The spread of the American culture slowly engulfed the islands of the Bahamas. It seemed like the small town stores began to produce large-scale items, like the latest toy imported directly from Toys R Us manufacturers. This domination of larger cultures over smaller through media and cultural products plays part in cultural imperialism.

Jake remembers the first time he saw a Hostess brand of food in the local market. He had never seen the wrapper with white writing before and was surprised by the texture of the filling. “I had never tasted something quite so…non-filling. Which is ironic.” Large commercial ships carrying the latest items, which were hardly ever seen on the island, became a frequent sight off of the land.

This assimilation of products and materialism became prominent in the main tourist areas where Jake grew up. In a song he wrote for class based on the new commercialization of the islands, I could tell how affected he was by the overwhelming changes from America. “We know they’re gonna take it, take it all away someday/Their point of view never saw what we had made that place/We built our home on a land bound to be swept away/Now we’ve left that place from a flash flood of legalities/Ten years we’ve spent in harmony/On an island without a care or much company/And now they’ve turned it upside down/We can’t imagine what it’d be like now/Like living underground with your head buried in the sand.” These lyrics give insight into the mind frame Jake was in while the major changes were happening around him. It also gives a piece of his own history once he moved to Florida for high school.

At the age of 15, Jake and his family relocated to South Florida for work. The push-pull theory indicates that “circumstances in the country of origin ‘push’ people out” due to “economic hardship, famine, war, or persecution”, while the “conditions of the country of destination ‘pull’ people toward particular locations” (107). In this case, the Gallagher family were pushed out of Andros and pulled into Florida because of economic conditions and the need for better education for the two children.

In Florida, Jake and Sasha had to transfer over their pre-conceived knowledge in the education system, while adjusting to the culture shock. As defined in Sorrells, culture shock is the “disorientation and discomfort sojourner experience from being in an unfamiliar environment”(108). Jake first witnessed a sense of culture shock when he attended a private high school for the first time for a tour of the campus. “I had never seen that many palm trees or that type of dress code.”

Life on the Road

Jack Kerouac had a perfect idea although he may have executed it poorly. Life of on the road is no trip (pun intended). There is so much that goes into creating an atmosphere where creativity, freedom, and abundance is truly shared. For the past week, my family and I have been driving along the West Coast in our rented Winnebago. We have seen Big Sur, the Pacific Ocean, coyotes, and hundreds of Douglas Furs. It has been an extraordinary adventure and we couldn’t be more grateful.

My family has been sat in the back of the van watching television on the DVD players, while I have been daydreaming behind the wheel. I notice how quiet the roads can be when you’re truly feeling the asphalt beneath. Besides a few potholes and dead skunks on the side of the road, I have been mesmerized by the simplicity of the road. It doesn’t require anything from you. No doctors notes, no weekly analytic reports, and especially no back talk. It’s rejuvenating.

I remember the days I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I hid underneath the covers for what seemed like days, just to wake up and shower for another monotonous day behind a computer. I never stopped to listen to the road while I drove my Taurus to work. I hardly recognized anyone else on the road (except for the occasional driver who refuses to use turn signals). This trip has shown me so much and I am amazed.

I’ve been creating road trip games with the kids to keep them occupied away from the TV. We have played multiple rounds of the license plate game, iSpy, and Shuffle. As we make our way further up the coast, I contemplate what’s next. What adventure are we going to embark on in Washington? Are we going to be tourists and see all the coffee shops, or are we going to camp outdoors and visit local bookstores and play in the lakes. Only time will tell.

Until then.

How To Travel…Free!

Our dear friend Robert Clark, CPA in Key West, has helped us tremendously throughout our adventures. Having the proper tools necessary to travel for work has made our trips more enjoyable! Robert keeps track of our expenses and educates us on our tax benefits and rewards.

If you have ever considered traveling as an occupation, but have been too scared to try, here are some tips that we have learned throughout our new lifestyle.

  • Travel lightly. I know this might seem difficult because we want to over prepare and bring all the necessities. My family and I have found that are necessities are thin compared to the luggage we pack every trip. You will find what you need where you go. If not, there’s always DIY!
  • Educate yourself. Figure out the road maps, figure out the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and stores that will enlighten your trip.
  • Bring headphones. There’s nothing worse than having young children or talkative spouses while you want to drive and enjoy the road. Headphones are a clear signal that you need time alone…in your own space.
  • Collect mementos. The trip itself is an intrinsic reward. Collecting roadmaps, magnets, stamps from other states and countries is a great way to begin a collection in your own home.
  • Talk to people. Half the fun of a road trip (or any kind of trip) is to experience the culture including the people. Don’t seclude yourself while on your trip – get to know the locals and enjoy the fresh air!

We continue to learn more as we travel far and wide. If you are financially or fearfully strained, prepare ahead of time. Anyone can travel on a budget, but only few can travel with freedom.

Why Is Air Conditioning So Important?

Like many things in life, people tend not to really value their air conditioning until it’s gone. Luckily, calling up almost any home services company should be enough to fix the problem. Our good friend who owns one of the most influential also transforms into an AC guru by night. From repair to replacement to maintenance to improvements, a qualified air conditioning specialist can not only keep your house cool but keep the air conditioner running at peak performance. And should you decide that your current setup is no longer enough, there’s always the option of upgrading your unit as well.

Continue reading “Why Is Air Conditioning So Important?”

Why Plumbing Should Be Your Top Priority

plumbing, deerfield beach
Plumbing Services

Plumbing is an often-overlooked aspect of home maintenance that many people only think about when something breaks, or something new needs to be installed. Plumbing services include this, but also offer regular maintenance in order to make our life easier. Having information regarding your house’s plumbing and all of the options available when it comes to modifying it can make the difference between feeling satisfied with the state of your house’s plumbing and scratching your head when a pipe bursts.

The main rule to follow when thinking about your plumbing is vigilant monitoring and maintenance. You don’t have to constantly watch your plumbing to be sure it works, but periodically calling a plumber to check over your house and do minor repairs is less costly in both time and money than waiting for something to break before you fix it.

While many people wouldn’t automatically consider it as such, your gas lines are also a component of your house’s plumbing. A good emergency plumbing service in Deerfield Beach will be able to repair gas lines just as well as any other pipe in your home, and will likely pay more attention to it because of its high importance: it’s likely that most if not all of the heat in your home are provided by natural gas.

In addition to its utility, your gas lines can also be a source of danger if not properly maintained. A gas leak poses a threat to your health by contaminating the air in your house as well as increasing the risk of having a house fire. Thankfully, for the most part, a good plumber and regular inspection can minimize the risk you face of a gas line breaking.

The Importance of Pest Control in New and Old Homes

When you’re looking into buying or renting a home, or even just making sure to keep up maintenance on your current abode, be sure not to neglect pest services. Any pests around your house can become more than a simple nuisance; a serious pest problem can cause structural damage, pose a threat to your health, and cause a wide assortment of other problems for you. In general, pest control just entails making your home as unattractive as possible to insects and unwanted animals. However, for many pests, especially insects, the techniques and tools necessary can differ widely between each species that needs to be dealt with.

Fire ants are a simple enough pest problem to be controlled by most home service companies. While our Commander in Chief is arming forces for another type of ‘pest’ control our family has experienced a different type of property maintenance. Since the mounds that they create are easily visible (and an eyesore on your lawn), simply sprinkling an ant poison on the mounds can serve to end most infestations. At most, you can also order professionals to look over your home for possible ants remaining, and check your yard periodically for recurring instances of ant nests in order to keep your lawn pristine and walk without fear of pesky, painful bites.

Techniques such as minimizing the amount of standing water on your property and general upkeep around the yard are examples of this. Controlling mosquitoes is more of a straightforward endeavor: products exist to deter and kill mosquitoes to deal with the existing problem, and techniques and tools of varying types can be used to dispose of both adult mosquitoes and the eggs that they leave behind, to ensure that you evade as many mosquitoes as possible.

What We Have Learned About Lawn Care

Throughout our many trips, we’ve exploited the importance of proper lawn care for all home styles across the U.S. Lawn care isn’t just about maintaining your property. It’s about having a yard that you enjoy looking at and can take pride in. And there is a lot of work that goes into the area surrounding your home looking its best, even at a basic level. From simply mowing the lawn to landscaping all the way down to your water sprinklers and irrigation system, you either have to have an abundance of free time to properly look after your lawn, or you need a team of professionals who know lawn maintenance top to bottom. There are a wide variety of services that are offered by quality lawn care professionals as well.

The most basic part of lawn care is of course, mowing the lawn. This is as far as most Average Joes get when it comes to lawn care. But instead of shoving a push-mower across your yard, or sweating it out on a riding mower, why not get a team to assist in your mowing? Get a little time back from a chore that you find yourself only doing when the lawn is already overgrown. A qualified team of lawn care professionals can not only take care of such a pesky task on a regular basis, but give it the level of attention that your lawn deserves. A good weed whacker can trim the edges of your walkways and driveway to avoid unsightly edges (or the wear on your lawn mower from grinding on concrete), and a leaf blower can help blow away any remaining debris so you don’t have to trudge through the mess after your lawn receives its regular trimming.

Landscaping is an important subset of lawn care that many homeowners look into. However, making all areas of your lawn look their best is necessary if you truly care about the status of your yard. Taking care of any bushes and trees is one thing, but hiring a professional for the layout of your yard can make a mundane and drab lawn look like a work of art. Working with your needs and opinions on design and creating something both functional and aesthetically pleasing is at the core of a good landscaping team, and they can give you a work of art; why wouldn’t you want one, if you have to look at your lawn every day anyway?

Lawn care is more than just the top layer of your yard; good lawn care takes care of the whole system. Although you can’t see it, your sprinkling and irrigation system is the backbone for how the rest of your lawn looks. A poor irrigation system will leave some spots watered and some dry, causing unsightly yellow spots to spread throughout the lawn, or worse, flood areas of the lawn and turn firm soil into mud. A lawn care team and possibly a plumber are needed to be sure that your sprinklers are working at peak capacity, but regularly maintaining the system will keep your lawn looking a beautiful green, and save you some possible water bill-related headaches down the line.

The Home Feature We Take For Granted:

From our many experiences in old and new homes, we have discovered quite a lot about the importance of air conditioning. Like many things in life, people tend not to really value their air conditioning until it’s gone. Luckily, calling up almost any home services company should be enough to fix the problem, as AC repair is one of the most important home services that such a firm can provide. From repair to replacement to maintenance to improvements, a qualified air conditioning specialist can not only keep your house cool, but keep the air conditioner running at peak performance. And should you decide that your current setup is no longer enough, there’s always the option of upgrading your unit as well.

Most people only really think about their air conditioner at the worst possible time: when it breaks. Too often, you won’t notice immediately when the air conditioning stops working, only to find out hours later that it has done nothing to mitigate the incoming temperature change. Unless the weather is going perfectly, chances are that you are either freezing or sweltering waiting to get your air conditioning repaired. However, calling a qualified and highly-rated home services company can ensure that you have minimal downtime and that once it’s repaired, your air conditioning will have your home feeling like normal before you know it.

Of course, it’s better to use preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of a problem occurring in the first place. As any air conditioning specialist can tell you, regularly checking on how your air conditioner is doing can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Simply having maintenance performed on your AC unit twice a year can be enough to drastically reduce the chance of a catastrophe later. Small fixes can also greatly increase your AC unit’s lifespan, to ensure that you get the most for your money rather than having to pay for expensive repairs or being forced to replace an air conditioner that’s broken beyond repair.

Replacing a unit doesn’t have to be a bad experience, however. Sometimes (often with the aid of regular maintenance), you find that your current air conditioner just isn’t going to continue working anymore. The best maintenance schedule can’t keep an air conditioner running forever. The best air conditioner specialists, on the other hand, can help you pick a new AC unit that fits your needs and budget while still being top quality. In addition to helping to choose the proper AC unit, a good home services business has professionals on hand to correctly install it in your home and instruct you on all of the nuances that come with operating each particular system.

It is vitally important that you obtain a qualified professional to properly take care of your air conditioning, whether you are in need of a repair, maintenance, or replacement. A certified air conditioner specialist will be able to diagnose any problems you have with your AC unit and recommend the correct steps to take in order to solve your problem with the minimal amount of time and money expended. Hopefully, you won’t have to spend very much at all.

Welcome to Our Home!

Welcome to my home lifestyle blog! If you’re wondering who I am, my name is Jarod and I began this website to document my adventures and experiences within my passion: home lifestyle. Now before you ask how this blog is different than other branded content, hold on. I’ll tell you.

My family and I have traveled the United States (and soon the U.K.) documenting through photography and journal the differing lifestyles of many homeowners. We began this adventure on a flim, but now it’s become an interesting aspect of our lives. I have always been enthusiastic about different styles and ages of homes – once living in a 1865 Victorian Mansion for a few years. It was awesome to say the least!

This blog will include my family’s adventures traveling around the globe while also providing our readers with the best-kept secrets of home furnishings, remodeling, and design. If you’re still reading this and are interested in what we do, contact us here and we will get in touch!