Well I lost my path but I found my way…
(Lyrics from Dirty Heads- ‘Driftin’. One of my favorite bands.)
What am I doing next? A question I’ve been responding to lately, although I don’t completely know the answer myself. Less than a year ago I committed to the idea of traveling around the country in a van. Since that point, I have: purchased a van, downsized my possessions, moved out of my apartment, quit my job, and traveled back to my home state of West Virginia. It feels like every step I’ve taken recently, takes me further away from the life I was living before, and deeper into the unknown. The unknown is a delightfully scary place to be- full of risks, certainly, but also containing endless possibilities and opportunities.
I think we tend to associate the loss of a clear path with being actually ‘lost’, in the most negative sense of the word; if you’ve every gotten lost on a hike or camping trip, you know that sometimes, this leads to even better adventures and discoveries then you originally expected. That’s pretty much the experience I’m hoping for!
The tentative plan for right now is to spend spring catching up with family, friends, and taking the time to enjoy the area I grew up in. I’ll be building my van with my dad’s assistance (major assistance), creating a functional and livable home on wheels. Leaving in June, I’ll be spending a full year on the road traveling around the country. Adventures to include (but are not limited to): exploring beautiful areas, hiking cool trails, visiting neat towns, camping out all over, and (hopefully) meeting really great and interesting people all along the way.
Drifting, but with purpose- I have a running list of places I intend to check out, and am constantly adding to that list (so, if you have a recommendation, please share it with me). Mapping out these destinations and planning a general route ensures I’m not missing anything that’s important to me, but allows me the flexibility to discover other great stuff along the way as well.
My exact route is a definite work in progress. At this point I have a general idea of where I want to go, and due to the weather I know there are certain regions I’d like to experience in particular seasons. Essentially, I plan on heading counter clockwise around the states. North up to Maine, then west across the top part of the country (with a few detours up into Canada). Down the west coast- Washington, Oregon, California (with the goal of getting to this point by the end of summer/ beginning of fall). Enjoy fall in the midwest, then head south for the winter, working my way over to Florida and ideally the Florida Keys. From there, back north, enjoying spring in the southeast until I reach my starting point of West Virginia.
After that? Who knows- your guess is probably as good as mine!