Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Buy Nothing New

Inspired by the 2 month bike trip I just completed with the Otesha Project I have decided to buy nothing new for a whole year starting today!

This is an experiment, that, I hope will make me, and the people around me, more aware of the amount that we consume and the production cycles and impacts that are associated with that stuff. This experiment excludes food items, and will evolve and change as I face different challenges!

With christmas, birthdays, and many other gift giving times coming up, I wanted to let people know so that others don't buy me new things, and so that people understand when I don't buy them new things! Thanks for putting up with my crazyness!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The End

Today was/is the last day of our tour. The Sunshine Coast 2011 Otesha tour is officially over! Its really sad, and hard to understand. Obviously it wasn't going to last forever, but where do we go from here? I am trying to figure that one out.

Awesome bathroom decorated with "garbage" at the recycle depot on Horby Island

It is really weird to no longer have 13 other beautiful, awesome, moody, passionate, hilarious females surrounding me and reminding me of why I live the way I live! Reminding me that I am not crazy for having the dreams that I have, and reminding me that anything really is possible. Its exciting to be independent again, but also hard. I didn't think it would be, but its hard to go to the grocery store and me able to choose ANYTHING to eat, because I no longer have a food mandate to obied by. Obviously I still have my values that control my choices, but I don't have 13 others to consider too. Its weird to think that tomorrow I wont wake up on the ground crammed into a small room with 13 other females sleeping head to toe all around me. Its weird.

View of the Ocean on a leisure rainy day bike ride on Hornby Island

But its part of the process. Its part of life to have ebbs and flows. So I embrace it. I am excited to have friends all over the country that I can call on when my strength falters. Who I can call on when I start to doubt myself. Who can call on me when they need someone too.

So whats next? Long term I am not sure. I have a number of things I am pondering over and will work towards making a reality, but there is nothing set in stone yet. Short term I am heading to Portland with a few other girls from the Otesha tour in a few days. I am excited, it will be a nice way to ease back into the world outside of Otesha.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

On Saltspring and Loving it!

We started off our day yesterday with a little bit of group drama. We woke up thinking we were heading to saltspring island, but there were a number of people not ready (due to sickness and other reasons) to leave Naniamo...which ment a long two hour meeting set in. WE need to concensus every decision we make, so that ment 2 hours of talking to decide that we would split up with 10 of us heading to the island and the other 5 coming later. Sooo...we left late, and got into town just before dark. Unfortunately town was not were we were staying so we had to lock our bikes and hitch-hike to the farm we were staying at! Adventures!

Now its saturday, and there was an amazing farmers market we went to! It was great! I really enjoy how many artists and amazingly grounded people there are. I also really love how people hang our so inter-generationally, grandparents with parents and little kids! Its pretty cool. We also went swimming in the lake, visits some stores, and had a pretty rad picnic. I have also notices how we work together so much better with 10 instead of 15 people. Its interesting how life is so much easier when there are less opinions to take into consideration. How would one ever make any decisions if you had to consider 100s of opinions? Perhaps thats why everyone never seems to be satisfied with the government?

We also went to a wine test, and now I have insane stomach cramps from something, I think its an allergic reaction, but I don't know from what. I have never had so many issues with digestion till this trip! Soo weird. Oh Im going to miss this community I have found through this tour.

We have one more day in Saltspring, then we leave monday for Duncan. And now Im going to sign off to drink some more tea.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Our internet access has been lacking, so I apologize for the lack of blog posts. However, hopefully my double post will make up for it. I am at a school after a 70km day, so here goes!

Today is thanksgiving Monday, we FINALLY have a day off, its been a long time since our last one, so its nice to have time to chill and reflect, unfortunately its been crazy rainy all day. Actually all three of our days off have been rainy, its kinda disappointing, since we are currently on Hornby Island and its beautiful here, but we don’t really have a chance to explore it. I popped out for a short (1.5 hr) ride around the island though, so I got to check out a bit of it. I went down to an area called Ford's Cove, which was beautiful. It had all of this big leaf maple trees lining the road, and then there were pastures lined by a rocky seashore and the sea rolling away in the distance with the rainy-stormy day. It was so beautiful, and the rain almost added to it because of the fog in the air.

Yesterday was thanksgiving and now that I am reflecting on this (although I have been reflecting on this all weekend) I am aware of how lucky I am. There are so many things that I am thankful for in my life, so many things that i often forget about! First of all, its amazing that I am able to be here right now, on this trip! Its definitely challenging, I never knew how hard it is to make all decisions with consensus is, it makes me realize how impatient I am! Its amazing to be meeting all of these amazing other females, discovering passions in them, and discovering that I am not alone with my passions, and goals in life. Swimming against the norm, working towards creating a more enviro. Sustainable future, ignoring what mass media often insists we must buy and consume, tends to isolate me (and others) and cause doubts to arise. However this experience has helped me see that those doubts have no place in my life, everything will work out, all I have to do is trust myself. So I am also thankful for myself and ability to listen (sometimes) to myself.

Yesterday I also got to talk to my family on the phone, which was really special for me. It was great to chat to mom, dad, brother, and sister, and for some reason it felt really special. I really appreciate having a family that is so supportive of what I am doing, especially when my life choices tend to challenge my families norms. Its nice to know whatever happens, we are still a family that loves and values one another. Thanks family!

I could go on and on about what I am thankful for, but I will stop here because...I want to get back to reading my book ( the birth house) and play games with my tour mates! So I end here, we have an 80 km bike ride tomorrow, along with 2 ferry rides! Then we arrive in Naniamo on Wednesday (we also have 2 performances Wednesday). So stay tuned!

Thanks for listening to my ramble and I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving as well!


The intensity of this trip makes me feel like i am living a lifetime of emotions, experiences, aches, pains, laughs, joys, and sorrows all in two months. Meaning the experience is really intense!

I have recently been feeling really sick: achy limbs (not from biking), stuffy and runny nose, sore throat and congested head! Let alone that I have been hacking up a lung! But I am not complaining! I am observing how a situation (like biking in the rain all day, being wet and cold, and having to then set up tent and cook for 14 other bikers) that is challenging but do-able is intolerable and causes exhaustion and a need for me to retreat! Living in an intentional community has caused me to sacrifice a lot of personal comforts and things that I usually rely on to define me (regular running routine, cooking, etc.) which has opened me to see the potential I have beyond these “items of definition”. However, it has also caused me to sacrifice myself, to the extent that i feel guilty if I take time for myself away from the group(like what I am doing right now). It is always a struggle to find balance between nurturing our inner and outer world, and I find that I tend to neglect my inner world, as many activists do, in hopes to find belonging, happiness, and/or fulfilment in life through my outer world. However, as one of my tour mates constantly reminds us: taking care of yourself is the most important priority and everything else comes second. This is a “rule”that we have even stated as a group during the tour, yet it still makes me feel guilty to leave the group for a warm, dry place to reflect, why?

Perhaps I feel guilty (which I think is a useless feeling, along with worry) because of how lucky I am and yet how I am still not satisfied. I may have been sick, wet, cold, and tired earlier, yet I was also fed, had friends and shelter (of one form or another), which many people would consider luxuries. Yet my luxuries still did not satisfy me, I wanted to be dry, warm, and healthy, all valid desires, yet also most likely the source of my guilt. Knowing what my needs, as an individual, where, I took it upon myself to leave (with another teammate) and act on these needs. This was not a gesture of hate or disdain towards the group, but rather an act of love towards myself, because without me there is no we.

I end with a reflection on the group and the time we have left. There is three weeks left and I am excited, I love everyone on the trip, however I am also scared that we will start to lose ourselves (due to lack of individual time) and begin to dispose the group. I am also worried that we will continue to be over stressed by the weather, biking, performing, nomadic living and group dynamics. We will see what happens, I hope for the best and will try my best to bring positive energy to the group!