Posts Tagged With: childhood

On camels, cameras, courage & kindness

camel trek trilogy

From Alice to Ocean now joins my well-worn and well-loved mementos of Robyn Davidson’s journey.

Those of you who read my first blog post, On camels and tiny houses, know that one of my huge influences as a kid was the National Geographic story on Robyn Davidson’s trek alone across the Australian outback with her camels. I was completely floored the other day when Rick Smolan, the photographer for the story and who has since gone on to do other incredible photojournalism projects, wrote on my blog. I was even more amazed when he offered to send me a copy of From Alice to Ocean, the coffee table book he did documenting Robyn’s trek (also see the addendum to the Blood, sweat, tears, blueberries & the most awesome three walls ever… post for yet another interesting connection).

Yesterday, 35 years ago to the month from when I first got that magazine in the mail, I received Rick’s book. It was a strange feeling leafing through the beautiful, vivid photographs accompanied by excerpts from Robyn’s book Tracks. It transported me back those many years and to the other side of the world. It was like no time had passed. I was in awe all over again.

But it’s also notable because it’s a reminder just how small the world can be. This has been coming up again and again since starting this blog, demonstrating what is good about the internet: it brings people together in ways you’d never dream. Rick’s thoughtful gift is also a reminder about how a small gesture can have great meaning for whom it’s bestowed upon – the power of random acts of kindness. Ridiculous perhaps, but, holding it in my hands, it feels significant, like things have come full circle; a sort of biblio-benediction from the gods that this tiny house – or at least the journey – was meant to be. That feels very heartwarming.

My first post talked about how I saw parallels between Robyn’s journey and my decision to build a tiny house. I was going to elaborate more on that but realized that Robyn and Rick put if far more perfectly than I can —
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Categories: tangents | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

On being not so still

Ortelius World Map 1570

Ortelius World Map 1570. Click on any of the maps for an interesting discussion of early world cartography.

There’s a delectable tension between being still and not so still. Each bear gifts and each have limits. Tiny houses on wheels embody a beautiful blending of the two.

This has been on my mind for two reasons. One is that I got the call that my trailer is ready, which excites me to no end. The other reason is that after I wrote my post on designing sparefully, which included a lot about the importance of being still, I noticed that WordPress lists my user name as the author: notsostill. That made me laugh. It also made me reflect on the role of stillness in my life – or rather, the lack thereof – and why a tiny house on wheels is so perfect for me. Continue reading

Categories: tangents, thoughts on tiny | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Early tiny

I only have a few old family photos so imagine my surprise when I found some early tiny influences…

Early House

The house I lived in when I was two or so.

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Categories: thoughts on tiny | Tags: , | 3 Comments

On camels and tiny houses

One day in May 1978, I had one of those transformative moments: the National Geographic arrived in the mail. I loved the articles in each issue – my first experiences with other cultures and countries – but only one story made a lasting impression. I still have the original magazine:

RobynCover

original photo: Rick Smolan

It was the cover story. Robyn Davidson, 27, had walked 1700 miles across the Australian outback alone except for four camels and her dog, Diggety.

RobynWalking

original photo: Rick Smolan

RobynRiding

original photo: Rick Smolan

RobynMap

Robyn’s route

Her blunt prose talks about the challenges and hardships she faced, but also about the deep appreciation for the beauty of the desert solitude and the friends, both Aboriginal and white settlers, she made along the way.

At 13, I was completely captivated. She was my first personal hero. I was in awe of her independence and courage but she was also someone I could relate to, who resonated with my tomboy side that loved digging in the dirt and exploring the woods.
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Categories: PAD, thoughts on tiny | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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