Two years ago and some… my life was very different. I had the house and the belongings in north Phoenix, a fully remote corporate job that paid well, and a few weeks of vacation a year which I spent traveling. I was 35, a single successful woman with a good career, and I had a lot of friends, hobbies, and interests that tied me to Phoenix, but still…
I was living a life that had been dictated to me during the course of my childhood and young adulthood. Go to college, get a job, buy a house, find a partner, have a family, and go on a few vacations a year until you retire at 65 — and then enjoy yourself. (I was stuck at the house and few vacations a year part.)
Hell, that’s what my parents did, and their generation before them — only when my dad retired, he didn’t get to live out his dream retirement — he was diagnosed with atypical Parkinson’s, and died prematurely and suddenly.
So, to the shock of everyone around me, I decided to sell my house and 98% of what was inside in order to travel full-time. And on September 4, 2020, I drove away from the empty house where I lived for 7 years and the state where I lived for 11, and set sail on my own personal adventure.
Here are some highlights since September 2020 that I feel beyond blessed to have seen and experienced:
- I visited 10 U.S. national parks (Zion, Arches, Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Everglades, Mammoth Cave, New River Gorge, Acadia, and Saguenay NP in Canada)
- Lived on a moored catamaran in Miami for two and a half weeks, saw the Blue Hole of Belize by small airplane, followed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, went bouldering for the first time, went ocean kayaking in Maine, visited gorgeous Quebec City and Mont-Tremblant in Canada, attended a fútbol game at Estadio Azteca, sampled grasshoppers in Oaxaca, went waterfall jumping in Huasteca Potosina, rode a Vespa in Salzburg, and visited Disney-inspired Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (to name only a few)
- Hiked my farthest hike ever: 17.2 miles on Highline Trail in Glacier National Park
- Visited my 50th U.S. state and my 27th world country
- Sang about 1,000 karaoke songs in cities and countries around the world
- Saw my family more often than I had before, for three holidays, several visits, one wedding, and gained a nephew and a niece
- Had two mother-daughter trips with my mom, had a few beloved friends meet up, and bonded with a number of new friends elsewhere
- Quit my job to fully immerse myself in my travels and started mentoring
- Drove 8,000 kilometers through Mexico over six months
- Wrote 33,000 words towards my memoir
- Was featured on a number of podcasts, guest blogs, interviews, reached 100,000 lifetime page views on the blog, and secured several travel-related sponsorships
- Had hundreds of solo hikes, meals alone, dates (and a few mini romances that didn’t stick), while making many new wonderful friends
…and currently, as I write this, I’m sitting in a restaurant on a beach in Turkey with the setting sun across from me, after a full day of sailing the Turquoise Coast with four friends. Life is good.
When I started the nomad life, I thought it would be an experiment. Maybe I’d be at it a year, and then I would decide where I wanted to relocate. But the whetting of the wanderlust only fueled it further… and now, I can’t really imagine my life another way. It’s not without its challenges, and it’s rarely as glamorous as it looks, and I worry about spending… but it’s a life that I love and that fulfills me. I know I can always go back, but I don’t want to… not yet, or not ever.
I’m finally making choices that are purely mine vs. a consequence of upbringing, socialization, or expectations… and that is the ultimate freedom. ❤️