Fruit on a cart in Colombia

5 YEARS

My nomad anniversary was last month. No gifts required. Well, maybe something small and lightweight or with wheels.

In the summer of 2017, I crammed my modest collection of belongings into a storage locker, sold my tiny condo, and hit the road. It has been a wild five years. I’ve traveled roughly 80,000 miles (that’s enough to circumnavigate the globe three times over). I’ve made over 100 stops–some for only a day, some for months during the pandemic. I’ve overstayed two visas–one in Colombia and one in Mexico. Both immigration offices were thankfully forgiving and charged minimal fees. I’ve explored four continents–North and South America, Antarctica, and Europe. I’ve met hundreds of amazing people–many have become friends. I’ve documented it all in a million photos, 941 Instagram posts, 169 blog posts, a handful of TikTok videos, and one Skillshare class: Epic Adventure Design. It has been a memorable adventure.

It’s not over.

I have several times contemplated quitting. In December 2019, I was sitting with April and Sarah in their kitchen in Guadalmina, Spain. I don’t remember how it came up, but I recall saying, “Maybe I’ve just reached The End of the Road.” I looked around for a sign–nothing. False alarm. A month later I was heading to Manizales, Colombia.

I have a propulsion system within that makes it impossible to rest in one place for too long. It hasn’t run out of steam yet. Just this month I had to cancel a trip to Spain. Nomad friends everywhere were texting: Travel is a mess. Canceled flights. Lost luggage, heatwaves, fires … stay put! So, I’ll be in Chicago for another month. But, don’t worry, it’s not The End of the Road.

Next stop: Guanajuato, Mexico

One thought on “5 YEARS

  1. You began your journey in 2017 while I moved back to the US in 2017 after being an expat for 6 years. My journey began in 2012 when I became divorced from a 25 year marriage, then.retired one year early from a 25 year teaching career, and all within 6 months, I packed up and left the US, spending 3 years in Guatemala, followed by 3 years in Ecuador. I came back to the US to make a base near to family, but not to stay year round. Last winter, I traveled for 3 months ths all over the interior of Mexico. Loved it. This winter, I will return to Mexico to some of the same places, one being Guanajuato for most of February. Your impulse to keep exploring life as a nomad is totally understandable in my mind. So much to learn, so much to see. Hope our paths cross, maybe in Guanajuato.

    Liked by 1 person

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