SALT LAKE CITY – At best, I’ve been questioned, and at worst, criticized for my decision to sell my house and travel full-time (while in the middle of a pandemic).
Some background if you’re just catching up: in July 2020, I decided to sell my house, downsize all my things, and travel across the U.S. with only my dog and the things in my car. On September 4, I left Phoenix behind for Idaho, Montana, and Utah, to date.
Some have asked me… why 2020? Why, when the world is blowing up, would I want to hit the road like Mad Max into hell?
It’s true, life is a little darker than it used to be. COVID-19 is costing a terrible number of lives. People are being kept apart and at home; relationships and livelihoods are hurting. Should I have stayed safely bunkered down in the bubble that WAS my comfortable Phoenix house?
First, I’d like to rewind to March 2020. I had been traveling the first few weeks of March (at the time, my entire house was rented out to vacationers) when the powers that be called COVID-19 a global pandemic. I had just arrived to Austin; I knew hardly anyone, all the activities I wanted to partake in were canceled, and I was pushed to the limit with work. I was terrified to meet any of the guys I had been chatting with online and be in breathing proximity of anyone. There was so much confusion about what the virus was and how it spread, it was all I could do after work to take my pup for a run, watch garbage on Netflix, and order DoorDash. I actually cut my trip short to go back to Phoenix so I could be in the comfort of my own home.
Well, being at home… that sure got old fast. As a person who spent 2019 away from home about one-third of the year… it didn’t take me long to be SOOOOO over the lockdown. And that dissatisfaction with my coronavirus-propeled predicament manifested itself into this decision: to become a nomad and travel — permanently.
Given the choice between safe, easy, and lazy, versus the uncertain, unknown, and life-changing — what would you choose?
I chose change. I chose adventure. I chose amazing highs and unavoidable but fortifying lows. I would NOT put my life on hold while the virus forced us all to become hermits. I did not want my life to stand still, especially because I know it can end prematurely, for anyone, well before their time, as it did for my dad two years ago.
I had some people who told me: “Wait til after the pandemic.” It’s the middle of November, I’m sure we all thought it’d be over by now… but IN ANY CASE… timing is never perfect. For ANY life-changing decision or life-changing event, the timing is never just right. When we jump (or are thrown) into the deep end, our attitude, our will to survive, and how hard and fast we kick determines if we come up for air.
Sure, traveling during COVID is not ideal. Places and things look a little different in the COVID haze. But my life is NOT on pause.
Disclaimer: I encourage everyone to take precautions, adhere to government mandates, and follow CDC guidance as they travel. Luckily, as a solo traveler who spends a lot of time outside and has limited interactions with strangers, my personal risk is low; but one size doesn’t fit all.