The Jump

While having a blast at the reunion, we were also busy getting our final packing finished and the last purge. We had a few things to finally let go of, like our pillows and other random things, like our minivan…


We luckily found a great buyer who was in need of upgrading their vanimal and they dropped us off at the airport!


It was quite a strange feeling having just sold our last vehicle and jettisoned anything that wouldn’t fit in our suitcases and backpacks and to step onto an airplane! Very freeing, but also quite anxious. There were second thoughts and moments of panic, but we reassured ourselves that we’d done the planning and preparations and now was time to jump!

It was also very freeing to let go of everything society says we should have and accumulate and work hard to keep. We no longer are living the “American Dream” of owning our own house (and paying the bank dearly for it in interest and insurance). A yard to call our own to play ball with the kids, our own kitchen, and growing some veggies or spices. We do value that and are still interested in that, we just have a different dream right now. We want to travel light and experience different cultures and places, we want to go not as tourists, but as travelers and learn from the experience. We also want to learn to detach from the things and stuff of our commercial consumer culture. We want to JUMP! You can too!



Our first jump is to fly from SLC to LA to Nadi, Fiji to Labasa, Fiji, then a taxi to the docks and a boat to Vorovoro for a week of culture experience living sustainably with a Fiji village. More on that to come. The fun part was crossing the date line, in that we left LA on a Thursday night, and arrived in Fiji Saturday morning, yet only 12 hours later. So we jumped into the future too!

Family Reunion-ing at Bear Lake

A great family reunion spent at Bear Lake on the border of Idaho and Utah. We had a washer-toss tournament, trivia, water games, world cup watching, card games and lots of food! It was perfect timing for us to be leaving right afterwards, it was like a sendoff party all week!

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Friends in Utah

We had great visits with long lost friends and family going through Utah. We visited only a fraction of those we wanted to see, but it was a packed zip through the state. We were able to visit many old friends from Georgia as well as mission friends and cousins! A stop in with Thomas McConkie for some mindfulness practice, visit with Sasha and fam, Lunch with Zanne and Mica, playing at the park with Matt & Madeline and Elle, a hike with Stix and kids, visit with Nate and Amy little and fam, the Johansens, another hike but with the Lowry clan followed by gelato, visiting Stix at his fire station, and some Mullins cousins for lunch! We got photos of some of the gatherings, but not all.

Special thanks to Aunt Zanne for acting as our mailbox and letting us mail everything (including our passports) to her house since we no longer have one and didn’t want to mess with forwarding things from our mailbox!

PSA: Moab is hot during the summer

Driving from Colorado to Utah is beautiful and I was able to literally “work on the road” again as we went, though some places along the interstate don’t have much as far as data connections. I was able to get my work done still.

My kind of corner office… Coding + Roadtrip = Codetrip

We were heading to Utah and we wanted to return to Moab for some family hiking. We visited about 10 years ago and thought the kids would love it. As we pulled in the night before we decided to check the weather and we were a little surprised. We hadn’t put two and two together, that it was summer and we were heading to the desert. Not sure why we hadn’t even thought about that yet, but we had just enjoyed some beautiful weeks in Colorado. Anyways, it was hot than expected so we rearranged our schedule to hike early in the morning before it hit 100 degrees since it would stay above 100 until 8pm when it started getting dark.

We had a good hike to the delicate arch though and the kids became convinced we were trying to kill them with the heat already, so we called it a day and went to hydrate and swim at the hotel before heading north.

Mormon Stories Retreat in Park City Utah

The timing worked out for us driving from my work conference in Jackson, Wyoming to our first house sit in Bailey, Colorado, that we had an open weekend. Researching where to go, we came upon a Mormon Stories Retreat in Park City, Utah. It fit our timeline perfectly and also was something that we’ve been interested in for a number of years.

A little backstory, we’re LDS, or Mormon, by way of religion. We were both raised in Mormon families and have been practicing and participating members of the church our whole lives. I even served a mission for the church for 2 years, which I think may have sparked my itch to travel. I was in France and Belgium and talked with many people about Jesus. So, I had to learn French to talk to people and I really enjoyed getting very familiar with a foreign culture.

Slowly over the past decade, we’ve had what some would call a faith transition where for example we don’t take things as literally as we may have before. Mormon stories is a podcast that has helped us make sense of some of the issues we’ve had. It’s aptly named, they discuss stories of Mormons and aren’t afraid to talk about the taboo topics either. It’s part of the Open Stories Foundation, a non-profit, and the family of podcasts and websites has helped us view this transition as more of a journey or stage of adult development, rather than a crisis where everything comes tumbling down and crashing. Founded by John Dehlin, I know, controversial in the Mormon sphere, but seriously, don’t discount him because you’ve heard scary things about him. Take a look and see on the retreat agenda, there is no church bashing or telling anyone to leave. In fact, multiple times he shared the sentiment that “Leaving is not the answer”. Anyways, we’ve been fans for a while and have always been so far from any of the events that it hasn’t made sense to attend, but to have one fit in right when we had time and right in the area we already were was dare I say providential.

The Open Stories Foundation mission is to promote understanding, healing, growth, and community for people experiencing or impacted by religious transition.

The focus of these events is on healing and growth during and after a faith transition. John and Natasha DO NOT bash the LDS church in these events, and all efforts are made to make the conversations “safe” and affirming to believers and non-believers, church attendees and non-attendees. While attendees will sometimes vent their frustrations with their experiences, John and Natasha are fiercely committed to nurturing a constructive and positive environment where all are supported and affirmed.

The atmosphere and topics were very therapeutic and helpful and even healing. There was a large focus on mental health and positivity! We made fast friends with some kindred spirits! We even discussed how interesting it was that perhaps because we were all being totally honest and vulnerable with each other we were quicker to bond. We had a great time attending the presentations and discussions and even singing karaoke! Krista nailed Hamilton with Dr. John Dehlin! I did ok with some Weezer, and we and some other relevant favorites.