“I had traveled eight thousand miles around the American continent and I was back on Times Square; and right in the middle of a rush hour, too, seeing with my innocent road-eyes the absolute madness and fantastic hoorair of New York with its millions and millions hustling forever for a buck among themselves, the mad dream-grabbing, taking, giving, sighing, dying, just so they could be buried in those awful cemetery cities beyond Long Island City.”
I swore to myself I would never feel like this again.
This quote, from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, struck a chord in me so deep that it rattled my bones and demolished my soul. This is exactly what I was doing – sitting in an office sighing and dying to the point that death laid itself out in front of me. I was fed up.
Is this really what you want to be doing Louie? Do you want your twenties to end like this? Sitting in an office wasting life while it taunts you from afar, waiting out there on the edge of your own existence? You’re limiting yourself. You don’t care. You’re hurting your coworkers when you don’t try. Figure it out.
Thoughts swirled in pools around my brain. I was drowning. I had to do something. So I did. I quit. I put in my two weeks notice and I founded a website. I spent a month preparing myself, packed whatever I could into my Subaru, and headed into the promise of the open road. Kerouac did it in in the fifties, and I was going to do it now. But I wasn’t going to just do it, I was going to capture it. Photos, blogs, poems, places, people and passion – they all rushed into my brain like monsoons through a gully, and I fed these thoughts like wildfire. I was going to consume the land, letting it gush out of me for the world to digest. And my husky was coming with me.
On this journey, I’d be sleeping mostly in my car, my tent, or on backpacking trips I could fast-pack my tent (using only the rainfly instead of the tent itself). I have a large supply of easily-prepared food, a Primus single gas burner, a single serve coffee brewer, a lot of various warm-and-cold -weather clothing, my camera, my computer, a few good books, a few empty journals, and a lot of love and passion. It’s a tight squeeze, but three days in and I’ve slept like a dog – pun intended.
While this may all seem like a romantic, glorious adventure for a boy and his dog to em – “bark” upon, leaving a beautiful state like Colorado where you have good friends, a warm bed, and good food is by no means easy. I’ve had a lot of heartbreak and confusion present itself in the last year, including being left by a woman with whom I thought I was going to marry and travel the world. I was waiting for something that wasn’t actually there, and put all all of my trust into the idea that we would be on some big adventure together, perusing through galleries in India or sleeping on the beach in Thailand. In reality, she was unhappier than me. I had created a lie, and told it to myself everyday while I sat suffocating in front of a computer, looking toward the future where I thought I would be happy. That moment never came.
So here I am. Am I seeking something? Maybe. Do I know who I am right now? Not quite. But I do have a pretty damn good idea, and I intend to find out a lot about myself, as well as my dog, as I rediscover a country that I still do believe is truly free in the rawest sense of the word. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer, and please, indulge in some of these photos (seen below) of my first stint from the edge of Colorado to the banks of Ocean Beach, California. Grab some coffee folks; I hope you’ll join me in finding out just why the world, and we, are truly wild.