Jul 25, 2008

The Weight of "Stuff", by Aubrey

Preparing for this trip has been a challenging new experience for me. I have pretty much always traveled with only as much stuff as I could carry. Everything I need could fit into a back pack and a board bag. It worked well for me. SIMPLE.

Surfing, really simplified

This trip is different. It's not just about me and my personal preferences for traveling and catching waves. The picture is continuing to expand and it's a challenge to stay focused on the mission at hand. It's a constant letting go of how I think things should be.

This mission to Mexico started with an idea to share with people in "need" what we could. As a result we were "blessed" with an amazing abundance of products and support from our very generous sponsors, family and friends. However this accumulation of "stuff" along with Loren's tools and my art supplies left us with a very heavy bounty of goods to haul forth and spread.

uhh, some gear?

Originally we were planning on driving a Subaru modified to partially run on hydrogen. This ended up not working as we hoped. Also, we realized it may be nice to have a larger vehicle so we could carry everything- at least we thought it would.

Loren had an old 91' Dodge Ram Diesel truck named "Ellie" that had been laying lifeless with a blown motor for half a year. All she needed was a bit of love'n and a new engine! She was also the perfect fit for the 10ft. cab-over camper that
seemed like a good home for the road. Luckily, Loren is a "Jack of all Trades". Not only does he have an incredibly green thumb, but he also has the amazing ability to to absorb new skills- like becoming a self-taught mechanic! He was able to pull off installing the new engine himself, with a lot of help from his step-dad, Ray. It was quite a mission and not a rapid process, but they did it.

no, its not that heavy. only 900 lbs.

Then it was time to work on the cab over camper that our friend Miles had been living in. But as we began to clean it out we noticed the wood was rotting up by the bed. We started to tear it out and opened up a
"can of worms" seeing how bad a shape it really was. So in that instant of our realization of rain pouring on our heads in mainland, we decided to bail on it and began to look for something else.

On our first search on Craigslist we came across this camper, and it seemed like it could work. However
"there's always more to it than you think" - another common theme for us so far! With a rig this size it's inevitable somethings gonna need work. What we were hoping to be a self-containing unit, complete with running water, electricity, and refrigeration, has left us ironically farther from our mission of sustainability.

It has been a challenge to juggle the weight of our "stuff", and bring it into balance with what we hope to share. It has been a powerful realization that the more possessions we have, the more weighted down we are and the less freedom we really have. Fortunately we will be giving most of it away, and perhaps by the end we will only have what we can carry on our backs!

The cab-over will eventually become someone else's home. The boards will go to stoked groms. The clothes will cover peoples backs. We will share what we have, be it art, food, ideas, music, waves or good vibes.

The Orella Family, spreading the love

Our intention is to offset the diesel fuel used to haul us and the "stuff" down there by creating projects that supply real needs to people, like clean water and food. We are aware that people may not need our "stuff", but perhaps it may put a smile on their face.

Happy trails!

Stay Tuned for the next update as we are now heading for the border!