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A Day in the Azores

I'm not generally the easiest person to wake up in the morning, but on port days on cruises, I'm up before the old people. It helps to have free access to the best alarm clock invented-- free scheduled room service. Such was the case today, when our ship stopped in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores. I've wanted to go to the Azores for years, ever since a guy named Eric Bomblatus, whose family is from there, told us about how beautiful it was. Sometimes all it takes is planting that seed.

At eight a.m. sharp we were off the boat and walking down the cool sunny streets of the city. I remarked that I wished I had a motorcycle to explore the island with. Ten minutes later we passed a motorcycle rental place. Prices were checked, found to be reasonable, and a plan practically wrote itself.

Between the five of us (Todd, Ben, Carl, Christophe, and me) we rented every motorized vehicle they had left. We got a 650cc motorcycle, a 125cc motorcycle, two quads, and a 125cc scooter. A mother-daughter duo we had befriended on the ship stopped to say hi, and were added to our party as passengers. Driving down the street, we looked like a post-apocalyptic gang.

Choosing To Live In A Small Space

On True North

I can't say that I ever made a conscious decision to live in a small space. I did however, have a great desire to simplify life down to the things that mattered most to me, experiences and relationships; and also find a greater degree of freedom. Couple that with actually digging myself out of a mountain of debt while chasing the american dream, well, as I often say: Experience is the best teacher.

One of the questions I had to ask was, "is it going to be a house or a boat? It certainly can't be both!" This is not the 1980's anymore folks. Or even the early 21st century, where credit was freely available and we were able to live way beyond our means to falsely convey a facade of "wealth". Let me digress for a moment. If you were a child of the 1980's, or even parts of the 90's, it's likely that your childhood was a lie. Yep, I said it.

Everywhere, small homes and cottages, were being razed for McMansions in horribly planned unsustainable communities all over the US. New financial instruments were being created to allow families to take 2nd or even 3rd mortgages out against their existing homes to finance vacations, pools, furniture, electronics, cars..etc. Life was good; we had become full-on consumers. None of it was real though. It was an orgy of easy credit gone wild. Eventually, reality has a funny way of slapping you right in the face, as a lot of people found out in 2007. It was common knowledge that home prices only went one way, up!? That is, until they didn't.

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