When I was 25, I realized that I needed a quarter life sabbatical. I had begun working at a pizza shop at 15 to support my saxophone habit. A dozen jobs, eleven homes, and ten years later I realized that I had missed the point. I realized that money had become more valuable to me than my time, and more important than music herself. “I need a revolution in lifestyle”, I said “and so does my world.”
Lifestyle is the art form of all art forms. From our earliest ancestors, music and painting were integral to understanding the world, managing our history, and learning who we are. The art of living in the 21st century then cannot only be about attaining wealth, power, and influence. So, what I’m really trying to say is that my boyfriend and I are moving to the country to start a music farm.
So here I go, house hunting and living the lifestyle of Okanogan, Washington. Life is good! I’ve got a nasty sunburn on my back from digging holes in the garden in my underwear, a gritty mineral deposit on my hair from the hard water of the well on this property and an futile obsession with safeguarding myself against ticks.
House hunting in the Okanogan is an experience I highly recommend. Pack a lunch and a roll of toilet paper and get ready for a fun day of hiking and off-roading. This is a part of the world where living ‘below the poverty line’ may mean that you grow all your own food and spend your days running cattle over your 80 acres. In Los Angeles the reclaimed tractor seat barstools and DIY wooden palette furniture would be called ‘BoHo chic’… here it’s called junking, and it is a way of life. It seems that I’ve found a place to sink my crafty, tree-hugging teeth into.
But, since we are moving from LA we figure there is only one way to make our grand exit, and that’s with a film crew.
The experience of making some reality television with a rag tag bunch of creatives from all over the world was so much more fun than I could have imagined, and so much more work. The series, Unplugged is about families making the shift from conventional lifestyles to unplugged, or off-grid lifestyles. When I think reality television, I think competition, humiliation, and/or drama. This is a show of a different color. I won’t spoil any of the episode’s surprises, but I promise you there is hilarity, fun, wisdom, and knowledge. The show airs on the FYI network this fall!
There are moments (especially cold mornings when the wood-stove has gone out) where I wonder… what in the world am I doing here? Our new Okanogan friends reassure me that that feeling is normal, and returns in full force in the dead of winter.
For the first time in my life 65 F is warm weather. Growing up, I’d wait for a day below 70 degrees so I could break out my favorite scarf, or beanie… now I wait for the days to get above 50 so I can do naked yoga in the sunset.
Moving to such an undeveloped part of the world is both exciting and strange. Our health insurance plan will include emergency helicopter service since we’ll be at least 30 minutes away from the nearest paved road and in a part of the world that knows the meaning of weather.
It’s hard to say how we will integrate into the Okanogan community. Right now it feels like we are a mix of esteemed guest and fresh meat. Money doesn’t flow in great quantity through this remote region, and technology is hanging out somewhere in the 80s, so us modem cowboys get to be conscious of the impression we give to the locals. In a town of 1,000 a first impression really is all you get.
What’s next for me? Where do I go from here?
Business, weddings, and babies… we’ll see if I survive.
Stay tuned and deeply resonant.