Hi. We’re a family of three from San Diego. Our journey to the Shire included nine days of driving and four years of planning. There’s been a lot of healing along the way, and I’m happy to say we are in a good place. I mean: It’s almost September, winter is around the corner, and we live in a trailer…and we’re happy!
And YOU are going to be moving to New Hampshire soon, so there’s no better place for us than here, waiting to welcome you as we were welcomed. That’s right! Moving means friends and strangers waiting to welcome you! I (Patrick) have been telling people there is no better way to do it. So here’s my story about making the move.
In 2014 my friend Robin and I visited for PorcFest. After a few intense days spent camped out in the valley, there at the Satoshi Saloon, I looked out at the White Mountains and wept – overwhelmed with feelings of hope.
The following year my wife and I started running what-if scenarios. We’d been working at our family’s roofing company for eight years. We enjoyed the work and had an opportunity to buy a productive company, but our discussions ultimately led to our retirement. We prepared the business and hired out our responsibilities, while selling most everything we owned and putting our house on the market. However, we hadn’t decided to move to New Hampshire at all.
When we first asked “what if we changed everything,” it wasn’t out of a desire to move to New Hampshire. We had reasons to leave, places and ideas we wanted to explore, and ultimately, the security and resolve for a momentous change. We decided to move to León, Nicaragua. We weren’t even sure the Shire was our second choice. So we set off on a year-and-a-half adventure to explore the world and find out.
We started with an epic, five-month, tent-camping road trip that included a two-week tour of the Shire. Ultimately, we decided New Hampshire would be plan B. Our plan A wasn’t much of a plan yet; at that point we had ‘fly to Nicaragua, make money.’ During the road trip I participated in Ernie’s dome build (at JackFest). Studying domes led to studying masonry, which led to a business plan to produce compressed earth blocks in Nicaragua. I only mention that connection because the business idea was exciting and needed, but the spark came from a hippie dome-build. We had a plan A! We enjoyed living in León, and the plan was coming along, but we decided a successful business in Nica wouldn’t afford us the lifestyle we wanted. We set a new direction… Shirebound!
We bought an RV trailer, loaded it up with our worldly possessions, and started our trip here. We were homeward bound and it felt good. We landed just in time for PorcFest. The New England summer and campground life have been a joy. Life stuff is coming along. The community is great! And no, we do not intend to winter in an RV.
Our journey may sound crazy, but I assure you we are not. I’m happy to be here in the Shire today, to spread the message of individual liberty, and build a better tomorrow.
This post originally appeared on the Free State Project’s Mover Stories blog on August 25th, 2017