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Eva & Victor: Foreign Natives

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Eva & Victor: Foreign Natives

"We are Eva and Victor and we are, originally, from Barcelona. But after living in San Francisco for a year and a half, we decided to move to our custom converted Dodge Ram Van to explore America while keeping our part-time jobs. Traveling and living in a van is something that had always been on our minds, but it's difficult to find the right moment to switch. Now that we are on the road, we absolutely think this is the best decision we have ever made.

During the last six months, we have been traveling around USA and Canada. We are currently in Berlin for two months to work on a project, but we are going back to San Francisco soon to pick up the van again, and we will drive down through Baja California in Mexico, to as far South as we can get.

You can follow our stories at http://www.foreignnatives.co/

Victor runs as a competitive mountain and ultra runner. He also surfs whenever we are close to the ocean. Eva paints vans and illustrates a travel journal. Recently, she took a collection of painted vans from our travels and put them into a calendar that we are promoting through a Kickstarter.

Vanlife Illustrated is a project that comes from our road trip. During the last year, we have been taking photos of all the vans that we found on the road. We realized there’s a lot of different types of cars where people live in, from the most classic to the most weird: vans, cars, trucks, RVs, trailers, buses, etc.

So Eva started painting with gouache a set of vans that could express the variety of what we find on our way. The final product is a 2016 calendar, with one illustration for each month. Everything is handmade, even the typography!

She just started a Kickstarter campaign, where you can contribute and get your own beautiful vanlife calendar. You can also get a set of 12 postcards, or buy one of the original paintings. If you are also really proud of your van, Eva can also paint it!

Support us on our Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1HRH8XK"

Links:

Kickstarter: 
http://kck.st/1HRH8XK

Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/vanlifeillustrated/

Blog:
http://www.foreignnatives.co/

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Olivia: Don't Tell Summer Presents - #Radlivin

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Olivia: Don't Tell Summer Presents - #Radlivin

DON’T TELL SUMMER PRESENTS #RADLIVIN

WHEN

20 Feb 2016, Sydney - Central Park, Project Space! Purchase Tickets #RadLivin website

WHAT’S #RADLIVIN?

#RadLivin is a unique event made to inspire you to do what you love now.

Speakers, live music and rad-like minding people coming together to get inspired, share their dreams and celebrate livin’ life to the raddest. Picture it as a fun, inspiring conference, mixed with a rad, laid-back festival.

The purpose of #RadLivin is to inspire you to do what you would love to do now, rather than waiting for some point in the future. It’s a declaration to live an authentic, rad life. Whether that’s saying yes to going on an adventure that day, or to a dream that’s been sitting in your heart, it’s here as a reminder to do what you love, what completely excites you. It’s about bringing people together to follow their dreams, while encouraging the person next to them to do the same; building not only a community of like-minded people, but a community of advocates for doing what you love.

ABOUT THE DAY
We’re bringing you down-to-earth, successful speakers who are doing what they love and passionate about inspiring you to do the same. You will hear stripped-back stories about how they went for their dreams and gain applicable knowledge on how you can do what you love too. Speakers include founders of Pedestrian TV, OneWave, One Night Stand, Axel & Ash, Tidal Magazine, Cait Miers and Connie Chapman

After the speakers, there will be live music by Ziggy Alberts and Sons of the East, cold bevies, tasty food and space for you to collaborate, meet rad people, share your ideas and have an epic time. 

SPONSORS
Because #RadLivin is all about inspiring you to do what would excite you and connecting you with the right people, we’ve partnered up with brands who are aligned with our purpose including Contiki, ING Dreamstarter and Airbnb. Our hope is to provide attendees with as much inspiration, knowledge and connections that will help them go for their dreams now.

LINKS
Early bird tickets have gone on sale via www.radlivin.com

Follow
Instagram: @donttellsummer #RadLivin
Instagram: @contiki
Facebook: facebook.com/donttellsummer!

Facebook: Contiki Holidays Facebook: ING Direct Australia

Speakers + Live Music instagrams to follow:
@pedestriantv
@onewaveisallittakes

@axelandash @caitmiersphotography @connie_chapman @onenightstandsleepwear @tidalmagazine @ziggyalberts @sonsoftheeast

 Hats with a purpose! Check it out on their website

Hats with a purpose! Check it out on their website

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Matt & Josh: The Van With No Plan

How it all started

Were brothers! -same mom same dad, always have been :)
We were raised by a single mother all our life and we love her to death. Josh was born in Carmichael California and I was born in Amarillo Texas. 
After living in California for 3 years we moved to Colorado for 4.i I don't remember much of this other than snippets of our home in Colorado. After leaving Colorado we moved to Butte Montana to be closer to our grandparents and thats where we called home for 10 cold years. so when people ask we just say we're from Montana, its easier that way. 

Neither me or Josh finished school in the traditional way. Josh went to job corps at a young age and got a degree in facilities maintenance. and for me, when i was 15 i got sent to a National Guard boot-camp and obtained by GED there and was out of school by 16. When i was 17 i moved to California with Josh and we worked a bunch of different sales jobs including door to door and mall kiosk jobs. we are very sociable. We then worked for 3 different windshield repair companies before finding an investor and starting our own at a young age. We then ran it for a good year and even bought a van to start transporting our employees. which is where our first van came from right there. We slept comfortably in it one night and sat around a campfire with ideas of repairing windshields on the road at Wal Marts and stuff to keep traveling. 22 weeks later our apartment was cleaned out and our stuff sold. i didnt think we would be gone 3 months let alone 3 years now. Having not done a windshield repair in about a year other than for van travelers we meet, we can happily say that we have supported ourselves off of odd=jobs and we enjoy them more.

The Plan? what plan?
the experiences, irreplaceable. 
the people, life changing. 
and the stories, endless.

Where are they at now?

Were currently around Sacramento working for a guy named Byron that we met at a music festival in Placerville Ca. doing things like helping him move and paint his new place. we told him if he can keep us busy for a week we would stay because we were itching to and set on heading to the Oregon coast. We are kind of in the midst of doing a big thing that were excited to announce soon but cant really give the details so, keep an eye out for that :)
Other than current situations we were just on the east coast about 3 weeks ago. we found plenty of work in Conneticut that kept us busy and even crossed something off the bucket list and saw a live taping of the Jerry Springer show. Other than that we just skated a lot of different skate parks, fished a lot of different places and just soaked in the vibes that the East Coast had to offer, but the west coast is the best coast and we couldn't wait to get back. the only reason we were near New York is because we did a long boarding trip, which a lot know about, but we had 4 people join us in the US as we skateboarded 50 miles a day for 3 months from Los Angeles to New York. we raised 6 thousand dollars for the Teenage Cancer Trust on the duration of the trip, and even filmed it to be released as a documentary early next year. you can read more about that trip and see more pics which you're welcome to use on my blog www.myroamingstory.blogspot.com

Follow on Instagram
matt monthei @myroamingstory, josh monthei @ditchtheplans
@TVWNP

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Tiny House Tiny Footprint

 Bamphoto

Bamphoto

ROAR: Hey Kathleen & Greg, we love all your pics and the name 'Tiny house Tiny footprint' and want to share your story. What's the background that got you to here?

Tiny House: If you would have asked my 27-year-old self (I’m 29 now) where I would be living in the next year or two, I most likely would have told you that it would be in an apartment in a city somewhere. At the time, I didn’t know of anyone my age that was living small.

Almost two years ago, I met Greg and we felt (like most couples do in the honeymoon phase) that we wanted to spend as much time as possible together. Within a few months of dating, he moved into my two-bedroom apartment in the city. When our lease was coming to an end in the fall, we started to talk what types of homes and where we wanted to live next.

Greg had lived in a van with a friend in New Zealand eight years ago. And even though quite some time had elapsed, he always had exciting stories from his adventures living in 50 square feet. We started to talk about what our life together would be like in a smaller space. I wasn’t so convinced I could adapt to the tiny lifestyle as easily as Greg could. After all, he had done it before and I was used to living in houses and apartments. At the time, I only had a handful of camping trips under my belt and was quite timid to take on new adventures.

As a compromise for not ‘living in a van small,’ Greg and I started to look at camper trailers on Craigslist. When we stepped inside a 1969 Terry camper trailer (140 square feet), we both got excited and made the purchase.

 Bamphoto

Bamphoto

Finding land wasn’t as simple. After encountering dead ends on Craigslist and other similar sites, we got desperate. We started to ask friends and coworkers, but nobody had any leads. We ended up contacting people on Airbnb and asking if they would be open to renting out their land instead of their houses. Quite surprising to us, this worked in our favor. We got a few offers and ended up choosing a family that had a beautiful backyard near open space.

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Currently, we have access to their electricity and WiFi, but we use our own gallons of water. I chose the name, “Tiny House, Tiny Footprint” because the camper trailer is acting as our tiny house and we reduced our environmental footprint by downsizing and becoming more conscious of our water supply.

ROAR: We get asked a lot how we fund our adventures and living in a van which we reply work haha. How do you guys do it and what do you do?

Tiny House: Greg and I both work full-time jobs that require us to be in one location 40 hours a week. I am a communications professional and Greg is a landscape architect. We would love to live on the road, but currently our jobs will not support that kind of lifestyle. Instead, we take micro trips on the weekends and explore locally during weeknights. Our goal is to save up enough money to be able to take longer trips and to take our professions on the road.

ROAR: Tell us some funny stories about the challenges of living in tiny spaces as we know from personal experience there is a lot hah!

Oh man! We can’t pretend like the first few months weren’t the hardest in our relationship.

Greg and I went from 1,000 square feet to 140. When we first moved in, we bumped into each other all the time and had to learn when to give the other person space. When we had disagreements, anger would quickly fill our tiny home and it would become a toxic place to live in. We had no choice but to learn how to control our emotions and talk things out right away.

Greg and I have a full-sized fridge that we use, but it is located outside the camper trailer. We use the inside fridge as a storage container instead.

In the beginning, we often got lazy and would skip meals because we didn’t want to go outside. Often times we would go out to eat and bring home leftovers just to have something easy to eat the next day. It took some time to adapt to cooking in a small space and figuring out the best items to purchase at the store.

October in Colorado can be cold at night and the camper trailer wasn’t properly insulated to handle the harsh weather. Greg had to work fast to create insulation blocks covered in radiant barrier to stick into our windows to block out the cold air. Unfortunately, the process took some time and we had to bundle up to sleep at night, enduring a few cold nights and mornings.

Water has been our biggest challenge. Since we are not connected to a hose, we shower at the gym instead. It can be frustrating having to unpack and pack a bag daily with our work clothes, head to the gym to shower and get ready there.

We have to pour soap on our dishes and heat up water in an electric kettle before we can start washing dishes, which in turn can be a slow process. Every 2-3 weeks, we have to take our laundry to a Laundromat or a friend’s house.

ROAR:  We have many of those same issues haha. What are the highlights and why do you keep living this lifestyle?

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Bamphoto

One of my favourite memories was a cold night in November when our electricity went out. We were using an electric heater to stay warm and when that shut off, we got cold really fast. Greg quickly turned on our propane and within minutes, we were toasty again. I turned to Greg and said, “We’re officially living off the grid!” To which he said, “Isn’t it great?” I think it was at that moment that we knew that we could live anywhere together.

We have had some amazing opportunities since living this lifestyle. The people in the tiny house movement are some of the best we have ever met. They are genuine people who enjoy exploring new places and adventuring. They are intoxicating to be around.

During the first few months living in the camper trailer, I saw this project as temporary and looked forward to living somewhere else. Now (after nine months), I can’t imagine living in anything larger. Since we are not tied to our home or possessions, we find it easy to go on more adventures outside. When choosing between staying in a hotel or sleeping in a tent, we always chose the latter.

ROAR: We love the idea of your new blog sharing stories tell us all about it?

Last month, we were featured on one of our favorite blogs, Nurturing Soul: Home is Where You Park It series. That opportunity helped us connect with some amazing people in the tiny house movement and we wanted to highlight some of them. Since I am a journalist in my profession, I would much rather hear others’ stories than talk about myself.

In my Roll with Me blog series, I will feature several types of tiny homes (vans, camper trailers, Airstreams, tiny houses) and give people a snapshot of what it’s like. Everyone has a different story and I’m hoping to share as many as I can.

ROAR: What's next for you guys?

Greg and I have a lot of options, which feels good and daunting at the same time! We would love to either save up our money to buy our own land or hit the road in a smaller vehicle.

Finding land has been difficult as it is almost always more expensive than buying a house. Down payments for raw land can range from 20-50%. We would love to find a tiny house village that we could stay at so that we could avoid high costs.

We are finding that the camper trailer makes a great home, but it is too large for long trips. We could easily live out of a car or a van if we could work on the road.

 Bamphoto

Bamphoto

Website: tinyhousetinyfootprint.com

Instagram: @tinyhousetinyfootprint

Facebook: @tinyhousefootprint

Twitter: @tinyhousetiny

Pinterest: @tinyhousetiny

 Bamphoto

Bamphoto

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Matt: Camp Illustrated

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Matt: Camp Illustrated

 Camp illustrated did this art work of us!! @rebelonarainbow

Camp illustrated did this art work of us!! @rebelonarainbow

ROAR:Your illustrations are so impressive and meaningful. How did Camp illustrated and the idea to draw people's favourite camp photographs come to life? 

Matt: Thanks for being stoked about the stuff you see! The idea for Camp Illustrated came to me on a long drive out to California where I was moving. I had spent several weeks on the road camping and making art based on what I was seeing. I thought remaking other peoples rad outdoor photos into illustrations would be an engaging way to keep creating art while I wasn't outside myself and hopefully they would enjoy the work too.

 artwork for @missholldoll

artwork for @missholldoll

ROAR: Have you always been an artist? Who has been important in encouraging you in follow your passion of art and the outdoors?

Matt: Drawing has always been an important part of how I see, and interact with the world. Over the past couple years as I finished schooling and tried to figure out the "what do I do now" questions, a constant quest to mix my love of the outdoors and art remained. I'm thankful to have friends and a rad girlfriend who encourage me to follow those passions and keep living the dream!

 @radam2 (photograph of me painting)

@radam2 (photograph of me painting)

ROAR: It's clear people love what you do and Camp Illustrated is growing rapidly all over the world! How do people get in touch and get their favourite camp photographs illustrated?!

Matt: It has been humbling to use instagram as a way to share my stuff and consequently connect with people that I wouldn't have otherwise had the chance to interact with. Most of the stuff I put on instagram is made as a surprise for the photographer and I enjoy that facet of it. I am; however, available to do commissions. Lately I have been doing a couple per month but am starting to make art full time and excited to take on more commissions. Folks can either shoot me a direct message on instagram or use the contact tab on my website to get in touch about a custom piece! 

ROAR: Where have your adventures taken you and what are some places you absolutely love and why?

Matt: Until this past year I spent most of my outdoor time in the Rockies of Colorado, going on backpacking trips, tackling some 14'rs, and sport climbing. It has been a blast to live close to Yosemite this past year and spend several weekends in the Sierras as well as quick trips to Big Sur. The most memorable spot this year has been Cathedral Peak and the surrounding lakes off the John Muir Trail - don't miss it if you make it to Yosemite.

  original photograph from sketching Cathedral Peak in Yos

original photograph from sketching Cathedral Peak in Yos

ROAR: We also love the outdoors and can't wait for the next adventure! What are your plans for places to explore and draw?

att: The next months are going to be some exciting ones for me as I take off on the road to try out making art full time. My tentative plans are to head North to Oregon and Washington for several months of camping, art-making, and meeting up with people. I'll see where the path takes me from there! Thanks for taking the time to ask me some questions! 

Follow and Contact: @campillustrated Camp Illustrated website

 artwork for @andybest

artwork for @andybest

  @_notfromaroundhere

@_notfromaroundhere

  @missjulie (photograph of me in Yosemite)

@missjulie (photograph of me in Yosemite)

  @loveyerland (digital illustration)

@loveyerland (digital illustration)

  original camp illustrated piece

original camp illustrated piece

  original photograph sketching in Colorado before Camp Illustrated came to fruition

original photograph sketching in Colorado before Camp Illustrated came to fruition

  @forrestshearer (digital illustration) 

@forrestshearer (digital illustration) 

 @ christian_adam_

@ christian_adam_

  @calsnape 

@calsnape 

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Diana: Dreambounder

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Diana: Dreambounder

Mornings start early. We awake with the sun and sleepily drink our coffee; the furnace warming up the van after a cold night. We get dressed wearing multiple layers, rain gear and waterproof hiking shoes as the environment is unforgiving and the weather is fast changing. The van door opens and out we all come: Mike (my boyfriend of 8 years), Strider and Gemma (our two dogs), Phoenix (our cat), and me, Diana.

We have been living in our 1986 Ford Econoline Van for over six months now. Before that we spent a year and a half in a 32 foot long RV.  A few years ago, we did cross country trips in our minivan and tent. Travel has become a way of life for us; it always offers unexpected surprises, magnificent views and a fair amount of challenges as well.

Our biggest challenge by far has been funding our lifestyle; making money. We’ve done all sorts of jobs, we’ve worked on farms, in hotels and resorts, factories and warehouses and have picked up lots of temporary gigs on Craigslist as well. However, they all left us feeling incomplete at the end of the day. Trading our precious time to work for a cause we often didn’t believe in was taking a toll on us. We knew there had to be another way.

That brings me to now. As I type this, I’m sitting in front of a campfire in the mountains on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. We arrived here a couple weeks ago having no idea what to expect after answering an ad on Craigslist looking for wild plant and berry harvesters. I’m happy to say we are loving this new lifestyle, and although we are definitely not going to get rich from it, it’s how we’ve always dreamed of living.

So, back to the beginning of the story. We all pile out of the van, energy renewed from a good nights sleep. Strider and Gemma lead the way as we hike down the SunCoaster Trail searching for Salal, a green leafed plant commonly used in the floral industry. It’s not hard to find as it usually covers the forest floor, but our buyer has high standards, only wanting the straightest stems and zero damage on the leaves.

Mike treks pretty far into the forest, Gemma staying by his side while I wait on the trail sorting and bundling what he brings back to me. Strider stands guard. Phoenix is close by perched on a rock observing-we all have our roles to play. At the end of a long day of hiking and harvesting we walk back to our campsite, carrying all of the bundles we made.

If it was a sunny day, we come back to a fully charged battery; our 200 watt solar panels providing us with more than enough energy. Mike starts building a fire as I start making dinner, something healthy and vegan. The animals are all exhausted and after eating they lay down by the fire and are soon fast asleep.

This new way of life is exactly what we needed. But like everything else in our life, we know this is only temporary. In 6-8 weeks we will drive over 2000 kilometres north to the North West Territories and will be picking Morel Mushrooms. We will be living much like we are now, only making a lot more money. We feel so grateful to have found a way of living that doesn’t involve working for other people and living by someone else’s schedule.

For us, freedom and fulfilment come from living in our tiny home on wheels and always being ready to move on to the next adventure. You can follow our journey at www.facebook.com/dreambounder and on Instagram @dreambounder

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Alison Turner: Van Life & Photography

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Have you ever thought of living out of a van? We have! Alison is the real deal when it comes to van life! We are constantly inspired and amazed at the adventures her and her puppy Max get up to in America. Read on to find out how Alison changed her life to follow her passions and check out some of her beautiful pictures.  You can check out Alison's adventures on Facebook, Instagram, blog and her website just click the hyperlinks. 

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ROAR: Tell us a bit about your background and upbringing that has allowed you to make choices to live a creative and passionate lifestyle?  

Alison: I was born and raised in Southern California and my family had a station wagon that we took everywhere to camp and explore.  I suppose camping resonated with me at a young age and I’ve loved it ever since.  My mother is an artist and when I was younger, I hated being dragged along to her shows and going to her classes. I wasn’t into art much then, but I can’t imagine my life without it now.  I was raised with a father and grandfather that had very strong work ethics so when I went to school and years later, I worked hard in corporate advertising until it became too unhealthy for me.  My father died at a young age of 55 so I wanted to be able to explore and do things now.  You never know when your time might be up.  

ROAR: What inspired you to live a life in a van with your favourite friend Max? Tell us a couple of highlights of the van lifestyle.

Alison: Before there was “Campy”, my van, there was “Trailie” my teardrop trailer and I spent two years traveling with a tent.  After the two years in the tent, I had my eye on a campervan and researched it for many months until I found the perfect one.  I jumped on it and haven’t regretted it at all. The van is so much more luxurious then living out of a tent.  I loved the trailer but the way I travel, I like to change my direction at a moments notice so the van works well for that type of travel.  I feel safer too.  One of the highlights on the first few camping trips was a refrigerator!  I didn’t have to mess with an ice chest anymore!  It sounds simple but man, it was such a delight to have a cold drink ready whenever I wanted one.  Unfortunately, it’s had problems since then and stopped working.  But I will cherish those days when it worked like a charm.  I don’t plan as I go along so every day is a surprise.  I have found some nice campsites just by chance and some of my favorite moments are waking up and looking out the window to the forest, listening to waves or the creek. Those first moments in the morning are the best.  Then it gets even better after coffee is made.

ROAR: What inspired you to live a life in a van with your favourite friend Max? Tell us a couple of highlights of the van lifestyle.

Alison: Before there was “Campy”, my van, there was “Trailie” my teardrop trailer and I spent two years traveling with a tent.  After the two years in the tent, I had my eye on a campervan and researched it for many months until I found the perfect one.  I jumped on it and haven’t regretted it at all. The van is so much more luxurious then living out of a tent.  I loved the trailer but the way I travel, I like to change my direction at a moments notice so the van works well for that type of travel.  I feel safer too.  One of the highlights on the first few camping trips was a refrigerator!  I didn’t have to mess with an ice chest anymore!  It sounds simple but man, it was such a delight to have a cold drink ready whenever I wanted one.  Unfortunately, it’s had problems since then and stopped working.  But I will cherish those days when it worked like a charm.  I don’t plan as I go along so every day is a surprise.  I have found some nice campsites just by chance and some of my favorite moments are waking up and looking out the window to the forest, listening to waves or the creek. Those first moments in the morning are the best.  Then it gets even better after coffee is made.

ROAR: How do you survive financially living in a van and exploring many destinations?

AIison: saved my money when I worked in Advertising, made some good investments (buying a home), and I rent my home out when I travel.  I have freelance jobs here and there but I am not getting rich by any means.  I travel smart and stay with friends, walmart, or free land camping.  Also, I make all of my meals in campy and don’t buy a lot of “stuff.” The most expensive travel expense is gas.

ROAR: What are some exciting achievements since undertaking this project and starting your website?

Alison: Oh man… not sure I can list them all.  I am so fortunate that people are recognizing my images and giving me opportunities to shoot, be in a show, or license what I already have. It has really been a blessing.

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Tim Boyden: Artist & Woodworker

We met Tim in the town of Eugene as we were adventuring and van living our way through Oregon. His unique art and woodwork grabbed our attention and we were impressed with Tim's ability to create individual pieces out of recycled material and driftwood. Tim told us some of the stories of going to the coastline and local rivers to explore and find wood and bits and pieces, which he could turn into functional tables, coffee tables, chairs, cutting boards etc. A very interesting story was when he went to the Oregon coastline and found pieces of furniture that were very unique and had come from the country of Japan, possibly from the nuclear explosion. Tim has his own gallery in downtown Eugene called Out On A Limb Gallery. You can get in contact with Tim and follow his adventures and rustic style of fine woodwork by following his interesting and creative blog timboydenart.com. On his blog Tim states "I strive to use locally salvaged or gathered materials whenever possible! Be it collecting river stones and driftwood along the Willamette River by my home or from the gorgeous Oregon coast, buying locally harvested and milled trees or by using our cultures broken discarded items". We at ROAR love meeting creative and interesting people in our travels, who are offering something positive to their community. All pictures used in this article are from Tim's blog.

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Patagonia: NYC Opening

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Patagonia is one of our favourite brands for outdoor gear and cold water wetsuits. We love this company for their great quality, organic fabrics, recyclable fabrics and their focus on fair trade. Patagonia is very active in looking after the environment and aim to be as sustainable as possible. Their business book 'The Responsible Company' really challenged us in our outlook on being responsible with our actions. Visit Patagonia to view their high quality products and learn more about the company.  

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ROAR was lucky enough to be in New York the night Patagonia had their store opening and we decided to do a little write up on the event. With people lined up down the street and around the corner, we decided to skip the wait for a moment and have some famous NY pizza. We couldn't believe how many people were there to support the brand, it was great to see. Once we got back to the store and entered with no line up, it was awesome to see Chris Malloy there who is an ambassador for the brand, film maker and an amazing surfer. There was live music by Real Estate which provided a sweet vibe. They are an indie rock band from New Jersey if you want to check them out. The store looked great, with some fresh new surf influenced stock, such as hand planes, fins and a new range of wetsuits. They also had some sweet boards that looked super fun to ride. We spied a few goodies that are now on the wish list, maybe for christmas. We love this brand and it was a special treat to attend their store opening. Thanks Patagonia for a fun night in the city!

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Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Whilst exploring the streets of New York City around Union Square Park, we couldn't believe our ears and eyes when we came across the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. These guys, originally from Chicago were jamming right out the front of 'Wholefoods' on one of the main streets in Manhatten. They were ridiculously tight, funky, hip annd epic. Growing up playing Saxophone I couldn't believe the level of talent and I was so inspired I went straight to the ATM got some money and purchased their album on the spot.  

Thinking it would be sweet to share this amazing little family band on our website we went back to our apartment in East Village and I did some more research. Little did I know the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are a world wide hit. Just to give you a taste of their talent they have hundreds of thousands of You Tube views on their clips, a music song soundtrack to The Hunger Games movie MUSIC CLIP INCLUDED BELOW, recorded a song with Gorillaz off their album 'Plastic Beach' and have performed with well known artists such as Mos Def, De La Soul, Prince and many more. When artists of this level still come back to the streets and perform in local communities for passers by, it really shows their true colours and love for music and the local people. Thank you for the amazing tunes guys, highlight of our trip to NY for sure! 

Be sure to check out more from this amazing band through the link below.

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Lauren Hill: SeaKin Founder & Activist

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Lauren Hill is one of the most inspiring and stylish people we have been able to talk with. She is an incredible role model for young women and pursuing a passionate and meaningful life. Lauren is a sponsored surfer, who could have chosen the competitive pathway with commercialism, hype and fame. However she chose to align and collaborate with the alternative surf culture as the founder of 'SeaKin' which is focused on improving and maintaining our beautiful environment, promoting and being active with women's rights in and out of the ocean and allowing a platform for surf adventures and positive experiences which encourage positive life choices.

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ROAR: Where have you lived most of your life and where do you call home now?

Lauren: I lived most of my life on Anastasia Island, a barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. I now live in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Australia. 

ROAR: Who inspired you to be a surfer and environmentalist and in what ways did this motivate you to become the person you are today?

Lauren: I’m not sure that there is a definable “who” that inspired me. The relationship between surfing and environmental activism was cyclical for me: I loved the beach so I started surfing. Surfing taught me to love the beach and my surroundings even more deeply, and I realized that I needed to do my best to take care of the places that gift me such joy. I can say with 100% certainty that I would not be who I am without the relationship that I’ve developed with the ocean. 

Surfing in particular, something that I was always told was superfluous and trivial, has turned out to be one of the great barometers of my life. It has guided me into the most incredible adventures and the deepest feeling experiences that I’ve had. 

With that said, lots of people have inspired me along the way: my mom and dad, Alice Walker, Dave Rastovich, Linda Murphree, Gloria Steinem, Tom Robbins, Rell Sunn…and many more. 

ROAR: Seakin is one of our favourite websites to explore all things associated with the ocean and the eclectic community who revolve their lifestyle around it. How did this idea come about and what would you say is the main purpose for Seakin?

Lauren: I started a blog fresh out of university called Mersea Beaucoup when I couldn’t get a job amidst the global financial crisis. Since I couldn’t fulfill the role that American culture expected of me post-university (get job, climb work ladder, get mortgage…etc)  I decided to just do what I really wanted to be doing anyway: surfing.  So I wrote about my passions for surfing and environmental science  and vowed to surf every single day during that experiment. I ended up getting a number of writing gigs and new surfing sponsors because I was putting what I loved and cared about into the world. 

Anyway, Sea Kin is the product of many experiments in doing what I love. It’s  a place to share stories about the ocean from different perspectives than what I tend to see in most surfing media. Sea Kin is about creating culture for ourselves. 

ROAR: How can everyday people contribute and get involved with Seakin?

Lauren: The ultimate dream for Sea Kin is to have lots of people contributing from all over the world about their own bubbles of surfing and ocean culture. I’d love to have more contributors. If you feel compelled, please send me an e-mail at MerSeaBeaucoup@gmail.com. 

ROAR: What are the latest projects you have been a part of and how have they changed your views on the world and humanity?

Lauren: The most recent project that I’ve been working on is a film called Beyond the Surface. We traveled through south India searching for surf with India’s first recognized female surfer and working with an NGO called Beyond the Surface, which was founded by a very inspiring young female surfer, Emi Koch. It really felt like a culmination of so many things that I am passionate about--- women’s surfing, sustainability, activism, yoga, adventure and connecting with other surfers. It was so incredible and certainly changed me in ways that I haven’t even really processed yet. You can read a bit more about the project through the link below: 'One in a Billion'

Just before I went to India I helped to organized a conference about The Economics of Happiness with an amazing woman, Helena Norberg-Hodge. While there I had the pleasure of getting to hear Charles Eisenstein speak (and take him for his first surf lesson!) and his message has been profoundly changing my worldview. 

He reminds us that our purpose on the planet is to find out what our gifts are. That is our purpose and what will nourish us. And then, our task is to give those gifts abundantly. 

That message really helped me to refocus which projects I’m putting energy into. And it always reminds me that everyone has incredible gifts to give, but that many of us have sideswiped ourselves off of the path toward finding our gifts with distractions. 

ROAR: So the readers can understand, can you explain what it means to be an ecofeminist?

Lauren: We live in a world where the scales are significantly tipped toward the masculine. There are embedded rules in our culture that make it easier for some people to get ahead--- and those people have tended to be white men. For example, men still make more money than women for doing the same work.

Our culture tends to value men more and we more readily reward the characteristics of masculinity. We end up with men who feel like they aren’t allowed to express emotion, much less cry. And we end up with women who feel like they need to become hardened “like men” in order to get ahead in their careers. 

So, we all lose because none of us are allowed to just be who we are. Feminism is about tipping the scales a little so that we can all reconnect with our feminine attributes, in order to create a more egalitarian world where everybody has a fair chance to thrive. 

The “eco” part of ecofeminism has to do with seeing how the attitudes that allow us to destroy our natural environment, our planet, are linked to the way we treat other people. 

When we collectively value domination, aggression, and disconnection and we choose not to listen or employ compassion for ourselves and the being around us, we are only then able to destroy the places and processes that literally allow us to live. The way we treat ourselves and our loved ones is intimately linked to the way we treat everything. 

So, for me, ecofeminism means working to have a lighter footprint on our planet and doing our best to protect wild spaces or to help clean them up. It also means helping to eradicate the mental, physical, and ideological “pollution” that a patriarchal system creates as it divides through oppression. 

ROAR: Without a doubt you are one of the most inspiring role models for young women. What is some advice you could offer them for the future? 

Lauren: Thanks so much, Jonny and Jess. That’s a really lovely thing to say. 

My advice is to find out what your gifts are and to give them abundantly. 

For me, the path to my gifts always revolves around connecting with wild nature, following my intuition, allowing time and space for being quiet, and ignoring the voices of self-sabotage that inevitably arise when I’m taking risks. 

Also, minding your own business is a full time job if you’re doing it well. 

ROAR: What are some exciting things happening in the future for you and Seakin?

Lauren: Personally, I’m really excited about planting a new veggie garden at my house. Growing food is one of the most magical and fulfilling experiences that I know---that the seemingly simple combination of sunlight, soil and water can create such diverse edibles is mind boggling. 

The SeaKin site is growing and I’ve been getting great feedback from people who’d like to contribute lately, which is a huge compliment--- so it seems like the concept is beginning to come into its own. I’d love to keep growing it, especially into print format. 

Life is incredibly sweet. 

Thanks Jonny and Jess for the opportunity to share a bit of my story.

 

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Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story.  To find out more and follow Lauren's adventures check out the link below.

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James & Rachel: Idle Theory Bus

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We have loved following Idle Theory Bus and their adventures across America. We are so excited to share their passionate story with you and hope you are inspired to live your own dreams.

Who is Idle Theory Bus?

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What led you to take the leap and live the VanLife?

We acquired Sunshine in North Carolina and drove her out to California a few years back. Volkswagon love strikes suddenly, permanently, and without warning. Our bus has changed our lives. After graduating university, we lived in the van for eight months, poor as hell, doing work on small organic farms in exchange for a place to crash and food.

We’ve lived in apartments for stints since then, but whenever we’re confined to one place, we get itchy. About a month later we’re planning a move back into the bus. It’s our home.

What do you do for financial support?

The balance of work and leisure fascinates us. The Idle Theory of our lifestyle is to have the means to achieve freedom from obligation. Living creatively requires a huge surplus of time, which money can buy.  So, as we all know but hate to admit, money is crucial. You don’t really need that much of it to do what we do, though.

Rachel has a fair amount of wine knowledge and has always found work as a server. Luckily, the restaurant industry is for vagabonds. Coming and going is part of the trade.

James has been fortunate to make films for a living, though the balance of work and leisure becomes incredibly (wonderfully) complicated when you make art for money. For the past year, he’s had a blast as the content creator for DIY surf channel Korduroy.tv.

What inspires you?

Those who have found a way to live off the grid. The poetry of Robinson Jeffers.  Awesome VW mechanics. Peaches fresh off the tree. The wise innocence of Richard Brautigan. Finding cold water in the desert. The detail of a hummingbird’s nest. Carrot cake.

But really, we are most inspired by the moving miracles we find in the wild. We spend a lot of our idle time on back roads, in forests of Douglas fir or in the painted hills of the American West’s varied deserts. The diversity of our planet is overwhelming, and we feel honored to have experienced some of it.

What does the future hold for Rachel, James and Sunshine?

2013 is an exciting year for us. We are on a trip north through California, and the plan is to make it to the Canadian border by year’s end. That is, if Sunshine allows us that distance. There will be a lot of backpacking, some farm work, and probably a few inevitable breakdowns. We are stoked to be on the road!

Rachel is developing a graphic novel based on the comic strips we have on our site. Ataraxia might be complete by the year’s end. 

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We are also releasing a web series that documents our travels and the people we meet, called Bus Stops. The first episode will be available in late March/early April. Keep an eye out on www.idletheorybus.com

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Cant get enough of James, Rachel and Sunshine, click on the links below and get lost in their adventures.

 James' film work has also been featured online on Korduroy TV http://beta.korduroy.tv/ 

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Thank you so much for sharing your story guys, feeling very inspired! Have fun driving to Canada, good luck with your Ataraxia graphic novel and can't wait to watch your Bus Stop web series.  

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Theron & Maddie: This Wild Idea

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We absolutely love 'This Wild Idea'.  Theron Murphy had a goal to share the stories of everyday people, with everyday people, genius!  He travelled all 50 states of America, interviewing one person a day and the result is amazing.  You can check out Theron and the stories on his website, link below. 

Theron's current venture is with his beautiful dog Maddie.  O my gosh this dog is amazing.  She is the star of the show and the muse of Theron's new project, a book called 'Maddie on Things', which is filled with images of Maddie on all sorts of objects.  Be sure to check out more of Maddie on the website, link below.

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heron is also the brains behind 'Why We Resuce', a project across New York City that shares the stories of people who have rescued animals.  Theron's photography of these beutiful dogs and their owners, along with their touching stories is a way to raise awareness for the cause.  "It's about discovering and sharing the stories of how rescuing animals changes our lives." (http://www.thiswildidea.com/webroot/nyc/)  Check out these cute dogs and their humans through the link below.

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Cant get enough, check out this video.  For more sweet clips click on the This Wild Idea Vimeo link below.

We absolutely love and support what you do, thanks for the inspiration Theron and Maddie.  

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