I’ve spent the entire day running errands throughout Denver. If you’ve never been to Denver, Colorado before, then you truly won’t understand how massive the city is. Not just the downtown part, but the entire makeup of Denver is well spread out. I started off in the suburbs of Centennial, Colorado and ended up driving to the foothills of Lakewood and Highlands Ranch.
Being back in Colorado is a culture shock in comparison to being in the DC Metropolitan region, but it’s refreshing. Everywhere I go I see Natural Grocery stores, and I’ve been able to enjoy shopping at Sprouts (it used to be Sunflowers Market). The atmosphere of “going-green” and living a healthy life-style is so addicting, and it’s got me wondering about an even further extreme — living off-the-grid.
The phrase “living off-the-grid” may sound entirely new, but it’s a concept that, of course, has roots with the Amish individuals within our country. The idea of a simpler life is the premise of taking that huge step to not just to minimize human foot prints with hints of recycling, but to live off-the-grid and rely completely on a self-sustainable lifestyle. I’ve had interactions with a few folks here in Colorado contemplating the idea or slowly working towards it, but the most exposure I’ve had to living off-the-grid is Discovery Channel’s hit show, Alaska: The Last Frontier.
Prior to moving to Colorado and currently living in an Homestead: Extended Stay hotel, I had never paid much attention to the (apparently) popular Discovery Channel show, Alaska: The Last Frontier. But since this hotel has limited programming because their choice provider is DISH, I’ve been watching a lot of the Discovery Shows that are based in Alaska; Gold Rush is one of the shows I’ve come to love. But if you really want to experience rural Alaska and how to survive, then you’ll need to tune into and follow the Twitter musings of #AlaskaTLF.
The show provides an exceptional perspective on living off-the-grid and how the Kilcher family survives on (and off) the homestead. The two generations of the Kilcher family, which live on a 600-acre homestead outside the rural Alaskan town of Homer, find a sense of meaning/existence on living off-the-grid, which essentially includes: limited contact with the outside world (except for the camera crew), no running water, no electricity, and “spend[ing] the limited months of summer and fall gardening, hunting and fishing for food, gathering supplies from the land, and safeguarding their animals in preparation for surviving the harsh Alaskan winter” (Discovery Channel).
If you thought living off-the-grid seemed like an impossible-harsh reality, imagine trying to achieve that lifestyle in the harsh winters of Alaska. Of course, the limited summer months are prime for growing and prepping supplies, but once the winter hits, the Kilcher’s are in for dark days and nights with freezing temperatures.
Even though the family faces the minuscule, sometimes gigantic, trials and tribulations off living-off-the grid, it does seem that the lifestyle has kept the close-knit family going for two generations. As I watch the show I get a sense of the bond they have for one another, and I get to see Otto Kilcher share with his son (who is married and lives on the homestead) survival skills that he can use for the next generation of Kilcher homestead residents.
As I continue to watch the second season of the show, I do ask myself whether or not I have the guts to ever try living off-the-grid. Could I do it? Sure, if I was in a nice rural location, preferably an island and I was surrounded by loved ones. But if it was somewhere cold like Alaska, then no, I couldn’t live off-the-grid. But wait, I have to give up electricity too…right? Well then, no I wouldn’t want to have that lifestyle. I love the power of being connected to a global community via the web. And I hope to expand on that idea and begin to go abroad and experience other cultures. So the honest answer to the question of to live or not to live off-the-grid, would be a simple no.
Not everyone has it in them to make that drastic change, but I do think we can all aspire to live healthier lifestyles, be more environmentally conscious, and find an environment that we can sustain a happy and healthy life with the ones we love. You don’t have to have a homestead like the Kilcher family, but even the idea of co-housing is something worth looking into; so many alternative lifestyles and living arrangements that fulfill the desire for community and sustainability.
So my question, to all those who run across this blog or perhaps are considering living off-the-grid, do you think you can do it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Whew, it feels so good to finally lay down, put my headphones on, and blog away. You may have noticed a lack of posts the past few days, and the reason being is I’ve been driving across the country; long four day drive from Maryland to Denver, Colorado.
I wasn’t alone on my journey. My mom and dad drove the truck with all our furniture in it, and I followed behind them in the car. So basically every single day I drove about 8-10 hours, with only a few short stops for rest. Yeah, sounds exhausting…and it really was. In the midst of the trip, so much stuff happened, including the headlights going out on the car. Even when we replaced the bulbs at Walmart, they still couldn’t figure out what was wrong. So at night time, I had to hold the brights on (switch wouldn’t stay on by itself) for about 2-3 hours. I drove with one hand, and boy I was so over it!
This wasn’t my first time going across the country on a massive road trip. Most of my life has been spent driving/moving back and forth from Colorado to Maryland, with short stays in Virginia and my birthplace, Columbus, Ohio.
So it wasn’t my first cross-country roadtrip, but it was my first time eating at King Kong in Lincoln, Nebraska. You heard that correct, a restaurant named King Kong. Awesome, right? So here is the situation, basically right off of i-80 you’ll spot this huge gorilla in the air and below it is a sign that says it all. Yup, the sign lets you know that not only can you get gyros, but they have phillies, steaks, and burgers! And not just a small burger, nope, you get a KING KONG BURGER. Seriously, the burger is massive!
Sadly, I didn’t take a picture of the burger my dad ate, but I did take a picture of my gyro. And I must say, it was absolutely delish! The last good gyro I had was from this cool food truck in Manhattan, and since then I haven’t had a pretty good one. Hey, some of them food trucks can really throw down and the food taste better than restaurants. Sometimes, not all. Some food trucks suck!
Anyways, so was it worth driving through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illionois, Iowa, and Nebraska just to stop by King Kong for some delicious food? HELL YES! It’s so worth the drive. King Kong is awesome! And the decor of the restaurant has vintage King Kong posters, stuff apes hanging from the ceiling, and in front of the restaurant are mini King Kong statues. The entire restaurant is truly an experience!
So next time you’re in Nebraska, stop by King Kong for some good mood food!
It’s safe to assume that most people have a dream destination they’d like to visit (or enjoy visiting.) Most people have narrowed down their list to one (or a few) places they’d love to visit, but my list keeps growing by the day. But after seeing the new theatrical trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I’m convinced even more about my decision to go to New Zealand next summer.
Those close to me (which are a select few) know that my dream place to visit (maybe even live) is New Zealand. I first fell in love with it actually by watching Rocket Power back in the day, but then I did some research and realized the cartoon couldn’t even capture the full awesomeness that New Zealand offers.
It’s seems like the ultimate place to go for adventure, and I’m craving an adventure, so hopefully next summer I will make my first trip abroad to New Zealand.
I’m young, single, and getting ready to graduate college, so I want to use the next few years to travel. For years I’ve talked about traveling the world, but my main desire is to experience 100% Pure New Zealand. I want to take it all in: the sights, the Maori culture, the water activities, the arts, wine, and LOTR. Yes, I want to visit all the sites where LOTR was filmed, and I even want to visit the Home of Hobbiton which is featured in the upcoming Peter Jackson film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
There is just so much to do in New Zealand and my goal is to actually do that next summer. I want to kayak along the lakes and just let the beauty of sublime nature surround me. I want to just relax on one of the beaches and read a good book. I want to explore the Franz Josef Glacier and have an exciting hike that is truly worth of some instagram moments. I want to go zip-lining. I want to swim with dolphins. See, I could go on and on about all the things I want to do in NZ. And you know what, I’m going to do every last thing I’ve mentioned and even more!
Ah, I can’t wait! I’m excited about seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and I’m excited aboutfinally starting to travel abroad. Before I go to New Zealand, I’m going to take a trip to Hawaii in the Spring, but boy, once summer hits, I’m going to set my sights on Oceania. Might even make my way to Australia.
My weekends typically consist of listening to some great house in DC, but this past weekend I decided to to do something a little different. Of course house was still involved (great road-trip music,) but instead of going out dancing, my best friend and I took a trip up to New York.
I hadn’t been to New York since 2007 (my last visit before I left the DMV and moved to Denver, Colorado.) Prior to my 2007 visit to my aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon, I had been to New York a few other times, including a three day trip when I was in 8th grade. Those three days staying in a hotel in the city, sightseeing, and seeing Beauty and the Beast on were Broadway ended up being a great experience, but this time in NYC I experienced the city with a new perspective; a mature view fueled by a desire to create and embrace an eccentric expression of self.
After attempting to score a job or some gigs in DC doing the typical “bureaucratic” work, I realized that at the end of the day I am more keen to being a bohemian urban hipster that works in a creative environment. What does that mean? Well, it essentially means I’ve made some plans (which I will unveil in the coming months) to pursue a career that allows my creativity to flourish.
My recent decision is one of the reasons why I wanted to visit New York and soak up the creativity. Every time I visit New York I always come away with vibrant inspiration. Of course in Mt. Vernon their isn’t much of an avant-garde vibe, but that is easily solved by hoping on the Pelham train and heading down to Grand Central Station. The moment you switch over to the subway, you’re hit by masses of people with so many unique characteristics: hipsters, skinny models, chiseled men with Adonis-like sculpted bodies, eccentric folks with piercings + crazy hair, flamboyant fashionistas, and so many other peoples that can’t even fit into one category.
People are always in their own zone in New York, which can of course be an indication of the “rudeness” you experience. Yes, some people can be very rude (especially the uber high-maintenance women,) but while visiting NYC this time I actually didn’t encounter too much absurbd rudeness. I mean yes, people rarely say excuse me (especially in the crowded comic book store + walking down Fifth ave,) but the lack of social-barrier-breaching is expected.
Even though it’s overpopulated, I don’t hate NYC. I just hate how expensive it is to live there. I had such envy as we walked through the Village and saw so many people just chilling on the stoop of their brownstone. We even saw a fashion shoot taking place, which is actually one of the reasons why we came to NYC. Not for a fashion shoot, but so my bestie could get inspired to do more street photography and fashion photography.
NYC is a city of inspiration. Even if you don’t go shopping or clubbing, you can solemnly be inspired by the city + people.
I could go on and on about my trip, but I’d basically just be explaining to everyone what you already know; New York City is one of the best cities in the world. Yet, it doesn’t mean I want to live there after graduating. I have a few more places to go and education to soak up before I could move to NYC and deal with the stress of paying rent and riding the crazy crowded subway every single day.
However, after seeing so much creativity and unique fashion (especially in the Uniqlo store,) I walked away with two new truths.
1. ) Time to go ahead and embrace my artistic personality and express it even more so with my fashion. Whether it’s bohemian digs or vintage chic mixed with a urban pop art vibe, I just need to go on a little style exploration.
2.) After seeing so many artistic men of all different races, I realize that perhaps the reason my dating life (I do date a lot) has been filled with me getting bored (happens a lot, some guys just truly bore me) with guys can be attributed to the type of guy I’m choosing. I need to go back to dating artistic souls: musicians, writers, artists, photographers, designers, etc. Men that can relate to my artistic struggles and appreciate my eccentric arty mind. Nerds are cool, but creative men seem to truly inspire me (and turn me on.)
So there you have it folks, that is just a little bit (believe it or not, I could write more) of my weekend in NYC and the inspiration I derived from it. I plan on visiting soon, but I won’t be moving there anytime soon. I’ve got some things do accomplish first before I could consider picking up my life and moving to NYC.
So I was watching television with my mom last night, and she thought it would be a cool idea to talk about what I did this summer in sentences, as well as revelations I’ve discovered. Of course, some of the things I’ve experienced thus far require more than a sentence, but that’s the fun of putting this post together.
So….here we go! My summer thus far:
Went to the Smithsonian Natural Museum of History.
Drove 80mph trying to escape two semi-trucks that I was stuck between (truck sandwich!)
Saw a totally refurbished and working Delorean.
Interracial dating is beautiful, spread the love.
Realized I could be a good girlfriend, even when someone seriously couldn’t get their life together.
Took part in a long distance relationship.
Dumped my boyfriend, realizing I prefer to be single at the age of 21.
Took a Tequila shot (I promise, it was only one)
Saw a giant roach on the sidewalk face-off with a friend.
Met a random girl from an ivy league school (she read my blog) and invited her to party with me and my friends.
Kissed an El Salvadorian guy while it was 101 degrees outside.
Maceo Plex is amazing!
Conquered my addiction to Call of Duty, no need to play it every day, every other day will suffice.
Always saying too much on a date, but realizing my eccentric personality makes me beautiful.
I’m confident, not cocky…yet if that’s how some choose to label me, then fine by me.
Joined Planet Fitness.
New favorite color, electric blue.
Government job and corporate 9 to 5 isn’t for me.
I can’t stand pompous men, go somewhere else with your government job and designer threads.
Danced the night away with a tall African man (Red Fridays, I’m always there dancing.)
A nice DJ walked me all the way to my car after his set.
Made an amazing best friend (taking our first roadtrip together to NYC today.)
Reconnected with old friends, made new ones.
Realized that house is truly the love of my life.
House is the truth.
I can’t live without house.
While sitting in the car with my bestie, we saw a rat walk down the sidewalk with a piece of bread.
Okcupid isn’t too bad, fun for mingling. My profile: http://www.okcupid.com/profile/Jazei
I have huge thighs, but apparently (according to one of my dates) I have massive muscular quads, and that is surely sexy.
Ran outside in my bra and shorts while a massive storm was taking place.
Saw The Avengers twice, or was it three times?
Found a new favorite spot on sundays in DC, Sunglass Sundays.
Lastly, I cut off all my hair and decided it’s a new day and a new me.
Hmmm…that’s all I’ve got far. Needless to say, it’s been an interesting summer. I’ve truly enjoy the good house music, meeting tons of new people, and ending a relationship that just wasn’t right for me (luckily it was only for two months.)
At the end of the day, my summer might not have involved traveling the world or going to a theme park (summer isn’t over yet, so maybe I will get to go,) but my summer does involve finding true friendship, realizing what makes me beautiful, and learning not to care what anybody thinks.
For the first time in a very long time, I actually have a social life. Not quite sure what happened, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that summer is here, I’m about to graduate college, and I actually have transportation. I mean of course you can easily get around in the DMV via train and bus, but having a car does make it easier for me to get to folks outside of moco.
Summer is basically here and I’ve already kicked it off by doing some fun things. I saw Reggie Watts in concert, Miguel Migs @ U Street Music Hall, and I even went Rock Climbing @ Earth Trek in Rockville, MD. Let me just, rock climbing was amazing! It basically cost 25 bucks to climb three different walls, but it was still a blast. I’m not terrified of heights, so it wasn’t super scary. I definitely plan on going again this summer.
Every weekend has been a blast so far and I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with my good friend. I’m also anxious to hang out with my boyfriend this weekend and give him a tour of D.C. Nothing crazy, just hitting the zoo, the museums, maybe dancing a little, and of course grabbing some frozen yogurt (I got him hooked on it.)
My goal is explore D.C. as much as I can, but this summer isn’t just limited to exploring Washington, D.C. I plan on going on some road trips, visiting the beach, playing paintball, laser tag, and going to some amusement parks. I’m going to try to have as much fun as possible, even working on some film and photography projects. I just want to capture every single moment and create some Facebook worthy pictures to remember the summer.
If I can actually save up enough money then I would even go on a cruise at the end of the summer. But that isn’t set in stone yet, so for now it’s all speculation. But at least I’m trying to piece together my plans and come up with a great summer filled with exploration and trying new things. So if you notice sometimes I don’t blog for a few days, then it’s because I’m out and about exploring the DMV and the East Coast. But don’t worry, I’ll still come back and share my experiences with you guys. Especially when I find good music.
Cheesy, but the perfect song to think of summer….lol
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com
You may recall last week I wrote two posts that were geared towards extreme sports enthusiasts, as well as film lovers who enjoy excellent cinematography. One of the post was Infinity List | Are You Ready to Experience Freedom? The other post was this amazing slow motion video about freerunning/parkour and the title of that post was Tru Freedom | The Beauty of Slow Mo Freerunning.
Each post featured a different extreme sport, but both of the videos came from Infinity List, an amazing website that features the best in the cinematic sports experience. Since I’ve written those two posts, I have been checking out Infinity List every single day. The amount of videos they have on the site is insane! Just when you think you’ve seen it all, another video is submitted that is pure awesomesauce.
So the latest dosage of awesomesauce comes from two videos that profile two different extreme sports. POC Bike Excursion is a film about BMX riders Danny MacAskill, Martin Söderström and Daniel Dhers as they defy possibilities & BMX in some unique locations throughout Sweden. I’ve seen some amazing BMX tricks before, but the beauty of the surroundings and the creativity are what make POC Bike Excursion an innovative video.
The other video, Rider of the Year Preview II is about whitewater kayaking. Now, when I say kayaking I don’t just mean riding down a river with violent water. The type of whitewater kayaking I’m talking about is uber extreme, I mean kayaking off waterfalls extreme. Yes, waterfalls. Super dangerous, but amazing to watch! But in order to be in the running for the Rider of the Yearaward, you have to do some pretty amazing stunts to impress the judges.
Now there is no way I’d ever attempt either of those sports, but I thoroughly enjoy watching the videos. Both videos have some stunning cinematic footage and a great soundtrack. Maybe your not a fan of extreme sports, but if you love great cinematography & editing, then be sure to watch both of the videos below. They are pretty radical!
Era – Ameno
Flight Facilities – Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix)
01 Awolnation – Magalithic Symphony
02 Awolnation – Sail
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com