At this point in life, I’ve spent two years on the road. Those two years have passed in a flash and felt like a lifetime. In the span of my travels, I’ve visited 42 states: I haven’t stopped and lived in all of those, but I’ve at least passed through these 42. Some highlights of these trips and favorite places are California, Montana, Louisiana, Oregon, and Virginia. That’s just a small selection, but those are probably my favorite states above all others, at least for now.
Right now, I’m leaving Oregon and heading east, and … I honestly have no idea where I want to go. It’s fall. I need to go somewhere warm. I could go to Texas; there are a lot of places there I haven’t visited. But I’m feeling a little lost. It’s not that the wanderlust has disappeared. I think that every so often, it’s just difficult to have no roots.
I’ve met completely amazing people on my travels. People who have become lifelong friends. People who have helped me have the best adventures of my life. People who have changed my outlook. People I’ve loved. People I’ve left behind when I go out on my next adventure. There was the family that took me lobster fishing, the old man who saved me when I ran out of gas in Arizona, and the couple that let me crash on their couch when a storm ruined my beach camping plans. You know that line about the kindness of strangers? I really understand that now.
But sometimes, I feel separate and apart. Sometimes, I’m lonely, and sometimes, being a wanderer is difficult. Sometimes, I crave direction, plans, boredom … that’s the boredom that comes from routine instead of the boredom of driving through the middle of the Midwest.
In my time on the road, I went home for my first Christmas and skipped my second. That’s it. Just once in two years. I talk to my family at times when I have good cell service. Craving a rest, I think I’ve decided where to go. I’ll take those boring and endless Midwestern roads, and I’ll go home.
It won’t be forever, and I’m not sure for how long. But it feels like the place to go. From there, I can regroup, recoup, reconnect, and figure out where my heart is leading. This is in no way admitting defeat. My experience on the road has been overwhelmingly positive, and I don’t regret a day of it. But when I need to pick a new destination and feel lost, I think that’s a sign I need a rest.
I figure I’ll probably stay in Ohio for no more than a month. I might even explore some places in my home state I’ve overlooked and left unappreciated. After that, I’ll probably start plotting out the states I haven’t visited and how I’m going to get myself there.
The wandering life is about uncertainty and flexibility. So as surprised I am to find myself facing home and heading that direction, I’m going to embrace that feeling and follow my instincts. They haven’t led me wrong before. During my time at home, I’ll probably have a lot of Internet access to create more posts, so don’t think of this as a hiatus. And no worries; I’m sure I’ll be back on the road before long.