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Puff, Pass & Ponder: A Summer of Travel

I’ve been living in Oakland, California for just over two years as of this writing. It’s a beautiful spring day in the Bay, and I’m sitting outside in my backyard underneath a blooming avocado tree, my dog on my lap. The wind is blowing lightly, the birds are chirping, there are flowers blooming everywhere, and I just finished a delicious apple and still have the taste of it in my mouth. Life is pretty good.

I moved to the Bay because I was running from a bad relationship that rapidly soured in Denver, so I decided to get out of town and give California another shot, having lived in SoCal when I was in college. I packed up a car, my dogs, my bike, my clothes, and lived on a couch for two months until I found a place with my own bed and built a new and solid foundation. I met a lot of amazing people, nurtured incredible friendships, dated a lot of nice guys and also weirdos, hiked, learned how to meditate, smoked mostly excellent weed, did a ton of mushrooms, and drank wine. After violently uprooting myself, I grew more in the next two years than I think I did in the 30 that preceded them. Recently, I was looking through an old notebook, and came across something my therapist told me when I had first moved, and apparently had really stuck with me (enough to highlight and underline TWICE): which was that “humans only feel the need to make a change if there is an incredible high or an incredible low”. I was so desperate to get out of my “incredible low” that I made a complete and utter departure from the way I previously operated my life, with more patience, less frequent anger, and much less stability. And now, on the eve of my 33rd birthday, I’ve decided it’s time for a change again.

We’re now at 11 different Puff, Pass & Paint locations, with new bases opening in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Miami, and just signed a permanent lease on a class space in Brooklyn, which I have really grown to love over my last couple of visits there. I’ve done what I came to accomplish here in the Bay: we successfully started our base here with a wide variety of classes, our Wine & Weed tours are filling up and running smoothly, and tomorrow we make our first batch of terpene-based Cannavines with our new winery partner. It’s time for me to try something new, and I’m being called by locations that need my supervision and expertise to get them and keep them running smoothly.

I have a hard time with change, and struggle when I don’t have my assumed necessary comforts, so travel gets exhausting for me. As a challenge to myself, I’ve decided to take the entire summer to travel to our different locations around the country— just me, one suitcase, my iPad, and my dog in an airline-approved doggy backpack. In May, I’ll spend 2 weeks in Bali and Hong Kong. Upon my return, I’ll Marie Kondo my belongings and figure out what exactly I need to live with for three months, pack those things, and set off for stints in Chicago, Brooklyn, Washington DC, and possibly Montreal and Miami. Is it going to be easy and comfortable? Probably not… but I’m incredibly excited.

There is a level of panic that comes over me when I’m uncertain about the future, and that fact is now proved true by the FitBit my mom got me for my birthday… I can tell by the spikes in my heart rate what times I started to slip and panic, pacing, over-thinking, tap tap tapping frantically at my computer for solutions or answers. Just to give you an idea: when I’m starting to freak out a little bit, my heart rate is around 110, but when I’m meditating, it’s around 51. I’m well known for my need to “make a plan”, because in my mind, everything will always be OK if I have a contingency scheme… I mean, that’s the control freak in me, thinking if I only plan in advance I can tailor everything to my very specific preferences, which isn’t necessarily true. I’m learning to breathe into that uncertainty, take a look at it from the outside, view it with interest, and let it go. I think after a few challenges in the next few months, I’ll be even better at that.

So, join me for a Puff, Pass & Paint trip around the country this summer, talking weed, legalization, living out of a suitcase, and traveling with a slightly overweight chiweenie named Dumpster Baby (I’ve always been a huge fan of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia). I’ll be living in weed-friendly cities throughout the US, opening our new locations, and experiencing all of the best things to do there, cannabis and otherwise. I don’t know where I’m going to end up and when the journey will feel “complete”, but I’m sort of OK with that, because I’m learning to trust the process instead of feeling like I need to have all of the answers, right here, right now. We’ll see where it takes me, I think it will be a trip.


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