In May 2015, I found myself in the position to do something I thought about doing for years. Y E A R S.
I was right-sized out of a job I loved, but a company I didn’t. I was lucky and received a package. Something was in that package that they didn’t intend to put in there: freedom.
As a kid I ate up all those PBS programs on National Parks. Images from Nat Geo magazines would stick in my memory and never shake loose. As a youngster, I began making a list of places I was going to go. I’ve had versions of that list ever since.
May 2015 everything changed. I picked up one of those lists and poured over the possibilities. Monument Valley floated to the top – it has flickered in my imagination for so long.
In October 2015, I was on the Utah Arizona border. I pitched my tent in sun warmed red sand that held the crisscrossed paths of lizard prints. I watched the sun go down, running long, sharp shadows over the whole valley. I woke up – on purpose – all night just to look out of my tent and watch the moon rise between the Mittens.
I was giddy. I was floored. I was there.
I haven’t been able to stop road tripping since May 2015. I worked on a contract basis for for nearly 3 years just so I could go camping for a couple months at the end of each contract. I’ve been to more western National Parks than I thought I could get to, but that only makes me want to go to more. I’ve hiked more trails and seen more mountain tops from mountain tops than I could have even begun to imagine as that dreamy kid watching PBS or carefully cutting out pictures from Nat Geo mags.
In August 2018 I was diagnosed with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Things are different, but not by much. Now I just have to make sure I have enough medication on hand before I go.
I’m a corporate training professional, photographer and semi-pro trip planner living in Seattle, WA. I’m a perpetual road-tripper with my gaze drifting over the next horizon. My question is: “Where to?”