me. I didn’t know how the story ended yet — so I wasn’t ready to try to tell it at the dinner table.
I read a book on a beach in California with the coastal redwoods to my back and the Pacific Ocean roaring before me. I took a solitary walk at the rim of Crater Lake in Oregon, finding my favorite shade of blue in its clear waters. I climbed for two days by myself near Sisters, Oregon after the presidential election, seeking peace and solitude among the rocks as my divided country slipped into chaos. I drove through a bison herd in South Dakota, laughing with delight as they licked the salt off my van with their rough tongues. I wandered through an ancient forest in North Dakota and saw the shortness of my human life foretold in the lines on the petrified tree bark. And then I arrived in Standing Rock, where I would meet and marry my husband Alex — a development in the story I could not even have imagined.
As February rolled around and the police presence around the protest encampment grew and our personal funds shrank, Alex and I knew it was time to go. And this time, I felt ready to come home. I felt I had walked a complete circle. Continue reading “Home sweet New York”
Alex and I are in limbo at the moment as we prepare for our future travels in Australia. We will be flying to Sydney on May 1st. Until then, Alex and I are home in New York with my family, and I am working a temporary job to save money for our travels, and we continue to wait for updates on Alex’s immigration status. Van life is on hold for now, although we are still sleeping each night in our comfortable van bed (yes, even though it’s winter).
As I go about each day, I recall many vivid moments from my travels with a deep fondness. More often than not, the moments I spent in solitude with nature at some of the incredible campsites I discovered come to mind.
I’ve slept in my van in everything from Wal-Mart parking lots and city streets to rest stops, road pull-offs, and sketchy woodland “campgrounds” in the middle of nowhere. Primarily, I used freecampsites.net while I was on the road to find free places to bunk down for the night. It was always hit or miss, but I did find quite a few gems.
More than anything, I enjoyed these campsites because of their remoteness and the solitude they offered. That liberating feeling of escape can easily be ruined by trash, loud neighbors, scaring off the wildlife, and decimation of natural formations. So please, if you do go to any of these places on my recommendation, don’t make me regret writing this blog post. Leave it in as good of condition or better so it can be enjoyed by the next person. Continue reading “Favorite free van campsites”
After getting married, Alex and I use recycled and unused materials around Rosebud Camp at Standing Rock to re-build the interior of the van into a space that suits both of us. It may have only contributed a tiny bit, but we were glad to help with camp clean up in our own small way.
Our latest video shows how we built a bed for two:
We’re really happy with the storage space that the underside of the bed offers, as well as the hidden storage we placed underneath our shelving unit.
Although we are going to Australia in May and the van will have to stay behind, we look forward to taking it out for a couple more camping trips together.