It’s 2008. Your spouse owns a business. You see the Great Recession coming, and you know the business won’t survive. What do you do?
You start making preparations. Together with your spouse, you pare down the bills. No tv. No landline. No dinners out. Air dry clothes and turn up the thermostat. Groceries on a budget. Pay off all non-mortgage debt. Scrape together every cent and put it in a savings account. Get ready for the tidal wave.
When the tidal wave comes, what will you do then? You will quit your job. You will rent the house out so the mortgage will be paid. You will pack up the car with your spouse and two dogs, and go on the ultimate, year long, American road trip. You will work your way up and down the west coast on organic farms. You will volunteer your time in exchange for room and board. Sounds crazy right?Who in their right mind would quit their job in the middle of a recession, when people are lined up at the unemployment office? Why would you want to live out of a car for a year? And the farming thing, what’s up with the farming thing?
Believe me, we know how crazy it sounds. Working on farms? Us? For a year? A few years ago we would have never thought. Allow us to explain…
WHY? I think the more important question is, why not? Why would we want to stay in the rat race, struggling to survive while one of us hunts for work in a recession while the other works 6 days a week at a job that makes her unhappy, living from paycheck to paycheck? Is that life? We decided to take the bull by the horns and stop waiting for great things to happen. We are going to make them happen.
In paring down our bills, we discovered a brilliant concept. Instead of trying to make more and more money so we can afford more and more stuff, why not eliminate the need for stuff, and even money? Among a ton of other things, this got us involved in growing our own food and the idea of homesteading. We want to learn from those who are doing it themselves- food, alternative energy, living off the land- so we can eventually do it ourselves. I know- homesteading- another crazy concept!
While some may think this is the worst time to do something like this, we think the timing couldn’t be better to free ourselves and go on the ultimate adventure.
WHY WWOOF? When we decided to make dramatic changes, we considered the Peace Corps. However, my attachment to my pups would make that impossible. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving them with someone else for 2 years. And besides, when I rescued them I took on the responsibility to take care of them. I couldn’t just give them away like a used up pair of shoes just because it was convenient for me. I would be letting them down (and also myself) if I did that. We had to come up with something else. That’s when I came across WWOOF.
WHAT…the heck is WWOOF? Willing Workers on Organic Farms. They have chapters all over the world, in probably almost every country. It goes something like this…You pay an annual membership fee. You get a catalog of farms. You read the descriptions and pick the farms you would like to visit. You contact them and work out the details. Sounds simple, right? I guess time will tell.
WHY A BLOG? We wanted to keep a blog not just so our friends and family can keep up with what we are up to, but so others who are thinking of doing something crazy can see how we did it. In my extensive research, I didn’t come across one article or person who was doing something similar to this. Sure, there were a few articles from wwoofers about their travels, but most were going overseas. And none were planning year-long stints. Those who were doing extended travel had the means to do it without working along the way. So hopefully a few of you are here because you are researching your own adventure.
ARE YOU CRAZY? Yep, and always have been. Why change now?
There comes a time in life when fear and worry stop serving you well. That time for us is now. When you put things into perspective, there’s really nothing to be afraid of.