Chit Chats around a Housekeeper's Dinner Table


A wintry scene from the Kachina Peaks in Flagstaff this week

On this damp, warm night Austin and I went to have dinner with the couple whose house I am a property manager for. As some of you know, this is my main source of income, managing and cleaning their home in Sedona for Air Bnb guests when they aren’t living here. They are a Dutch couple who does the same work in Italy, both of them well traveled. I’ve been taking care of their house for a little over a year now, never actually meeting them in person. Housekeeping and management definitely has its ups and downs, but in the end, it turns out to be very worth it.


When we walked inside, the house was completely changed - new furniture, decorations everywhere, festivities for the holiday season lined the curtains. I felt right at home, and the couple felt like complete family to me! Like visiting old relatives I haven’t seen in years. Though we’ve never met in person, we definitely had our shared stories and experiences with their house - the broken septic tank, the stinky smell coming from the bathroom, the list of guest complaints that were imaginary, and very comical to say the least. We laughed about how the front door knob was basically falling off at one point because you had to pull the door shut to lock the deadbolt, causing the screws to come loose with no way to take the door knob off to tighten them. (Austin’s way of fixing things usually involved a short period of slamming something against it, to “bust is loose.”) I’m making this house sound worse than it actually is, but when you’re in the hospitality business, people will complain about the STUPIDEST things and anything to say the least. And for the people on the back end, it’s quite ridiculous and hilarious to see and experience… some people.


Now, our friends across the Atlantic only own one house. The house in Sedona. They too live for work exchange in Italy at a Bnb that they manage and clean, having a very simple life of few things and unlimited possibilities for traveling. I have a copy of my book Morning Motivations sitting on the welcome table in their house for the guests to read and the wife told me she especially loved my poems, because they were relatable. She specifically mentioned a poem about having less, here, I’ll share it with you again:


Friends Forever

We had our first snow yesterday, and I must say, it was magic that took my breath away

Like twinkles of a high note piano, crystals fell in a fiasco, into my soul

Friends forever, Sparky and Auggie, pranced in the field not the least groggy

Cheerfulness burst through the air, and suddenly I didn’t care

This life we live in, what does it matter? We’re always surrounded by mindless chatter.

But the snow, it knows, the real purpose

We’re here to spread cheer - to be artists, healers, musicians, and seers

If IT makes you sad, be glad, you found the thing to let go of

Cast it free, and you will see, life beyond the veil

The snow is magic, not tragic, embrace your inner calling

Friends forever, they will treasure, this simpler way of life


I wrote this poem about my dog Sparky and my mom’s dog Auggie while hiking in the snow on a frozen major river. In that moment, I realized that we are always told we need more, need to be more, (lol I accidentally typed in “bore”), need that big house, all the cars, the toys, material things. Our friend today told us we are wise, for choosing to go the way of having less stuff and having more life. She told of a story where she was engaged to a man in a tight family in Italy and felt off about it - got an adventure tour job over in Canada and met her current husband and the two of them lived in an RV and traveled all over North America for years together before buying their little house in Sedona. When she was in Canada, she had to call the folks back in Italy and tell them that she couldn’t do that life there. There was so much more to life than being sedentary and “stable.”


What does having a stable life mean anyways? In my experience, my life has never felt stable, but it has been quite exciting. I can plan for a “forever home,” but in actuality how many people actually stay in one place all their lives? Talking with our European friends tonight and hearing about their nomadic life reminded me of why I live the way I do. That having less is more, that spending time doing what you love rather than doing what others expect is so worth it, and that adventure is awesome and there’s no other way.


This is why I started Adventures Across. To inspire and share wisdom about these topics. Life is too precious to waste it doing anything you don’t want to do. So starting today, begin following your heart and do what it says. It’s the greatest compass of all.


Sending you lots of love!


Ashley


#minimalism #nomadiclifestyle #lessismore #experiencelife #morningmotivations

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