Published: January 7th 2012January 6th 2012
I left Ecuador almost 3 months ago and have been catching up with family and travelling around my own country during that time.How different things are!
Both Jeremy and I were unsure on what to expect during our 4,000 mile back country road trip from FL-RI. Would there be a lot of tourists? Easy access camping? Friendly locals? It was definitely a new experience and here are a few highlights:
-Roadside fruit/vegitable(it really said that!) stands throughout the Southern States -Winding roads of Virginia -Jamestown and the Colonial Parkway (even better than the Blue Ridge Parkway!) -Friendly locals in Ashville -Meandering about in Boston -The elk in Smoky Mountains, bears throughout Virginia and many birds fluttering about FL -The local beaches of Little Compton
The main differences: First and foremost are the price differences! Our public transportation is much more expensive than Ecuador’s $1/hour…and gas prices astounded us…up to $3.89 in New England..
Our solution? We drove northbound winding through the roads, camping between RV parks (slept next to 1800s cemetery Halloween night), off forest roads and returned southbound along the coast where much less greenery was visible. We managed by stopping with
friends, which allowed us not only to explore Boston, Washington D.C. and Virginia Beach/Cape Hatterus but also brightened our spirits by spending time with friendly and helpful people. Honestly, we met very few people during our entire 2.5 weeks on the road. It is probably mainly due to the fact that we were two people travelling which seems to be how the majority of Americans travel.
A quick flight across the country, a few weeks in southern California and a rental car got us to where we are today. But who is interested in just getting there? Not this girl…our moving experience was great- it pays to travel light! We were able to stop in San Luis Obispo for stirring dinner conversation and handpicked mushrooms, hike around Moro Bay, watch 2 elephant seals battle for dominance and jump off the Pacific Coast Highway whenever the urge arose!
Now that we have officially moved into an apartment in Berkeley California we are beginning our job search in earnest. We are starting to find ways to meld our past experiences (independently) into something positive here, for ourselves and for others. Today was my first bike ride and
I managed about 20+ miles, covering many different communities. There is a wonderful BAY TRAIL that hugs the coastal marshes (restoration in process!) and is in fairly good condition. I went up to Richmond, which come to find out is California’s other dangerous city (the first being Oakland, to our south). However, I felt confident enough cruising around on a loaned bicycle to drop off a resume at a youth academy that instills strong environmental and ethical values in their students so they become ambassadors to their own community. In the bay area there are so many such programs (which gets me excited!). The notion to teach students now and give them the power to change their own communities is in my mind the best way to go about it. I cannot imagine anyone in Richmond listening to me preaching door-to-door about recycling or healthy practices…but having it come from the ground up…..ummmmhmmmmJ
So hopefully a job will appear soon enough but in the mean time I am not going to sit around and wait for it! My plan is to get an unpaid internship related to coastline restoration or environmental education to gain some experience while I continue
to find not only a job that pays but also one that truly interests me and serves a purpose for the bay area at large. Until that happens, I’ll just continue reading up: Bay Area Wild by Galen Rowell currently has me hooked!