As 2014 comes to a close, it feels right to take a reflective moment to think about all of our friends and family, many of whom we’ve missed seeing this year while on the road – know that we think of you often. We hope that this holiday season finds you well, and that it’s been a good year for your and yours.
2014 was our year of the nomad lifestyle (we’ve borrowed the phrase ‘technomads’ to describe our adventure). Kimberley started travel early, with a wonderful 80th birthday excursion to Guatemala with her Mom. She had a fabulous time, and has probably left a few locals confused with her mangled Spanish – but it was enough language to do lots of negotiating during many shopping trips. The people they met during the trip were wonderfully hospitable and generous with their beautiful country – this set the tone for the months to come.
Once back in CA, it was just a few weeks of packing up the house, and we set off on our ‘year-long’ (more on that later) work-camping trip across the States. You can check out our route , or follow the details of the adventures in the Technomads blog.
Quick summary: we’ve really loved our travels, have met many great people, and are awed every day by the beauty of this country. It’s been a lot of work, as we’ve been on the move almost every week until we hit Florida, but we feel like we had a good balance of experiencing different places without being too rushed. Jesse’s turned into quite a traveler, and has loved hiking the many trail miles that we’ve covered – we’ve even got to do bits of the Continental Divide, Mah Dah Hay, and Appalachian (well, 3 miles of that one 😉 ) trails. We’ve visited a total of 24 states so far – half of this great country’s mainland.
Happily, both of our bosses have felt like it was a successful experiment, and we’ve had no issues on the work front, huzzah! We wrapped up last year with the plan that Dan would be leaving his work at the Defense Language Institute, but they decided to allow him to work from the road, and it seems like all are happy with the situation.
Dan is returning to California for the first time since heading on the journey, to ring in the New Year with his Mom and family, and to spend some time at DLI doing some in-person work. Kay continues to enjoy her work for Symantec, and couldn’t imagine a better software gig. After taking a semester off from her MFA program in photography, she returned in the fall. Next semester marks the mid-point of her program, and she’ll begin her thesis work. Very scary and exciting!
We are currently spending three months in Florida, just five minutes from Kay’s Mom’s house, 2 miles from an awesome state park with lots of hiking, about 2 miles from paddleboarding the Intercoastal waterway, about 3 miles from a rad dog beach at the ocean… all in all a pretty good gig while we recharge the batteries to make the trek back across the States.
As mentioned, the year-long adventure is definitely expanding. We’ll be gone at least until the summer, and may end up settling elsewhere in California for a while. We’ll see where the wind blows us. For now, the plan is for Kay to head to Mexico in early Feb for friends’ wedding, and then we’ll hit the road again.
For those of you that we didn’t get a chance to see this year, please know that our thoughts are often with you and we’ll hope to see you soon. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and happy 2015!
Dan and Kimberley (and Jesse-dawg)
Happy New Year from the Bermenders!