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Traveller, There is No Path

by Tara

At Karina and Ivica's wedding, we had the joy of reconnecting with Cindy—Karina's hilarious and vivacious Aunt. I have many happy childhood memories involving Aunt Cindy, my favorites being playing "red-light green-light" in the hallway of her apartment building, and making a delicious assortment of deep-fried cheese empanadas in her kitchen!

Aunt Cindy

During the evening's entertainment (which was open-mic style, in the tradition of Karina's family's countless barn parties) Cindy recited poetry that truly spoke to me: an excerpt of Antonio Machado's poem XXIX. Though it was meant for Karina and Ivica, it rang true for Tyler and me as well.

Traveller, your footprints
Are the path and nothing more;
Traveller, there is no path,
The path is made by walking.

By walking the path is made
And when you look back
You'll see a road
Never to be trodden again.

Traveller, there is no path,
Only trails across the sea…

Antonio Machado, translated by Asa Cusack

As it turns out, Cindy is a regular reader of our website! She knows all about our trip, and even teared up while talking to us about her favorite day of ours, when we met an elderly woman knitting with her cows in Romania. She even read my cookbook like a novel the moment it arrived! We were completely unaware of any of this!

She promised she'd be better about letting us know she's out there following along (*ahem ahem*), and that made me happy. Because OF COURSE I want to know that when I have a crappy day, Aunt Cindy is out there rooting for me! Lurkers, take this as an invitation to de-lurk yourselves! In the style of our Reaching Out post, let us know you're out there!

Previous Entry
May 2014, in Photos


Hey guys!
I'll go ahead and de-lurk, it's jodi from the Saltspring cob course, I love following along with your progress! We are currently working on the foundation for our timber frame/shipping container combo home. Hoping to raise the frame this summer. Progress is a bit slower now that we have a baby girl (8 months), though Erik is off work for the summer so who knows! Anyway, is great to get to keep up with your progress! There, I've officially de-lurked.
Posted by jodi on June 24th, 2014 at 12:48 AM
Wonderful find this Machado´s poem in your blog!
Very famous in Spain by this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DA3pRht2MA&feature=kp and perfect to reflect the travel of the life.
Posted by Dani on June 24th, 2014 at 3:03 AM
De-lurking. I think I picked up your blog somewhere before you entered Russia. I was just getting into cycle touring (did 2 trips down the Pacific Coast, US) and starting my PhD. Your blog was, and still is, a much needed escape from botched experiments and endless rounds of manuscript revisions. I still can't decide if I enjoyed your travel entries more or the homesteading ones! --All the best from a random internet stranger.
Posted by Kathe on June 24th, 2014 at 6:23 AM
I guess I can't call myself a lurker!
Just last week (!) I was reading all the comments on your 'Reaching Out' page and so many people were saying they were inspired and/or lived vicariously through your writtings, we (Andrée & me) were among them.
Next year we'll gonna make the move to change our life and finally get out of the 'rat race', and you two have a big influence in that decision.
Our dream is to bike parts of the World the way you did it, just going slowly and...live the place.
For that, I want to say Thank You!

D (& A)

Btw, the last picture of you both with the sea is just perfect, dream inducer...where was it? Guessing Greece seems to easy...
Posted by David B. on June 24th, 2014 at 7:08 AM
I've only been lurking for a month or so- I was introduced to your home-building by following Jenna's blog, so I started following you out of curiosity. Now I have to go and read about all these travels and such!
Posted by Paula on June 24th, 2014 at 7:37 AM
I've posted one or two comments here before, but I'll emerge from my lurking again. I found your blog in the first week or two after you arrived in the UK on your bikes. I read because I like cycling and have traveled to some of the places you visited, and I like the idea of visiting them again on a bike someday. After the bike trip was done, I figured I was done reading, but your new project continues to be so fascinating that I'm still here. It's hard to believe it's been over 5 years now. At times your life makes mine seem rather conventional in comparison, but this poem reminds me that my own journey has been rather unique as well.
Posted by Quentin on June 24th, 2014 at 9:38 AM
Found your blog through Jenna. Went to college in Vermont and would love to move back there someday, just need to convince my husband to head East. I loved reading about your travels and continue to check back to see the great progress you are making on your land. Keep the posts coming!!
Posted by Kristin on June 24th, 2014 at 10:33 AM
OK, guys, I'm officially de-lurking to say this: I love your website, love your journey (although I would never in a gazillion years have the patience to do what you two are doing right now!) and want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for so generously sharing every step of it with us. You are both amazing, and YES, we are rooting for you at every turn! :) Much love to you both!
Posted by Cindy on June 24th, 2014 at 11:23 AM
I also will de-lurk. I follow every post and wait anxiously for new ones. We live in the beautiful foothills of West Virginia. We have a farm and raise Nubian dairy goats along with sheep and angora goats for spinning. We are truly enjoying watching the building process. Keep up the good work.
Posted by Rebecca on June 24th, 2014 at 4:13 PM
De-lurking too! I check your blog daily for the next installment of the house building. Can't wait to see those cob walls raised! I'm south of you now (moved back from Maine), in Columbia County NY, to sell my house and then move back to ME to build my dreamhouse. You are an inspiration as always.
Posted by Nancy Kane on June 24th, 2014 at 7:24 PM
I find myself checking up on your blog weekly, and I find myself extremely disappointed when there are no new posts to read. Your blog has inspired my wife and I to pack our belongings into a van, along with bike racks and go slowly around europe for 4 months from 1 August!!! Thank you
Posted by Bud Manthe on June 25th, 2014 at 4:47 AM
Can us two could be called lurkers? Probably before we bought your book. Ana showed me your website on a spree to find a good gear list to bring around in Europe in 10 month ( already?!). Then we clicked on your journal entry to know who you two are. Then we started to read everything! Even Ana's using your blog entry and your colored language as a learning platform for her to perfect her english. We used your trip to see what would be possible to do. Now we know everything is... Tyler and you are the perfect match for building a website. Writer-hand & Coder-hand. Your down to earth attitude toward everything is really inspiring. I write this right now in the sleeping bag you used back then and on a beach campground 270 km from our house. It's the test trip! And we're talking about you! Yesterday when our stove was working really bad, Ana looked at me then said "you know, Tara said that the first couple of time it could be hard to get this thing started". I cleaned everything as there was something in the jet and pumped some more (more than 20 times when the bootle is 1/3 full... Duh) and lit it back to life. We also tested our walkstool around our campfire agreeing that the Confort worth the extra money over the Basic. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the trip is way easier now that we know what to do. And most of it have been learned on your site reading journal entries as "honey, do you know that you can do that with that?!". I'm a bicycle guys so there's nothing to teach me about that. Btw kudo for your bike build, you even throwed in a Chris King, now we're talking! But setting up that ******* stove have been the challenge of my year!
Now that you two are building a house, we use to know you to much to just not caring anymore. We are with you in your joys and your struggles. We can't wait to meet you in real life.

Keep up the good work! You're nearly there!

Anaïs & Carl ;)
Posted by Anaïs & Carl on June 25th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
I'm one of them....... Came across your travel blog while searching for the Mongolia Rally a couple years ago and was hooked by your travel stories and now again your fascinating adventures in VT. I'm originally from Switzerland (loved those blog entries!) and live now in SW FLorida.
Posted by Margrit on June 25th, 2014 at 6:18 AM
Came upon your blog via Jena at Cold Antler Farm and was hooked and intrigued by your house building. Like many who read blogs like yours and CAF's, I long for the simpler way of life and providing for myself. And thank you for introducing me to a new poem/poet! Good luck in your house building, I look forward to seeing the progress
Posted by Jamie on June 25th, 2014 at 7:15 AM
De-lurking - I've been reading since around the time you bought your property, and am thrilled with the wonderful progress you have made!! I've read some of the posts about your bike journey as well. I think I found you via Jenna at CAF. I'm from the Central Interior of British Columbia (Canada) and have 40 acres of mostly-cleared land. Luckily, we bought it with a log cabin and multiple outbuildings already erected on the property, and are working to find out our goals and direction.
Posted by Mandi on June 25th, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Hi T & T. I've been following your adventures since your cycling days with a lot of interest. I've talked about your website to my friends in India, so if the traffic/posts from India increases, I'm responsible!:-)
I want to create an eco-community based on Sustainability principles with my friends, but my first attempt to buy land failed. Hope to be more luck next time.
All the best in your endeavors.
Posted by Meher Gadekar on June 27th, 2014 at 12:15 AM
Hi Guys,
I posted a few comments back when you were traveling but have not done so since. I still come back here every few days/weeks to see how the "back to the land" move is going. I myself am moving to Oregon shortly and am looking for land to retire and farm on outside Corvallis. I just wish the land was cheaper like Vermont ;)
All you are doing is great and I always get inspiration from your endeavors - keep up the great work!!
And thanks for all the pictures and posts.
Posted by Allen Thoma on June 30th, 2014 at 3:11 PM
My bf and I moved to Vermont in 2011, for many of the same reasons you guys did. Been reading for 1.5ish years or so while moving constantly from town to town (3 landlord utility theft issues in a row).

If I hadn't been so busy moving all the time, I might have commented (or even visited in person?) by now. But there's no time like the present, and I'm in Proctor now (near Rutland) which is closer to you guys than ever.

This blog is one of my favorites and I've learned a lot. Thanks for all that you do!
Posted by Charlotte on July 1st, 2014 at 12:19 AM
Well, you guys already know I'm a huge fan, but it's been a while since I said so. Stephen and I are finally (just) back from our bike tour. I can't say your home building project has inspired us to embark on the same course, even though we need to find somewhere to live now. Building a house looks hard! You two are doing an amazing job though, and I can tell by your posts, filled with home-building words that I've never heard before, that you've learned an astonishing amount in the last few years.
Posted by Jane on August 4th, 2014 at 2:20 PM