For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a free spirited, adventure seeking, fun loving, fast moving, travel junkie. I guess I can thank my parents for that, really. Growing up, we took family vacations every summer to various places around the United States.
My first trip to Disney World as a kid was when I was six, where we celebrated by sister’s 2nd birthday. The next year, we rented a cabin at a ski resort in Estes Park, Colorado, and then drove down to Mesa Verde to tour the ancient cliff dwellings of the Anasazi pueblo people. I walked the halls of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. the year I was in grade three. The next Summer, we road tripped to the Grand Canyon and celebrated my mom’s 40th birthday. My freshman year of high school, I hit three corners of the country in nine months: sightseeing in San Francisco with my girlfriend and her family in March, kayaking off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine in June, and Disney World (again) in December. Since then, I’ve visited Yellowstone, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Key West, Chicago, New York City, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Myrtle Beach, San Antonio, Mardi Gras, Miami, Nashville, Dallas / Ft. Worth, Table Rock Lake, several trips to Atlanta, and other cities large and small.
In all, I’ve been to 43 of the 50 U.S. states, leaving just Washington, Oregon, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia untouched. However, I’ve never before traveled outside the United States. That’s all about to change.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to explore the world as a travel writer and photographer. I’ve been shooting landscape photography as a hobby here in the States for the better part of the last nine years. While I certainly haven’t seen everything our great country has to offer, I’ve recently decided to get my passport and venture out of the U.S. and into the great unknown. In the next three months, I’ll be backpacking through nearly a dozen countries throughout Asia and the Pacific.
You might be asking, “What brought this on so suddenly?” Like many who have gone before me, it all boils down to a series of unfortunate life events and the need to get away, find myself, and come back refreshed. At least that’s how I’m looking at it here and now.
What kind of “unfortunate events,” you ask? In the last 12 months, I’ve gone through a divorce, sold our house, then a tumultuous relationship and an even more outrageous breakup, lost my day job, and a slew of lesser things not worth listing here. Together, all these events set off my Big Bang.
For those of you who know me best, you know that throughout all of this, I’ve never stopped being optimistic about the future. I’ve never stopped looking forward to the next adventure and I’ve refused to let sadness or depression bring me down. That being said, a hole inside me keeps growing. A voice inside me gets louder and throughout these events, demands that I listen.
So, I’m doing what any reasonable person in my position, having experienced so much turmoil in such a short time, would do. I’ve ended the lease on my house, sold 80% of my belongings, put another 18% in storage, and packed the remaining 2% in my trusty Kelty Coyote 80 backpack.
I have three freelance writing gigs that allow me to work from anywhere and provide me with enough money to pay the few remaining bills I have at home and scrape by on the other side of the globe. With part of my savings, I bought a one way plane ticket from here to New Zealand, and another one way ticket from there to Vietnam. As of this writing, that’s all I know. Everything that happens in New Zealand and everything that happens after I land in Vietnam is a big unknown, and that’s exactly the point.
I look forward to sharing these adventures – the good, the bad, and the in between – with you.