This one’s long, so the main points are in bold, you lazy bums.
We know we’re already halfway through January, but all of us here at Fahr + Away want to wish you a happy new year just the same!
You may have noticed we have been on a little bit of a posting freeze on the blog and on Instagram. The reason is that, until recently, we didn’t have a firm idea of what 2019 was going to look like. As our plans changed, we wondered if Fahr + Away needed to change, too. We are still giving that some thought, but we are ready to share our plans for the year.
If you’d asked us last month what we’d be doing today, we’d have told you that today is the day we fly to Reykjavik. We’d be spending the month in an Airbnb in the center of town with a nice guy named Játvarður. What are we most looking forward to? Definitely the ice caves, and we want to see the northern lights – we’ve been to Iceland twice already and still haven’t seen them, so we are DETERMINED.
We’d be flying home on February 8th when, as you know, Joe will be going back to work full-time at the accounting firm for tax season. We’d be living with our gracious friends through mid-April, which would allow us to continue to rent our house on Airbnb while we’re in Nashville.
Then we’d be heading to Europe for the year – based in Germany at first, then on to Ireland for a few months. Scotland, perhaps? We’re flexible!
None of that is happening. At least, not on that timeframe.
. . .
A few things happened at the end of 2018 that factored into our decision to change course a bit this year.
First, Nashville is likely going to revoke our short-term rental permit in the next couple of weeks. Not just ours, but all permits which were granted to homes like ours last year. We live in one of two homes on a single lot, also known as a Horizontal Property Regime (HPR). Nashville has recently “reinterpreted” their regulations surrounding short-term rental and HPRs and is saying that hundreds of permits were granted to HPRs last year “by mistake”. As you can imagine, we think that explanation is weak watery dog shit, concocted to satisfy the hotel lobby, but you can read more about the issue yourself here in The Tennesseean.
All this to say, Airbnb was a huge reason – essentially, the only reason – that we could afford Pretirement in the first place. With the option of renting our house while we’re gone likely off the table, we couldn’t continue with our year as scheduled.
Secondly, a few weeks before we got the news about our Airbnb permit, we’d come home to Nashville to attend the wedding of two best friends. While we were home, we remarked often about how nice it was to be home and how excited we were to spend the weekend with friends.
This wasn’t something we expected. To be frank, when we decided to go into Pretirement, we secretly had some inkling that we may leave Nashville and never come back. We both felt like we were just here by default – we came to college here and never left and now we’re just here and what are we even doing?
Nashville was feeling like a worn-out and, for most of last year, incredibly painful place to be. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see now that most of that centered around Jordan’s job, but, when we decided to go into Pretirement, we didn’t have the capacity to untangle the good from the bad and the problem became “Nashville” – the home we loved the hate.
But every time we left Nashville, we missed it a little more. And every time we came back we recognized with overwhelming clarity what our issues with Nashville were (and were not) and that everything we didn’t like could be changed.
By the same token, everything that made Nashville precious – our sweet little home, Joe’s incredible job, and our friends – could never be replaced or replicated in another town. We are in our thirties. We have friends in Nashville who have known us for fifteen years, people we essentially grew up with. Being away from that base made us realize just how rare it is and how lucky we are to have people ten minutes away who, just, generally give a damn about us.
Since late October, we had already been discussing the idea that perhaps Pretirement had already served its purpose. The whole point of it was feeling the freedom to do what feels good which, we realized at a certain point, includes the freedom to change our mind. Or, rather, make up our mind that Nashville is actually where we want to be. That we’re not there by default. To realize what “home” really means to us and be relieved to figure out we already have it.
So, the Airbnb news is a bummer. But, it’s also a sign. Something that made the decision of two proud adventurers who may not want to admit that being “home” is pretty damn nice, very easy. We’re grateful for that.
. . .
So, what’s the new plan for 2019?
Joe started back to work last week. I’ve been freelancing a bit and applying to jobs, but I’m prepared to be picky (and open-minded) about what happens next. I know what I want out of a job and those things are non-negotiable at this point. So, if I can find that in a job similar to the one I had, I’m open to that. I’m also open to a complete change of pace and scenery, as long as I get what I need to be at my best for Joe and Moxie and the people I come into contact with every day. And for myself, of course.
While I am on the search for the perfect employment arrangement, I am tackling some projects around the house that we’ve been putting off for five years. Hopefully I will be brave enough to chronicle my efforts here and on Instagram, but if we go radio silent, I’m probably hiding in a closet with a drill to my head. Send help.
We are back for good, and really looking forward to getting to know Nashville again. It’s been years since we took the time to appreciate Nashville for the cool place it is. We’re looking at it as though we are “moving” back to Nashville and making the effort to approach it with fresh eyes.
We are going to make an effort to have a once-a-week date night with the goal of trying a new and different place in Nashville every week. Looking forward to sharing those adventures here and on Instagram!
Fahr + Away
As we mentioned above, with our life settling down a bit, Fahr + Away is going to change, too. We are currently brainstorming ways to rebrand in a way that shows our life and projects expanding. We’ll still be traveling, of course, but we are excited to share the aspects of our life that will be so much more than that.
This site, just like us, is a work in progress. We look forward to trying new things.
Yes! We will still be traveling and sharing the details of those travels with you! We’ll just be traveling in shorter stints like normal people instead of being on the road full-time.
Currently, we are hoping to get to the Caribbean in April (for a post-tax season celebration) and to Scotland to visit friends in June.
As a couple, we sort of accidentally stumbled into our resolution at the end of 2018. We found ourselves making an effort to be more environmentally friendly and we want to focus on continuing that goal.
So far, that’s included small measures: recycling as much as we can, using aluminum straws and reusable water bottles, and carrying our own tote bags with us to reduce the number of shopping bags we wind up with. We’d also like to cut down the number of aluminum cans and paper towels we use, and we run the dishwasher way too often for a household of two people. We’ll be trying to be more cognizant of that, as well.
Our environmentally friendly journey has also included eating primarily plant-based when we cook at home. Talking about any perceived “alternative” dietary choices seems to trigger the absolute shit out of people, so becoming outspoken proponents of plant-based eating doesn’t appeal to us. Also, we’re not strictly eating one way or another and we can still put cheeseburgers away with the best of them.
There’s a lot of information out there about the impact of meat production and animal-based products on the environment and this is one way we’ve chosen make our small dent. If you’re interested, you can learn more about it from people who aren’t us.
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Looking forward to sharing our continued adventures of all kinds with you.
We are in a good place and 2019 is off to a good start. All’s well that begins well.