On May 4, 2015, I wrote a deeply personal piece about why I had packed all of my belongings, save what I could carry, into a storage unit and was setting off for five months. My itinerary had grown from a two week trip to a 6 week trip to a five month trip, and this was no longer a vacation, but a journey. People asked me “Why?” And there were so many possible answers. At the time, I simply said, “Because.” In retrospect, a better answer may have been, “Because I can.”
A few of the words I wrote then:
“Because I trust myself. Because I sense it. Because I survived, and thrived. Because even that had to be a conscious choice.
Because of the people I’ve known for decades. Because of the people I’ve met in the midst of chaos. Because of the people who crossed my path, however briefly. Because of the people who chose to stay and walk awhile. Because of those who left. Because of those who stayed.”
Because of those I have yet to meet.
Because I know I don’t belong ‘here.’ Because I don’t know where I belong. Because that doesn’t frighten me.
Because if I don’t do this, I will question why tomorrow, the next day, the next week, the next year.
Because I want to see what the stars look like from other lands. Because I want to see a wider range of humanity. Because I want to see what the ancients have left us. Because I want that sense of time suspended that exists when traveling, except for those moments dashing for a train or plane when you’re reminded that the world has its own expectations.
Because why not?
It’s only five months. But oh, how much can, and will, change. My path must veer off for a bit. Within shouting distance of many (technologically speaking), but it must be one I take on my own. The juxtaposition of solitude and adventure, of stillness and motion, of self-reliance and the kindness of strangers.
It’s time to go.
And how it changed everything! Because life rarely goes in the direction we expect. It knows we are far more capable than we believe ourselves to be. And here’s the proof. A few favorite moments from a lifetime of memories, experienced in a mere five months.
To all those who supported me at home, thank you. To all those who I met on the road, I am so glad our paths crossed. Because a path less taken is a truly exciting one indeed, if we only dare explore it.
With curiosity and courage,