Leaving California #100ittybittyblogposts


Yesterday we left southern California behind. We hit the road in two vehicles heading north towards our new home. It was a gorgeous day for a farewell. We’re trading in palm trees for fir trees, and jammed freeways for quieter streets.

The magic of California will always bring us back for time wandering in the redwoods and it’s many amazing parks. We will be back for visits, and perhaps a bit of work now and then, but we were ready to say goodbye to southern California as our home.

Peace out Cali! xo Jen

Seeing the Work in Person #100ittybittyblogposts

Glacial Topography , encaustic and oil on panel 20 x 30 inches by Elise Wagner.

Glacial Topography
, encaustic and oil on panel 20 x 30 inches by Elise Wagner.

I have been a fan of Elise Wagner’s encaustic work for several years. I especially love her topographical pieces. I came across Elise on Instagram, and became intrigued with the encaustic medium she works in.

I never had the chance to see her work in person until recently. We have been exploring the Oregon coast for the last few months, and eventually we made it up to Astoria, OR. We happened into a gallery in Astoria, Imogen Gallery, and they had several of Elise’s pieces for sale. In fact they had just started carrying her work.

I was thrilled, it really was quite a rush to see the work of someone you admire in person. The size, texture and depth of her pieces are really enhanced by being in the same space with them. I was so inspired by her work, I might just have to take a class with her sometime. She offers workshops in her studio and beyond.

Thanks for creating your art Elise! I hope to see more in the future.

xo Jen

Our Oregon Trail

James and I on Cannon Beach.

James and I on Cannon Beach.

We have been on the road full time in our RV for three months this time. I have really settled into the groove of mobile life on this leg of our journey. It might be because I have been wanting to head up the Oregon and Washington coast for some time now, and it’s finally happening. Whatever the reason for the ease, I’ll take it.

We spent around four weeks in the redwood forests of northern California before heading up into Oregon. The redwoods are my sacred place. They are my favorite place to be to let the world just fall away. The trees have such an immense presence in space and time that nothing else I’ve seen yet compares. It feels like a place of deep knowing.

We reached Oregon in late January and started up Hwy 101. I had head nice things about the coastline but hadn’t done much if any research before we got here so I didn’t really know what to expect.

I’ll just say, we have fallen in love. Oregon has really done some things right to protect public access to its beaches and parks. Everything is so easily accessible to the public – it’s so much better than beach access in parts of California.

We have been taking our sweet time heading north and it’s been grand… jagged rocks and sea stacks out in the ocean, water falls inland and along the coast, massive sand dunes that transport you to other worlds, tons of coastal bridges and a lovely art scene.

We drove the bridge from Astoria over the Columbia River to Washington and it was a stunning drive. The Columbia River is massive, and the bridge shows off all its splendor as you drive over the state border mid river.

 There is something about the Pacific northwest. I’ve been to Seattle a few times over the last twenty years to visit my aunt and uncle who live there, and I’ve always been struck by its beauty. It feels so good here.

Highlights so far (from south to north):

  • Samuel H. Board State Scenic Corridor

  • Bandon Beach

  • Winchester Bay Sand Dunes

  • Florence

  • Cape Perpetua

  • Yachats

  • Ona Beach

  • Manzanita and Nehalem Bay State Park

  • Cannon Beach Art Scene

  • Astoria and the Astoria - Megler Bridge to Washington

Be sure to check out my Studio Instagram and Personal Instagram accounts for more pictures.

Making Friends in Oregon

Preparing to live a location independent lifestyle means a LOT of preparation. Sometimes that’s in the form of researching RV’s, selling “stuff” we won’t take with us, focusing on selling our house and planning a timeline. Sometimes it means making new friends.

Last week I headed up to Oregon to the first ever Hello Sessions, a blogging conference for women who want to connect and support each other to help change the world in our own way.

I drove thru Oregon last summer as part of a six week road trip but I never made it to the Portland area so I was super excited to check out another area we might want to spend time in when we hit the road.

Portland did not disappoint, but more than that what surprised me was the unbelievable community of women that had gathered there.

I’ve been to small business, art and networking conferences before but this one was different. It felt like a three-day affair even though the Hello Sessions is a one-day affair. 

We just couldn’t stop hanging out with each other and introducing our new friends to our other new friends. We were connecting people with those that could mentor them, fill a business need they had or just share in their journey because they are on similar paths.

Some stayed on for a few days and on Saturday evening we headed out of Portland to McMinnville, OR for a special gathering and amazing dinner called  Love Where You Live organized by Maggie Batista of Eat Boutique and Chelsey Nichol of Type A Press with out of this world food by Let Um Eat.

It was so much more than I ever expected it might be. We were welcomed into a beautiful community that celebrates their small businesses, their friends and where they live. I will definitely be back to McMinnville!

I didn’t know that part of the preparing for this life changing adventure would mean making friends from all parts of the U.S. that I will definitely meet up with when we are in the area.

I expected to meet people along the way. I didn’t realize that once I started sharing our project of life on the road I would see the same level of enthusiasm back from those listening before we’ve even left.

This has shown me a few things.

It’s shown me that people will help lift each other up and cheer each other on when they feel a connection to you and what you’re putting out in the world. I’ve learned about so many others living this way that my new friends are willing to connect me with to share stories and get advice.

It’s shown me that different is good, and although not everyone will understand the choices we are making those that see the light in our eyes when we talk about it will not only understand but they will support us. Putting yourself out there and telling your story is the best starting point for any journey.

I want to thank Joy and Melissa the founders of the Hello Sessions for putting out a clear message about their conference. It helped them attract like-minded women who want to learn from, share with and support each other.

I look forward to visiting my new friends when we hit the road. I definitely see some collaboration in our future. 

All magical photos in this post courtesy of Linnea Paulina Photography.