One of the key benefits of travelling slow, is that it allows you to immerse yourself into the local community, the opportunity to live like a local without changing your postcode.
I am not sure if Newton’s third law was referring to extended travel, but in my case it certainly applies.
For each memorable moment I have had that has brought me joy, for every new friend that has kindly opened their heart and made me feel welcome and safe, there is now an equal and opposite sadness as I pack my bags to leave Clam Lake, my home in the northwoods.
The tall pines and birch trees will shrink in our rear-view mirror as we sadly leave Clam Lake this week, our home and community for the past four months.
When we first met people, they always asked us why we chose to live in Clam Lake, with a population of 37, in the middle of a national forest, during winter in the northwoods of Wisconsin.
My answer was always the same.
We didn’t choose Clam Lake, it chose us.
And I will be forever thankful that it did.
Four months in Clam Lake enabled this family adventure to happen. We didn’t have everything all planned and mapped out before we packed, donated or sold everything we own in Australia, to head out on a year adventure, housesitting our way around North America – but we knew we were heading to Clam Lake.
This little town presented itself, and we said yes.
When we left Australia, Clam Lake was simply the place where a log cabin and two beautiful cats lived, and we had a simple task to look after them.
Now, as we depart Clam Lake, it is a friendly beacon on our family’s map.
If you are ever in Wisconsin heading north on the 13, make sure you take a left on the 77 after Glidden. If you don’t blink you’ll come to Clam Lake. Debbie’s Why-Go-By will be on your right, and opposite is Ralph’s Chippewa Tavern. Tammy’s gas station is up a little bit and the Elk Horn is across the road.
Everybody is from somewhere but they are here for now, and you won’t have to be in town for long before you’re welcomed into the community.
The Clam Lakes of the world are found when we listen to Robert Frost - along the roads less travelled by.
Be deliberate with your journey. It’s not a place… It’s a state of mind: Live immediately.