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.

The Lure of a Road Trip

What is it that is it about being on the open road, heading out for an adventure that is so sexy?

My husband and I are planning on a road trip for his next two-week hiatus from work. He works on the Jimmy Kimmel show and they always take a lot of time off in the summer. I love to get on outta So Cal in summer because it is way to freaking hot for me;)

I always get so excited for road trips! Last summer I drove all the way from Los Angeles to WI and back over the span of six weeks. It was just Sophie, my springer spaniel, and I the whole way. It was really an amazing trip, and I plan for it not to be the only time I do something like that.

We went through six states I had never seen before by choosing different routes each way. I got to experience the majesty of the Grand Tetons and the unbelievable quirky marvels of Yellowstone for the first time.

Being on the road alone I could sing at the top of my lungs to any music I chose. There was no one else setting the pace. I could stop whenever I wanted for a little break. I didn’t have to listen to any objections if I decided to linger in an area for a morning hike. There was also no guilt about subsisting on beef jerky, potato chips and iced tea all day. Well, maybe a little guilt from Sophie until I gave in and shared my jerky.

The point I’m making is I think being out on the road can throw you back into times gone by, before we all had so many responsibilities and making decisions could be totally based on a whim.

There are no should, there are no judging eyes, and you are free to witness nature in ways most of us don’t on a daily basis. It can give you time to think and wonder “What if?”

Open space and being outdoors has such a soul soothing effect on me I try to seek it out whenever I can. I chose to cook all my dinners while I was on the road, having brought along a tiny camping stove. It really allowed me to be in the moment and appreciate how fucking beautiful our world is, and how important it is to get out of your head and truly see new things for what they are.

The best things about road trips sometimes happen thru camaraderie. If you are lucky enough to have a partner or some great friends that love to explore as much as you treasure that, and take advantage of it. You can create some pretty special moments being on a minute-by-minute road trip with others.

 I am so fortunate to have James, who by nature of being a landscape photographer will jump at the chance to explore any time he can. With he and Soph by my side I’m set. I could never come home.

These are the things life should be about. Telling stories around a fire, hiking off into foreign hills, and sitting together in silence as you take in the grandeur of a breathtaking overlook, these moments are IT. Experiences like these remind us how the Earth was here so long before our blip on the timeline, and how connected we are to all of it if we take the time to see and respect our role.

So get out there, get out of your bubble and go travel my friends. Experience will enrich your lives so much.