Homeward Bound (On, Wisconsin!)

I love it when I can make a title out of nothing but song titles.

Yes, the rumour is true: we’re moving to Wisconsin. (The reason you haven’t heard the rumour is because I’m starting it now.)

New Jersey is beautifully sunny. The friends we’ve made here are connected at our core.

But we just can’t afford it.

Moving into our own home would cost, between first month’s rent and security deposit (typically a month and a half’s rent) we’d be looking at $3,500 or so to move into a place, not counting utilities, internet, etc.

And then $1,000 minimum a month for a place that was a little too small, or an apartment (hard hard hard for me.)

In Rice Lake, where my Mom lives, we can get a 2 bedroom house, single family dwelling, not condo, duplex, whatever, with a garage and basement, for $525. One month deposit. Some places want a utilities deposit, so it’s about $1,400 total to move in. Yeah, utilities, etc. But internet can wait, ’cause the Rice Lake Library was our hangout for a month at a time when we’ve visited my Mom.

It’s been a wonderful (non)winter in Jersey. Just as when we left Montreal, Albuquerque, Denver, St. Paul, and Vancouver, there are people we’ll love and miss for the rest of our lives.

But it’s time to go.

If you’re between Philly and Madison and could bear 4 overnight guests during the 2nd week of April, please give us a shout.

If you’ve been considering some web work, writing a book, or getting some admin help, and just haven’t gotten around to it, we’ll need to earn about $1,000 in the next 3 weeks to make this trip and land on our feet without excess stress. Again, give us a shout.

And if you’re in Rice Lake and have a spare bed, book case, or chair you’d be willing to let us have or use, um, yeah, that; give us a shout.


  1. New Jersey!!! They would charge a month & a half’s rent there. Seems like everytime I turn on NPR they’re talking about the economic problems in the Garden State, and then I hear atrocities like this. :)

    I’ve always thought Wisconsin was gorgeous.

    Are you planning on traveling again at any point?

  2. Hulloo, Nathan!

    To be fair to Jersey (well, someone has to!) the deposit thing was one of the few issues we ran up against. Heard plenty of scary stories, but none of it came to visit us.

    Wisconsin is beautiful. My daily walk (I’m working up from 2 miles to 3, and from twice a week to every day) takes me by the lake. A lake in Wisconsin on a sunny spring day is beyond breathtaking.

    At the moment, we’re not planning on traveling. But we’re not planning on not traveling, either. We need to be here for a while, to get some things sorted in life (all good, but best done non-nomadic) and future traveling will probably be split between house-sitting gigs which are a perfect fit, and moving every year or two, but “settling” to some extent in between.

    Of course, all that’s subject to change depending on which way the wind blows tomorrow.

    Hey, your sites are gorgeous. And while a pop-top isn’t my favorite VW bus, any VW bus is better than most other things you could drive. Met a guy in Albuquerque who had two buses and two bugs, and he was lamenting the fact that it’s not a poor man’s ride any more. He’d found that parts were getting more and more expensive.

    I miss my ’61 beetle. I miss old cars, period.

    Later I think I’ll stalk your web dev work. Maybe there’s a collaborative effort out there somewhere.

  3. Met a guy in Albuquerque who had two buses and two bugs, and he was lamenting the fact that it’s not a poor man’s ride any more. He’d found that parts were getting more and more expensive.

    Since when is duct tape expensive? :)

    No but the living places for a year or two thing is still “traveling” in my mind, it’s an entirely different, no less interesting way to do it (vs. always being on the road). While having our two youngest babies, we called Manzanita, OR and Black Mountain, NC home for about 7 months at a time, and while I was always itchy to hit the road (well, technically we still live in Black Mountain, but we’re there less and less as we make excuses for some place we just need to visit while we’re back East), at the same time you get to be a part of a community, which is really the only thing I miss about stick house living. It’s nice to have some people you can just call on the phone for a game of frolf or an afternoon beverage or whatever.

    Thanks for the kind words on our sites. We just launched the wandrlymagazine.com one in an effort to move our income a little more away from my web design to something the whole family can partake in. Feel free to show us a little love on facebook.com/Wandrly, we sure could use it!

    And let me know if you ever want to talk web design shop.

  4. I love the description of Asheville on the Wand’rly site. We’re all Facebooked up now, too.

    Agreed on the definition of travel. I’m a nomad, however long I tent in this town.

    What’s your least favorite thing about WordPress? (my tool of choice for a few years, though certainly not as long as you.)

  5. Hmmmm, least favorite thing about WP? I don’t know, I actually love just about everything about it. I haven’t found much to complain about, WP has allowed me to go from purely a web designer to being able to easily integrate a CMS and often advanced PHP functionality that I would never have been able to write on my own. Through using it as well, I’ve learned vastly more about PHP & MySQL than I think I would have cared to ever have learned just on my own for various random projects.

    I just prefer how basic it all is compared to things like Jumla that have their own tagging / syntax systems that seem to make things more complicated in the end.

  6. I don’t think WordPress has a ceiling, in that it’s all based around PHP and open source, so you can theoretically do anything with it that you put your mind to, and that’s been my experience thus far.

    That said, there’s not really a great e-commerce solution out there that’s already built and integrates nicely with WP. Of course, you could always write your own, but that sounds crazy to me, it would be a full time job just keeping up with it. WP E-commerce is so buggy and every new version or two they break 50% of it fixing the previously broken 50%…I’ve been using WPMUdev.org’s MarketPress lately, which is much, much simpler and less feature rich…but, it actually works, which I consider a bonus. :)

  7. That can be about all you need, sometimes. You might want to check out Gravity Forms, it’s a really polished plugin for WP that can do some cool things with forms & PayPal (though it costs money) for simple e-commerce.

  8. Hey Joel (and Nathan) (and Hi, Sue!) ~
    Since you guys have already taken these comments from “heading to Wisconsin” to somewhere beyond Mars, can I poke about in your brains for some WP + PayPal + CMS information-slash-clues?

    I have a little idea-thing I want to make available (no huge launch or anything, just a “dip my toes in the sell-services-online waters”…) but I don’t know where to even start to begin…
    “Conversation with real people” works so much better for me than lots of digging through answer-forums and guessing-at-keywords to *maybe* find useful, useable (non-geek-speak) information, yaknow?

    I have a rudimentary blog and an (outgoing only, so far) PP acct., but -zero- CMS knowledge (neither Content nor Customer Management), let alone a System!

  9. Ooops – I forgot to Ask the Question!

    ~ Do I even need to set up a CMS of either type, at this moment?
    My subscriber list is miniscule; my posts are on pretty eclectic (read: random) topics, but the newest ones *do* have tags and categories of a sort…

    I appreciate any thoughts or observations you’d care to share!

    Bright Blessings, y’all!

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