I’ve slept in tiny caves with people I’d just met: First 12 miles down a canyon in Utah, adjacent to two wonderful 70 year old twins who were living off the grid and on the lam; and the next — a 5 hour hike up a mountain in Morocco, in the “bedroom” of the teenage daughter of a nomadic family whom we were filming. And I’ve slept in the “sisters” room with all the girls of a wonderful Mennonite family farm, while Daniel slept down the hall in one of the bunk beds with all the boys.
I’ve eaten in the two room shack home of a Sri Lankan family whose back window opening looked out to the sea that took 6 of their family members — eating a fish stew that they made from the day’s catch and had plated on a tablecloth they had placed on their bed; and I’ve sat in the fanciest of restaurants in Modena, with a famous, eccentric chef as he described each dish with ecstatic and intricate delight, and watched as I took each bite.
I’ve driven off the dirt roads of Ethiopian farmland as our car broke down repeatedly, and I slept through the time Daniel saw a jaguar as we drove through the jungles after an overnight with our film subject in Iguazu.
I’ve been scammed by a conman in Morocco, Ive gotten sick in India (and in Rome), and I became dear friends with a dancing chef named Shimizu San who keeps writing asking for us to bring our sweet James back to visit his Japanese grandpa.
I’ve made eight blueberry pies with the daughter of a new friend that spilled on the backseat of our borrowed Prius as we drove to a lobster bake in Maine. And I’ve cleaned it up.
It has now been 6 years since Daniel and I started working together on The Perennial Plate. The first, we travelled around Minnesota, the second, we travelled around the US. And then we travelled around the world. We talked a lot about how we would ever top our world tour (12 countries in 18 months). We joked about going to outer space, we joked about doing a birth video (it was always, always a joke), and we talked about starting something new. I think we didn’t know how we would top it. But in 3 days, Daniel and I will be embarking on, in my opinion, our most exciting adventure yet…because we are bringing our son.
Just like the anticipation I felt the days before all our previous trips, I don’t know what to expect. I’m more nervous than Ive ever been before.
I’ve got to figure out how to film again, because my focus (our focus) has shifted — and we got a new camera, so I also very literally have to figure out how it works. And Ive got to pack. And then, we drive 20 hours to our new home base in Durango Colorado.