It’s drastically changed the way we think and live when it comes to consumption and minimalism. It’s been an empowering & uplifting process.
– Anna Lisa Grieve
One couple has decided to leave their home to travel the world with only one bag each.
Husband and wife, Anna Lisa and Porter Grieve, have a blog and Instagram page called Recess City in which they feature traveling and sustainable fashion. They have been traveling around the world since September 1, 2017, with only one luggage each filled completely with sustainable clothes.
Anna Lisa Porter, says over email that as she and Porter were creating the blog they realized they weren’t receiving any satisfaction from the brands that were sending them products.
“Then An eco-conscious and ethical brand happened to reach out to us to collaborate. I did the research behind the brand and was enthralled. We sat down to watch the documentary *The True Cost* a few days later and from then on it had to be conscious fashion or nothing. I call it our ah-ha moment, but it was more than just an epitome for our business structure.”
Both Anna Lisa and Porter have a background in photography. Anna Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in English and Porter is more advanced in photography, which is why he takes the photos and she writes. Their talents, love for travel and love for sustainability combine to create a Recess City to what it is today.
“Over time though, we realized that highlighting ethical fashion alone wasn’t really ticking the box to do ‘enough’ for the planet,” Grieve says. “We made the recent decision to choose a sustainability-related topic each month and to travel somewhere on the globe to talk about and shed light on that issue while sharing the photography style our audience has grown to expect from us.”
The Grieve’s are both from Boston, Mass where they met at school when they were 5 years old. They started dating in junior high and are now married. As they are both close to their families and friends it was a huge decision to make to leave home in order to travel but have both decided to make it work.
“It’s never easy to put physical distance between yourself and those support systems, but those relationships don’t fizzle just because you’ve decided to take some time out to travel,” Grieve says. “If anything, we appreciate the people around us far more now having been away almost constantly for the past year than we ever have before. Ultimately, it’s tough, but if you have the burning desire to travel, everyone will be waiting for you.”
As they have been traveling around the world they have seen a lot of different trends and noticed some countries are doing better in having sustainable fashion than others.
“We were really encouraged by the amount of sustainable brands present in Austria, Palma de Mallorca, and Australia. Fast fashion is still pretty much the only option for those living in third world countries below the poverty line because they simply can’t yet afford to have those kinds of “ethics” because they’ll go hungry,” Grieve says. “A lot of the brands present in those countries I listed as being ahead of the curve, are using labor in third-world nations to compel women, especially, to get themselves out of poverty.”
As they have been traveling around they enjoyed themselves, as well as, having felt homesick but have learned a lot of different things about themselves and their priorities.
“Absence most definitely makes the heart grow fonder. I think my husband and I are more wed to doing our part to help make Boston (where we’re from) be the sustainably-driven city we know it someday can be,” Grieve says. “Travel definitely makes you closer with your partner too. The stressed of airport days and just running a business together can definitely take their toll from time to time, but it teaches you not to sweat the small stuff, not to bicker over little things.”
Traveling constantly has created some difficulties which they have learned to work with. This has caused them to change how often they travel; they now travel seven to 10 days out of each month rather than traveling two or three months straight with about a month in between each set
“We love to have a routine and a schedule, to cook and to go for runs, those are the things that constant travel makes almost impossible, so we’re attempting to create a kind of balance each month,” Grieve says. “As for illness – my husband has an incredible immune system and almost never gets sick. I have a pretty weak stomach so it’s usually him taking care of me. Fortunately, he’s patient and loving, we pack a whole lot of medicine, and have learned to just power through. About of sickness here or there is a small sacrifice for seeing the world.”