“What’s Dani gone and done now?”, said probably everyone I’ve ever met at some point in our association.
And that’s okay. I’m out of the business of explaining or apologizing for my existence.
To quote the character Martin Blank: I am rooted in the me who is on this adventure.
And, yes, this is Me. Breathing.
And not in the wry, merely surviving sense indicated by the way my coworkers would respond when asked how they were, invariably muttering something to the effect of “I’m here” or “Upright and breathing” whenever I would greet them throughout the workday.
No. This is me breathing deep in my belly and not feeling my chest clench with panic for the first time in many months. And this is after leaving a high paying career with better benefits than most Americans will ever see owing to the stupid way we have enslaved ourselves in the pursuit of More.
And I want More, too. But what I want more of is time and air (It’s free, you know. Ask Buddy Wakefield: Free Air! TED Talk) and love and beauty and all those other things us tree hugging dirt worshipers love so much.
I placated the people in charge by telling them that I intended to go back to school when they asked “But what will you do?” in their efforts to dissuade me from my decision. And I did make a concerted effort to return to school and to find a job that would suit my extensive experience and pay enough to cover the bills. But then I realized that these efforts would just stuff me right back into the same old bureaucratic box I had to claw my way out of to breathe in the first place. And so, I choose to take my education in a different way. I have decided to go without security and just trust in my body and my mind and my partner, Lance, and see where the road takes us and what we can learn from people we know and people we don’t know yet. I choose to live for a living (Thanks again, Buddy).
And to those who know and love us, yes, we have enough to live for the next six months of gadding about in a behemoth of a van, with all 12,000 or so miles, and 50ish way points in which we will at least occasionally have to take in some form of entertainment and perhaps nourishment, and maybe a re-tire or two if needed (see picture).
This milk bottle is to show you how serious we are about our future, which to us is ever NOW. It is a visual representation of our emergency cash stash. We will shamelessly take loose change donations along the way (the bag is for rolled coins… good for fending off marauders if aimed well). But seriously…
Ultimately, the goal is to live, to write, to see, and to learn everything we can about others who share in our vision to shift the focus of maintaining a livelihood to that which both sustains us and makes us lively. Not to be shiftless bums, but to have our work be joyful and fulfilling and dedicated solely to what we need and not what is prescribed. We want to learn firsthand what it means to live small and sustainable, what people truly find pleasure in throughout this land and, in that process, remind ourselves what’s good about the country we call home. We have assigned ourselves to this occupation and given ourselves the permission to cut loose and take the time we need to find our place. And if we come back with nothing more than what is in the milk jar and what we have stashed away for restarting “normal” life, then job well done. Mission accomplished.
Mad love and see you out there,