Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Come Along!

Welcome, Y'all.  Perhaps you were directed here from our NativeDave.com blog (http://nativerave.blogspot.com/) or Christy's Writerlust (http://christyilfrey.blogspot.com/).  Maybe you are a Facebook friend, or a personal friend or family member.  No matter how you heard about it, we invite you share our journey with us.  We have been documenting our preparations on the writerlust blog.  As our departure date (September 7th, 2010) draws near, we will be using the 4x4 El Valor blog more.  For information about our sustainable landscape design and consultation services, meeting schedule, speaking engagements, native plants, and more, please click on the nativerave link above.  For musings about green living, parenting, writing and Christy's other interests, please go to the writerlust blog; the link is included at the top of this post.  Sometimes our three blogs will overlap, which is to be expected as we will live.work.travel together in a very small space.

Come along as we transition to a self-contained, completely mobile lifestyle.  See the world as we see it.  Ride along in our 2001 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel truck.  Living and working, and raising our 2-year-old daughter and aging Terrier, in a 1984 Valor slide-in truck camper should make for interesting stories.  We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures and will share the link to our blogs with everyone you know.  :)

So why are we doing this?  We always dreamed of living, working, traveling and raising a family together.  Our dreams have become reality.  Our business has changed significantly since its "birth" in 2001.  In the beginning we designed, consulted about, installed and maintained all of our projects, and still found time for speaking engagements and writing projects.  Our company grew steadily over the next few years.  By the end of 2006, we had decided to phase out installation and maintenance services.  We met Keith Pulliam of Appealing Gardens Landscapes (http://www.agscapes.com/) and felt immediately he would be a great contractor for our clients.  And we were absolutely right!

Since the beginning of 2007 we have focused on design, consultation, speaking and writing projects.  We are at our best when we are sharing our education, experience, expertise and ENTHUSIASM for native plants and sustainable landscaping and living.  In other words, we are most fulfilled when we are making positive changes in our community.

After the birth of our daughter, NativeDave.com morphed again.  We scaled back our workload initially because we both wanted to experience those precious early moments of her life...together.  As she has grown and become more mobile -- and unmistakably independent -- we have taken on a greater number of projects.  To keep pace with her and our clients, as well as carve more time for our individual creative pursuits, we are choosing to further commit to our mission to conserve, preserve, restore and celebrate natural and human-centric resources (e.g. time and money.)  Our family and business, therefore, will live.work.travel together in a tiny space beginning September 7th.

To understand what this adventure will be, it is important to note what it will NOT be.  First, this is not a walkabout, as the Australians call it.  Although we confess to suffering a bit from wanderlust, this will not be an aimless journey.  We have a very specific goal: to spend as much time together as possible.  But, and this brings up a second point, we are not independently wealthy.  Unlike a lot of "full-timers", we do not have an expensive rig or retirement pension.  We are working people with a passion for changing the world.  To feel fulfilled, we prefer to continue our work through NativeDave.com.  We need to reach as many people as possible, traveling often.  Instead of frequently packing and unpacking suitcases, or one of us traveling and leaving the others behind, we will be taking our home and office with us.  Everywhere.  Being completely mobile will allow us to expand our Austin area market and begin working in San Antonio, Houston and West Texas. 

Being mobile also allows us to live wherever we want without giving up our business.  We love the beach.  For the past two years, we have been living in Corpus Christi on N. Padre Island and commuting to Dallas-Ft. Worth periodically.  Most of our projects are done completely online, but some clients prefer to meet in-person.  Now that we are expanding into other markets, this will mean a lot of traveling during spring and fall.  Choosing to be mobile will allow us to embrace these opportunities without spending so much time apart.  Also, exploration of new places is a great way to teach our wise little wildflower about the world.    This "world" will include botanical gardens, butterfly houses, green businesses, kid- and dog-friendly activities, and much, much more. We hope you will enjoy traveling with us as we focus on life's simple pleasures.

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