China-Shanghai19-feat

Hey There, Who Are You?

8,008 km so far.

*UPDATE: December 22, 2013. To everyone who has posted so far, this is amazing! Thank you. We love to read about the varied locations in which you live and the lifestyles you lead and it makes us so happy that we can connect like this with people around the world. We wish we had time to reply to you all individually, but then we wouldn’t have time to keep blogging. Thank you all, even if you’re too shy to comment!*

As you can imagine, writing and posting something every single day is not an easy task. Finding the time and energy can be tough. But tougher still is finding the motivation. Some days my brain wants to convince me that it’s not worth the effort.

“What’s the point,” Brain asks, “when you could be napping/eating/touristing/doing yoga/drinking instead?”

One of the things that helps me silence Lazy Brain is you, dear reader. I think you’re out there, and I hope that maybe if we post something cool or interesting, it will make your day a little brighter.

Some days it’s hard to picture your face though. So today, on the suggestion of reader David, I am asking you to write back. I promise, your effort will make our day a little brighter.

If you’re reading this in real time, after our trip has ended, or in the 29th Century on the planet Zfzxfzw, how ’bout you let us know?

We’d love you to tell us who you are, where you are, and how you stumbled upon My Five Acres in the comments below.

(Yes, even if we already know you, please comment for the sake of posterity.)

Let’s call it an early Christmas present from you to us.  

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58 Comments

  1. Jennifer Noseworthy says:

    Ottawa, Canada.

    Friends with Chris Hazard’s older sister, Andrea. Knew Stephen briefly in high school.

    When I heard what you were doing, and how you live your lives, it seemed like an interesting journey to follow.

  2. Kensky says:

    Kensky – Ottawa, Canada

    Passions are: Social justice, sustainability, cycling, music, friends, outdoors, coops, co-housing, ecovillages, multimedia production, documentaries, indie journalism, socializing, singing, dancing, healthy, tasty food, shamanism, …

  3. Staffan Neth says:

    Hey Jane and Stephen,
    Warmshower host from Gothenburg here. Reading most of the blogging but currently lagging, there is a lot to read! ;-)
    Started doing yoga again after your visit (“gym yoga”, but anyhow..).
    Jesper is walking around and climbing everything by now.

    Finding any decent coffee in China?

    keep on exploring,
    Staffan

    • Stephen says:

      Hi Staffan,
      So good to hear from you, and glad to know yoga has crept back into your life. Fantastic news. Jesper must be becoming quite a handful – sounds like a fun challenge!
      I have actually found great coffee in China, as the trend for small batch roasters has taken hold here too. Our favourite so far is Sumerian in Shanghai. When you get there you must visit. If you search Coffee on our blog you will find countless suggestions for when you bring Jesper on a cycling trip through China. Just don’t forget your face mask.

  4. Tom says:

    Hi Jane and Stephen,
    I don’t read daily, but I do read regularly. The things you have seen and the way you share your experience is engaging and inspiring. You have made the snow and wind filled -25 c days at home a little warmer. Keep sharing!
    Love
    Tom

  5. Dave says:

    Dave & Barbara

    We are friends of the family . We live in Kingston Ontario
    and have known Stephen since he was in daycare and he has always traveled to the beat of a different drum. We have followed Stephen and Jane’s blog faithfully. It is inspirational and does remind us of some of our own travels and experiences. We are glad Stephen found a partner in Jane to share his love of adventure and search for the meaning of life. We are looking forward to linking up with you and Jane in Sicily whenever that should be.

    Have a joyous Christmas though we hear tofu turkey isn’t all that great but the cranberries we understand do make a positive difference but then what would’ make a
    Positive difference as an accompaniment to tofu turkey.

  6. grace says:

    Hi! I guess I am a cousin, I don’t know how many times removed of Stephen’s dad, Malcolm. It was through him that I started reading about your travels.
    My husband and I are retired, sold our house and live in a 55+ residence in Elie, MB. Our trips these days are limited to one day trips by motor vehicle, but we still enjoy camping and kayaking. Manitoba has great parks and wilderness areas.
    Merry Christmas and happy travels!

  7. Anastasia says:

    Hello, I live in Toronto, Canada. I’m a student with big dreams to travel some day. I’m majoring in Community Development and Policy Studies. I’m hoping that this will bring me to a career path that will allow me to travel the world. Although I don’t know if I could cycle across countries, your journey is definitely on a “Goal” List of mine. I came across your blog and travel journey when I read one of your articles on the Huffington Post. I’m not sure which one it was but it was just after you had left for your cycling journey. I love reading your blog posts. Best of luck with everything! :)

  8. Megan says:

    Hello from your former ‘hood of Highland Park, LA, CA, USA. Missing you both, sending lots of Oregon-style rainy love from the City of Angels. I can’t pass by the Silverlake Reservoir meadow without thinking of Pop-up Guerrilla yoga or enter Urth without wishing it was Stephen’s class in which I was attending. Sending so much love and best of adventures in 2014. XOXO and Namaste.

  9. Mike L says:

    Hi Jane and Stephen, Mike L from Ottawa here. I have been following your travels since the days of posting your trip plans to facebook, and that’s still how I get most of your news. Continued safe travels and happy holidays!

  10. Chris says:

    I am a retired 65 year old retired High School Counselor with two adopted teenagers and way too many pets. I traveled many times, my last trip being in 1999 when I was bumped from my flight in LA, while on my way to KIev, Ukraine to adopt my son. Thanks to my experience, I was able to say get me anywhere in Europe and I can make my way. Which they did, and I did. I arrived 3 days late, but I made it and had a great adventure. In the past, I used low cost tour companies and supplemented on my own. One time I did a driving tour of Spain and Portugal, stopping to attend language school for a month in the middle, while staying with a family. I live in Fontana, CA, USA. I don’t know how I came across you, but am grateful. I have traveled with you, and enjoyed it.
    It is marvelous the way you have worked your way. I would have not had your courage. It has been eye opening. And, I have had MS for 15 years, which is why I became vegan. Very glad you went to Russia, I was the one who encouraged you to. My daughter is from Russia. I traveled there 3 times. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Gretel says:

    Hi Jane & Stephen, It’s Gretel, your yoga buddy from Tucson. I am way behind on blog reading, but I love following your adventures!

  12. Leah Lerner says:

    At least you’re not on the 13th floor in Glendale! ;)
    I wish I’d known you were in Shanghai so long. Dear friends of mine just moved there (she too is a yoga instructor!) and are always looking for friendly expat faces willing to trade woes about the smog and weather. But your plan sounds dreamy. They have to stay there and finish building Disney Shanghai.

    It sounds like it’s been a tough ride of late. But I’m still envious! We have one world and so few see more than a few square miles. What an adventure. In the time you’ve been gone my baby turned 2 (her favorite thing to do is “adventure!”) and the new wee one is five months. I’m going to show them all the places you’ve been in hopes they can do it too.
    xoxoxoxo

  13. Chris says:

    Organic farmer, in the Caribbean. I can’t remember how I found your blog, it must’ve been an article on green living or smaller spaces and downsizing…? It fit in with my philosophies, so I subscribed! Enjoy the craziness of China. It truly is like being upside down, in my experience. Mind expanding.

  14. emma says:

    hey. you know me, this is emma, riding a bike around london watching bands and stuff. i love this blog – i don’t read every day, more like every month, then spend a morning or afternoon of a weekend catching up. it’s immensely enjoyable, i’m kind of envious and kind of in awe. xx

  15. Terri La Chance says:

    I am a pastry chef from San Francisco living in Tucson AZ. I heard of your blog from a connection on FB? Heather Hughes ( Hong Kong) is a friend of mine, she and I worked together while she was living in Tucson. I have a home based yoga practice and enjoy reading of people’s travel and living adventures after a full day of pie and pastry.

  16. Scot says:

    You know who I am, and you should know I read every single word. Sometimes it takes a while to get internet access, but then I catch up, like today. Love the pictures, love the posts. Thinking about trying yoga. Still eating meat. Love you!

    Scot

  17. Bette Sherman says:

    Mt name is Bette and I live in the mountains of NE Georgia… almost in NC.. and I have no idea where I ran into 5 Acres…. but have a safe tour of the world and Merry Christmas.

  18. Jessica says:

    I’m Jessica and I’m from New England in the US of A. I heard of 5 acres from google I believe. Anyhow happy holidays!!!

  19. Heather Wayte says:

    Hi Guys. I have following your escapades since the beginning of your journey. I am a friend of Dave Morrow from Kingston, Ontario, Canada, whom, I believe, is a friend of one of your moms??? I am retired and live with my husband on Dickey Lake near Bancroft, Ontario. We have mounds of snow here at the moment. A winter wonderland. Love following your blog. Excellent writing. Thanks so much for sharing and don’t stop.

  20. Kathy Shortall says:

    Dear Jane and Stephen. What a great adventure!!! I know travelling the way you do is not always fun but think of all the material for many books to come.:):) You may remember Peter and me as being friends with Malcolm and Elizabeth so we have followed your travels with much interest. We have travelled a fair amount in the south Pacific but never by bicycle. WOW!! Have a Merry Christmas in Hong Kong and a fantastic time in 2014 travelling through warmer climates. Make sure you get to Australia. We spent a year there and the people and sights are wonderful.

  21. Martha says:

    Merry Holidays!
    I don’t remember how I found you but I’m glad I did and hope you keep writing!
    Im a business consultant, yoga teacher and garden writer. based near Tulsa OK USA, right in the middle of the country, 200 miles north of Dallas, TX.

  22. Sujay Patankar says:

    Hi,
    I’m Sujay from Pune, India.
    I came to know about you from the bikelist at phred.org
    I’ve done a bit of cycle touring in the past, but compared to what you guys are doing, it is probably a ride round the block.
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
    Sujay.

  23. Laura says:

    Via Whitney my friend from lecoq in Paris. I am also a cyclist though not quite at your level. Currently living in Singapore. Say hi if you pass through.

  24. Angel Tian says:

    Hi Jane and all,

    An early greetings, wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    This is reply from me.

    Who Am I: Angel Tian
    Where Am I From: Xi’an
    how I Came Across Five Acres: I was introduced by my friend called Sunny Li, she is
    currently running a Yoga Club in Xi’an Hi-tech Industrial Area.

    Again, have a wonderful holidays and pleasant journey anywhere!

    Best regards,
    Angel
    Dec.19, 2013

  25. Michelle says:

    Stephen was my incredibly awesome, dare I say life-changing, yoga teacher at Urth yoga in Los Angeles. Never failed to inspire and illuminate in his classes, and then when Stephen and Jane decided to take this trip, to really do what I think about when I am feeling most wildly imaginative…well what can I say but thank you so much for sharing your adventures!! xxxxx michelle. (PS I have since relocated to Vancouver, going to school at UBC to finish my MFA in painting/drawing/stop-motion animation!)

  26. Bodie says:

    Reading from beautiful downtown Studio City. I met Steven before you all left through Danny deBenair. Love the trip, but I don’t think I want to go to China either ;) But I’ll be back in Thailand next year! Enjoy the next segment.

  27. Sarah L. says:

    Reading from Seattle and really enjoying traveling vicariously through you! I love the no-holes-barred writing, blogging the ups and the downs. I’m not sure I want to visit China now though :) I’m also really appreciating the photos.

    • Sarah L. says:

      Oh, and “for posterity”, I used to work with Stephen at EMI in London and he was one of my two favourite people there. We’ve seen each other a few times since I moved to Seattle as Stephen and Jane’s hometown, Vancouver BC, is not that far away :)

  28. michael moldofsky says:

    it’s all Stephen’s fault – in Los Angeles but leaving in the morning for a month is SE Asia!

  29. Taina says:

    I read nearly daily, and occasionally binge read to catch up when it has been a busy week. Don’t stop blogging! I’ll need something to keep reading each day as I count the days to mat leave and bet when baby gets here I’ll need something to read during 3 am feedings too :). I love the stories, the pictures, and living vicariously through both of you! And hope that you do come home for a face to face visit at some point too :). Miss you guys! Safe travels and happy holidays too.

  30. Cassie says:

    So about 5 years ago or so my band was on tour and shared a show with British musician Chris T-T at Hotel Utah in San Francisco. We hit it off immediately with Chris and his friend Stephen. Stephen had a small town approach and me being a small town girl, we kept in touch, and I was happy to put him up from time to time in Tucson during his yoga training. Never a better house guest. Stephen and Jane also put me up (put up with me?) in LA once when I drove straight in from Tucson to see Justin Currie play a solo show at the Troubadour. That’s when I met Jane and knew this was a great couple, all the way around.

    It’s been such a pleasure following your adventures, and you can know for certain that I’m keeping up on your posts! Thinking of you often and wishing you Happy Holidays! :)

  31. andrea says:

    you guys are part of my morning routine at work. i read your posts while i drink my coffee (hi stephen!)

    If you ever come home whatever shall i do?

  32. Jane says:

    Thank you to everyone who has commented so far. This has really brightened our rainy cold day here in Shanghai! Keep ‘em coming.

  33. Steve says:

    Hi, I’ve followed you on twitter for some time now. I’m thinking of biking across China next year, so love hearing your experiences and perspectives.

    • Jane says:

      Give us a shout if you have any questions when you start making your plans and hopefully maybe we can answer them.

  34. Stefanie R says:

    Hey there, Jane & Stephen!! It’s Stef from the 40 day yoga challenge. I love reading your posts and hearing your musings on traveling, life, and new perspectives! There was a point when I did a backpacking trip all through Asia and tried to keep up a blog. It was really, really hard, especially after a long exhausting days of crazy new experiences. So I feel you. What happened to me what that I told myself at some point, “Meh! I’ll write these posts up later. I’ll remember these amazing experiences… how could I possibly forget?” And I took down some notes thinking I would do it later. But of course I never did, and then, strangely, I really did forget some of those amazing experiences. So the ones I have blogged are the ones that stand out the strongest in my memory. Like this one – from when I visited family in Kyushu: http://emailmixtape.blogspot.com/2007/09/oishii.html So that’s all to say, keep at it if you can! I love reading about your adventures and maybe your posts will be great portals to these wonderful memories for the future versions of yourselves.

    • Jane says:

      I love the post you linked to. It is such a great experience that we will never have here, being able to mix right in with the culture and be a part of it all. We are just observers here, kept behind a wall by that lack of a shared language and how different we look, but you were family. So great, and so amazing that you got to spend a week there!

  35. David B. says:

    Bonjour Mrs. Mountain and Mr. Ewashkiw…
    or Jane & Stephen, as we call you back here!

    Cuz you’re almost part of the family since your coming around almost daily for the last year or so…and you’re always welcome to do so! Before you left for your adventure, I read all the posts about eco eating, green life and…yoga, which was a totally new topic for me! After searching since yesterday, I cannot remember from where I ‘found’ you, from another cycling blog, I would guess? I like the way you write, the pictures (very nice work!) and the way you travel…I think you stand by all your intentions you (Jane) settled on the 1st day of 2013 about this coming cycling trip! As a fairly control freak myself, you have all my respect for having been able to ‘let go’ a lot to be able to enjoy this unique experience you’re leaving together.

    I wish you all the best for the rest of your great adventure!
    And I sure hope the blog will continue well after it!
    Thanks J & S ;-)

    David B.
    Québec city, Canada

  36. Anna says:

    Hey, Jane. My husband, Tim, and I were sometimes-students of Stephen’s at Urth in LA. I’m a sucker for good writing and vicarious adventures, and your trip has been fascinating! Thank you for putting in so much time and effort to share it us.

  37. Danny says:

    You are our pals! We read your blog everyday and guard your mail from around the world…

  38. Donna & Michael Webb says:

    Hello Jane and Stephen,
    We are friends of Jane’s parents (were in Hawaii last Feb. for Tom’s birthday). We have been faithfully reading your adventures and enjoying the photos. We have been to quite a few of the places you went to, but much differently.
    Merry Christmas from Victoria, BC.

    • Jane says:

      I remember Hawaii well, especially our conversation about cameras, Michael. I ended up buying the Olympus OM-D EM-5, and love it. It’s small enough to carry around everywhere, but configurable enough to take great pictures – though I’m still learning how to use it!

  39. Malcolm and Elizabeth says:

    Hi everyone. We are Stephen’s mom and dad and like typical parents we love to hear what our children are doing. We are so proud of both of you for taking on this challenge. Keep up the blogging – it allows us live your adventures vicariously. xxoo

  40. Hi! I’m Andrée and I’m David’s wife. We live in Québec city, Québec, Canada.
    I started to read your blog a bit after David. You had completed Italy at this moment. I’ve had a very small experience of blogging while I was on vacation on my bike last summer. I did it to keep in touch with friends and family and also to keep memory of my trip. I’ve also blog about our previous trips with our children. For the same reason I think you should continue to write, but also, I love to read your blog! It is very interesting and it makes me travel with you while I am stuck here…So keep on the good work! You are both amazing! (Sorry if I made mistakes, french is my first language)

  41. Diane says:

    Hello Stephen and Jane! I’m Diane, I know Stephen through Mission Street Yoga. While I miss having Stephen as an instructor, I feel very fortunate to be able follow you both along your journey. Since I work graveyard, your posts often pop up during my shift, giving me something fun to read, helping to keep me awake and inspired at night. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures.
    – Diane Origel

  42. Crisssy says:

    So glad I read this one! Haha. I mean…I’ve read all of them. Hope this makes you both smile. I miss you, it’s Beach League Tourney day and I expect sadly to lose every game, but have fun doing it and drink more afterwards…wish you were here. Happy Holidays you two! Keep writing, Roxy reads all of them and tells me about it! :P

  43. Kimberly says:

    Hi Jane! I stumbled on My Five Acres blog about 3 years ago when I was populating my RSS feed with daily brain food on topics that reflect the way I try to live: simply, environmental stewardship, with peaceful intentions, infused with yogic philosophy and practice, and until recently I was also a vegan. I loved your old-school blog posts and have loved watching your writing evolve as your journey through life has taken different directions too. I live in rural southwestern New York State, about 70 miles south of Buffalo and on the Pennsylvania border. My area is in the northern tip of the Appalachian mountain (hills actually) range and I am outdoors in almost every weather either gardening, biking, hiking, x-c skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, meandering, gazing, and exploring. I am 51 years old and feel like the absolute best years of my life are still waiting to be explored because I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up because everything interests me. I have a terrific daytime job as the regional development coordinator for the tri-county planning commission with a special focus on strengthening the regional food system and I’m so luck that I get to work with the area’s farmers, food producers, growers, and small-scale processors, most of whom were already friends. My partner and I have lived vicariously through your and Stephen’s posts, and we truly appreciate your keen observations, sometimes sardonic humor, and your gentle path across the world. Thank you for all that you’ve brought to our lives and for the many inspirations that you’ve lit within us to try to achieve something similar and profound. Namaste – Kimberly

  44. Dad says:

    I don’t remember how we first heard about your blog but maybe through a friend of a friend (-; but we certainly do check it every morning and sometimes several times a day.
    Love, Dad

  45. Diane says:

    Of course you know that we read your blog as soon as we get out of bed in the morning. What you might not know is that we have several very good friends who also read it and then we often discuss it together. Keep writing! xxo

  46. Cat says:

    I am here and reading. I do hope you are moving to warmer climes for your continued cycling adventures! Although since it’s mid-December I guess it’s not going to get much colder out there…
    safe travels!
    x

  47. Roxy says:

    Hi Jane & Stephen,
    I read all your posts & enjoy every single one!! Hope you have both recovered and we miss you here in LA, xoxo

  48. e.Beth says:

    i am in awe of your adventures. i would never have the nerve to give up my life and set out across the world on a bike, so i love reading about it. i know jane and stephen from long-ago days of being obsessed with blur, and hooray for facebook for keeping us in touch.

  49. Michael Anes says:

    I follow a great deal of Poland-related material on Twitter because I am one of two directors of a Field Study trip there for my university. This is how I came across your Twitter posts and blog. What is important to me about your postings (and I will go back and reread them when we travel next) is that in my experience living and traveling in Poland it would be very, very hard to be a vegan there (I am vegetarian, not vegan). Some of my students are vegan, so I read your posts trying to find insights as to how I can make them most comfortable if they go on the trip this summer.

    Secondly, I was going to comment once but did not on one of your China posts – when my wife traveled there with colleagues about 7 years ago, she learned that indeed vegetarian in some places in China will mean “no pork,” as you seem to have observed.

    Your work is inspiring – so thank you.

    • Jane says:

      You’re right, vegan in Poland would be really hard, and we didn’t even come close. I can’t imagine living in Poland and not eating pierogy, though when we make them at home we make a vegan version. If I remember correctly, it was really hard to find any tofu or beans in Poland, too. Unless of course you are in Krakow, where there are eco stores and lots of vegetarian restaurants to choose from.

  50. Tiit says:

    Keep going, we are watching you!
    Regards, from Estonia.

  51. stone says:

    It’s the year 2013 in the month of December I am Charles Agnello, a.k.a. stone! I live in beautiful Pasadena with my wife. I’ve been reading your blog since you set off on your journey through Europe and Asia. I know Jane via Ultimate Frisbee having played with her on a couple of different teams (go Sandy Cracks and Retro). Stay safe, have fun, and beware of the street food in China.