One Year and Counting

I know I bust on the daily grind pretty often, but it was apparent to me early on that I was not built to fit into that mold. I can’t keep focused in a cubicle and I can’t sit still that long anyway. I need to see a change of scenery more often.

Many of the people I have met here live lives that seemed ridiculous and impossible to me barely a year ago.

  • One fantastic woman hasn’t paid rent in five years because she has built up such a reputation as a house sitter that she is booked up months in advance. She is also a radio host.
  • One guy works the business side of a pornography company in a building that used to be a WWII armory. It is a giant, $15 million dollar castle, and you can do donuts in a truck inside of it.
  • One lawyer lives in a warehouse with 24 other people. It is made of old redwood beams and their individual homes are like tree houses in the upper corners, or stacked on top of each other like Lincoln logs. They hold massive parties there a few times a year.
  • Several people that I have met are in polyamorous relationships, an uncommon occurrence in Georgia / North Carolina.
  • One guy travels the world making documentary films and living wherever he can.
  • A man who is a healer and wanders around throwing large parties where he simply invites as many interesting people that he is in contact with and facilitates them getting to know each other.

Derek (in back) our chef, and his Irish helper, Benny. We have a Chef!

Just a few, and there are many more. The people I live with are an incredible mix of all of the above. We live and work long, full days, but I cannot call one day I have had in the past year “typical”.

Looking back at my past year, I would say that until I did it, I would have called it impossible. Before I graduated I saw a vision of my future laid out in front of me, and it involved working for a bank in DC until I went to law school, with a wife, two kids and a house in the suburbs. Not a bad life at all, but one that is hard to change once you are in it. (I do have to say I am very glad not to be working for a big bank right now…)

In fact, one year ago this week I sold my truck, the final “no going back now” card of my departure.

Did I have any idea what I was going to be up to now? I honestly thought I would be teaching English somewhere in Asia. I could have been if visas had worked out. But they didn’t, and I ended up traveling Asia, staying with hill tribes, meditating in Buddha’s birthplace, bungee jumping, hiking to Everest Base Camp, living in Alaska, flying around Mt. Denali, living in San Francisco, working for and cramming more life experiences into a year than I could have thought possible.

In my free time I am currently working with Laura McNamara ( to begin establishing a sustainable cocoa farm in Honduras, ( and cannot wait to see the path this leads me on. I can only imagine a small fraction of ways to this next year can go, and I am sure that one year ago from today I will look back and be blown away again.