Reflections From The Road: Months 7-9

As I looked back through our blog to get a sense of what our life has been like in months 7-9 on the road…I am overwhelmed with emotion. I am in awe of how many places we’ve been, how many amazing people we’ve met, and the sheer joy of it all. We are so grateful for every day that God allows us to keep going on this journey.

Right now I am sitting at the dinette in the RV. We’re parked for the night in Penngrove, CA at a small park. The only sound is the soft hum of my computer fan and the tapping of my fingers on the keys. Outside…it’s completely quiet as the fog rolls in off the ocean. There is a chill in the air even though it’s almost June. Inside…Bella is sound asleep on the couch. She was determined to go to sleep there “all by herself” tonight…and she did. :) Matt is asleep in the back. Life is good. We have food. We have grease. We have faith. We have freedom. We have each other. Ahhhhhh…. :)

Here are some thoughts from these last couple of months…

Raw on the Road
We’ve been eating primarily raw foods for going on 5 months now…and we feel great! Matt just recently bought some new jeans because he has lost 40 lbs! He went from a tight 38 to a loose 34 in about 2 months. Eating is a joyful thing around here…there are no feelings of restriction or rules. A typical day for me might look like this (Matt eats the same, just more):

8:30am Green smoothie [banana/pineapple/mango/spirulina/hemp seeds/spinach]
10:30am Big bowl of strawberries
12:30pm Kale Avocado Salad
3:30pm Peaches (2 or 3)
6:30pm Walnut Meat Tacos
8:00pm Watermelon (lots!)
9:30pm Pot of hot herbal tea

I may occasionally throw in some other yummy snacks…like a handful of raisins or some Manna bread smeared with raw almond butter and creamed honey. We like to keep it simple…if I can make it in under 10 minutes, I’m happy :) The West coast is PACKED with amazing raw food restaurants and we’ve been trying them all! I’ll be posting photos and reviews at Happy Foody soon. Yum yum!

Beaches and Being Outside
We’ve been spending a lot of time outside and it’s so good for the soul. There is just something living in the RV that makes the outdoors feel so much closer. It seems much more accessible…a shorter walk to the door maybe? :) I love to make lunch and immediately walk outside to eat it…whether it be at a picnic table or just on the curb. The beaches have been so soothing. Siesta Key was beyond beautiful. San Diego…wow. Malibu…double wow. And then there was Carpinteria…probably my favorite beach so far. For someone who hadn’t really seen the ocean much before this tour…I’m getting my fair share of delicious sand and sunsets. Bella LOVES the sand. It’s safe to say that she will be a water girl…and will take after her daddy. He’ll probably have her wakeboarding by the time she’s 5. I am much more comfortable on land, however…but I enjoy watching them run around like crazy people.

We have had the opportunity to experience so many unique and vibrant churches during our trek across the south. Big churches. Small churches. House churches. It’s also encouraging to see the church as a whole start to concern themselves more with environmental issues. There is a lot of education going on in the local church…about how we can take better care of creation and in turn, take better care of God’s people as well.

Feels Like Home
We’ve enjoyed a lot of family time on this leg of the tour. My parents and my brother, Dan, flew into Scottsdale, AZ for business…but came 4 days early to hang out with us. We spent days and days just laying around the pool in gorgeous 90 degree weather…pure bliss and good tans! By that point in the tour, we were in desperate need of a break! It may seem like we are on a giant vacation…but we really do work…and the hours were getting long. Then, my parents extended their stay and rode with us in the RV to San Diego, and spent another 4 days there. What fun! Then, a few days later, we picked up my sister Laura and her fiance, Dan, at LAX (they flew in from Minneapolis) and they spent 5 days with us in Malibu/Santa Monica, CA. It’s been such a blessing being able to share our travels with people we love.

Geeky Stuff
Somewhere back around New York City, our original GPS bit the dust. We didn’t buy another one right away because the iPhone worked in a similar manner. However, we REALLY missed the GPS. We ended up getting a new one in Atlanta, and I cannot believe we waited that long. It’s a life saver. The difference is that with the GPS, Matt can just drive and navigate on his own. Whereas with the iPhone, I needed to be up in the front telling him where to turn, quickly typing in addresses, etc. In heavy traffic, it’s not a fun marital experiment :) Life is so much better when I can be tending to Bella…reading books, etc. while Matt navigates on his own. So glad it’s back.

We also added another gadget to our techie bag…a Verizon air card that works like magic. We were hesitant to get one in the beginning of the tour because of the cost, but after doing a lot of research…decided to bite the bullet. Costco has a special for members where you can get the card itself for around $10.00 and the service is $60 a month. It has been worth every single penny. Now we are able to have internet on our computer anywhere there is a cell signal…and we don’t have to seek out a wi-fi hotspot to get our work done. What an amazing feeling.


We have had an abundance of grease throughout these last few months…not including that one time in the middle of Texas when we ran out :) With diesel prices at about $5.15/gallon, we just smile when we drive right by the gas station! We have made back our initial investment on our veggie system several times now…it’s so great knowing that we are driving clean and driving for free. Matt is an absolute pro at finding and gathering…and after 17,000 miles (pre-tour included) on veggie oil, he should be!


We have stayed very busy with work these past couple of months…photo shoots, demos, raw food coaching…it’s been wonderful. Because of this, I am a little behind on getting photos and blogs written. I have approximately 4,000 photos waiting to be sorted/edited, etc. And that’s just California! :) Have patience with me though…I’m getting them done and the west coast has been an amazing ride! I can’t wait to show you all the beautiful sites…

We are embarking on the last leg of the tour…we’ll be headed into Oregon next week and then Washington and Vancouver. After that, we’ll be spending longer periods of time in Montana, Minnesota, and Iowa…catching up with family. It’s hard to believe we moved into the RV almost a year ago already! What a wild ride. :)


  1. Dear Sara,

    reading all this, feeling your enthusiasm and passion for the whole trip, for the whole experience itself makes me teary-eyed and woozy – really! Expressing the feelings and thoughts that are running through my mind isn’t and easy thing to do so let me just sum it up that I am not only admiriring and envying what you do I also have the feeling that this trip made you even more special for me than you were before. Even though our last contact via snail and electronic mail was sometime last year I am always thinking of you, Bella and Matt and how you are doing.
    Reading your update minutes ago was so great and one could feel your love and passion for what you are doing through every single word and picture.

    And I think I am going to send you a letter this afternoon. I am just feeling like doing so. :)

    Seing you some love from Germany ~

    Comment by Valerie — May 28, 2008 @ 4:14 am

  2. I’ve been wondering what you guys have been up to. Sounds heavenly. Can’t wait for that extra long stop in Iowa. Right? Right?

    Comment by Heth — May 28, 2008 @ 7:40 am

  3. I very much enjoyed reading your reflections from the road. I’m glad this year has been such a good one for you so far. I love California and the beaches there. I hope you enjoy Washington and Oregon.

    Comment by Dawn — May 28, 2008 @ 8:11 am

  4. Hi Sara! I’ve enjoyed reading about your travels and I’m glad it’s been such a wonderful experience. I love all the raw recipes on Happy Foody too! Do you think you’ll be making it to the Arcata/Eureka area? I noticed it on your itinerary but wasn’t sure where you’d be. I’d love to take a tour of the rv!
    Tiffany from Arcata

    Comment by Tiffany — May 28, 2008 @ 10:08 am

  5. That is so wonderful to hear! We too are so happy we hit the road. The fuel prices though, for us diesel drivers, suck. Oh how I wish our rig had the grease capabilities! Regardless though…

    Interesting comments about the raw food diet. I have to admit that I’m not as brave as you are with this big change. And as for Jim, when I told him about Matt losing weight, he said “yeah, well Christopher McCandless (i.e., Into the Wild), lost a lot of weight too when he started eating raw tree bark!.” :-)

    Comment by Rene — May 28, 2008 @ 10:31 am

  6. The trip sounds absolutely wonderful. We are really looking forward to meeting you when you and your family arrive here in Vancouver.

    Comment by Haley — May 28, 2008 @ 11:43 am

  7. hi Sara,

    Just wanted to say how I much I have enjoyed following along on your journey. It has certainly been amazing – and that’s just me reading about your adventures. Sounds like a wonderful life.


    Comment by Libby — May 28, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

  8. Sara,
    I know these places well, and Penngrove is such a beautiful place. (We grew up in Orange County and lived 60 miles northeast of Sacramento for five years) The one thing I miss the most (besides more sunshine) is the beach.
    I have enjoyed following your journey and look forward to reading about the last part of your tour.

    Comment by Chris — May 28, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

  9. I just discovered your site yesterday through some serious blog stalking ;) (it’s becoming a bad habit!)

    I made myself a green smoothie yesterday and loved it! I’m a teacher and all of my students were commenting on what was in my cup. It’s a great conversation piece!

    I was wondering if you’ve noticed a decrease in general sickness since starting on a raw diet. Do you experience less flus and viruses?

    May the Lord continue to bless you and your family for your desire to be in the center of His will for your lives. Keep seeking Him!


    Comment by Gretchen — May 29, 2008 @ 8:30 am

  10. Wish you would be coming up to Alberta or Saskatchewan when you are near Montana!

    Comment by Dale Anne — May 29, 2008 @ 7:05 pm

  11. I am so sorry we missed you in Sacramento. With gas prices so high, we try to stay close to home. I forwarded your event to all my local moms groups – hope you had a nice turn out.

    Glad youre enjoying all the raw California has to offer :)

    Comment by regina — May 30, 2008 @ 10:54 pm

  12. Hey Sara…I follow your travels and blogs regularly and love it! I was wondering where you got your dreads done? I’m getting sick of my hair and the emotional drain of it all. Wasn’t it Anne Lammott that says she remembers the day when her prayer life was primarily devoted to the weather and her hair (so the weather wouldn’t ruin her hair)! :) I can relate with that…you remember my hair don’t you? :)
    Anyway, I don’t know where to begin or who to go to! Any ideas?

    Comment by Emily — May 31, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

  13. The coast is gorgeous. Whenever I am there, I feel like my soul is singing. Especially on the Oregon coast – so you will have to make sure that is on your route.

    Comment by elizabeth — May 31, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

  14. Emily…
    We will be back in DM in August if you want me to dread your hair for you :) It would be great! Shoot me a direct email and we can talk details. sara (at) livelightlytour (dot) com

    Great to hear from you!

    Comment by livelightly2 — May 31, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

  15. I always love to read these reflections posts. I love to read what you are up to and where you are going, but even more than that, I love to read about your reactions to the experiences themselves. Not only are you Living Lightly, but you are Living Intentionally, Living Purposefully, and Living Deliberately. And that is what I love about you and this journey so much. It is so inspiring!

    Comment by Laurel Sauls — June 3, 2008 @ 8:44 am

  16. Hi Sara,

    It’s been long long since I commented (and met you in DC) but I still lurk and appreciate all your blogs. I hope you are enjoying Oregon and Washington–I grew up in Corvallis and as much as I’ve appreciated the East coast, my inner hippie is starting to re-emerge and wants to go back! It makes me smile (in a homesick sort of way) to think about you guys being in Portland.

    Comment by Dana — June 5, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  17. Hey Guys,
    I have thought of you often since you left Sacramento. It sounds like you are getting a little sentimental on the last leg ;) You guys were really fun to hang out with and made our weekend feel like a vacation. We just had Nut Tacos tonight, kudos to Sara on that one. We have been mostly vegan and live since you left. Kinda changing lives aren’t you. Our prayers are with you three. Peace

    Comment by Micah and Emily — June 12, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

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