What are we thinking? The pandemic comes along and shuts down our theatre business a month before the official lockdown began in March 2020, bestowing upon us a year-long retreat. Time for self-reflection and lots of time for long walks in nature. Too much time. Nothing but time. Time to think and rethink and contemplate.
Flash forward a year and half
We are now vaccinated and things are starting to return to normal. We are finally feeling safe enough to be taking our first cross-country trip in a year and a half. You might think that we’d be eager to get back on the stage. And you’d be right, except as we see it, our type of theatre – small and interactive and for kids – won’t be viable until possibly summer 2022. The thought of starting all over again after 32 years just doesn’t appeal to us.
So we drove to Reno at the end of May and pulled everything we’ve been holding onto over the years out of storage. All of the props and costumes that took countless hours to create, tubs of fabric and raw materials that we were keeping to create new props and costumes. All of our photo albums, memorabilia, record albums, and old high school year books. Why? 1.) To save money and 2.) because we won’t be needing most of it.
We carted off some potential treasures to the thrift store, gifted other items and gave our one-of-a-kind spider, mermaid, octopus and other odd-ball costumes to another creative space where they will be put to use. The photos will be digitized and four tubs of Zephyr’s childhood is being delivered to him.
So have we lost our minds? What are we going to do? We have no savings to retire on.
As we write this we are making our way across the country, a journey that we have made at least twice a year almost every year since 1992. This however may be the last time we drive it. Once we get back to the East Coast we will spend August volunteering as camp hosts at Goose Creek State Park in North Carolina. We will then spend September and October visiting our son Zephyr (whom we haven’t been with since Fall of 2019) and doing one of our favorite seasonal jobs, working at a haunted house in Massachusetts.
Then in November 2021 – life will turn ups!de down
We are going to stuff our belongings into 2 carry-on bags, jump on a bus, a train and a plane and make our way to Central and South America and beyond until we manage to get all the way around the world. This has been a life-long dream of ours but something we never thought would be obtainable. With all of the time the pandemic provided we think we’ve found a way to make this dream a reality.
So how did we get here?
A little library started it
It all began one day when Kimberly picked up a book at a little library. You know one of those tiny libraries on a pedestal where you can exchange free books? It was a book about traveling to Cambodia and Southeast Asia. Well her brain started churning but once she sat down to calculate the expenses the whole idea became impossible for two out of work actors.
Enter another book, one that Dennis had also picked up at little library and stashed away: “Everywhere for Nothing” by Meggan Kaiser; and suddenly the world was our oyster. In it we learned of a way we could volunteer our services in exchange for shelter and lodging. For us, this is the ideal type of travel. No big group tours full of tourists. Just living among the locals, soaking in the culture, hearing their stories and learning about what life is like for them. At the same time we’ll be able to use our skills and creative talent to help and encourage others. What could be better than that?
Are we nuts?
Yes, absolutely. We are nervous. We are apprehensive. We are doing tons of research and giving way to much thought to every little decision. But as much as we keep trying to talk ourselves out of it, we know in our hearts it is the right decision for us at this time in our lives and we’d kick ourselves if we didn’t do it.
So we will pinch pennies, cut corners, pull rabbits out of hats, and do what we can to make it around the world at least once. And then who knows?
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