About 7 years ago (really?!?! it doesn't seem so long ago...) I was living in southern New Mexico as a travelling RN, on a contract. I'd had an interest in beads and beadwork for many, many years, and had always wanted to learn how to make beads. I was doing new things (I had just moved from my home of over a decade, Seattle, to start travelling) and decided to look up a bead artist I had become interested in when I lived in Seattle, Kim Miles. She had moved from Seattle to Taos, New Mexico some years before, and according to her website, she taught beadmaking out of her home studio on a 1-on-1 basis. I emailed her, and before I knew it, I was at her home studio, learning the basic craft of beadmaking from one of the best. And I was lucky, too: not too long after that, she decided to devote herself entirely to her art, and stopped teaching, so I think I was probably one of her last students. Making beads was an art I loved developing (until I started anesthesia school and no longer had time, unfortunately), and it was made possible because of the skills, and more importantly the passion and art, instilled and inspired by Kim.
I've followed her from afar since then, and bought some of her amazing beads (through her online store). She had a blog about her life in Taos, which if you haven't ever been there, is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to in America. Then, gradually, she and her lovely husband Rick decided that they didn't so much want to be tied to their house in Taos anymore. They started to get wanderlust, the kids were grown and out of the house, and the open road called to them. So this year, Kim and Rick bought a trailer, fixed it up into a little home-away-from-home, rented out their Taos home, and hit the road. She's even got a mini bead studio in the trailer, so she can work whenever or wherever inspiration hits. Their plan: to visit any place their heart drew them to, and find a spot to lay some roots down. Isn't that fabulous?
In a way I have done this, when I started travelling in 2002. But I was single, no kids, and it wasn't too hard to sell my condo, pack the cats into my Jetta, and follow the jobs. Travelling that way is certainly a life-changing experience. But I love the idea of doing it with your mate, after raising kids, having a few businesses, and doing a lot of the other stuff you had wanted to do with your life. Their pictures mostly show them having a grand old time with each other or with friends and family they visit along the way, but I'm sure there's a lot of hard work too, in negotiating how to travel for so long in such close quarters with your spouse. Most marriages might not be able to tolerate it. But then again, maybe more could than we think, if they learn to take themselves less seriously and have fun with it, like Kim and Rick seem to.
Their adventures are an inspiration to me, that you really can find a way to follow your dream, no matter how unconventional others may find it. They look like they are having the time of their lives. Check out Kim's blog if you are interested in their adventures: Taking The Long Way Home.