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brandodouglasoberg Archive

Wednesday

19

October 2016

2

COMMENTS

Traveling with Brando

Written by , Posted in Dog, Pets, Thoughts, Travel

superiorpanortI could learn a lot from my dog. All he needs in life is food, water, and to be with us. If he has those three things, he’s good.

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Brando does travel right. He’s always super excited to get wherever we’re going. He doesn’t know the itinerary, but he’s pumped. He can’t wait to have his seatbelt unhooked so he can jump out of the car. He will run around, smelling everything possible. He just wants to experience it all. He’s the best at taking it all in. His main source for information is smell, but we will also catch him staring off into the distance, watching a new animal, eyeing the strangers.rbcar

When we decided to take this trip, there wasn’t any discussion about whether or not Brando, our 8 year old puppy, would come with us. He’s a part of the family. When figuring out what we’d bring on the trip, we paired down quite a bit because we knew he would take up three quarters of the back seat. He’s the best little companion. We couldn’t leave him behind.

He knows the word “car”. He gets really excited about it. He can’t wait to jump in. He’s content to sit and look out the window, but mostly he gets comfy and snoozes while we drive. If we’re eating something delicious he might open his eyes to see if there’s a taste for him. There usually is.

Along the way he’s been loved on by so many. Some, he could have done without (sorry, Harrison, he was only tolerating your holding his tail hostage). Others he couldn’t get enough of (he whined anytime he was indoors and my dad would walk by). He’s a good little friend.

A few things that we brought to make his travel more enjoyable:

A comfortable bed – The backseat of the car is comfy, but we wanted him to have a semblance of his own space. We wanted him to have something familiar in the midst of all the new places. We bought a new bed for the trip, so we weren’t taking his smelly old bed along to stink up the car. The bed is a bit small for a dog his size, but it fits perfectly in the backseat, and he curls up nicely on it.

Plenty of food – Brando doesn’t eat a lot when he’s in a new situation. We brought along part of a big bag of food. For the first two weeks he ate very little. We were with so many people (and many kiddos) and he was just nervous all the time. Once we settled at my parents’ place for a couple weeks he relaxed and ate like normal.

Personal Care Items – Our dog sheds a lot. All year long. It’s never ending. I can’t count the number of times we’ve apologized to people we stayed with because we knew how much fur Brando would be leaving behind. We brought along a fine tooth brush, to help a bit. And then the rest of his toiletries – poop bags (don’t count on rest areas to have them), flea meds (because we don’t want to bring any critters into anyone’s home, or into our car), and treats and toys (for when he’s finally relaxed enough to enjoy himself).

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In L.A. Brando is an indoor dog. We have a small yard that we spend time in, but nowhere he can really run, explore, and play. After spending time in the Ontario countryside, and then the northern woods of Minnesota, he may be ruined forever… Tim and I might be too.

Thursday

29

September 2016

3

COMMENTS

Three Weeks In

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

flowersWe’re three and a half weeks in. We’ve seen, hung out with, or stayed with 81 people. Some just for a few minutes, others for weeks. I got 100% introvert on the Myers Briggs personality quiz. I love to spend time with people. But, it drains me. It’s taken a week and a half to recover from the first two weeks.

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I’m also a homebody. Our life is small, but special. I cherish close friendships and our values are family and community centered. I love routine, order, and organization. Living out of a suitcase, waking up in not my bed, and being around people 24/7 is out of my comfort zone. But, in spite of all this, I’m loving our adventure. In fact, I might like adventure in general a bit more than I thought I did.

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When Tim quit his job last year, it really rocked my world. I hated the idea of being without a good, steady income. I didn’t think life could be done well without it. That may have just been the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Because here we are a year and a half later and we’re back to full time freelance (a.k.a. unemployed). And I’m not freaking out. We’re staying with strangers and people we haven’t seen in years (and family, of course). It hasn’t phased me. We don’t know what’s next… And I kinda life it. My world has been turned a bit upside down. Things feel fresh and new.

As I write that, I’m looking at my backpack from grade 7 or 8. It has silly faces, flowers, and peace signs all over it in puffy paint (and thankfully no declarations of love!). I’m at my parents’ house, in the province I grew up in, surrounded by things of my childhood. It’s interesting how the new can mix so well with the old.

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Part of the purpose of this trip is to figure out the where. Where do we want to be… Or at least begin to get some ideas. As we’ve traveled through or talked about places we’ve lived I’ve realized that I hesitate more when we’re talking about a place from the past (not like time travel, sorry Babe). It struck me the other day that this stems from feeling like I’d be moving backwards rather than forward if we went back to one of those places. I can’t put my finger on why. The desire for new adventure perhaps? Or maybe it’s just the painful memories that lurk. Sometimes the moments of pain seem to overshadow the years of good.

There are a couple places in particular that do that to me. In spite of many great experiences, there’s was lot of pain left behind. Driving through one place in particular I noticed that a lot of it came back to me. Not raw or even painful anymore. Just things that happened once that weren’t all that nice. And it holds me back. But, couldn’t new memories be made to overwrite the painful ones?

There’s definitely a place for the past as we learn, grow, and change. But, as we become who we are, there are some places that are best left behind, their work done, their doors best left closed… at least for now.

Wednesday

21

September 2016

0

COMMENTS

Oberg and the Search for Obergness

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

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We packed the dog, some food, and a few other essentials into the car and headed out. Tim and I have never done a trip like this together. Our longest trip was three weeks in Paris. Now we’re two weeks and five days into an eight week trip.

It was not quite the departure I’d hoped for. We left later in the day than we’d planned. I forgot to look at our little house one last time as we were driving away. I was too busy Instagramming the departure instead. Dumb. We spent an hour and a half trying to get out of LA. The dog couldn’t get comfortable and sat awkwardly for the first two hours. At that point, about three hours in, I wondered if the trip was a really bad idea. But then the dog finally laid down, we got out of LA, and I was able to relax a bit. Tim reminded me that he’s thankful that our car is in pretty good shape, that we and the dog are healthy-ish, and that we have this time, he, dog, and I together.

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We traveled to the Grand Canyon first. I’d never been. It’s one of the few things in life that is said to not disappoint. Truth. It’s pretty amazing. And was a good reminder to me that it’s not just about the destination, but the journey we take to get there. I’ve always been a “let’s just get there” person. Not the best attitude to have. There’s a lot to see along the way. We’re gonna try to be more intentional about enjoying it.

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Youguys, we’re really learning a lot on this trip. As we travel through and spend time with people we’re figuring out or just remembering some of the things we want to make priorities. Our core values. What’s important in a living situation. We’re remembering to laugh a little more. To be ok when lunch is eaten in the car because we have a twelve and a half hour drive ahead of us, and it’s torn chunks of sourdough bread with sweaty cheese and warm carrots. We’re appreciating the space we’re finding ourselves in. There’s so much vast, empty space in the US and Canada. After six years in LA it’s refreshing. Part of the purpose of this journey is to do a bit of soul-searching. We want to be intentional about where we live and what we do. If that’s LA, fine. But we want to decide to be there. With all that has changed for us over the past two years, we thought it would be a good idea to take a step back while we make some decisions. They may take us elsewhere. They may lead us back to where we started. We don’t know yet.

We’re taking submissions, petitions, and bribes for where we should live and why. So far our trip has included a stay in Dewey and a stop at the Grand Canyon in Arizona (YOUGUYS they have no rails – I was nervous the entire time!). We drove through New Mexico and stayed for night in Ruidoso. We spent a few days in Texas in Lubbock, Comfort, and Bulverde. Friends in Abbeville, LA hosted us for the night, and we drove through New Orleans on our way to Georgia. We stopped in Atlanta, GA for not even 12 hours, but left feeling refreshed none-the-less. We drove straight from Atlanta to West Philadelphia (and I had the song from Fresh Prince in my head for two full days). That was our longest driving day to date. Then we made it to Massachusetts where we stopped for a few days and spent time in Cambridge, Boston (Red Sox!!), and Middleton. Now we’ve crossed the border and are in Ontario (Canada) for a bit.

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We’ve stayed with the kindest, most generous people. We have been gone for nineteen days and have yet to camp or stay in a hotel. We have hardly had to dig into the food that we brought (with the exception of the eight bags of potato chips that I bought while starving at the grocery store prior to the trip). We’ve usually snacked in the car for lunch and dinner after having been fed delicious breakfasts before we take off in the morning. We’ve been pretty spoiled. And it’s not just the food. The company has been tremendous. We’ve reconnected with family and friends that we see much too infrequently. Every place we stop is so much more difficult to leave than I would have anticipated. If we’d just had these two and a half weeks, the trip would have been more than adequate. It would have been amazing.

It feels so very natural to be doing this. Before we left it seemed like an impossible idea. We had to find someone willing to sublet our house. Not an easy task. One that almost kept the trip a dream. We’ve been wanting to go to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play for nine years. That finally became a reality. As we walked around the corner from the “T” and saw Fenway for the first time I had the same feeling of awe and excitement that I did when we were in Paris and I saw the Eiffel Tower. We’re a baseball loving family, so this was the perfect place to begin to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.

This trip is so many things to us. Celebration of ten years, quest for direction, and enjoying time together. And it’s been lovely. Just lovely.

fenwaysunsetI’ll be back again with more stories from our eight week adventure.