Breaking down between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur

The intended plan was to drive on the coast from Monterey through Carmel-by-the-Sea to Big Sur and back before it got dark. The curvy road was busy on that Thanksgiving weekend and when the Westy went dead just as we were starting to cross a narrow bridge, we knew we could not have picked a better spot to break down... Our friends were right behind and started to direct traffic while our friend Mat pulled us to a flat spot on the side of the road. There was no cell signal and after finding a roadside call box, JF spent over an hour on the phone to get a towing. Our friends stayed with us the whole time (they were such troopers!), the kids played and explored the area. We watched dolphins and seals play in the turquoise water and even spotted a whale! There are definitely worst places to break down!

The kids tried to start a fire without matches and came up with tons of games to keep themselves busy and happy, we warmed up some soup in the Westy to feed the troops, watched a beautiful sunset, and when the stars started showing up in the sky and the towing was still nowhere in sight, we brought the lambskin, blanket and sleeping bags out and looked at the sky. We spotted three shooting stars and made wishes. It smelled of wild sage and sea mist. This is what memories are made of.


The sense of purpose

I used to be so busy. I was, like many, sucked by the glorification of busy. It never was a 9-t-o-5-at-the-office-breaking-a-sweat-at-the-gym-before-soccer-practice kind of busy, but a make-everything-from-scratch-and-tell-wonderful-stories-by-memories-to-the-kids-with-homemade-needle-felted-puppets-while-they-wear-handnits-from-wool-I-dyed-with-plants-I-grew kind of busy. It was the good kind of busy, right? The one that is full of satisfaction. The one that gave me a sense of purpose.

But it still was busy. I still derived my sense of contentment from everything I made happened every day.

So, I aimed for less busy. And the less busy I became, the more bored I became. It’s like I didn’t know how to be happy without being productive. Like my sense of purpose was directly related to my level of busyness, to the end product of that busyness…

As I wrote when we lived in Costa Rica, I realize how much boredom is a luxury in our society and that many people haven’t experienced boredom since they were 12 or 13 yo. But boredom is uncomfortable and unpleasant…

“If boredom is simply a lack of stimulation and the unpleasant feelings that go with it, then the antidote is not finding a source of entertainment – it’s finding motivation to brush away those unpleasant feelings.”– Tsh Oxenreider, Notes from a Blue Bike

When I told my dad I wanted to travel full-time so we could live an epic, exciting life, his answer was baffling. He said: “Your life on the road will become your new ordinary and it won’t be as exciting all the time. Life cannot be exciting all the time. 90 % of life is made of ordinary little things. One has to learn to live the ordinary.”

I thought he didn’t understand. Of course, life could be amazing and fascinating most of the time!

The more we travel, the more I understand what he meant. Our days are filled with beautiful moments together discovering new places, but a big chunk of it is still everyday life stuff. Life cannot be (and probably should not be) exciting all the time. But to accept that, I need to learn to live with moments of boredom, of non-entertainment, of ordinary little events. I am not used to be idle, to not be stimulated by conversations or activities, to not feel productive and useful most of the time. 

I know I am blessed to have the space to wonder what to do with parts of my days. I have no more to-do lists to check, no agenda or calendar to fill, no appointments or classes to drive to. I wanted a low-stress life and I truly created it, but I realize that there is a fine line between too little and too much. I know I have to learn to live with less full days and still find this exciting. To learn to not be productive and feel worthy and good about it.

If entertainment isn’t our right, does this mean our days have to be drudgery? Well, sometimes, yes. Life has never promised us non-stop parties and parades. But our everyday rituals can also become our entertainment, if we let them. (…) As an adult, my struggle isn’t recognizing the value behind the little things – it’s intentionally setting aside time, energy, and focus to breathe them in, deeply. Sucking the marrow out of life requires that I sit down in the silence, un-entertained.

And then, remarkably, the marrow-sucking becomes the entertainment I crave.” – Tsh Oxenreider, Notes from a Blue Bike

**The pictures have been taken at Lost Creek State Park, OR

The beautiful wild sea at Ecola State Park, OR

"People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. What we seek is an experience of being alive." –Joseph Campbell


We had been dreaming of the sea for months and were all looking forward to hitting the Oregon coast.  Ecola State Park was our first stop and it didn't disapoint! The view from the cliffs is totally breathtaking and the beach (Indian Point) is nothing short of amazing, reminding us of our favorite secluded Costa Rican beach. The girls played for more than a half hour in the freezing cold water, among fully suited surfers!

*Note that this park is a day use area only (no camping) and the beautiful drive that leads to it is not suitable for an RV or larger trailer.