The Future of Recycling and Reuse is Here

On Hornby Island, British Columbia, we were introduced to The Free Store – more than just a free thrift store it’s actually a massive systematic recycling and reuse operation. Started in 1978, the island now diverts 70% of the trash that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Take a look at the video to see the free store and next level recycling in action along with our reflections.

There are only about 1000 residents on Hornby during low season while we were there but as the sun peeked out more and more, the bustle of “downtown” increased dramatically. Still, The Free Store is open on weekends during non-peak season and since we arrived just before the weekend and stayed ten days, we were able to participate in a full recycling and reuse cycle and benefitted greatly. Continue reading “The Future of Recycling and Reuse is Here”

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MIP of our Road Trip: My Social Skills

Before we left for our Canadian road trip, I was curious what kind of growth would emerge. We definitely expected to have some clarity on whether we might want to live there in the future and I think there’s potential for sure, though we’re still getting our feet back under us here in Thailand where we’ll be for the next 10 months. We also had an idea of how much Cam would change between 9 months old when we left and almost a year old when we got back. And I suspect I am more connected to the earth now since we spent a lot of time in nature. But the Most Improved Player on this trip is my social skills. As an Enneagram 4, Continue reading “MIP of our Road Trip: My Social Skills”

Back Home.

I’ve sweat more in the last two hours than the last two months combined. But I’m home. I got the scooter tuned up, topped up my Thai cell phone, got an hour of back massage and bought all the fruit I could carry. Cam is reunited with the neighbor’s dog so she is happy as can be. Tory is extending the travel with a work trip he left on immediately after our arrival so we are looking forward to settling in all together later this week.
Continue reading “Back Home.”

A Little Sunshine Goes a Long Way

 

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We finally broke through the persistent clouds and rain and had a bright sunny day on our Vancouver Island adventure. It was a transition day, which seems appropriate, but we weren’t moving far, so we slowly packed up in the morning and said goodbye to family who had joined us for the week. Then we had lunch at a farm-to-table restaurant (or table-on-farm because it was all right there) and hung out on their property for a little while, chatting with the farmers and locals and playing with Cam. The food was amazing and so fresh and the people were so passionate and friendly. Continue reading “A Little Sunshine Goes a Long Way”

Outsourcing Pollution

It was a surreal moment: we were driving through fresh Canadian air surrounded by fog and century-old evergreens when we flipped on the radio just in time to catch this interview with Dr. Steven Davis, sharing the tough findings of his research on how consumption in the West actually results in the premature deaths of people in Asia and other global manufacturing hubs. This is real.

Continue reading “Outsourcing Pollution”

Is Scouting Just Judgment in Disguise?

I spent the morning listening to a talk given by Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr. He eloquently explains that we are the product of hundreds of years of conditioning that teaches us to judge EVERYTHING based on “all or nothing” patterns of thought: I am right, you are wrong. We are in, they are out. This is truth, those are lies. The problem, Rohr explains, Continue reading “Is Scouting Just Judgment in Disguise?”

Sorry Nanaimo, it’s not you it’s me

We’re halfway through our slow road trip across the west coast of Canada’s big island and it’s time for a little expectation adjustment. Everyone I’ve talked to over the last few weeks tells me it’s unseasonably cold in British Columbia this spring. We wanted to get a little insight into what the off-season might be like just so we’d have a realistic picture of life in the region if we moved here but we might be scaring ourselves off in the process! Continue reading “Sorry Nanaimo, it’s not you it’s me”

Finding Real Things: Yarrow EcoVillage

We visited Yarrow Ecovillage on a typical west coast rainy winter day and the community, like the bees, were huddled away in the hive. The diverse handful of people we did meet were everything from retirees who are busier than ever, to a young family who happened to be alumni of the same small college in Michigan as us!

Emma is a self-proclaimed introvert and regardless she described feeling like she just needed to say hello when she saw us leaving after our tour. We are very grateful she did! We now have friends in Yarrow. We met up with her and her husband Shane and their 6 month old son for coffee and it was a joy to find people that we could connect with so easily. We’re realizing that the people we meet are going to be the key to feeling (potentially) at home in each place we visit. We were able to connect quickly and talk about real things (like the challenge of economic diversity in an ecovillage that naturally has a high price tag) and they also gave us great insight into local life – like how they walk to the river and have community picnics in the summer, the good fishing nearby, and we shared laughs over the joys of raising chickens. Here’s a little recap of our experience and reflections on Yarrow Ecovillage:

What if I just don’t like Nature?

While we’re looking for a place to put down roots, access to nature keeps coming up as an important piece for us. We want Camille to have spaces that feel wild and that she feels like she has independence and yet respect for a big world. She already seems to have an instinctual affinity for the natural world – pinecones and other treasures hold her attention much longer than bright toys.

I wouldn’t call myself exceptionally outdoorsy but I like do like to get outside. I really enjoy camping, climbing, snorkeling, and getting fresh air among other things. And I find God in creation. But what if I just don’t like nature that much? What if I’m a homebody who prefers to be indoors, warm, kind of clean, and buffered against what is natural? These are some of my fears as we look for a place to put down roots and we talk about our values for our future and our daughter. I recently read a book called Twelve by Twelve, about a normal guy who moves out of New York City and lives off grid instead. This summary doesn’t do the book justice but he discovers the ability to be more in harmony with God and the environment. This quote stuck out to me: Continue reading “What if I just don’t like Nature?”

Hello Canada?

In just ten days, we leave the foothills of northern Thailand for the west coast of Canada where we’ll spend nine weeks exploring and testing out whether it’s a place we’d want to put down roots in the future. And between now and then, we have two trips planned! Although I know we brought this on ourselves, I have a low level anxiety humming in my body since yesterday – the first day of March. We have laid plans, booked flights, and mapped our our time in such a way that most things will just happen to us if we ride the current but still I fret about being prepared, about how it will all go, about whether or not I’m forgetting something major. WAIT DO WE HAVE OUR PASSPORTS?? Continue reading “Hello Canada?”