Quit the job and travel. Isn't that the dream? Go where the wind takes you. You have months off and no real plan. Instead of the usual 'days off and every hour is planned'. Finally that dream has come true for me with a little help from corporate America. I have the next 6-7 months off and the world beckons. For the first time in my life, time and money presented themselves together. It is an exhilarating feeling. I thank God for giving me this gift and this opportunity to explore this beautiful world.
I love travelling. I love seeing new places, meeting people and experiencing new things. Travel is a wonderful teacher. It has taught me to go with the flow. It's good to have a general plan, but don't make it too rigid that you'll be annoyed if it doesn't work out. It has taught me to live in the moment. If you spend every minute planning for the next event in your life, have you lived at all? It has taught me to trust God and to trust myself. Yes, we make a great team. It has taught me to take one thing at a time and to have fun. It has taught me to avoid FOMO (fear of missing out). After all even Bill Gates with his billions, will not see everything. So why am I so bothered that I didn't see that perfect view of Yosemite valley with just the right amount of snow, clouds and sun? Well, I think I did see that. But you get the drift.
Travel has taught me to trust people. Granted that I'm a 6 ft male and I have never been in an unsafe situation, but I have learned that people are generally nice (except while driving). People are just like you and me, no matter their culture, race, gender, faith, sexual orientation, political affiliation, sports fanaticism, coffee preference, and whatever other way we divide ourselves. Travel has taught me to see beauty in God's creation. In nature, in people, in technology. Travel makes me happy to be alive.
I'm on the road now. I'm living out of my car and have driven over a thousand miles since Feb 1. It is amazing how little you need when everything you need is in your car. Soon I'll be downsizing to a backpack. It's fun to wake up in the morning and wonder what would I fancy today. So far some experiences have remained with me. Drinking the perfect hot chocolate at Ghiradelli square on a cold rainy day in SF. Relaxing in a hot tub overlooking the Pacific at Pigeon Pt. Snowball fights with friends in Tahoe. Driving down Hwy1 in Big Sur on a perfect day with a raging ocean pounding the sandstone cliffs. Catching a street performance in SLO and laughing until my sides hurt. Chasing waterfalls in Portland. Hiking among and hugging the redwoods in Redwood NP.
I have slept in hostels, Airbnbs, motels, cabins and friend's homes. Thanks to Michael, Zach, Brian, Dan, Dan, Troy and Lindsay for opening your homes to me. Friends are the family we choose. True that. I gotta mention this one Airbnb place in Portland. She wasn't at home, so finding the key in her backyard was one treasure hunt with the fear of someone calling the cops on me. Trying to read her identity from her home decor was another big puzzle. My conclusion was hipster-hippie vegan lesbian Catholic. And her bathroom takes the cake. There is a full size window next to the shower without a curtain. I guess she likes an audience during showers? Thankfully the window fogged up pretty quickly once the shower was running.