From Argentina to Alaska and Back..

Tears welled in my eyes as Kobe explained why he didn’t want to go on our rambling road trip to Oregon. “This is the time of year when it’s hard to focus on school and it’s not relaxing for me when we travel without a clear map.”

A desperate and now unmet desire to feel wind in my face squelched a potentially proud parent moment that Kobe can so articulately stand up for what he wants – even now.

I had become so absorbed in being impressive, intuitive, efficient, and productive at work.  My back hurt constantly from tension. I snapped furiously at loved ones.  I spiraled into depression throughout the day. Multi-tasking, I answered my cell phone at the end of the work day without really listening to the caller and snapped at her too.

“This is Natalia from Warm Showers,” she repeated.

How embarrassing. How rude. I was hosting cyclists tonight. I gave Natalia the code to get inside and shut down the computer. I texted emails while driving and wrote down notes in my day planner for the next work day.

Jeff and I arrived at home to find Natalia and Christian waiting for us. We chatted briefly before I had to take Jeff to his dad’s house and then to get Kobe from soccer practice. They were from Patagonia, Argentina, and on the road for seven years. Seven years in gypsy lust?! Jeep and BJ arrived and so I asked them to entertain our guests until I could get back.

Sweet soul sister.  Within an hour, Natalia and I were communicating with a lift of an eyebrow and a half a sentence that the other would finish. Christian spoke with his hands and great big smiles. I began to relax after a few dips in the Jacuzzi and dinner at the Gypsy Den. Next morning, we shared yerba mate. I suggested they stay another night so my boys could hear their story.


Seven years ago Natalia and Christian left Ushuaia, Argentina the southernmost city in South America in a VW bus with the intention to reach Alaska. They zigzagged through Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, making and selling jewelry to fund their trip. In Venezuela, they sold the bus and sailed the Panama Canal. They bought bikes in Nicaragua and kept heading north. They hitch-hiked, took a train and a plane and finally, last fall, arrived in Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis.

On their journey they traveled into the mountains with a man and his burro to collect ice to make ice cream in the village. They learned how to make clay and turn it into pottery. Lost arts. Slow, methodical. Where there is no deadline, no rush.

They bestowed upon me lost truths: there is no problem once you find the solution, accept everyone without judgment – there are so many different ways of being and whatever you don’t like in another may simply be a mirror for what you haven’t accepted in yourself. Be adaptable. Remember you are free. Gypsy wind lives inside your heart and soul.


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