Many travel destinations have more visitors during a high season, when the weather is best, during holidays and festivals, or perhaps just because of habitual migration. These are often important reasons; travellers accept the crowds and inflated prices as trade-offs.
Occasionally, even sensible travellers disregard their guidebook’s first chapter (“When To Go”) and visit during the “wrong” season – and they win! The weather is not unpleasant, the prices are heavily discounted, the streets are free, the locals are more open, and new perspectives are unveiled. And sometimes, while out picking wild asparagus, the sky bursts with rainbows, and you really wonder: why is this the low season?
We’ve spent the past six years traveling, studying and taking retreat in Colombia, India, Nepal, Thailand, the UK and recently, traveled by bicycle, from Málaga, Spain to the island of Santorini, Greece. Then we were destined for North Africa before we flew back to the Americas.
We both have work we can do over the internet, and travel with laptops and other things that talk to the internet. Quinn operates Strangecode, a company offering website programming and server management, and Alma is the founder of ContemplArte where she teaches meditation, yoga and contemplative art through online courses, blog and youtube channel, she also works on different projects as a contemplative artist, illustrator, architect and graphic designer click here to see her portfolio.
We are currently on our way to become certified teachers of “Cultivating Emotional Balance” and we’ll continue traveling around the world offering workshops and developing an online community of students.
We’re certainly aware we are socially advantaged compared to most of the world. We have compassion for people suffering from political oppression or lacking basic human needs and know the freedoms we enjoy really are only a dream for some. For others, freedom is obtained by choosing it: by releasing attachment to comforts, redefining your role in life, being open to others’ graciousness. History provides many examples of travelers circling the world, village by village, before the days of ATMs and travel insurance.
Some people think we must return to a normal way of life someday. Our bodies will become old and broken eventually, regardless of our way of life. It would be foolish not to benefit from society’s support networks, and invest in finding pleasant places to wind down. This leaves many options beyond the quotidian: a monastery in Nepal, communal farm in Thailand, a little fisherman’s hut on a Greek isle. Why be normal?
We like to motivate people to consider a life lived freely, to go and do and be and feel as one chooses. What would it take to succeed in this? Many presume living a materialistic lifestyle will provide the ultimate basis for freedom. Certainly there are many levels which support a flourishing existence, each an area for growth and development. If you would like to learn more about living lucidly, with freedom and more time for your dreams and your loved ones, please subscribe to our newsletter and youtube channel.
Today we gave a presentation to the students of Jeremy’s university journalism course in Marseille. We spoke about the motivation for our trip, our goals, logistics, and the meaning and realizations we’ve found along the way, and then were interviewed by the students. Their project is to write articles using us as their subject. We felt very well received and the students asked excellent questions; I think perhaps because the French love both cycling and discussing lifestyle choices.
To the students reading this post, thank you for having us, and for your incisive questions. Here are some links related to our talk that you might find useful.
We have a page with resources about lifestyle design and living lucidly.
Links to information about bicycle touring:
Hospitality exchange networks we use:
We also have used Airbnb instead of hotels.
When we arrive in Greece we will be staying with our friends at Atlantis Books. It was inspired by Shakespeare and Company in Paris, where I first met Jeremy.
UPDATE: Eugénie’s paper has been published online with lexpress.fr.
Cost to have one boot zipper replaced? €35! If you have already decided to travel slowly, you might just continue doing everything slowly. Photos of stitching a new zipper into Alma’s boots with a handmade travel awl (a gift from the polymath Zeke Lunder).
The essence is travelling.
We’ve had our wheels on the road now for seven weeks, passing through 1500km of other people’s lives. The bicycle brings us great joy, but the significance of this trip has not manifested as cycling. This trip has been about adopting a new lifestyle, new frames of mind, and new connections to the land and people we meet. We’ve transformed in ways that would occur similarly if we travelled by sailboat, horse, or shoelaces.