Well hello there.
Our blogs are officially up and running, and I finally have a chance to introduce myself as the third member of the YERT team. My name is Julie. I am an actor and singer by trade, married to Ben, and the female point of view of this trip. I have been blogging since March of this year and every day since we began our journey (save one night when I fell asleep before writing anything). So you can go to www.babystepstotheelevator.blogspot.com to catch up on what we have been encountering so far.
When Ben first asked me to consider our joining Mark on this venture, I said, “Uhhhh…no.” After all, our life was in NYC, I had my first Off-Bwy show and Ben appeared on the TV show 6 Degrees, we had 2 little cats we had rescued out of the backyard…but eventually, as Ben kept working with Mark long distance, I became less interested in auditioning and more interested in what how I might be able to help. One of the first things Ben and I shared with each other after we met was our love of nature and Planet Earth. So, after some serious soul searching (and finding a foster home for our cats!) I discovered that I could in fact take this giant leap of faith and exchange life as we knew it for life on the road, for a year, with a mission.
l first I worried about spending a year in a car with two boys…on a trip that I wasn’t sure would make any difference to anyone except us. I also feared my marriage dissolving under the microscope of super tight travel. But I put on my flipflops, packed a pretty small bag, and got in the car anyway.
I think i can safely say we will not be bored and will never suffer for lack of things to do. In fact, I am having a time just keeping up with recording what we have done so far, and it is only Day 8. I still hear nagging cynicism in my head but we are learning so much! Every day brings new discoveries about how Americans are dealing with the issues of sustainability and “green” living. And every day more and more people seem to be interested in environmental issues and implementing new ways of living that preserve their environment. I am feeling ever more confident that Americans are finding the paths to living together on this beautiful planet and saving it for all who come after us.
Because, in fact, we have done it before. My grandmother grew a garden in her backyard and canned everything for the winter. When I was growing up, we had a milkman come to our door and replace our empty bottles with fresh milk – and this was in the 80’s! And there are still people in America who remember a time when there was no garbage! Can you imagine? I can’t wait to talk to people who remember what that was like, and see if they can’t help us get back to a place where simplicity, resourcefulness, patience, hard work, sacrifice, and care were considered a worth and dignified way of life.
Convenience and immediate gratification seem to be rules of America’s game and waste and pollution and disease the unfortunate outcome, but I like to think that we are on a path back to authenticity, and I hope that our trip may uncover solutions, soften some hearts and open some minds (including our own) along the way. Please join us on our travels and send us your thoughts, ideas, advice, links to anything you think America should see or know about so that we can share it online. We look forward to hearing from you, America!
Yours in YERT,