all is well

Hello all. We want to say that everything is great, we're just not much for blogging these days. Between limited internet service, the fast pace of travel the last few months and a general desire to absorb our experiences, fully, before sharing, I'm giving myself a pass from blogging about our trip. 

I am keeping up with photos via Instagram, however. You don't need an Instagram account. Just go to this link on my website or directly to Instagram (my feed is public) and you should be able to see our regular photo updates. 

In two days, we celebrate our one year anniversary of departing the U.S. for our journey. We have only 35 days left exploring more of Ecuador, then we will be back in Los Angeles for the holidays and then some. 

Hope you are all well and happy. 

Blythe and John

more of this, somewhere else

more of this, somewhere else

Our first date was nearly 13 years ago. He took me to a beloved breakfast joint in Portland, Genie’s, that tried, unsuccessfully, to break onto the dinner scene in 2004. He was kind, open, communicative and intriguing. This was a real person. Someone who had a clear sense of who he was and what he wanted from life. I hadn't met many people like him, authentic and wholehearted. Oh, and mighty good-lookin'! 

peeling layers

Planning this journey as it unfolds has had many benefits. We leapt into the unknown without the comfort of a plan as our net and we've made up a journey full of meaning and memories along the way. Being able to untether from timelines, itineraries and commitments has been liberating. We've been free in nearly every sense, at least from the stories of our lives as Americans. A kind of freedom we cannot explore back home, burdened by society and rooted with jobs, a mortgage and all the attachments of life, the joyful and the obligatory. 

Nearly a year ago, I set an intention to gain a deeper sense of the idea of untethering during this journey. Could it be done? Would I like the feeling of living with heaping servings of uncertainty? Would I grow or shrink? 

today's to-dos

We’ve found the place where our daily to-do list is only a few lines long—exactly how we like it. It only took us 6,771 miles to find it. On my list today is: laundry, meditation and biking around aimlessly.
 

1. Laundry

Laundry is time consuming, though, also meditative. We only have a few pieces of clothing, so washing occurs somewhat regularly and it requires a basin of some sort, soap, ringing out of each piece and hanging it on the line. There is a laundromat here but the soap they use is potent and makes us itch.

what's the plan?

Update as of 6/29/17: We're going to skip Asia this time and finish out this journey somewhere between Ecuador and Northern Mexico before heading back to the U.S. No end date set, likely around Christmas. 

To the people who paid attention to our rough outline of six months in South America and six months in Asia, since we’re nearing the middle of our seventh month in South America and we’re in no rush—it’s time to offer an update.

First, thank you for taking note of the things we’ve said. That’s really cool of you.

We can’t offer a set itinerary but we can offer what we’re thinking which may change at any moment and at any time—and what I am thinking as compared to what John is thinking we still have to reconcile. This is my version of our loose plan moving forward.

unpacking in uruguay

After two weeks in Buenos Aries and five weeks in Uruguay (so far), we’ve found a town on the coast of Uruguay to call home for the next two months. As our families and friends are welcoming in the wonder and warmth of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re heading back into winter. Our plans for an endless summer, foiled. And while it is chilly here, it is like winter in San Diego, California. We get rain and clouds, but plenty of sun. So we can’t complain. Or, more accurately, I can’t complain. John is fine wearing a tee-shirt in snow while I need a parka in 70 degrees.

We jumped down to this part of the world because the coasts of Ecuador and Peru, which we have every intention of getting to know well, were flooded with unusually harsh and destructive storms when we were in that part of the world. So, we popped down here and will work our way back up to Ecuador (which we saw very little of) between August and November. June and July will be spent in this quiet, nearly closed coastal town, surfing, reading, writing, biking and any other joys we can find to do.

great article on conscious travel

Article relevant to how John and I manage our impact and influence as we travel. I remember being in India in 2009, witnessing tourists haggle with locals on the price of something that if they paid full price, would pay $3USD for a beautiful handmade this or that when in the US it would cost $150. I never haggled. It felt counter to my desire to connect and walk lightly through the worlds of others.

We don't haggle now either, especially in situations where the artist or providers of service are local. We want our money to stay in the hands of the people who welcome us.

After seeing how some folks in the US treat foreigners with disdain and fear, we're grateful that the vast majority of people we've come across in South America welcome us with open arms (or at least, warm smiles).

It is our goal to do right by locals and the beautiful Earth they inhabit.

Click the photo to read full story from Pachamama.org. 

Click the photo to read full story from Pachamama.org.