Monday, March 25, 2013

How to live a life less ordinary according the wanderinglavignes.

Steps 1-3:  Dream big, live your passions and don't ever stop believing.

I am here to report that the wanderinglavignes will be wandering once again. We are leaving BD and have a new adventure awaiting, an adventure we could only dream about until recently. And I swear I am not trying to play an early April Fool's joke.
Starting May 1, we are Backpacker Magazine's Gear and Go Tour Ambassadors. Some of you may be jumping for joy right now--while basking in extreme jealousy--because you understand the enormity of this opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast. Some of you may be scratching your heads in a bit of confusion, so allow me to explain (and gloat).

Backpacker (BP) Magazine is in its 40th year with more than 1.1 million subscribers. That right there screams where it stands in the outdoor industry. Backpacker Magazine is like Wimbledon of Tennis or winning an Academy Award as an actor/actress.

BP has been bringing the pages of the magazine to life over the years by sending ambassadors out on the road to walk and talk. We met their Get Out More road team, Sheri & Randy Propster, back in 2011 when we were backpacking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. While they talked about what they did for a living, we salivated. We thought, "wouldn't that be so cool if we could score a gig like that in the future?"

A serendipitous meeting not only left an impression on us, but on the Propsters. Because when BP decided to launch a second tour with a second couple, they recommended us. Talk about feeling honored, blessed and surprised.

So Deal and I will set out to camp and hike our way through the US from May through October, stopping along the way to tell BP readers how to "dream it, plan it, do it." We could be coming to a city near you (I will post our schedule once it is final). But don't worry ... all we require is a lawn to camp on and maybe even a shower if it's been more than 5 days.

Did I mention most of our presentations are at our favorite store in the world, REI? And we will be sponsored by several gear companies? Deal posed the question to our new boss, "so will I need to go to any more REI garage sales?" To which she responded, "you will have more gear than you know what to do with."

Pinch us, we must be dreaming.

Of course there were some bittersweet feelings about leaving BD (not to be confused with BP). First of all, this BP (not to be confused with BD) opportunity came out of left field and moved at warp speed. It was a lot of process in a short amount of time. Plus, running the hostel has been an amazing experience in an amazing community. We know we are not done with the hospitality business and housing hikers just yet and hope to continue to be a part of BD in whatever way we can. Of course, there's also the fact that exactly 1 year, 57 days after we moved into BD, we are packing up and moving out. Yes, we love moving that much?!?!

We have always set ourselves up to make sure we wake up everyday and want to go to "work." If you live your passions and dreams, that's easy.

"Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from."
-Seth Godin (entrepreneur, author and public speaker).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Converting Visitors Into Bean Farmers

We've had a very busy week here with back-to-back-to-back personal visitors (3 sets to be exact), mixed in with some spring break hikers.

These days, the one common theme with visitors is introducing them to our game of choice, Bohnanza, or the Bean Game where you get to impersonate a bean farmer. Our friends introduced us at New Years, and we have been addicted ever since. We take every opportunity we can to introduce it to our friends and hikers. I think we have converted about 14 people to bean farmers!!!


Besides the Bean Game, there were many other activities, which are best displayed by pictures. 

And now we feel like this:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A little bit of NH in NoVa

One of our favorite things about living in NH was the SNOW!!! Our first year living there, we had record amounts of snow (somewhere around 120 inches).

NoVa may not have the cumulative amount of snow all winter long like NH, but it has surprised us with its random snow events! Like today, when we got about 16 inches. 

And for the bonus picture ... can you find Deal in the picture??????