How does one become a nomad? Especially after being raised in the USA? Sure, we have mobility between cities and states but we are definitely not a nomadic culture. In fact, I think very few cultures are nomadic in the sense I feel nomadic. I want to constantly be on the move, exploring new cities, countries, continents. I know there were small signs as I was growing up, like when I declared at age 11 (half-joking, half-serious) that I wanted to be “a hobo” when I grew up. The fact is, I’ve got the itch and I’ve got it bad. It’s now been over a year that I’ve been back in the US, 10 months that I’ve been living here in Arizona. The mountains, deserts, rocks, and beauty of the southwest is great, and we’ve had amazing day and weekend trips out here. But I’m getting to that inevitable point I always reach, where I just feel done with it. I’m done working, done coming home to the same house, I’m ready to GO! Unfortunately this point usually hits a good few months before my actual departure date, and this time is no exception. Zach and I have a little over two months before we’re bookin’ it out of this town. This is necessitated purely by finances; if they were not an issue we’d be long gone by now.
We have such insatiable wanderlust. Our happiest times have been on the road, on the trail, approaching a new city or mountain or anything NEW. There is nothing like the thrill of constant movement. We can’t stay in one place for long without feeling stuck and beginning to desperately plan a new adventure. And now, we are so, so close to get-up-and-go time. On August 22 we will pack the car and drive to California–camping in Death Valley, Yosemite, then Lake Tahoe before swooping down upon Black Rock City to experience another world at Burning Man. From there we’ll head back west to spend a week in San Francisco and NorCal wine country. Then Salt Lake City to see all the Mormons, and a good two weeks in Colorado for lots of hiking and brewery tours. Iowa City and Chicago will be our final stops in the midwest before arriving back in Columbus. This will be our longest road trip yet and it is only the prequel to our big adventure, the escape to South America. We’ll be back in Columbus for a few weeks, just long enough to pack it up and say goodbye to friends and family before our flight to Medellin, Colombia, on October 27.
It takes a certain kind of person to really understand wanderlust. We’re lucky that although our families and many of our friends don’t get it, we’ve found a vast network of other wanderers through Couchsurfing and are sure to meet more at Burning Man and in South America. Honestly, I would be fully open to the idea of NOT coming back to the US after a year down there. Who knows what opportunities may present themselves? The ultimate dream is to find a way to travel indefinitely. Maybe that dream will change someday, but for now we are embracing it and chasing it at full speed. We’re young. What better time than now to live out of a car, a backpack, a tent, to watch the man burn, to hike the Andes, sail the Amazon, and create countless other stories?