Vancouver, Washington

Happy Autumn Greetings from Vancouver!

Vancouver Washington that is. We are officially back in the Pacific Northwest. I have to say that the cool and rainy weather is a welcome change from the perpetual 70+ degree climate we followed these past 13 months.

We had a 14-day slog of a drive back across the country. We made a few stops to take in Niagara Falls, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the high plains of Montana. And of course, we had another wonderful multi-day stay in Minneapolis with my cousins. How ‘bout those Vikings 4-0 start?!

Eric and I used the drive back to reread these posts. I would like to apologize for the typos I let slip through. I thought I did a good job of proofreading. Not so much. It was fun to read them aloud to Eric and reminisce about each leg of this trip.

We also chatted a lot about “what now?!”. The only conclusions we came to were that we needed to be back in the PNW for some period of time to be near family, friends and business partners. We found and leased a nice detached townhouse in Hazel Dell, Washington. It’s a new 1,800 sq. ft. place and quite comfortable.

We are going through a bit of a shock though. We have gotten used to taking a couple of hours to unpack and settle into a place. We now are swimming in stuff from storage and actually having to set up a home. We have been here about a week and I’m still trying to figure out where stuff goes. Sigh.

We throughly enjoyed every aspect of this year-long adventure. AirBnB served us well and we’ll continue to take advantage of these types of accommodations when the traveling bug bites again.

Some generalized conclusions we came to as we reflected on this journey:

  • We were happiest when we were walking distance from coffee, beer and yoga.
  • We don’t like traffic at all. This may present some challenges to the first point. Walking distance to amenities can tend to dictate a more urban atmosphere.
  • We don’t need a lot of living space. Our smallest month-long stay was in 450 sq. feet. That was a bit extreme, but looking or building something over 2,000 sq. feet would also be on the wrong end of the spectrum.
  • We like hearing birds. Every location where morning chirps woke us up gave us something to smile and relax to. I think Raleigh, NC was, hands down, the bird mecca location. If you take the cardinals out of the equation, Roxbury, VT come in a solid second place.
  • We’re going to be content renting for awhile. We are living in very interesting economic and political times. Buying something is just not in the cards for us right now.
  • We are realizing that we aren’t entirely sure if we want to buy property and take a stab at a self-sustaining lifestyle. While quiet rural life is very attractive, we come back to point #1. Hmmm. There were areas of Vermont (e.g. Northfield) where we could actually accomplish beer, coffee and yoga plus rural.

We have been lucky enough to strike up a great business relationship with a local (PDX) technology company — DigitalPour. We became aware of this company about 3.5 years ago when we walked into The Growlerie in Tigard. This beer place had giant displays showing what the location had on tap. Eric said, “Wow, this thing needs an App.”

Back in March – in Puerto Rico, a friend told me there was a Facebook connection looking for an developer to build an App for them on a very tight timeline. Low and behold, that introduction was with DigitalPour. We built a great initial App for them for a brewers conference in Philadelphia in May. We all realized that we not only liked each other, but had an amazing set of combined strengths that presents all kinds of possibilities. We’re going to be spending dedicated time to foster this relationship and see where it takes us. We’re very excited about it.

There are too many highlights from these past 13 months to list here. Many people ask us the same question, “Where was your favorite place?” I raved about Vermont in several of these posts. Vermont is at the top of the list in many many ways. Boulder, CO and New Orleans, LA round out the top 3 month-long stays. Puerto Rico stands out also and we’ll be visiting there again.

We feel blessed to have met many wonderful people who we now consider friends. We’re looking forward to getting to know them better, from afar, and know that we have places to rest our heads when we travel back to them in the future.

This next chapter, for us, will be all about: staying aware, being patient and being open to the possibilities. Sounds simple enough. Hopefully we can keep this adventurous mindset alive while settling into everyday life.

Thank you for indulging me in these missives. We’d love to catch up with our PDX-area villagers. We hope to see each of you in the coming weeks/months.

Here’s to the next adventure!

Our best to you and yours,
Cindy and Eric

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