The Space Between: Dreams vs. Reality

In between jumping the proverbial picket fence, and realizing what our plans are now, there were a lot of plans (dreams) we’ve had along the way. We’ve had to re-evaluate those plans when reality reared its ugly head (damn you real-world!). Here’s a summary of where we started, to where we are now:


The Plan: Travel the world – get a ESL certification (TEFL/TESOL), spend a few years in South-East Asia teaching and use the money saved to travel around the rest of the world.

The Reality: We have 2 dogs. Traveling with them to another country was possible, but also a little risky, since neither do well in crates, and they may or may not have gotten lost in customs (we read a few horror stories about that – and it was a chance we weren’t willing to take). We also didn’t want to leave them behind with friends or family (these are my babies!) so, we nixed that one. Sigh.



The Plan: OK – no air travel. What about land? What about spending a year driving from the US down to Panama, and then back around the US?

The Reality: We had a good 4 months on the road, made it through Mexico and Belize, and then poor Barley got sick. To make matters worse, there was a shipping/production hold on Doxycycline (not sure why), and we needed that to treat him. I’m pretty sure we bought out the 2 pharmacies we went to in Belize just to get enough to treat him for a few weeks and get him healthy enough to travel. Then, it was back to the ol’ US of A ahead of schedule to get him proper medical care. Those were some of the best times ever (except the whole Barley being sick part – that was awful). Check out some older posts for more stories about our south-of-the-border hijinks.

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The Plan: Hopkins, Belize was awesome. So awesome, in fact, that we were like, why can’t we live here? They needed some tourist housing. We can build stuff and run a hostel or guest house. We can totally do that, once we have enough money to build. So, we bought some land (using the rest of our trip funds), and decided to save our pennies for a few years to build a hostel/guest house and our own housing on our little plot about 200 yds off the Caribbean.

The Reality: 2 years goes by fast, and in that time, Hopkins had a massive influx of hotels, guest houses, VRBO, Air BnB, etc., established. We’d be walking into a flooded market. That would mean a real struggle to attract regular business, and we aren’t beachfront, so we decided to shelve that plan. We still own the land, and maybe someday we’ll move down there when our bones are old and creaky and can’t take the cold winters anymore. For now, it’s just an investment.

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The Plan: Buy up some land (using our Hopkins guesthouse funds), put a cabin on it, and have a nice weekend getaway we can use as a jumping off point for all the camping, hiking and adventure seeking we can handle around Washington State.

The Reality: We got SO MUCH MORE than we bargained for with this one. We bought the land, and built the cabin, and then thought: Why do we have to leave? What’s keeping us over on the west side of the Mountains? The side where it rains all the time, there’s a ton of congestion, and (we realized after about a year) we really don’t like the area anyway…


The area out east is growing, rapidly. So, there’s work (if we want it), and the cost of living is a lot cheaper. There are people who live on our mountain who never leave, unless they want to. They work odd jobs, or maybe have a full-time job in town (or “town-town”, depending on who you talk to), or run their own business, but they get to have this… all the time! In addition to the tranquility, beauty and general awesomeness that is the mountain, we also get a community. Everyone up there looks out for one another. Full-timers and part-timers. There are fishing trips and camping trips and the regular offer of “Hey I’m running into town – let me know if you need anything” just because you’re their neighbor.  This is a place where we can work and live and thrive.


The Plan: Build a homestead and small business (or businesses) that we can run from the mountain. Where we can grow our own food, raise our own animals, and live a more sustainable lifestyle.  There is still so much to be done. We have plans to make, buildings to build, money to save… it’s all coming together slowly but surely. We can’t wait to build our homestead, and share what we learn along the way with you!

Cheers to 2018, and making Dreams into Reality!

What are your plans for the New Year?

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for the synopsis Tiff! I need to put you in touch with a friend in MA who can help a LOT with your sustainability vision.
    Daniel ” Danny Dog” Botkin at Laughing Dog Farm in Gill, MA. He has mastered what you seek to do and mentors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tiffany says:

    Thanks Sean! I’ll see if I can find him online – we’re looking to learn from everyone who came before (but I’m sure we’ll still make mistakes along the way…)


  3. Susan Q says:

    You Go Girl !!! and, my son, Michael. Here’s to making your dreams a reality !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike says:

      Thanks mom, wouldnt be here without our families support!


  4. Tiffany says:

    Reblogged this on You, me and the dogs.


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