Five years and unbreakable traditions
Plan Your Next 121
👋 Good morning from Ojai, CA! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #121 of Plan Your Next. A Sunday newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.
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Five years and unbreakable traditions
Traditions worth repeating should be incredibly fun, like these German kids toting
joints sugar bags to school every day.
This weekend we’re celebrating our fifth anniversary in Ojai, California. It’s also our fifth time here.
But, this year it wasn’t meant to go like this.
Three anniversaries ago, we started daydreaming about what we should do for our five-year. At the time, it felt distant but inevitable. We’re in a great spot, and I think about our ten-year anniversary with the same confidence.
We dreamed of staying in Big Sur at one of those fancy cabins staring into the ocean from hundreds of feet in the air. But at $1,600 a night, it’s an absurd amount when you could spend the same for two weeks in Europe for two days at the inn.
So, we started planning our trip to bounce between Barcelona, Portugal, and the Almafi Coast, while our daughter stays with her grandparents.
Then the unthinkable happened, and in three weeks, Rowan lost her grandpa, flipping everyone’s life upside down.
Driving 90 miles northwest of LA to the same spot we have been celebrating for five years has a different vibe than in the past.
We’re celebrating, but we’re also just staying afloat, looking for stability in our annual tradition. Falling into the same tradition as we have the past few years, except with a small and adventurous 16-month-old.
After 6:30, she holds us hostage to our hotel room, forcing us all to stay inside while watching the sun fade out through the slits of the hotel bungalow blinds.
This is the moment where we’re sneaking in a movie praying she doesn’t wake up, looking forward to the next morning's walk, and waking up before 99% of the others here in Ojai.
As I sit at a wobbly green Italian chic table outside The Hummingbird Inn, Alie is editing Rowan’s second-year iMovie video in tears while watching videos of her dad. Those tears are printed into this weekend vibe.
We don’t have a chance to talk much about it, mainly because there’s not much to say, but it’s fixed in the air like a bad popup browser advertisement.
It’s been five years since we were married deep underneath a redwood-covered park of San Francisco. A park that took me three attempts to reserve, almost forcing me to spend 24 hours in a sleeping bag to get if it came to that. (It didn’t)
That day on Aug 19, 2016, cuts our total time spent together into perfect halves. And this half keeps getting better every year. I can’t imagine my life without Alie, and where it will lead us.
We’re steeped into our annual Ojai tradition, but we’ve built something special. And even though our plans unsuccessfully tried to take a detour this year, I’m fortunate to be tied to these two wherever we go.
Even if it means I’m inside watching the sun split into 30 rows as it sets behind the blinds.
Happy fifth, Alie. ❤️
⚡️ Two creative hits for you to check out next
👨💻 12 Documentaries every designer (or person interested in design) should watch
Great roundup of design-focused films to watch. Objectified is objectively good.
🏡 Rent Quincy Jones’ incredible house for only 10-20k month. Lol.
But damn, look at this house. Designed with his partner Ruth Schneider, the Laurel Canyon duplex sprouts up organically from the hillside.
👋 See you next Sunday
As always, my calendar is open to chat about your next adventure, crazy idea, or if you’re feeling creatively stuck.
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Have a great week,
p.s. Words are just words, but if these words made you feel something, would you let me know by tapping on the heart below?