Our Open Road

Cool Hunt .LA

Name

Our Open Road

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ouropenroad

Website

http://www.ouropenroad.com/

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Design, Interior Design, Craft, Home Decor, Decor, Home, UniqueLA, Unique Markets, Home, Home Goods, Hand Made,

@ouropenroad

California to South America by van 2012-2017. Taking a break in Bali after 5 years on the road.

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The left wing and the right wing are a part of the same bird, but what are you going to do? A choice to not vote is a vote for others to decide for you. Make an informed decision and follow your conscience! . America is not a bubble. The choices we make affect the entire planet. Please think about the children that are inheriting what we leave them. Vote for candidates and policies who give a damn about our planet, and the people and animals that inhabit it. There is no Planet B! . In the words of Hunter S. Thompson “All the blood is drained out of democracy...it dies... when only half the population votes.” . We’re living in Bali and downloaded our absentee ballots from votefromabroad.org, then faxed them in using a FAX app on our phone. . Are you voting? If not, share why. . Photo taken in the central highlands of Bali a few weeks back.
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One year ago today, after ten hours of being held hostage, we jumped from the barge into the Rio Jacare Grande (which translates to “big caiman river”) in northern Brazil. This satellite image shows the stretch of Amazon Delta where we were to spend the next 90 hours. The scale of this wilderness is a vast and pulsing hive of life- each form which has fought tooth and nail over millennia to survive and many of which have developed insane defenses which were an undeniable threat. Bullet ants, jaguar, anaconda, pit vipers, caiman, electric eel, piraña- just to name a few... But the threat which posed the most pressing danger were the armed pirates that cruised the waterways by motorboat, and on foot searching for us those 3 days after we jumped. . When we first fled the barge, we loaded the girls onto the 8’2” surfboard (that Adam shaped) and swam to the closest shore. The barge was just 200 meters off, and we knew we had to keep moving. With no camouflage, save the darkness of the moonless night, we swam our flotilla to that dot of an island there in the center. The next night, after the moon had set, we pushed off again for the far side of the river- which is an astonishing TWO MILES wide. On the other side, we moved along the shoreline (water hyacinth heavily draped over the surfboard and us was our camouflage), and in the jungle we covered ourselves in mud, and moved mindfully. . Our previous experiences in the Peruvian and Bolivian Amazon were crucial in our survival. Our years on the road developed deep resiliency. The odds were stacked against us: we were on the pirates turf, Emily had a broken foot, Sierra didn’t know how to swim. . The two videos are not of our boat, but from surveillance footage from similar robberies by river pirates in the Amazon. . Miraculously we all escaped. When we say we cherish this gift of life- May you believe we really mean it!!
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One year ago- at 3pm BRT on October 28, 2017- our lives changed in an instant. . Five armed pirates arrived on speed boats, and boarded the cargo barge our family of four (and our van) was on- en route across the Amazon Delta from Belém to Macapá in northern Brazil. We were forced into the bunkhouse of the tugboat with four of the five crew members, where we were held captive with no food or water. After being held hostage for 10 hours, we escaped on a surfboard, jumping into the Amazon in the middle of the night. . It has been one hell of a year. Our survival from this nightmare still astounds us. We know we join the unfortunate many who have survived violence. And our hearts are with you. And we feel you with us. . These photos were taken the day before the pirates boarded, on the 220 mile crossing through the vast wilderness of the Amazon Delta River mouth which delivers 20% of global riverine discharge into the Atlantic. You may scratch your head as you see these photos... “but you were robbed? How do you have a photo of your van on the barge?” After we emerged alive 4 days later, we were taken to a hospital in Breves, on the island of Marajó. The day after our return, a police officer walked in with Adams backpack, handed it to him and inside was his laptop in perfect condition. We were shocked, and thankful, but mostly shocked!
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I’m talking more trash. . This collage was made from single-use plastic from GPS coordinates 08°50’32.65”S 115°10’00.8”E in Bali, Indonesia . While surfing today, I stuffed my short pockets with plastic that was floating around me. The worlds top 5 maritime polluters- China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, then Thailand. I’m not trying to point my finger at only Asian countries though. I just saw a post on @storyofstuff about @traderjoes products found in an Indonesian dump sites and learned the US exports paper products overseas for “recycling”. The paper is contaminated with tons of low value plastics which are separated then dumped: 3-5 tons are dumped per day! Waste pickers work to find any scrap that’s valuable, then the rest is openly burned. WTF? . I also saw a video today of the Los Angeles river swollen with garbage heading straight for the Pacific Ocean. The first rains just arrived to Southern California and is sweeping all the filth into the waterways. Double WTF! . What ways you have cut down on your plastic consumption? Any suggestions on inspiring accounts to follow? Below are some I recommend that inspire better personal choices. @zero.waste.collective @therefillrevolution @storyofstuff @lifewithoutplastic @plasticpollutes @zerowastechef . I’m stoked that @byebyeplasticbags along with @oneislandonevoice has invited me to include some of these artworks in their awareness event here in Bali at @potatoheadbali on October 28th. Scroll for more info. . #brandaudit #isthisyours #saynotoplastic #AdamHarteauArt
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No intelligent species would destroy their own environment. . This collage made from single-use plastic collected from GPS coordinates 08°49’27.66”S 115°09’1976”E in Bali, Indonesia. . 9,000 volunteers from 42 counties participated in the #breakfreefromplastic Brand Audit to find out who the top corporate polluters are. Here they are in order: @cocacola @pepsico @nestle @Mondelēz_international @proctergamble @unilever @PerfettiVanMelle @MarsGlobal @ColgatePalmolive @Colgate . Next time you’re at the grocery store think twice about the products you’re buying and whose pockets you’re lining. . “Nations can enact bans on certain kinds of plastic, focusing on those that are most abundant & problematic. Chemical engineers can formulate polymers that biodegrade. Consumers can eschew single-use plastics. And industry and government can invest in infrastructure to capture & recycled these materials before they reach the water.” Chelsea Rochman - professor of ecology at the University of Toronto. . #brandaudit #isthisyours #trashisfortossers #saynotoplastic #AdamHarteauArt
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My art right now is garbage, seriously, it’s actual trash. The supply of rubbish I’m using is abundant. It’s littered into the streets, forests, deserts, and beaches. Every minute, 365 days a year the equivalent of a truckload of plastic spills into the oceans here on planet Earth. . Corporations continue to wrap their products in throw away plastic and sell them to developing countries where there is little infrastructure to deal with their waste. People all around the world, not too long ago, wrapped their products in banana leaves, newspaper, cotton sacks and bamboo, then reused or tossed the waste into a ditch where it would biodegrade or be burned. Now it’s plastic. It’s thrown into ditches and water ways destined for the sea. It’s piled and burned in villages where toxic fumes are inhaled by all. . We’ve been lied to for years, tricked into thinking that recycling is the answer. It’s time to stop blaming consumers and demand a better system. It’s the corporations responsibility to develop alternatives. They will never do this willingly, we must demand it. Recycling alone will never fix this. Only 9 percent of the plastic developed since the early 1950’s has been recycled. . Sure, individual actions to reduce your plastic footprint is a step in the right direction- and it does help! You can buy your food at bulk bins and local farmers markets, where there’s no plastic wrapped food, bring your own fabric bags, get a reusable water container, use metal straws and do your damndest to not purchase packaged items. You can also pick up trash when you see it, but seriously who the hell am I kidding, most people won’t make these moves. . Here’s a few of the top #polluters for you to contact to let them know to #breakfreefromplastic @cocacola @nestle @unilever @pepsico @proctergamble . We lived without single-use plastic in the not so distant past. Why can’t we thrive once again with out it? . This piece was made from trash collected from GPS coordinates 08°49’39.88”S 115°09’45.61”E in Bali, Indonesia and includes products from all of the above. #AdamHarteauArt . #brandaudit #isthisyours #trashisfortossers #saynotoplastic
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Hand shaped twinny by Komang Sudarma, with glassed on balsa keels . Komang worked 10 hours a day as a sander at a corporate surfboard factory here in Bali for a number of years. Trainers would come from the big surf brands overseas and teach the factory workers the tricks of the trade. He paid a lot of attention then started making his own surfboards on the side, and eventually opened his own company @kmssurfboards. He’s been open for business for 5 years and my fresh shred stick is his 3,270th hand shaped board he’s made. . I got it out in the water this morning and it went amazing on a fat right hander, close to where we are living. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the ocean, having some good days and some frustrating sessions as well. The waves here in Bali are no joke- usually big, powerful and hollow over shallow sharp reef. The Indian Ocean is a whole other beast of a sea that’s going to take some time getting used to. Surfing saved my life! Time to harness the power!
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Last week we had the pleasure of first connecting with Leander, Maria and their son Lennox of @akela.world ! . Although we aren’t currently traveling by vehicle, we still consider ourselves part of the #overlander community. Our pals Coen & Karin-Marijke @landcruising.adventure and @photocoen (who’ve been on the road for 15 years!) told us this intrepid family was here on Bali! . They departed Austria in December 2016, traveling through Europe into Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirgyzstan, Russia (Altai and Siberia), Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, and now they’ve traveled through five islands here in #Indonesia! They are preparing for their onward journey to Australia next. . Our quartet scooted over to the field where their beast #Mercedes911 is parked. Hours passed quickly as us adults shared travel talk, the challenges and rewards of raising kids on the road, the unglamorous realities of overlanding, and so much more. The kids momentary shyness disappeared over their common love to playing with sticks (look, I’m a reindeer!), comparing their respective homes on wheels, and Legos. . Saturday we arranged a babysitter- (this small miracle only happened twice on our five years on the road!) and it was @akela.world s first- so all us adults surely enjoyed our funny night out. . Sunday we ventured to the turquoise waters of a reef protected bay, where the kids built a giant sand volcano, and searched for seashells, crabs and giant snails! . Monday... ummm, well Monday our kids went back to school! It’s a huge adjustment for us, but they are thriving, loving their time learning. Our old adage “what’s a weekend” is no longer as poignant. . Give @akela.world a follow and watch the rest of their journey unfold!
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It’s hard to believe two weeks have already passed since we landed here in Bali! While we’ve spent some time exploring and enjoying, mostly we’ve been on the hustle trying to flush out the details of moving to a new country. We’ve stayed in a few different areas, figuring out where will be best for us long term, and checked out schools to find the best match for the girls. The distances between things may be small, but dense traffic makes the going slow, so while I (Emily) swore we wouldn’t be a family on a scooter the reality here has quickly swayed me. So we all got helmets, and have rented one for our family transport- the irony that we’ve previously marveled at families such as ours is not lost. . Many of you have asked what our plan is, so let us share. We are renting a house for a year here in Bali and the girls will go to an international school- Colette in 2nd grade (she passed her placement test) and Sierra in preschool. We have been homeschooling the girls, and for us this next chapter brings a bit of trepidation but mostly excitement! Sierra promises to “only like it a little bit because I like you most” while Colette is ready to blossom with the new opportunities. She’s really excited about the science lab and rock climbing wall at school, but mostly for the new friends that so warmly greeted her at the school tour. One touted “oh, my daddy has long hair too!” So it seems they probably have a lot in common already. . Coconuts and crystals, the sprouting seeds of new friendships, the warm Indian Ocean, consistent swell to surf, white & black sand beaches, and mostly the kindest folks, the huge hearted Balinese- have made our entry here feel like our relocation was indeed a damn good idea. . 📷 at the divine @uluwatusurfvillas Villa 3
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Thank you @uluwatusurfvillas for the epic family honeymoon, which has served as the most beautiful welcome to Bali! . The warm winds kissed our skin, and solace was given in the crystalline waters dancing with small life. Giggles from our hearts mingled with laughs from our bellies. This quartet, our core, is finding rhythm in new waters, and it feels like home. Feeling pretty excited we bought one way tickets to this island paradise called Bali! . Now to find a home... . Have you been to Bali? Please share your recommendations, or dm us your secret spots, we are all ears!
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After nine months in California, we have emerged from our womb of the known, into the world once more! We have longed to visit Indonesia for many years, and at the southern side of Bali we spent our first few days in a dream bubble that we are calling our family honeymoon. . Perched on a cliff overlooking the tepid turquoise Indian Ocean, the grounds of @uluwatusurfvillas have been mindfully constructed over 20 years. The days passed quickly by, as we all got a generous serving of what we love. Adam borrowed a surf board and scored a few sessions in the legendary break, which thankfully wasn’t as huge as last week. Emily got in a soul-blasting class at @morninglightyoga ,in a longhouse overlooking the sea. Colette and Sierra couldn’t get enough of the rich tide pools, teeming with brittle stars, hermit crabs, tiny reef fish, and even a polka dotted flatworm! Meals at their new restaurant @manauluwatu were delish, and were easy for us vegetarians to find great options. . Terima kasih @uluwatusurfvillas ❤️
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Sierra, has completed FOUR rotations around the sun! Happy birthday babygirl!🎉 . You’re a gift to our family and all who love you. Your compassion, determination, joy and love will continue to brighten the world around you! We are so stoked to share this journey with you! . Every day it is with the fullest hearts we are thankful for your life. It would be negligent in these times, to ignore the tragic separation of over two thousand families, who have been torn from their parents. Having met evil, we can imagine what these families are suffering- it is a horror we wouldn’t wish on anyone. Please join us in action as we make a donation to @raicestexas. #familiesbelongtogether
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