Portland, Oregon was green and sunny and changing. Morning dew blanketed the city, while falling leaves covered the streets. The lush abundance of the season filled Portland and autumn never felt so good as the rising sun warmed me inside and shined down outside.
It was settling, coming from the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles, to sit on the green grass and admire downtown Portland from the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and then take a stroll through the Saturday Market.
Outside of the city, I made my way into the countryside to witness the biggest rush—Multnomah Falls. The awe-inspiring cascade of roaring water is a natural phenomenon. The fresh air from way up there was satisfying and the spray from the falling icy water was exhilarating. It was exactly the rush I needed for the changing of seasons in this ever-changing time.
Sometimes my trips come together at the last-minute, but workout to be amazing experiences, which is what happened on my recent travels to Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. I spent four days touring the region’s impressionable beauty with Travel Penticton and fell in love with The Okanagan’s organic makeup and the cultural and historic bond that tie the people to the land.
I met fifth generation farmers and first generation wine makers living in The Okanagan who have an unconditional love of nature and a burning passion to share their craft. They put their hearts and souls into their work and have developed a true relationship with Mother Nature, which in turn provides them with the fruits of their labor. They work in unison with their neighbor to protect The Okanagan’s natural bounty and help support each other through life. Many of their lives consist of working on the land, eating from the land and living off of the land, but each person has a true appreciation for and connection with the Earth and the life it provides them.
During my travels, I was fortunate to experience a true farm to table culinary experience—within minutes, after picking fresh food, I was eating it off my plate. I tasted some delicious wines from wine makers who are part of one of the region’s most vital industries. But overall, I learned the true meaning of sustainability at the hands of others and I left with a great insight into organic farming and even greater appreciation for The Okanagan’s culture and history.
These were just a few of my favorite experiences while in The Okanagan: touring Howling Bluff and La Frenz Winery in the Naramata Bench, walking through rows of growing grapes at Okanagan Crush Pad, picking Macintosh apples in Penticton, tasting fresh honey and eating ripe raspberries at Penticton Resort’s farm and dining in the backyard of Harker’s Organics family farm.
This week I took some time to regain my focus on sustainability and rework my attempts at living a simple life. Because I ‘m learning about how human diets have changed so drastically in the 20th century and strongly questioning why humanity abandoned its symbiotic relationship with the Earth and its cycles.
I am passionate about cultivating a simple life inside my tiny apartment in the middle of Los Angeles by gardening, eating locally and using traditional methods of cooking and baking.
I crave simplicity.
When on the road of travel, I seek out a similar lifestyle from which I can learn, grow and adopt some of the practices into my own life. I strive to witness the simple life that other people from different cultures living in various countries around the world live out each and every day. Gardens flourishing in small yards, chickens freely roaming the land, freshly bottled milk lining the kitchen counter … homesteading completely fascinates me.
Country girl at heart, I carry on with my attempt to live a simpler more natural life in this city that I love. Because urban agriculture is next season’s motivation.
Simplicity from this week: nurturing homegrown succulents, home-made bread, a few freshly picked apples from a local orchard, produce growing on my patio, cooking in my kitchen and an epic sunset.
I find it hard to step right back into my routine after traveling. Don’t get me wrong, I love to come home to my own space and the people that love me and who I adore that much more—my friends and family I get excited to share my stories with. Because it is the people that I surround myself with that give me the support to live out my dreams and welcome me home even as time passes us by. But, where I seem to struggle are the days after I’ve been home. I push aside my daily routine and instead long for the road of travel, which stirs up the wanderlust inside me.
I wouldn’t change this lifestyle that I am happily leading and desperately seeking. I instead teach myself how to find a comfortable balance that works for everyone involved. Because I am extremely grateful for the places I’ve been, the friendships I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned while traveling, but then again, I am absolutely in love with my home base, the person I share it with and the memories we make.
So, I was patient with myself this week. And, I gave myself the time I needed to settle back in—slowly but surely. Because I must admit, even the traveler inside me has some homebody tendencies I would never want to change.