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  • Abbey Gordon

I am going on a trip...

It’s true, I have never written a blog before. In fact, for the past 20 years I have mostly done two types of writing: work emails and poems.

Two notes on my poems:

First note:

They started because a dear friend decided to make a zine, and I had a typewriter. So I decided to write a series of ridiculous poems for the zine. My proudest poem was this:

The luckiest rabbit got to keep his foot.

I thought it was hilarious---I’m not sure what other people thought. But what clicking away on the typewriter got me doing was writing poems. Now I mostly write them for valentines, wedding ceremonies, or just because I had an idea bouncing around my head on my morning run.

Second note:

My poems are not technically good. If you have a poetry degree, and know all about stanzas, and words, and grammar, all that other shit, you will think my poetry is trash. No big deal, I’m still going to write it.

So those are the two types of writing I have done (work emails and trash poems). So now I am gonna write a blog...why?

I’m starting a blog because I am going on a trip, and the trip has a plan, and I want to share what happens on the trip, and chronicle what the heck happens with the plan. But, before I jump into it, I need to get a few things out of the way:

Here is a list of some of the privilege I have (I know this list is actually much longer):

  1. I am white (and I look it)

  2. I am cisgendered

  3. I appear heterosexual

  4. I am able bodied

  5. I am youngish (37 at the moment)

  6. I have a college degree, and so do / did my parents

  7. I speak English

  8. I am a citizen of the United States

  9. I am married to a white, cisgendered man

  10. I have saved money

  11. I have never been home insecure

  12. I am married into a family that has financial resources

  13. I do not have children, nor do I want them

  14. I have access to health care

  15. I am able to receive unemployment

  16. I am in a loving and kind relationship

  17. I have held leadership roles in various companies

  18. I can easily find people who look like me represented in the outdoors industry (mostly because of this list)

Here is a small list of things about me that influence how I understand the world:

  1. I am a woman

  2. I am queer (because the whole “I married a man” thing, I have to tell you that I exclusively dated women for a decade---this is me desperately trying to get my queer street cred back)

  3. My husband is queer

  4. My parents got divorced when I was 10 years old

  5. My father is dead

  6. I have student loans

  7. I have been working since I was 11 years old

  8. I grew up without much money (at times we needed government assistance, and I only got to go to summer camp and band trips because of scholarships)

  9. I am seasonally affected (just ask anyone who has known me in a place where it rains)

  10. For the majority of my career I have been the only woman on leadership teams

Here is a small list of things that are essential parts of my personality:

  1. I rely on my sense of humor for everything

  2. I am both extremely sarcastic and extremely enthusiastic (sometimes it is hard to tell the difference...when that happens I am usually being enthusiastic)

  3. I love feelings

  4. I love therapy

  5. I cuss a lot

  6. I make art

  7. I aggressively love the desert

  8. I am security oriented, and safety minded (I wear my seat belt always)

  9. I love home and community

  10. I love adventure and freedom

  11. I love camping and being outside

  12. I believe in magic and science

  13. I run for fun and personality management

Now that that is out of the way, I can tell you about what this blog is. I started imagining this blog yesterday morning while running. I was thinking, we are going on this trip, and I think it would be pretty special to make art, take photos, and write things down to chronicle what happens.

This trip started two years ago when me and David (my dear husband who kicks so much ass) were sitting in bed on a weekend morning (we probably were drinking tea and covered in toast crumbs) and I said...what's our dream? What do we want to do? So we talked about it, and what we got was that mostly we wanted to be in a spot that felt like home, and we didn’t know where that was, and I wanted to make art. So we hatched a plan to eventually quit our jobs and look for home.

To explore all of our favorite places with the understanding that we could stop at any moment and put down roots. Where do we want to be? What do we want to do? Who will emerge from the journey? We gave the trip a name:

The Flight of the Osprey

Most of the places we want to go are casually on the Osprey’s migration route (Southwest, Mountain West, and Baja California), and flight always feels right. And art! I want to make art in all of the places we find ourselves. So we started saving as much money as we could. Our plan was to work for eight years, and then travel for one? Two?

Fast forward to 2020. I get laid off because of COVID-19. Our housing is provided by my job (I was an Outdoor Education school director), and there is no way we can afford to live in the Bay Area on an organic farmers income (that’s David’s job), and there are no jobs for me (It’s hard to find a job during COVID-19 in an industry that is all about bringing people together). So now is the time. The Flight of the Osprey is beginning. We are making plans, and I am writing a blog, and reaching out to as many places as possible to see if they want a series of drawings from the road.

We have a truck (Rosie) with a little camper (Charlie--female), a storage container in Salt Lake City, and yurt on the wind river in Wyoming to wait out the virus. And we leave eight weeks from today.

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