Being Happy For A Living is about pursuing the things that I think are most valuable in life – freedom, choice, adventure, experiences. By prioritizing those things, it becomes obvious where to acquire the money to make it all happen.
Burning fields. On the right third you can see a big fire tornado – just before I snapped this pic there was a crazy flame that traveled all the way up it – like 150 feet up into the air. It’s a mile away from us and totally under control. Just dramatic. #officefortheday #happyforaliving
Did a little scouting today to find the best #mobileoffice location tomorrow. Good enough cell signal confirmed. #happyforaliving #digitalnomadgirls #digitalnomad #toyotatacoma
Logan Pass was a little hazy with forest fire smoke, but still gorgeous and worth the hike. #digitalnomadgirls #happyforaliving #glaciernationalpark #loganpass
Office for the week. #digitalnomad #digitalnomadgirls #toyotadolphin #remoteoffice #officefortheday #workremotely #happyforaliving
Like, I don’t even know what to say any more. Montana just keeps being like this. (At least, the parts of it that aren’t on fire.)
Another good choice for the night. I love the Pacific Northwest but nobody does rivers like Montana. This little river was so good I even took the time to dig out my swimsuit and find a swimming hole. First time I’ve felt cooled off all the way in weeks! #happyforaliving #montanamoment #toyotadolphin #workfromanywhere #digitalnomad #digitalnomadgirls
Another day, another lake. How we roll at Bad Auntie Summer Camp for Dogs. #workontheroad #happyforaliving #dogismycopilot
Wasn’t sure where I wanted to stop for the night. Feeling good about my choice. #nofilter #happyforaliving #workfromanywhere #workremote
Hanging out with these two hoodlums for the next couple days on the road. First time going more than overnight without my #mobileoffice chauffeur – so far so good, but it’s definitely more fun when he comes along. We’ll meet up in central Montana in a few days. #remoteoffice #workfromanywhere #workontheroad #happyforaliving #dogismycopilot
Think I’m gonna take after @blackparasolconsulting and head for the desert for some deep thinking next week. A friend of mine used to say the desert was good for “letting your eyeballs stretch out”. #Repost @blackparasolconsulting (@get_repost) ・・・ Where do you do your best thinking? The desert is where my mind is clear and I can come up with new ideas. Identifying the best times and places for you to do deep thinking to further your business and your life is step one. Holding that time and space open for yourself is the most important step. . . . . . #todaysoffice #workfromanywhere #officeofthefay #mobileoffice #digitalnomad #remotework #socialmediamarketing #smallbusinessmarketing #startupmarketing #smallbusinesstip #happyforaliving #contentmarketing #entrepreneur #girlboss #worklifebalance
(A quick note: The Sisters at the Monastery of St. Gertrude refer to the place where they live as a monastery, not a convent. And they refer to themselves as Monks and Sisters, not nuns. I asked a previous Prioress of the Monastery about that and she said, “You know, historically, monks and monasteries have had more power within the Catholic Church than nuns have. So we decided that we are monks.” Another slightly less fiery Sister later explained it to me in more depth, and it was a complex story regarding Pope John Paul II and the original St Benedict, but I like the succinct explanation the best. I think it says a lot about these woman – things that I would not have guessed before I visited.)
The Monastery of St. Gertrude found a home base in Cottonwood, Idaho in 1907. From its beginnings as a frame house and chapel, it has evolved into a highly renowned destination for travelers. Visitors can experience down-home luxury at The Inn at St. Gertrude’s, a dive into Idaho history at the on-site museum, or a solo or group-focused spiritual retreat. Or all of the above.
The Sisters follow the Rule of Saint Benedict, and as Benedictine monastics they consider hospitality to be the foremost of Christian values. With roots as far back as 900 A.D., they’ve had plenty of time to hone their ability to make even the most wayward traveler feel welcome. As a digital nomad with a tenuous (at best) connection to Christianity, it’s hard to imagine a place where I’m more likely to feel uncomfortable than in a monastery – a place full of people devoted to living a spiritual practice with location-specific roots for their whole lives. But from my first phone conversation with the person who takes reservations for The Inn, to a lovely breakfast with Sister Chanelle (“just like Chanel No. 5”, she says by way of pronunciation help), I felt welcome and as though space would be made for whatever my needs were.
The Inn itself is an environmentally-responsible bed and breakfast, with the option to have a continental breakfast in the inn or to join the Sisters in the nearby Refectory for breakfast (enjoyed in silence on weekdays). After breakfast, a trip to the onsite museum will give you a good introduction to the history of the monastery as well as amazing insights into the surrounding areas of the Camas Prairie and the Snake and Salmon Rivers. The 8,000 sq ft facility houses collections from historical medical tools to personal items from some of the original (and colorful) pioneers who came to the area. Of special interest to me was the history of the Chinese miners who influenced much of the area in the gold fields of the 1860s. On your way out, don’t forget to stop at the Gift Shop to pick up some of the jam made by the Sisters on site (you probably had some on your fresh-baked bread this morning.)
You might also take a tour of the main Monastery building – built in the 1920s out of a beautiful stone called blue porphyry which was quarried from the hill directly behind the building. The chapel has become well known for its acoustics – the result of the thick stone walls used to construct it. My tour actually began in the basement below the chapel, the laundry room, because my tour guide wanted me to see how the whole architecture of the building contributed to the majestic effect that you feel when approaching the building from the front or hearing the chorus in the chapel. You’ll also get some insight into the daily lives of the residents, as well as finding the library, which you are welcome to peruse throughout your stay. The tour will also get you oriented to the walking paths and other points of interest on the property, which was my main interest.
The Monastery owns about 1400 acres of the surrounding land and in their Philosophy of Land Use they describe themselves as “a community of women intimately connected to this land”. Wandering the property adjacent to the Monastery, as guests are welcome to do, one gets a visceral sense of what land is like when it has been nurtured by a committed group of people as a part of a spiritual practice. Wandering up the hill behind the buildings, immersed in the smell of pine trees, you eventually come across a small grotto dedicated to Mary. Then above that you find the cemetery where 100 years of Sisters were laid to rest. Sisters live out their final days in the Monastery, in the onsite infirmary when needed. They return to the earth here on the same land that they committed their lives to supporting.
There is a profound sense of something sacred here, standing on the top of this hill looking out over the surrounding prairie and distant mountain peaks. Even for me, a digital nomad with no tendency toward flights of fancy and with hardly any sense of personal roots, it feels like a foreign and special magic to be in a place where so many people are so firmly planted – like being held in a basket made of intertwined and living roots. Make time to have a seat on a nearby bench and watch the sunset before you wander back to the Inn.
But don’t be late back to the Inn, because home-baked dessert awaits you. On the evening I was there, generous portions of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream was on the menu – the cake baked by Sister Chanelle herself.
The room itself was well appointed, with a comfortable queen-sized bed, private in-room bathroom, sufficient wifi, and beautiful view of the prairie. Called the Bluebird Room, my room had a legit family of bluebirds nesting in the bird box just outside my window.
Whether you want to curl up in your room with some of the wide range of reading material available (Benedictines also consider reading to be a spiritual practice), or spend your days wandering the surrounding countryside, The Inn at St. Gertrude’s is sure to provide some much-needed respite to even the most footloose of wanderers.
Smoky skies makes for good sunsets. #digitalnomad #happyforaliving #officefortheday #remotework #remoteoffice
This #toyotadolphin is still the best $4000 I ever spent. Pretty darn cheap office rent when you figure the amazing places I’ve been able to work in the last 4 years. #mobileoffice #digitalnomadgirls #digitalnomad
100+ degrees in Olympia the next few days?! No thanks! You can find us at the beach! #mobileoffice #workfromanywhere #remotework #digitalnomad #digitalnomadgirls #toyotadolphin #happyforaliving
Olympia’s an alright place to be on a summer eve. #olympiawa #happyforaliving #digitalnomadgirls #digitalnomad
Perfect Sunday summer morning in the garden. #backyardgarden #spoonerfarms #wwrwtw #clarissapinkolaestes
Outdoor locations feature heavily in this account, because that’s where I often prefer to spend my time. But the benefit of being a #digitalnomad is that you just work from wherever is most convenient – which happens to be a pretty nice hotel today. #remotework #workfromanywhere #nofilter #happyforaliving #pdx
Best fishing partner ever. The #officedog and I managed to sneak away from the #mobileoffice this morning and spend a couple hours on the Icicle River. Only caught two small trout, too small to keep, and lost two lures. So basically, it was awesome. #remotework #workontheroad #happyforaliving #digitalnomadgirls #digitalnomad
A couple days out in the aptly-named Enchantments. Super epic country. #workfromanywhere #digitalnomad #mobileoffice #digitalnomadgirls #remotework #workontheroad #myofficeisbetterthanyours
Also sometimes when you get stuck on top of Snoqualmie Pass for a while, then by the time you get to camp for the night you scramble to send last minute work emails while Preston gets the rig set up by the warm glow of the laptop screen. #digitalnomad #vanlife #toyotadolphin #mobileoffice #workfromanywhere
At least if you gotta be stuck in top of Snoqualmie Pass for rock blasting, the view is pretty good. #vanlife #mobileoffice #pnwonderland #remotework #digitalnomad #digitalnomadgirls
Sometimes I pretend to be taking pictures of the #officedog but really I’m in love with my #toyotatacoma #mobileoffice 😁😍
@tatterhawk is one of the coolest people you will ever meet. You should go follow them on Instagram, and jump on any opportunity you have to take one of their workshops. #primitiveskills #greenneck #anarchopunk #rewild #unschooling #pnwonderland
Our baby mulberry tree made us this many tiny mulberries. What should I do with them? #backyardgarden
…because when it is 105 degrees you should take the #officedog to the most convenient mountain stream and stand in it.
Stopped off at Idaho Vinyl Records in Caldwell, ID last week. Crazy cool little record shop tucked away in a corner of an antique store. So much good stuff!
A loop around the dry side of the Northwest has been gorgeous this time of year, but we’re still thankful to be back to the side with all the water in it. #columbiariver #hoodriver #digitalnomad #happyforaliving
Digital Nomad Tip: The slog across southern Idaho on I84 can be rough so you might be tempted to take the first test stop when you get across the Oregon border. Stick it out for two more miles to the Ontario State Recreation Site. It’s better in every way. #workfromanywhere #remotework #happyforaliving #ontariooregon #digitalnomad #digitalnomadgirls #mobileoffice
Thanks #mccallidaho. It’s been an excellent 6 days hanging out with family and working in this beautiful place. The #officedog definitely approves. #remotework #workfromanywhere #happyforaliving
Clear mountain streams and blue skies. Basically how every work day should start. #digitalnomad #happyforaliving #boondocking #mccallidaho #remotework #workfromanywhere
Another view of the monastery from earlier this week. It’s hard to express the magic of this place. I imagine the folks who live here, and the people who have lived here since its founding in the early 1900s, would call that magic, God. I’ve felt a similar magic in places that have been tended with love and intention continuously for a long time – places where you feel that the people are an integral part of the place, rather than intruders or aliens who live atop the land but not within it. As a #digitalnomad, it feels like a foreign and special magic to be in a place where so many people are so firmly planted. It feels like being held in a basket made of intertwined and living roots. . . . I have a lot more to say about my stay there, but you’ll have to wait for the blog post about it. In the meantime, you should go follow them at @stgertrudes. They post beautiful pictures of their Northern Idaho location and more casual pictures of the Sisters, who are amazing.
This is Sister Chanel. (“Like Chanel No. 5,” she says.) She’s been a part of the monastery for 63 years. She’s the one who interrupted our conversation by looking at her cell phone, but you can’t hold it against her. She also baked us chocolate cake from scratch, and got super shy when I asked if I could take her photo. #bedandbreakfast #stgertrude #cottonwoodidaho @stgertrudes
And now the #officefortheday for the next day. There are actual bluebirds nesting in that birdhouse out the window. Is it too trite to say you feel #blessed by the opportunity to spend a night at a monastery?
Sometimes people don’t fully appreciate all the responsibilities of an #officedog. Winchester (population 300) was the nearest town to our #officefortheday yesterday. #digitalnomad #mobileoffice
Getting some work done while Preston puts together some dinner. #officefortheday #officedog #toyotadolphin #mobileoffice #digitalnomad #digitalnomadgirls #happyforaliving
If you’re not feeling it in the place where you are, go somewhere else. #mobilelifestyle #luxury #happyforaliving #columbiariver #toyotadolphin
Note to self: if you’re an #introvert and a #digitalnomad, probably just as easy to visit Vantage during the week and leave it to the crowd on the weekend. #happyforaliving
You guys, climbing outside is approximately 11 jillion times harder than in the gym. #happyforaliving #girlswhoclimb #rockclimbing #unlikelyhikers
There are things that are easier on the road, and things that are easier at home. For some reason, I have a much easier time with some kind of meditative practice when I’m traveling. This morning I spent 5 minutes playing my Xaphoon to the ravens at the oasis as the start to my day. I’m pretty sure they liked it. #happyforaliving #xaphoon
Lake Easton quickly becoming One of our favorite stop off points on the way out of town. Even in a rainstorm it’s beautiful, and a great fetch break for the #officedog. Day one of this adventure going perfectly so far. Managed to have good reception for a whole 2-hour phone meeting while Preston drove us down the road. #digitalnomad #workfromanywhere #happyforaliving #roadtrippin #digitalnomadgirls
No matter how awesome your job is or how much it supports your lifestyle, you sometimes still end up spending several stressful hours working on a Saturday. In that case, it’s good to watch the sunset while laying in a field of daisies with your #officedog. #happyforaliving #digitalnomad #workfromanywhere
An experiment before we hit the road. Can’t rely on access to good espresso once we leave the West coast. But drip coffee wasn’t working for me. So far, mushroom coffee tastes and smells like real coffee. It’ll be lightweight to pack and easy to make on the road. Let’s see how it treats me the rest of the day. #foursigmatic #roadtrippin #happyforaliving #digitalnomad
Plans so far, starting next week. Starts in Olympia off the screen to the left. We’ll spend a few days at C (Smith Rock) and a few days at F (family weekend). We have a few extra days to kill in between those two places. Tips? And then where we go after Boise depends on how the weather is from there. #digitalnomad #happyforaliving #travelplans #roadtrippin
We’ve been gym climbing all winter, in prep for outdoor climbing all summer. Final step is to teach Corrie that it’s the job of crag dogs to chill and be available for belly rubs in between climbs. He’s starting to figure it out. #rockclimbing #cragdog
#officefortheday #backyardgarden Also OMG why didn’t anyone ever tell me about Marcona Almonds?! #happyforaliving
Lexi has the right idea. This weather has me thinking about sunny blue lakes with shady shorelines. #happyforaliving . . #Repost @mn.thru.a.lens (@get_repost) ・・・ ↠New video coming soon! It’s my first attempt at videography, and I had so much fun with it! Check back for the link in my bio!↞ 🌲☀️🌊❤️ • • • • • • • • #beginnerphotographer #littlethingsmatter #livesimply #liveslowly #lakephotography #upnorth #upnorthmn #upnorthlife #lakelife #lakejulia #lake #bemidji #minnesota #minnesotapride #MNOutdoorLife #mnexplore #mnlakelife #mn365 #mn365portraits #chooseminnesota #MNE #mnexposure #thisismymn #thisismyminnesota #OnlyinMN
American Sunset RV park in Westport is about $15/night more than the local campground. Totally worth it for the full hookups, good wifi all the way to the back of the property, closer to the beach, and great natural areas. #digitalnomad #workontheroad #rvlifestyle #digitalnomadgirls #womenwhotravel #westportwa
American Sunset RV Park in Westport, WA. Worth it!