IT STARTED A YEAR AGO: a feasible vision of working remotely in Costa Rica and then Wyoming to escape the Texas summer heat. Monkeys would swing from our branches. Breeze would fill the open air living room. A yoga mat would be set out near my patio table with a coffee waiting. My office would be facing the sparkling blue ocean, technology allowing for me to work efficiently and effectively, but in a setting that was right for my soul. We were taking the necessary steps to plan for our adventure only months away, when time simply ran out. My boyfriend was launching a business, and it just simply wasn’t a good idea (among other reasons) to leave. I know: there is never going to be a good time. But this really wasn’t it. If we were going to be smart about our future, we needed to stay put for a few more months.
To soften the blow, I was determined to make the most of the summer in Austin. My partner in crime and I were brainstorming ways we can be adventurous and keep life still new and interesting. We are big explorers: never take the same road twice if we can; always seek what’s around the next corner or down that random dirt road. We’ve been living in Austin for 7+ years together (and me for another 8 before meeting him). After 7 years of constant exploring every weekend, you start to run out of things to explore. I can’t tell you the last time someone suggested a new experience that we haven’t already done, taking out bars and restaurants to visit. We’ve found a handful of secret watering holes, located rarely visited mammoth-sized caves, fed zebras near Austin, and probably driven past or swam in every river in a 30 mile radius. We started to feel like we’ve seen every nook and cranny Central Texas has to offer. It was starting to get dry. And another dry summer in Austin simply wasn’t going to do.
We sat down and decided, while we may have exhausted much of our big outdoorsy exploration ideas, there might be ways to incorporate randomness and adventure in everyday life. How could we build in something unique to each day to keep life fascinating? How could we change our perception and still seek beauty and joy in things we see everyday? How could we use this idea and really LIVE life to it’s fullest? So the LifeVenture idea was born.
For two months, we’ve been pushing ourselves to try new things that maybe we wouldn’t have tried before because they weren’t exciting enough. I became more open to seeing beauty in things that I normally might take for granted. I was even happy to do things we’ve done a million times, but maybe just spiced up a bit. We stumbled upon some great experiences that reminded me what a great place Austin is: Walking the capitol grounds at night when it’s gloriously lit up and being grateful it’s in our backyard; eating trailer park food in a park I hadn’t been to yet; road tripping to the bla town of Killeen (no, it’s really a bla town) to experience the star solarium; going to a dog park and actually enjoying dogs (I am not a dog person). In short, I’ve opened my eyes to two really big things this summer: 1) I notice the green in the trees and stop to enjoy the sky and 2) surprisingly, there is always a little more juice out of dry lemon.
As I hit 30 today, I think that’s a pretty good lesson.
We are now taking this LifeVenture idea and applying it for reals: to the Nth level. A few days ago, we packed up almost everything we own (minus our car “collection” of course), put it in storage, waved goodbye to our house that was filled with great memories, and embarked on a journey of living in temporary places with short term leases; places we might not necessarily buy or sign a year long lease with, but offers unique elements in Austin that push us to try something new.
Because there were only 5 days between when we moved and when we were headed on a vacation, we needed a quick place to stay. Here’s our first experience. I plan to share our experiences as we continue on for the next few months. I fully expect, there will be ups and downs and places I love and places I hate. I’m sure I will have enough breakdowns to share around at a campfire, but I’m so thrilled to be willing to try something totally out of the box. I can’t wait to share the experience with you.
OUR FIRST PLACE: ON SOUTH CONGRESS
What I was thinking when I first arrived: Holy crap, this is so exciting! But what in the world did we get ourselves into? We had to walk through some pretty shady looking areas to get to the loft room in the back.
What I’m thinking now after I’ve met the peeps and walked the neighborhood: Aw, I love how unique this place is. And there are kitties everywhere! I LOVE kitties.
Most Unique element: There are quite a few, but the most cool one that stands out would be the pipe ladder to get to our bed. I’m wishing I had a Swiss Family Robinson pulley system. I wouldn’t want this for more than a week or two, but it definitely makes me laugh every time I have to go to bed.
Overall: I’m beginning to wonder if this place is a commune because there are a LOT of people living in random houses on the property. Inside our unit, it’s really awesome, but outside is a bit strange. I can’t believe I am okay with this situation to be honest, but I am. It’s only 5 days, and it’s just kind of funny. The internet is super fast, the loft is really neat, and there are 3 friendly cats. Leaving my kitty behind is what I’m most going to miss during this adventure. My mom is taking care of her, and Zoe loves staying at “grandmas”…plus, I can see her whenever I want. BUT it was super special for me that this one cat wanted to cuddle.
We head out on a two week trip to the Pacific Northwest and then Montana. Then, we’ll be back to adventure some more here in Austin! Stay tuned…
I’ve had a lot of people ask, “You’re doing what?!?!” And I’ve also thought it might be fun for me to look back on our experience and remember the unique places. So, here I am! I hope you enjoy.
Here’s to living life,