Things are crazier than usual.
I’ve been traveling full-time for exactly 4 years now. It’s as if I ran straight off the stage at college graduation and into a vagabond gypsy van, chock full of the interesting characters I’d eventually meet on my travels, beckoning me to caravan along.
As it goes with traveling, once you catch the bug, it’s hard to shake it.
Since leaving my home of Chicago land about 4 years ago to broaden my horizons, I’ve visited and called the following places home: Philadelphia, PA, Australia, Hawaii (Big Island and Maui), Wyoming, San Diego and Temecula, Denver, Cortez (Colorado) and now back semi full circle to Wyoming. What a whirlwind of adventures!
Before I started traveling, I became obsessed with the idea of living a wild life. I ached to know what it was like to scrape by. I needed to live by the seat of my pants. I had to be taken aback by the magnificent scenery of my dreams.
I haven’t lived anywhere longer than 3 months in 4 years. When I say things are crazier than usual, the past year, I’ve been moving about every 1-2 months. I travel seasonably because I have to connect to this Earth and its scenery. It’s who I am and why I am.
Every time I go home and reconnect with old friends, they can’t believe that I’ve just blown into town or even have the freedom to come and go so naturally. I cherish the time I get to spend with close friends because it reminds me of where I come from and the person I used to be. Often, though, I feel ashamed to “boast” about my experiences, embarrassed by what they probably don’t or can’t say: I’m not capable of sitting still.
And they’re right. I opened a can of worms that first time I packed my car and headed east. Now I’m addicted, possibly for life. I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way!
So here I am, raising my dog in a studio motel in Jackson, Wyoming, surrounded by incredible mountains and the charm only the west could provide. My boyfriend is just as crazy as me, lustful over any experience that is new, thrilling, wild or adventurous.
I just spoke with a writing mentor who is full of awe about my integrity and reminded me that it used to be acceptable for society to “get by” together in an insane world. Then America became money-hungry, brand hungry.
My writing career is finally starting to take shape. I’m going to be published in Mabuhay Magazine, the in-flight publication for Philippine Airlines. My dreams are coming to fruition. I can’t give up on my dreams of becoming real, old-fashioned travel writer.
The reason why I travel is the reason why I write: to share my experiences of this crazy world with others so they might just get up to some living themselves.
I’m done trying to box myself into a social media channel, tirelessly self-promoting and getting drowned out by stupid filtration systems that optimize more “relevant” (read: marketable) content. For so long I felt little value as a writer because I couldn’t get 10,000 twitter followers or a million blog subscribers. What I realize now is that that’s not my dream at all. That’s the dream of some profiteering dream-killer who wants to sell his ideas as my own.
I’ve gone rogue more than once and I’m finally giving up on the idea of writing engaging content for Buzz feed. I feel liberated. It’s like skipping all the neon flashy lights of New York City’s Time’s Square. Instead, I’ll be ducking in and out of dodgy Ramen noodle shops in Chinatown, feeling a sense of exhilaration only I could create.
And so, while I wrestle with what it means to live a normal life, which I’m sure is true of all of us, I’m not going to be afraid or embarrassed of who I am, my writing style or my lifestyle choices. We need more people to stand up to the man and live their lives the way they were always meant to. Mine happens to take the shape of a traveling waitressing act with a cute man and a mangy dog, but it’s mine and it’s perfect.