by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.


Having new eyes

Writing this post has been on my mind for months now—What will I say when that time comes? It’s the last thing I’m writing on this side of the pond… by the time you’re reading this, there’s a good chance we’re about to head to the airport, somewhere in the sky over the Pacific, or have landed in Beijing, China.

It’s a weird thing, to prepare for a long trip where you won’t touch ground in your home culture for a year. You want to have all your ducks in a row, but you know realistically the preparation can’t happen exactly how you want it to. You’ll forget things, stuff will break, it’ll get used up faster than you anticipated. And yet because you’ll be able to replenish on the road, you vacillate between preparing All The Things and shrugging your shoulders because, after all, you’ll still be on the same planet. You’re visiting Planet Earth. They have toothbrushes everywhere.

Between Oregon and China, we visited Texas for ten days to visit family and friends, and gracious, I’m so glad. A chunk of time to live out of backpacks and test the experiment on native soil, Target nearby when we realize our forgetfulness. Confirmation that yes, we really can live with just a few items of clothing. (We may have even already jettisoned an item or two.)

In some ways, there’s no way we’ll ever be completely prepared for an escapade this big. And in other ways, we’re more than ready. Kyle and I have been dreaming of a round-the-world trip for almost five years now, and surprising possibly to us most of all—we’re actually doing it.

Some people may see this as a Grand Adventure, and in a few ways, they’re right. But I lean towards the perspective that we’ll simply continue to live our small life in different places. We’ll put on our tourist hat in some places, but for much of our travels this year, we’ll be holing up in one place for awhile, doing work and school and friends and life. Rinse and repeat.

The real voyage of discovery consists  not in seeking  new landscapes  but in having  new eyes. -Marcel Proust
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We’re hardly doing anything flashy, and even when we do pounce on something exciting, it’s because we ate noodles out of a cup the week before. This is a frugal, simple-living trip as best we can calculate. Most of our housing is with friends, at guest houses, by housesitting, or by renting homes while the owners are gone. Our transportation will mostly be the public variety—busses, metros, and the like. All our clothes will roam the world with us on our backs.

Yep, I’ll keep writing here at this blog, even as we write more frequently about travel over at The Art of Simple Travel. The podcast will keep going as best I can. We’ve got a few travel-based media projects we can’t wait to reveal to you. And we’ll take tons of pictures.

The next time I write here, I’ll be in Asia. If you’re in Beijing, Xi’an, Hong Kong, or Chiang Mai, I’d love to say hi. And if you’re not there, say hi to us online—subscribing to the travel blog and Instagram will be the best place to follow our trip (Kyle’s there, too), followed by Facebook and Twitter.

Grateful for you all. So very much. Let’s daily pursue the adventure of living unconventionally, and celebrate the richness of living simply.

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“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” -J.M. Barrie

Weekend links

How much truth is there with daring to live? :: Suitcases to Sippycups Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent :: NY Times Friday night pasta: How to change your life with meatballs :: Serious Eats Zilla van den Born faked Asia trip on Facebook while still in her Amsterdam flat :: News.com.au Instagram envy, being (read more…)

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The Art of Simple Podcast #73 with Tsh Oxenreider and Kat Lee

#73: In a five-foot tree

It’s always a treat to talk to my friend (and AoS contributor) Kat Lee! I was glad to get in a last-minute conversation with her before we hit the skies and head across the world… In this episode, we chat about RISK: new school year beginnings, moving, modeling the art of taking risks, letting our (read more…)

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13 books I’m reading this next year

“We read to know we’re not alone.” William Nicholson couldn’t be most spot-on about why reading resonates with so many of us, and I think it’ll ring truer for me this year than it has in a long time. Sure, we’ll be meeting new people daily from all walks of life, and yet, if my (read more…)

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Weekend links

How travel has changed my life :: Never-Ending Footsteps Why it doesn’t matter how you feel about your friends :: Shauna Niequist on Storyline The art of choosing books and starting a book club :: Heidi Scovel on The Read-Aloud Revival 25 ways to ask kids, “So how was school today?” without asking them, “So (read more…)

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