It’s been two months since I leaped into a new adventure and I’m loving it. There have been obstacles that caused me to stop and wonder what I’m doing, but overall it’s radical.
Back in September, I started doing work trades through workaway. You can see that post “A New Adventure – Working My Way Across the Country“. I’m currently a my fifth work trade and in a week will be at my sixth. Each place has offered me something special and I’m so grateful for that.
My first workaway was at a raw food retreat center where I mostly worked outside in the dirt and beauty of the high New Mexican mountains. That place gave me a sense of peace and calm that only comes when I’m out in the country, away from the constant noise and motion of the city. Venturing outside at night, the sky lit up with more stars than I could ever see in the San Diego night sky. It was awe-inspiring.
My second workaway was at a homestead in the city of Albuquerque, NM. I also spent most of my time working outside on a variety of tasks including moving mulch, pulling weeds and helping with chores. I got to experience a composting toilet. It didn’t smell bad like I had worried, though there was definitely a smell, but that was more from the hemp mulch that I used to compost my excrement. The homestead was in close proximity of my sister’s family. I was so happy to spend more time with them than a usual weekend visit would give us.
My third workaway has been my favorite so far. I worked at a house for a couple of teachers south of Boston, MA. Almost everything was outdoors, such as helping with the chickens, gardening and chopping wood. I’m okay with never chopping wood again. Ha! It’s a very physical task. The couple was so friendly and so comfortable, I often forgot that I wasn’t at home. They invited me to some really cool events, like Honk Fest, a music and activism event in Boston, Mass. One of my favorite parts was when a couchsurfer stayed over one night. The next day, we rode bicycles to a cranberry festival. Seeing how cranberries are harvested and tasting their sweet tartness straight off the plant was delicious. That workaway was so enjoyable, that I was sad to leave.
My fourth workaway was in Shelburne Falls, MA, a beautiful small rural town in the western part of the state. My hosts were very warm and inviting. She was an artist and writer. He was an English professor. They made me feel right at home. My work there varied from inside and outdoor chores. The most memorable was herding four goats! I never fancied myself a goat herder, but I think I would like it full-time. It’s very meditative to stand in a beautiful field and watch goats. Having a host who is also a writer and artist was inspiring. I finished my first zine and had fun making art just for fun, not to sell. Click here to read my new zine, “Radical”.
Before venturing off to my fifth workaway, I spent a few days in Salem, MA to reconnect with a long time friend and experience a truly marvelous Halloween. I highly recommend visiting Salem for Halloween or any time of year. Seeing a place with such a rich and tragic history was a learning experience and a good study of human nature. I plan on returning soon t explore more of the area.
So, now it’s November and I’m in southern Connecticut, just an hour from New York City. This is my first visit to New England and I am excited to see a part of the country that has always seemed so far away and so different. At this workaway my work is mostly indoors, helping with organizing and cleaning. my host family is a fun change of pace with two young children and a lot of activities.
I’m enjoying this opportunity to travel and work, while trying to find a balance with my art and writing. Deep inside, I know this journey is exactly what I need. I don’t know where it’s leading me, but I know that I’m going somewhere good.