Stomping Grounds

Stomping grounds—the areas where you spend most of your time, the accessible places from your home base, your most familiar territory. For most of my life, my stomping grounds consisted of the humid southeastern temperate forests, the wet earth. It’s lush, ethereal, and enveloping. The air is dense, the landscape is verdant, and the scent of humus permeates every cell …

Overland Expo to TBEX: Last stop… North Carolina

After nearly six weeks on the road in the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, we decided to cut the trip short by a week to accommodate our weary teen traveler. George and I could have gone on indefinitely but poor Fred was beyond his travel limit. Even with that decision, though, we still had two stops to make before we …

Home

When folks ask me why I travel so much, I often quip that it’s because home is a four-letter-word. It’s one of those half-joke, half-truths. I do really dig my little loft now but my time in the wrong places cemented the half-truth of my little joke. The difference now is that I found a place that is comforting but …

Postcards from Real Life: Cabin Fever

Ok, it’s time to get outside. I’ve been plugging away at the new Val in Real Life HQ and I’m cooked. Painting, shopping, assembling furniture, sorting through boxes… all while juggling the return to the homeschool activities has me feeling quite detached from what invigorates me. For an outdoors person it’s hard to take all this on without a break …

Postcards from Real Life: Re-entry

Dear friends, my head is spinning from the dizzying effects of re-entry after our 6-week expedition. Processing not only the beauty of the experience but also the struggle of making it all come together will take some more time. I promise there are lots of posts in draft though. Coming home from any journey usually meets with mixed emotions, the …