Two Years Later

1 Jun, 2019

Two years have gone by since I arrived home from a 27-month round-the-world trip. I have left the US only once since although I have been traveling domestically quite a bit. My arbitrary deadline to start traveling again by 31 May has just passed. I’m feeling uncertain and nervous about my decision now, mostly because I have no plans and I have no idea what comes next. It’s like I set this goal so long ago and now I can’t remember why. I think I’ve been HERE too long because for some reason having a plan seems paramount when I know OUT THERE a plan means nothing.

I feel comfortable HERE now, maybe a little too much like a comfort zone. I’m unsure if I still need to be OUT THERE anymore, but that’s also why I think I need to go. A comfort zone makes me feel like a zombie and becoming a zombie is scarier than actually leaving.

I’ve sold my condo in Chicago, the same one I’ve lived in since 2003. So many memories just signed away with the stroke of a pen. All of my belongings have been sold or donated. I resigned from my job for the second time and now I’m living out of a backpack again, staying in a friends’ spare bedroom until my last day of work. I’m homeless again, yet it doesn’t feel as liberating as it did before. It feels more permanent knowing that everything is actually gone instead of just in storage somewhere.

Everyone asks what’s next, but the truth is I just don’t know. I already miss my friends. I already miss Chicago. I wish I could just be satisfied with a stationary life.

The thing is, though, I feel alive when I’m moving. Meeting new people, tasting new foods, learning about new cultures and languages, defying death on local buses, and challenging myself physically – these are my vices. It’s not about running away. It’s about running toward something and it’s ok if I don’t know what that is yet. Part of the fun is discovering it.

So it’s happening…I’m leaving…again. And I’m terrified, questioning if this is the right decision. But I guess what I’ve learned, if nothing else, is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer and no right or wrong decision. We only have one life and this is mine, living it the best way I know how.

Some photos of where I’ve been this year:

Montreal, Quebec – Sept 2018

Chute Montmorency, Quebec City – Sept 2018

Quebec City, Quebec – Sept 2018

Sorority Girls’ Weekend, Austin – Sept 2018

Austin, TX – Sept 2018

Austin, Texas – Sept 2018

Alan and I in Austin, TX – Sept 2018 (I met Alan in Baños, Ecuador in 2015)

Bandolier National Monument, New Mexico – Oct 2018

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico – Oct 2018

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, NM – Oct 2018

Petrified Forest National Park – Oct 2018

Sedona, Arizona – Oct 2018

Sedona, AZ – Oct 2018

Sedona, AZ – Oct 2018

New Orleans – Dec 2018

New Orleans, LA – Dec 2018

Girls’ weekend in Napa, CA – Apr 2019

Kirk Creek Campground in Big Sur – Apr 2019

Nepenthe View, Big Sur – Apr 2019

Point Reyes National Seashore, CA – Apr 2019

McWay Falls, Big Sur – Apr 2019

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur – Apr 2019
Camping in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, CA – Apr 2019

San Francisco, CA – Apr 2019

Alamo Square in San Francisco – Apr 2019

San Francisco, CA – Apr 2019

Wooden Line, San Francisco – Apr 2019