Seeking Winter Writing Retreat – Southwest United States

Edna needs some R&R time.

Edna needs some R&R time.

Hello, my community! Edna Lu (the Free Tea Bus) and I are looking for a place in the SW to hunker in for a few months this winter to finish writing The Tea Bus Factory Service Manual. As many of you know, I’ve been working on this book for a few years. I’m currently about 3/4th of the way done writing, and I need a place to finish it!

About a retreat space: So many places I go, I feel a great sense of wanting to reciprocate and help out (usually by fixing and building things). I need a place now to help my community in a different way: by finishing writing a free book that empowers people.

Necessities in a retreat space:

–       Space – I need to be able to hunker with little distraction. Mostly, I simply need a semi-level place to park Edna without lots of shade (need solar power to run my computer).
–       Nearby access to real food – Preferably 1 hour or less of a drive to a town that has real (organic/local) food.
–       WiFi and/or Verizon 4G data service. I need these things for research. I’d be open to not having these things onsite if it were easy to bike or walk to them.
–       Warmer nights (in the 40s+) or, if not, access to firewood (I’m pretty good at finding wood, whether in the forest, scrap, pallets, etc.).

Bonuses in a retreat space:
–       Access to a shower and toilet.
–       Access to water for filling my water tank.
–       Access to soil/plants to dump my greywater tank on.
–       Nearby town where I can serve up some free tea once every week or two.

Extreme bonuses:
–       Food provided.
–       Access to a workshop for a few small bus projects.

Time and location of retreat space:
I’m open to anywhere in the Southwest United States, and potentially even northern Mexico (Baja?). Sorry Texas, I can’t make it this time around. Currently, I’m in Colorado and plan on heading south in late November. Temperatures seem most welcoming in southern Arizona, and even southeast California (Slab City?). I’ve been looking at some free campsites about 45 minutes outside Phoenix, as well as some spots outside Tucson. I’d rather not be in the mountains due to cold, but I could be open to it with proper access to firewood.

About the book:
The Tea Bus Factory Service manual is a guide for small-scale, mobile, off-grid, low-cost, DIY, earth-friendly, and reclaimed living systems that uses Edna Lu, the Free Tea Bus as an example. Some of the systems and topics included are: water and plumbing, electricity and solar, WVO and biodiesel, coolant and utilizing waste engine heat, healthier options, reclaiming materials of all sorts and using them, and some of the philosophical ideas that guide these physical manifestations. One of the main aims of this book is to empower people with their own projects like tiny houses, vehicle conversions, off-grid cabins, and more. When people are able to live a more connected life to the things that make them live, they can focus less on “making a living” and more on things that are important to them. The book will be available to all for free as a PDF download, however I may eventually make a donation-based print version.

Thanks for taking the time to consider if you have a space, or know someone who does. Please share this post with people who you think may be able to help.

Thank you in advance!

Guisepi (and Edna Lu, the Free Tea Bus)

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9 Responses to Seeking Winter Writing Retreat – Southwest United States

  1. Katie Ray says:

    Hey Guisepi!

    I know your note says no texas but i couldn’t help but offer Alpine and our backyard – shop and some meals included! We do fit all the criteria very well…just saying.

    hope you are well friend. come back and visit sometime. Our daughter is 2 years old now and we’ve got another one arriving in January.


    • Guisepi says:

      Katie – This little note here gave me the biggest smile! I was so tempted to come to your place for the winter! I tell everyone about how I fell in love with West Texas. I miss you and your family. I look forward to the next visit (winter 2020?) and to meeting your daughter. – G

  2. Nick & Gail Tiffany says:

    Hi Guisepi and Ally,
    Nick & Gail liveaboard sailers from Friday Harbor here. Re: place to create “users manual”
    Consider Ajo, AZ (check out Culey School, etc.) Lots of creative energy flowing there – cheap to live – boondocking galore. We’ve been spending Nov – April there last 3 yrs. Let the Sonoran Desert stir the creative juices. We love the manual idea.
    All our best,

  3. You may contact me to discuss a place to spend the winter. I live in Blythe, California (southeastern California on the Arizona border and the Colorado River.). I’m a retired public school teacher. Nearest weather station:

  4. Ann says:

    Alas, we are apartment dwellers in Phoenix, else we would delight in hosting you. Maybe down the proverbial road – best success with your quest!

  5. Mindy says:

    Carol Ann who had the Casbah tea house told me about you. I would like to talk to you cuz I have land in south east Az. I do not go on email. Do not want to write phone. Umber here. I will start to check email

  6. Peggy Lynn says:

    If you need another set of eyes to proof-read your manuscript, please allow me to donate my abilities! It would be an honor. I don’t do editing. I proof-read and I am detail-oriented. I have done this with two other authors. If interested, let me know! Absolutely love tour approach to life!

  7. Peggy Lynn says:


  8. Java Bear says:

    I love what you’re doing with the free tea bus and your lives in general. Have you found a good spot to hunker down for the winter? I hope so.

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