The 23 Feet tour has come to a close…
After four months on the road, we wrapped things up in Portland last week. Closing off a downtown block outside of the Lizard Lounge, the Airstream was surrounded by cobblestone streets and tall buildings. But the urban setting wasn’t the only thing making this show unique from the others we did this summer. We were home!
Peter Murray of John Heart Jackie started things off by playing an acoustic set as people settled in. Pizza was being sold from a food cart and we had a few Widmer kegs for folks to enjoy. After Peter’s set, we played The Love Letter by Fitz and Becca Cahal. Followed by that was 23 Feet. We were finally screening it on our home turf.
Home has become a much talked about topic for Allie and me. We’ve come up with all kinds of answers to the question Where are you two from? Pointing to the Airstream we’ll say excitedly, Right here! Or looking at each other, we’ll simply shrug our shoulders and say, Well, we’ve got a PO box in Portland? That one tends to sound more like a question as if we’re asking if it’s an acceptable answer.
Where is “home” when you live your life on the road?
Well, I believe it is the people that enter our lives, and the community we create along the way that define the word “home” for us. Allie was interviewed on the Dirtbag Diaries earlier this summer, and her words echo in my head everyday… “A life of travel isn’t about being alone, and a life of community isn’t about staying in the same place forever. If you really believe in travel, it doesn’t mean you can’t have community.”
Before this summer spent in the Airstream, I thought that it would be impossible to balance the two most important things in my life – travel and home. It seemed like an oxymoron to blend the two as one. But I was wrong. Incredibly wrong. So many amazing people came into our lives these past few months! New faces and old friends alike, we felt so lucky to be surrounded by inspiring and creative souls. Many of these people are living similar lives as us – on the road. They are living between the lines… a tricky place to form solid friendships, I had once thought.
But again, I was wrong about that. Conversations under dark starry skies by river banks in Yosemite, climbing and hiking with new friends, staying up all night on a weekday when the rest of world is sleeping just because you want to know someone a little better, skipping over rocks and fallen logs with grinning faces, strangers opening up their homes to a couple of road weary girls, people coming up to us after a show to share a story from their dirtbagging days… this is the stuff friendships are made of, proving that home can most definitely be found when you’re on the move!
That said, the final screening in Portland did indeed feel like a homecoming. We started our journey there, and we made it back. Looking out in the crowd was that blend of home and travel that I never thought was possible. I saw some of my closest friends looking up at me, proud of what we had accomplished. But there were also new faces excited for Allie and me, each with their own unique story. They had come out to see the film, be it their interest in the Airstream theater or that they were living similar lives as those in the film. Whatever their reason for being there, it was a reminder to us that there is a big, huge world out there to see and experience with many friendships and communities to be made along the way. Between our families and oldest friends that remind us of where we come from, and the new friends and communities we make along the way, home can be found wherever you are.
Thank you so much to each and every person who made this tour possible! We had incredible sponsors who believed in Allie’s dream of showing the film off the side of the Airstream – Osprey Packs, Horny Toad, Alite Designs, Sterling Rope, and Nemo Equipment. Our Kickstarter backers – Allie and I will never fully understand the success of that. So many people who we still have yet to meet supported the tour by backing us online, and for that we are truly grateful! To our friends and family, you know you rock! Our new friends that we met this summer – thank you for inspiring us with amazing conversations and stories. Thank you all of you who opened up you homes, parking strips, and bathrooms to a couple of gals on the road! And thank you to all of you who came up and talked to us after the film! We heard a lot of incredible stories along the way that the film only touches on. You inspire us! Keep on keepin on!