Many many years ago (2010) we met a young travelling woman named Jessica in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. We travelled as a small three-person group for a while through the mountains south of the city. I saw my first llama that week and we talked for hours.
Over the years we’ve stayed in touch, largely because of her. Now we happened to be on the same continent (a special opportunity between nomads) as she is living with her sister for the summer on Orcas Island, Washington State. We were going to be passing through Seattle to see David’s cousin and his family so it made sense to pop onto the ferry and make it to Orcas.
A Good Rest
We felt welcome straight away as Kelly (Jessica’s sister) encouraged us to let ourselves in if we were to arrive with no-one home. ‘We leave the door unlocked all the time.’ Hearing that made me think back of where I grew up and felt safe. It’s an under-appreciated thing to feel safe and not concern yourself with guarding your property, we see that now.
We set up our tent in the community’s outdoor basketball-court (I kid you not) which made everyone happy, because it was finally put to good use. Over the five days we spent on this magical island we got to know the people, spirit and nature very well. We took many short hikes and made picnics in the woods after swimming in the many warm fresh-water lakes.
We initially intended only to stay three nights but the opportunity to rest was most welcome after days of long drives, and we had to do more research for the route ahead of us.
What Kind of Research?
So we have come up with a short list of criteria we’d like to use in order to narrow down all the areas and towns that may be suitable for us to settle in after I receive my long-term visa and green card. One of them is climate, the size of a town, local economy and real-estate prices. This way we can make efficient use of our time and design a practical route.
Orcas Island has stolen our hearts with its beauty and culture. However, we feel that property is expensive and the chances of finding a year-round well-paying job are slim. Therefore we must move on and look elsewhere. We wish Jessica, Kelly, Matt and their little Laurel the best of luck and trust we shall see them again some day.