I met Adam the day my brother died. Life doesn’t usually throw so many pivotal events into eight hours, but for me it did. Adam will never know my brother beyond pictures, and my brother will never know I met someone that I fell in love with and married. And that he came with a great dog.

We met and dated on Martha’s Vineyard, spending free time photographing and walking the harbors, dreaming of the places we could go if one of those boats were ours. We thought that was what life held in store. We’d graduate, get jobs, set aside some money, and take off with Sparky in tow.

Only it is never that simple, is it?

Maybe it would have been if we’d taken off running then. Only we didn’t. I was working on my Masters and Adam his Bachelors. To save rent, we bought a foreclosed house and sold it when I got a great job. But money didn’t keep up with the paychecks enough for us to get ahead and as we moved and moved again. We downsized, paid off bills, planned our escape, and kept working.

2015 marks fifteen years we’ve been together. We’ve had great adventures, but never THE adventure. Now Sparky is gone, our little dragon that sparked so many of our dreams. We waited too long.

Up until a few weeks ago, the plan was that we’d have everything paid off in two years plus some money in the bank. We would own the little off grid house we built together and use it as a base to return to (and store our things) when we weren’t traveling. Otherwise, we’d be wandering toward the horizon.

But something happened while we were away on vacation in Alaska. It wasn’t that we realized we had no interest in going home – that has been a common feeling on any vacation the last decade. And it wasn’t the realization that we’ve always had a goal set just a few years down the line – one that kept being pushed a few years down the line. We realized that problem a few years ago.

Rather, for me, it was waking up and knowing the time was now. It had to be now. It needs to be this fall or at the latest next spring. I feel like I’ve stepped into a new phase and that moment I’d been waiting for is here. And I have to go. And I’ll sell everything that I’ve carted with me and held dear, except Adam and the dogs, to do it.

All I want is an endless horizon with Adam by my side and the dogs sniffing the wind, a laptop to write on, a good camera for Adam, and the freedom to fill everyday with adventure.



I am Autumn Birt, a writer and artist with mischievous tendencies. I love the outdoors, which I blame on my parents for having named me Autumn! I do most of the writing and editing here. To check out my books, go to my website at www.AutumnWriting.com. You can connect with me on Twitter where I am known as weifarer and on Facebook.

I love to say high to people, so drop me a line anytime. And I won’t be offended if the your questions are really for the dogs. I’ll be happy to translate. 😉






Raven with raven

I am Adam Paul, a photographer and Maine Wilderness Guide. I love the outdoors and get along with wildlife more than most people. But if you speak softly and don’t make sudden movements, I might stick around long enough to answer questions. The mechanic (often unwillingly) and photographer (gladly) of most of our expeditions, you can also find me on my photography website at www.theRavenGallery.com on Facebook and on Twitter.






2 Responses

  1. Christopher F Foster

    Dear Autumn and Adam,

    Y’all are awesome! This is the first time EVER in my life that I’ve responded to a blog. Your story moves me, and it even makes me want to sell my car, shed my brick home, and do some of the things you two are doing with your lives!

    I am an editor and writer at a company called RealPage in Richardson, Texas, just north of Dallas. I worked as a freelance journalist for 25 years, much of it overseas in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. As for America, I’ve always lived in Texas except for a few semesters at an intensive language program (Japanese) at Middlebury College in Vermont. I returned to America shortly after the century turned –close to the time y’all met, in fact!–and continued to write freelance and occasionally sell photos. Last year the company I now work for wanted someone with experience in editing and quick-research-and-writing, made me an offer and, having just turned 50, I thought, “Why not? I haven’t worked in a company since I was 24!” It was a sort of reverse mid-life crisis, perhaps.

    Although I still want to live in a yurt–not just rent one for a few days–or even better: build an off-grid home, I am content and enjoy contributing to a small ‘creative hub’ that exists here in the middle of software designers and real estate planners. I work with a small team of 3D graphic artists, photographers, and writers, and we produce the material that is NOT strictly property-management software and multi-family home planning. It’s a little dreamy: I feel like I have one foot in muddy, messy creativity and the other in a world that is changing fast and quickly becoming something detached from the human-to-human connection it once was . . . Hopefully it won’t stretch too far while I’m still here and split me in half 😉

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about your lives and your dogs and, best of all, learning there are people like you still out there in the world, doing what you want to do (mainly!), keeping in touch with nature, each other, and your fellow beings, and above all riding out the storms life brings and trying to see it all as an adventure rather than a burden.

    If you are ever in North Texas, please do get in touch (or even if you’re NOT in North Texas!), and let me take you for coffee or barbecue or perhaps some really fine south-side Mexican tacos. 🙂

    • Hi Chris!

      Thank you for the kind words and stopping by, especially today. See today we are selling our off grid cabin and, oh man, it hurts! If I could wrap it up and put it in my pocket, or capture all the love we’ve put into it and it holds … but you can’t, can you? This is the sad part of adventure, when you step off into the unknown and leave behind the known, the cherished as well as the things you are so happy to leave behind. So your words reminding me to see this as an adventure, something we chose, rather than a regret really helps today. Thank you.

      East Texas, hmmmm? Would you believe I’m a Texan by birth (west Texas)? Our plans are up in the air right now. A bit of time with both of our folks and come January the planner is a blank slate. I’m starting to think out west, but we could take a southern route to get there possible. 😉 I’ll let you know! Some good Mexican sounds awesome (I’m a sopapilla addict in the worse way). Your life sounds so interesting too! Japan and Thailand are two countries on my list.

      Now that the tough part is just behind us (packing and selling a house you built by hand), I’m hoping to have more time to invest back in this blog. So more stories coming soon. I’ll hope you stop back by and, who knows, maybe we’ll take you up on the coffee in a few months!

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