I used to think I was an environmentally friendly person. Now, I realize I’m a total slacker.

I’ve long practiced “reduce, reuse, recycle” habits. I try not to use plastic if I can avoid it, conserve water and paper and electricity in dozen of ways. This is nothing compared to what Earthship dwellers are doing. These people and their houses are a showcase to next-level sustainable living enthusiasm. But they’re also probably a little “out there.”

Photo by Rene Cizio

What’s an Earthship?

In brief, an Earthship is a type of passive sustainable housing. They’re also called “solar earth shelters,” and they’re predominately made of natural and upcycled materials. They’re also creative art projects. Earthships can support life completely off the grid. …

A year ago, I met a woman who believed in aliens, and she passed some of that on to me.

Photo by Rene Cizio

As I drove up the hill in Roswell, New Mexico, its dirt was the color of red velvet cake and I marveled at that for awhile. When I looked up what I saw in front of me stopped me in my tracks.

It had been raining as I drove from Carlsbad to Roswell, an impressive feat for New Mexico, which had been desperate for water. The roof vent in my van ceiling was leaking. Despite more than a month on the road, it was the first rain I’d seen.

It was distracting. The leak, obviously, and the rain itself. As…

Travel. Outdoors. USA. Big Bend National Park.

You won’t find many other people, or amenities, or the bustle of life that we American’s are so accustomed

Photo by Rene Cizio

Big Bend National Park stands alone in a nation of parks. Its remote desolation makes it one of the least visited parks in the United States. That also makes it one of the rarest experiences you can have in nature — solitude, you, and the Earth.

If you’re lucky, you’ll see a red snake slither by, a roadrunner dash across your path, or a coyote prowl the landscape. Wild horses and free-roaming longhorn cattle might amble past.

You’ll find cactus blooms of many varieties bursting with color and other plants you’ve never seen before. Hawks circle overhead.

What you won’t…

Turns out Thoreau was much heartier than I gave him credit for. But I wonder if he’d have stayed? Would you?

Photo of San Antonio cabin by Rene Cizio

I stayed in a one-room cabin in a lovely, wooded area in San Antonio for two weeks; then, the cankerworms chased me out. I was supposed to stay for the month. Looking back now, I wonder if I was too picky, sensitive, or ridiculous. Maybe the worms were worse in my mind than actuality?

Tell me what you think.

The Cabin

I’d been staying in a cabin for two weeks, and it was going perfectly. The cabin was lovely, the hosts, who live in a house on the property, were wonderful. Deer frolicked among the living Oak trees. There were four friendly…

It involves an egg and willing suspension of disbelief

Photo by the author

On the way to the shaman, our truck squeezed deeper into the white-washed jungle down a twisting path I’d never be able to find again. The lightly used dirt roads were narrow and unmarked, but Joanne seemed to know her way; at least, I hoped she did.

The white, mildew-covered trees created a surreal otherworldly entrance to the place where the shaman lived. Where, unbeknownst to me, I’d come face to face with exactly the thing I’d been avoiding.

How I Got Here

I took the trip to Tulum, Mexico, to do yoga, relax in a hammock with green juice, and read paperback novels…

It didn’t feel limiting, it felt like freedom

All photos by the author

If you had asked me 20 years how I’d feel sleeping in a van, I’d have dismissed you out of hand. Back then, I needed luxury. That meant lots of plush things—also, a margarita and a view.

Now though, my ideas about luxury and comfort are much different. “Things” no longer affect me the same way. Now, my luxury and comfort come from owning my life. It comes from freedom. (I’ll still take the margarita, thank you).

So, I bought a van, I’m earning money online, and I’m trying to see the United States.

The first leg of my journey…

A weekend getaway takes a turn for the worse and then an unexpected revelation about life, death and love ever after

Photo of Lake Superior in Michigan, by the author

This doesn’t bode well; it has the makings of an omen, I thought as I gripped the steering wheel of my damaged rental car and squinted into the fading light.

No, don’t think omen, my God, how dreadful, I chastised myself. But, but … three things in row … in one day … stop it. Now, here, alone in the darkening woods, is not the time. I pressed the gas pedal and forged ahead.

Twelve hours earlier, the day and my mood had started as sunny, warm, and idyllic until, just hours into my journey, both began spiraling into darkness.

Thanks, Eryn. Keep going! I wanted to stop so many times because I was so "bad" at it, but if you're trying, you're doing good - in all regards.

Three reasons your content is 100% unique

Photo by Tanya Trofymchuk on Unsplash

One of my friends, who is not a writer, wants to start writing about relationships. She’s had many interesting experiences and has a lot of wisdom to share. But she struggles to begin because she feels it has all been said before — and she’s right. It has all been said before — but not by her.

If there’s anything we can all agree on, it’s that everything has been written a million times before. Every creator, I think, has felt this way. I’m sure Claude Monet thought it as he began to paint Water Lilies. Surely, someone had painted…

Rene Cizio

Adventure, travel, wellness and the joy of satisfying curiosity one experience at a time. www.MiddleJourney.com

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