About A Song, And A Memory From Summer

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Music should be shared.
So should food.
And stories you make up with friends at dusk,
on forest green camping chairs,
wearing thick wool socks
you got at Christmas,
from Costco, and the Santa Claus who shops there.

Posted by : Coby Gerstner

An Interview with World Traveler Barrett Colvin.

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Barrett Colvin is not your average graphic designer. The former Neff and Beloved Shirts designer from Solvang, California recently took the time to talk about life, exploration and the pursuit of happiness.

Life on tour can be tough. You’re usually up and running by 8:00, working by 8:15, and don’t get any time to yourself until 8:00 PM. Then it’s bed by 12:00. Repeat. New city each day. The worst part about it? The standing

Standing from 8am to 7pm each work day. I’m used to sitting in front of a computer all day, designing at a desk. Standing in the hot sun all day was a big change to my work life.”

The best?

“Hanging with all the people on our bus (12 total). After a long work day, coming ‘home’ to a bus full of your best friends is really fun. Sharing stories and laughter with them is what really made the tour worth it for me.”

“I grew up spending each summer going to Warped Tour in Ventura, California. It was always a blast attending with my friends to watch all our favorite bands. I design for a good chunk of these bands that play the festival so I always wanted to set up my own tent and sell silly shirts. I didn’t get to sell my own garments this year but I think our booth was much more creative than I could have hoped for. it was a pretty special experience”

For Barrett, the warped tour is just a warmup to a much bigger tour. One around the world.

At first we wanted to buy a Round-The-World ticket but the more we thought about it, the less we wanted everything planned out. Instead we are booking a one-way flight to New Zealand. We will stay with a good friend there and then decide where we want to travel next. Wherever the wind takes us, that’s the plan. We might stumble across a beautiful island and stay there for months at a time. Other places we visit might not be as good. We may pick up and leave after a week. We are leaving it all open for discovery. We’ll bring one bag of clothes and computer. It will be life changing for sure!”

“’Routine is the enemy of time.’ This quote is huge to me. So many people get caught in the American dream and end up working a job they dislike in the same town for their whole life. Next thing they know, their sitting there wondering where all the time went with regrets on what the could have done. Asia and I want to experience the world, the cultures, the people. We want to do it all while we are young and free, before we settle down. I think it’s really important to jump out of your comfort zone, tackle something scary and new so you can grow and learn.”

And if your job can be done in New Zealand, or Thailand, or Iceland, why wouldn't you explore the world? Here's a look at Barrett's mobile office. Get a more in-depth view of his mobile setup here

None of that, though, would be possible with losing the financial baggage first. Just a year and a half ago, Barrett paid off the last of his student loans, and made the final payment on his car. It took a lot of work to get to that place.

“I read this book called “Total Money Makeover” a couple years back and it really kicked my butt into gear. My wife and I were sitting on school loans and new car payments. I decided to sleep less and work harder. To me it was worth it to work 15-18 hour days in order to get debt free. Took about a year and half to clear all the debt! Now we can focus on saving money for our future. It’s a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.”

Barrett and his wife Asia are currently in New Zealand. You can follow along on their adventures through Instagram, Snapchat [@barrettcolvin] or his blog
Posted by : Coby Gerstner

Calm Down

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To me, in 2016: Calm down. Try a deep breath. Your big nostrils can handle the excess oxygen. The world can handle the excess carbon dioxide. Be happy that where you are, there is bamboo on the windowsill. And carrot sticks in the kitchen at work every Monday. Be happy that there are people praying for you. And sending you things, likes texts, and letters, and little messages that say "hi" or "look at what I'm looking at, isn't it cool?". It's a Tuesday, in January, in 2016. Isn't that something to be excited about? Things work out. They always do.

Posted by : Coby Gerstner


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Goodbye, good year.
Goodbye, white rabbit, the car that carried me and my belongings to places like the Northern California coast, the one that I bought at a hole in the rock.
Goodbye, good grief, or the grief I had inside my spirit.
Goodbye, good neighbor. I ate peanut butter sandwiches at your kitchen table. I ate ripe red raspberries through your fence. I ate grapes out of overgrown bushes and sucked honey suckle in the summer. You explained things to me about engineering. I explained things to you about how computers can sometimes be stubborn, and need a restart. We talked about other things too. I believe you are with your wife. I think that makes you happy.
Goodbye, good things, and good people, and good places.
Thank you for being good to me.
Posted by : Coby Gerstner

December 1st.

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My neighbor died last week. He was 82. Still resolving to do all his yard work by himself. To him, if anybody else did it, he lost something. So he did it. And while he was doing it, he fell from his ladder and broke his hip. So he used the ladder as a crutch to get around. His kids told him to go to the hospital. He said he was fine, but he went away. He died there.

My dad sent out a text to tell my family, I was at lunch with my co-workers. I saw the text and started to cry, so I went to the bathroom to grieve. Just a few days before he died, Birk wrote me an email. He talked about how his Danish born grandmother used to make his favorite mincemeat pie and he encouraged me to keep working hard at my new job. I hadn't written him back yet. And now I couldn't. Which hurt. For all of my life, Birk had just been there. Next door, happy and working. Willing to swing open his door and invite me in to see his latest project.

I'm grateful to know that I'll see him again one day. And he'll be just as happy as he was when I saw him last.

Posted by : Coby Gerstner