"Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life."................................................................... My name is Freya. I'm married to my best friend, Winston and we have an adorable baby boy together. We're from Nashville, TN; but we gave up our apartment last April and have decided to live a nomadic lifestyle for a time, so right now Home is wherever we decide to make it. I'm an outgoing introvert, an artist, and an aspiring yogi. You could describe me as "crunchy" and I'm passionate about living a natural lifestyle. Some of my joys in life include DIY projects, baking (especially licking the spoon), treasure hunting in thrift stores, and reading a good book. I love adventure, but I also like finding beauty in the mundane moments of the day to day. I don't want to just float through life, so I strive to live intentionally and this is where I write about my journey.

an intentional life

Ready for home

Philadelphia,PA; Providence, RI; Portland, ME; Arlington, VA….and nights here and there in between in places such as Stamford, CT and somewhere in Massachusetts. 
 
Whew…this last chunk of the trip has been a serious whirlwind of travel. It’s been fun, but I would be lying if I said Winston and I weren’t completely ready to stop and finally find a little bit of permanency. I know he doesn’t know it because he’s never really experienced it, but I think Win is just as ready. He’s been such an awesome little nomad baby, but life on the road is starting to show on his tiny toddler body and soul now in ways it didn’t before. 



It’ll be a full year and a half by the time we set our roots back down in Tennessee and throughout this time, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and each other. We’ve grown in ways that we would never have had the time or space to grow in without this adventure. We’ve learned a lot about other people and of the world around us as well. The amount I’ve changed in a year on the road would have taken ten years in “regular” life. So, I am thankful. I am thankful for the opportunity to have done this. I am glad for all we have seen and experienced and for all the new people and places and culture we have met and encountered. I am enriched by all the sights and sounds and tastes that I would never have stumbled across this year were it not for our nomadic journey. 


I am so grateful. 



And I am also so tired.
 I am so over living out of a suitcase and I can’t wait to have a closet. I’m sick (sometimes literally) of not eating as well as I would like to and I can’t wait to have a kitchen to call my own (and I really need to get my Kitchenaid mixer out of storage…she misses me). 


I am a just a little bit lonely most of the time. And I have started to forget what it feels like to have a home. 



We have always told Win, that Home (capital H) is wherever we are together. I do believe that. We can make anywhere Home as long as we’re doing it together. But it’s time for a home (with a small h) to make our Home in. It’s time to branch out again and reclaim friendships and find community. 



It’s a little bit of joke that we’re saying we’re “settling down” in October. We do hope to have a place rented in Chattanooga by then, but before we’re even fully unpacked we’ll be road tripping to Mississippi for a friend’s wedding, driving home, shifting some luggage, and then flying to Portland, OR for another wedding. We’ll be in the PNW for 2 or 3 weeks (cause a piece of my heart never really left there and I need to visit that piece every now and then), which brings us back to TN just in time to get to my family for Thanksgiving. Followed by whatever holiday plans December will bring. So, while we will at last have a permanent address again, the “settling down” part probably won’t really happen until January.

But…that’s fine with me. It’s different because after that marathon of travel craziness, we will have a home to come home to. 



City

Don’t be too shocked when we one day announce a move to NYC.

We both love it already. Winston and I both thrive on city life.
I like the country and the mountains and the shorelines…they’re beautiful and amazing places to explore and reconnect with the earth.

But I crave city. I love how each one has it’s own culture and texture. I love the busyness. I love the art and the creativity. I love the ideas that can come to life. I love people watching. I love having a million opportunities a day to see raw human interaction. I love having a million opportunities a day to show kindness. I love having a million opportunities a day to witness human connection.

Is there hard truth, broken systems, and hurting people? Yeah..there are. But being in the city, being in the center of it, reminds me that people are mostly good. It gives me hope. It’s easier to despair when you hear about all the bad, but never see the neighbors helping one another or overhear someone complimenting a stranger or see two people catch each other’s eye and smile. The small moments that add up quickly bring me hope.

And we’ve been to some great cities and we have several more to go before this adventure comes to a close, but this one is so vibrant in such a unique way. I love the richness of diversity here and exposing Win to all the thousands of ways people can be beautiful and express themselves and find meaning.

It’s hard to know where to begin, but I’m so excited to explore.

This morning after a café breakfast, Win and I left Winston to work and we walked to a corner grocer for some things before coming home. Another thing I love about cities: the accessibility of anything is thrilling. I don’t foresee us getting in the car again until it’s time to move on.

Now he’s napping in our tiny room while I sit out on our balcony and enjoy the perfect weather we’re having. :)
I’ll try to keep the blog up to date on our New York adventures.

Meeting and being reacquainted with family in upstate New York. It was such a joy to get to visit my dad’s family!

After Georgia the original plan had been to go to Chicago. But I was slightly disappointed that Savannah hadn’t been the beachy trip I’d wanted and we had had to drop Charleston from the plan because of rental costs this time of year. Neither of us were really feeling Chicago just then anyway and I still wanted beach, so we did a little research and discovered the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If you don’t already know, it’s a long, skinny island off the coast of NC and it’s a fantastic spot for some beach vacay. Okay, well, it wasn’t really a vacation..Winston still worked a regular work week..but we did get to go to the beach nearly every day for our two week stay. :)

Our trip was intentionally fairly eventless in the middle, but it was nicely bookended with great company.

The first two days after we arrived we crossed paths once again with the Florios. This is another family who lives on the road full time, though they do it in a 40ft motorhome. And though both our families are constantly on the move, we’ve somehow seen them more in the past year than anyone else we know! It’s been kind of like having fellow roving neighbors and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them all over the country. The photos above are of us and them at the Wright Brothers memorial and museum. We’re standing in front of the very spot where humans first took flight. Win loved it, as he’s been pretty obsessed with planes..or “dadas” as he calls them. We still have no idea why he calls them that….

The last two days we were there we were joined by long time friends, Paul and Lily. We hadn’t seen them since our very first adventure in Richmond more than a year ago so it was good to catch up; filling our time together with conversation, laughter, drinking, beach time, and late night games on the deck while watching both the rising “honey moon” and a distant lightning storm. So great to end our OBX adventure with their presence. :)

Catching up time! I don’t know why, but I had all these photos saved as a draft and then never actually published it..so without further ado….

After Atlanta we spent a few days in Augusta, GA. We met up with some new friends and some not quite as new friends. :) In short, we went on a nature walk, Win learned how to jump, and many fun get togethers were had. Oh, and “the mommies”, as we three women were referred to by 6 out of the 8 children present, got to go out for dinner and book store perusing sans children. Book stores are the undoing of my wallet and I’m not sorry.

Next up: OBX!

I’ll start by admitting that Atlanta is not my favorite city by a long shot. Honestly, it wouldn’t have been on our list at all…except that it houses so many wonderful people! Atlanta was a long weekend of reconnecting and good coffee and great conversations.

When we first pulled into town we met up with a college friend, Joy and her family. Win and her son are only 5 days apart so they had a great time on the playground while we parents did a little catching up.

We continued the college reunion theme later that evening when we met up with my two college roomies and two best hall mates at another Dayton friend’s home for a cookout. We all provided dinner and Win provided the entertainment. haha

We were staying with Winston’s gracious aunt and uncle who lived just down the road from these ladies, so the rest of the weekend was packed full of good catch up conversations, tons of laughter, and plenty of coloring parties. ;) So, so thankful for friends who can get together after months and months and it’s still just as if no time at all has passed. <3

Savannah was as beautiful as I’d always heard it was. The trees are huge and old and covered with Spanish Moss, which makes everything feel magical and ancient. The down town area is completely peppered with small parks and green space. One of them (pictured above) was a gorgeous, old cemetery. Are our kids sitting on head stones? Yes, yes they are.

I was originally thinking it would be a bit more of a beach trip, but we actually never made it to the beach. We did hang out with some fellow nomadic friends who were also in town though. We ate some fabulous sushi, we walked around in the blazing heat to do some window shopping, and we discovered a coffee shop that made horchatta lattes…yum. I got one iced and then went back the next day for another. :)

One evening we even got to hang out with these three cuties in our hotel room for a couple hours. Win adores them and just ate up all the attention and play time.

It was a pretty short trip and Winston had to work quite a bit while we were there, so we both feel like we barely scratched the surface. It’s definitely on our list of places to go back to one day.

Epic Road Trip Adventure Chapter IV

It’s been more than a year since we left on this wild road trip adventure, and yet somehow I haven’t written more than a hand full of posts about it.

Part of the reason for that is simply that we’ve been living so fully and so completely immersed in our experience that we haven’t found the time or motivation to stop and write. The other part is that we really do just…live. I call it an adventure, and it truly is in a sense, but more often than not in the day to day it just looks like…well, like the day to day. It’s not always all that fascinating. I think sometimes that people think we’ve been taking one giant vacation. Some of you have looked confused when I say that we plan on taking time afterwards to decompress. Some of you didn’t know what to say when I said that our camping trip through Zion National Park, was the first time off Winston had taken since Win’s birth. I’m not sure what you all imagine that we do all day, everyday; but I’ve decided to take the mystery away and begin blogging as often as possible for the rest of this journey of ours.

This might mean that some of my posts may look a bit “Dear Diary-ish”, but besides informing those of you who care what our trip is like, I’ve also decided that I need a better record of this period of life.

Today is the first day of what we would consider Part IV of the trip. (Part I: Virginia/DC. Part II: Portland/Colorado/Austin. Part III: California.) We spent the last three weeks visiting family in Nashville and Birmingham and today after about a six hour drive we arrived in Savannah, GA. This fourth (and last) chapter of our trip is a bit different from the others because it’s going to be a bit faster paced. Instead of settling down in one spot for weeks at a time, this time we’re planning on hopping around every few days to two weeks for most of the summer. The only exception will be a month in Philadelphia. But more on that in July.

For now, any suggestions on must-sees in Savannah?

Tomorrow we leave Austin, Texas. I can’t exactly say I’m sad about it.
All in all…Austin has been a bust. And it’s not really Austin’s fault. There were a lot of factors: I was homesick when we got here, the house we’re staying in is aesthetically and structurally appalling (which was especially hard to swallow after coming from our dream apartment in Portland), and I’ve been incredibly ill for more than 1/3 of our time here. Not to mention Winston has been so busy with work these six weeks that we haven’t had much time for exploring anyway. It all came together to form the perfect recipe for “bad attitude soup”. 

I did find two pretty spectacular parks, an amazing kids’ science museum (that unfortunately just opened a couple days ago or we would have gone many times), and a burger place whose burgers made me give up my veggie ways for about 30 minutes and a milkshake that I literally day dream about. But other than that…I couldn’t really tell you a darned thing about Austin. 

But that’s okay. So, we had a bad stop? We get another new start tomorrow and we still have pretty much the best life ever. 
And I am pretty psyched to get back to Nashville and spend some time reconnecting with friends and family. In hindsight I kinda wish we had decided to be back for Thanksgiving through Christmas instead of Christmas through January so we could have been around for all the parties and festivities, but as soon as I settle back into my Tennessee home for a stay, all will be right again. 

See you soon, Nashville! 

I don’t know if it’s Portland, the weather in Portland, Winston’s new schedule, or something else entirely; but I’m feeling so much balance in my life the past several days.
Baby boy has been loving having his own quiet times and playing on his own more and more, which frees me up to do more of the things I love to do for me. Winston’s new schedule also makes a huge difference, as he now works in the mornings and the evenings most days, leaving his afternoons wide open to be with us. This also means that the time I spend with Punkin is much more intentional and I am much more refreshed…which means that I really just enjoy it more. I never feel overwhelmed by his presence. 

I’ve been going to yoga classes every other day or so, which always makes me feel like a better version of me in and of itself. I was so much more in tune with myself when I was practicing regularly before Punkin’s birth and I’m excited to grow my practice. 
I’ve been baking a lot. I’m always learning new things when I bake, but now it’s an even greater challenge, as I’ve decided to take a gluten free diet for a test drive.
I’ve also been doing a ton of “treasure hunting” since I’ve been in Portland. There is an unbelievable number of places to buy art supplies, collage stuff, and doo-dads for crafting with. I’d be embarrassed to reveal how much money I’ve spent the last couple of weeks on these treasure hunts, but they have provided just the right spark of inspiration that I’ve been needing and I’m finally creating again. Yesterday I started experimenting with working with glass and diamond glaze and I made the stuff in the photos. Definitely needs practice, but I’m happy with them. I also made a necklace, I’m currently in the middle of two major multi media projects, and I’ve starting a daily collage journal. Seriously. You can’t keep me out of my art box….Unless I’m reading. I’m also blazing through a novel at break neck speed. 

Anyway…If you’ve read this far, basically what you can see is that life is good in this moment. 

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