I’ve had the privilege of visiting 52 countries. While 52 isn’t a particularly significant number, it was a unique milestone for me.
I’ve drawn circles around the globe, exploring its architecture, ruins, jungles, deserts, and oceans. I’ve encountered its exotic species, climbed its mountains, swam its seas, tasted its dishes and sometimes indulged in its delicacies. I’ve wandered through cobblestone streets and narrow alleys, marveled at glassy lakes, snow capped peaks, and roaring waterfalls. I’ve traveled by plane, train, bike, boat, and every form of automobile you can imagine.
I’ve done it all eagerly and rapidly, often jumping from place to place with cities blurring together.
I’ve learned a lot about the world from the various cultures I’ve immersed myself in, but I’ve learned more about myself.
In India, it became clear that something had shifted within me. The fast paced exotic adventures that once fueled me, now drain me.
While I still admire the artful beauty of the architectural wonders of the world and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to behold them, there’s something persistently calling me back to nature, where human hands haven’t molded the landscapes to their liking.
Something inside of me yearns for the wind that swallows city noise, and for the quaint rural townships sprinkled between public lands. The wide open spaces and expansive mountain ranges outlining valleys below, untouched by man.
I thought I was a soul with two loves. That I could happily exist in crowded city streets AND empty backcountry roads. I thought that checking off more countries and world wonders on my bucket list would make me happier. But, a year in the van has transformed me.
The call has become so deafening that I can’t ignore it anymore. My energy comes from deserts, grasslands, and unscathed forests where stars own the sky. I belong where seasons dictate time, and the sun and moon direct my days. Where untarnished air fills my lungs, and music is made up of calls of the wild.