Randy Orak had a good job with one problem: it kept him from being outdoors. So he quit to do something that would bring him joy. Now, he lives on a farm — happily working and riding his bike every day.
Randy Orak: Biking is not just about the emissions or my carbon footprint. It all ties together so completely. By biking, it costs less for me to not drive a car. Personal health, I mean, I look at it as a practical exercise. I’ve gotta get where I’m going anyway, so might as well just bike there.
Friend: Randy, can I have your Xbox?
Randy: I grew up outside of a small town in East Jasper, Pennsylvania. We would ride our bikes and just hang out in the woods all day. My parents still talk to me about this. Every day I would go outside and pick up the rocks and look at the bugs underneath and pick up worms, and salamanders, frogs, whatever it was. I just always loved being outside. It is part of who I was.
Randy grew up and pursued a career in multimedia.
Randy: I was spending more time indoors, I think, than I had ever spent in my entire life in extremely climate-controlled buildings with fluorescent lights, computer and flashing screens in front of me with sports displaying nonstop every day. I kind of just took a jump.
Randy quit his video job and started farming.
It got me back outside. Going from video production to farming is a pretty stark comparison. I just trusted that things would work out. It brought me back in touch with being outdoors and being at the mercy of the world around you. It’s just fulfilling to me.
I’ve been trying to lean out my life in every sense possible and just live as simply as possible.
When Randy’s car broke down, he started cycling 100% of the time.
Randy: I came home in Christmas of 2017, and my parents had bought me a car. I was really appreciative to have parents that could do that for me. (Tearing up) Um, sorry.
It was just something I didn’t want. I truly didn’t want to have a car. So I turned it down. Currently, my mind is that I would like to urban farm in the town that I’m from. There’s not a huge, big market of fancy restaurants that really drive up profit margins, but it’s possible. I don’t want to count myself out until I try it.
Move mountains. (Church bells)