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Ditching the Norm

All right, for my first blog post, I wanted to explain what it is I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I’m deciding to ditch suburbia and the “normal” life in favor of a life in a van and on the road. So, what does that mean for me? Well, obviously, it means a lot of work; it also means getting back in touch with humanity and what really matters in life. I used to think all that really mattered was having a good job that paid well, hopefully with a company that valued their employees. I’ve worked as a media director and at several factory/plant jobs and I constantly saw people settling for what they had, like this was the best they had to look forward to for the rest of their lives. People seemed to think, “Well, I got a good job now. Might as well get a wife, a house, and have some kids.” It would happen so quickly, just BAM! BAM! BAM! I couldn’t believe it. I found it to be scary and sad. Whatever it was, I knew it wasn’t for me. After my grandfather’s death, I realized just how short life really is. It became a mission to figure out just how to get the most out of the dash on my tombstone; in other words, how to have my cake and maybe eat some of it too. So, I decided I needed try and travel as much as possible for work.

Ditching suburbia isn’t easy to do. There has been a lot of planning and many discussions with my friends and family. I’ve been taking classes and trying to educate myself in a variety of different survival and travel blogging skills. I admit that I have always loved the idea of just leaving everything behind and traveling. To have the ability to just GO! To simply grab a bag and hit the road, hitchhiking to wherever, just to see what’s there. I know that some people do this. I’ve seen them throughout my travels, but it’s not really the most practical or most viable lifestyle – otherwise, everyone would do it! I had told myself that as long as I could get paid to have a camera in my hands, I would be happy. Traveling or not, working a normal 9-5 job wasn’t for me.

After my grandfather lost his battle with Alzheimer’s. I knew I needed to get out into the world even more often. I started booking different jobs all over the state and country. I always opted to drive to my destinations. (Fun fact: Surprisingly, taking the extra days and paying for meals and fuel ended up the same price or cheaper, never costing me more than it would to pay for a flight and shipping all my gear.) I ended up traveling to over thirty states and witnessed some truly amazing moments: a harvest moon rising from behind the mountains; the sunrise at Mt. Rushmore, with the orange winter sun washing across their inscrutable stone faces; the moon lighting up a vast desert as brightly as the sun, casting a hard shadow. Such moments are almost indescribable at times. It’s as if they can only be felt and not really described with words. Yet, the word “transcending” comes close…

Every time I returned home from traveling for work I thought, “This is what I want to do with my life! I could do this!” Traveling was just making my wanderlust worse and worse. Picking up and leaving never seemed like a real possibility for me. I would look around and see all of my responsibilities. How could I pay my bills and roam the country with no destination? Especially if the idea is to create and travel full-time without having to be out selling and booking all of the time. I began putting in the work, making lists and realizing that shy of hitting the lottery, both having my things AND traveling on the road just wasn’t in the cards for me. However, I did realize I could choose one or the other, just not both. Meaning, I could choose to travel and live on the road, but it would mean having to sell my house and so many of the things I’ve purchased and collected over the years. No more wall of movies, the big screen or the other comforts a home provides. Computers, camera gear, the Cerwin Vegas… it would all have to go. So, after watching Fight Club for possibly the 100th time and digesting another Netflix documentary on minimalism, I decided I’m going for it! I am giving myself until the 4th of July, 2018 to purge my possessions, become a minimalist, acquire a van, turn it into my new home, and celebrate my own Independence Day.

There is still so much I need to do to make this all become a reality, but every day something else falls into place and I manage to push ahead a little further. I finally realized a truth about myself, that it’s not just about getting paid to have a camera in my hands for me anymore. It’s traveling with one, to exciting new places and exploring different cultures which truly makes me happy. Travel and adventure will soon become my life. I’m stepping into the unknown, creating an experience-rich life, and giving myself the freedom to be anywhere I want to be. It’s not like I’m traveling from one place to another, but more like I’m everywhere.

Be sure to follow my journey and show your support by sharing with your friends. Posts will roll out more regularly as everything continues to progress, with the podcasts being the last to start.

Thank you for reading. 🙂

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