Repeat after me: The adventure traveler breathes happily, the adventure traveler breathes happily. So goes the fable that is just about to begin. The story starts with a haggard twenty-something stressed out junior executive from an urban center far, far away. The snow forces her to pour yet another cup of coffee as she looks out from her cubicle. Everywhere she looks, she only sees gray. Piles of paper stacked to the ceiling tower beyond the horizon. Co-workers and fellow slaves of the corporate jungle mind their own deadlines and memos. The balding supervisor barks out yet another task to be fulfilled: PRONTO!
She can only sigh as not only her lungs feel constrained but the breath of her very soul. She longs for a distant place that has not been discovered. But she’s torn between work and the life that she always yearned for. A life of adventure and not this crass gray reality that seems to expand its tendrils wherever there are human beings. She just wants to feel the strong winds of a distant place on her face. She just wants to feel the sun on her back. She wants to go out and have fun in the rain as she used to do as a child. She just wants to feel alive.
Then she discovers it. A distant place where memos, mergers, paperwork and other non-sense are simply irrelevant. To top it all, she can stay for free with food, breakfast, lunch and dinner. All she has to do is work on that place. Be it a gardener, a carpenter, a botanist or whatever. All she has to spend on is her traveling expenses, and that’s that. She looks at the website and reads more. She is day dreaming from her cubicle, planning the ultimate adventure she’ll have soon.
I wrote this story because, as my wife and I begin to launch a vacation spot on our very own property, I’m trying to imagine how our future guests might feel, about the kind of life they’ve lived. What stories will they have to tell? We’ve signed up for something totally new here– an organic farm exchange. People will come and go, not just as tourists, but as people who have the same vision and a will to improve another place. It’s a concept that’s totally new, at least for me. I’ve barely signed on to the service, and there are already three prospective guests.
It’s worth a try. The only question on my mind is what have we got to lose? The thought of having guests in our little rundown farm resort helping out with the tasks is exciting. Even my wife thinks that it’s a great idea. Right now we’re brainstorming on how to give an experience that will be memorable for them. Maybe, just maybe, this is one way we can all breathe happily.
Creative Commons Image via Flickr