Hands On

There is something so satisfying about manual labor. Being able to look at something at the end of the day – other than an inbox full of emails – and say I did that.

I spent the afternoon sitting in my garage painting our cabinets. Watching the white glide over the brown with smooth strokes of the brush was therapeutic. It was exciting to imagine being in the RV when it’s all finished, enjoying the fruits of our hard work. And to finish a task, that I really doubted whether or not I could accomplish, was so rewarding. Don’t get me wrong – this project was not all rainbows and sunshine. I hated many, many moments of it. But I’m so glad we didn’t take the "easy" way out and pay someone to do it for us.

The thing that we’ve realized while traveling, and even more so while renovating this RV, is that we really don’t know how to DO anything. Sure we are bright and talented, smart and organized, creative and successful in many ways.  But we don’t possess a tactical skill or trade. We can’t build a fence or fix a leaky faucet or grow a garden.

That's why we're excited about sites like WWOOF and Workaway. Online communities that offer the opportunity to exchange a few hours of work each day for a unique place to stay. And more importantly, to learn how to do things we've never done before. Get our hands a little dirty, become exposed to a way of life SO different than the one we have at home. Meet some locals and get to know strangers over shared meals in rustic settings.

I want to milk goats on a farm to produce fresh cheese. Refurbish an Airstream trailer at a hippy retreat in the woods. Volunteer at music festivals and wine tasting rooms and farmers markets. Experience small town and off-the-land and off-the-grid living. In other words, try anything and everything that I could never have imagined myself doing before. 

Maybe we'll realize after doing all this stuff that sitting in an office ain't so bad after all ;) Or maybe we'll be inspired to do more.