Alone and Unafraid

It's time to get personal.  So far, I've had the privilege of taking you all on this journey with me.  You've seen me climb mountains (and run back down due to rattlesnake fears), poison myself, breakdown (again and again), and even fend off a mouse (which I later caught in addition to my own finger via mouse trap), but this is all more representative of the yard - the exterior.  I want to bring you inside the home.

Black Canyon
Over the past 4 1/2 months, I've went on numerous spiritual journeys and have come out the other side with newfound revelations.  First, I no longer place nearly as much value on materialistic items as I did before this road trip.  In fact, I'm currently experiencing a heaping helping of cognitive dissonance over the fact that I have both an electric hookup and a hot shower today.  I feel as though I am being "soft."  I should be out in the woods without cell service, water, and electricity, obtaining bruises trying to rub two sticks together to start a fire or something!  Then I remind myself that yesterday I was doing just that (minus the sticks) in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and before that I was coming shoulder to antlers with a ram along the Colorado mountain range in Great Sand Dunes National Park (where I also thoroughly exfoliated my knee caps and palms as I crawled to the top of High Dune under the scorching sun).  But no.  This is not enough.  Even my beloved Honey seems to be too much of a castle nowadays. 
Sunset over Gunnison River

Second, I find that despite some minor panic episodes, I am much more equipped to handle obstacles.  For instance, as I sunk calf-deep in the aforementioned dunes, it appeared that Honey had been towed.  Spoiler Alert: This was not the case.  Nonetheless, I realized that my initial reaction was not panic.  Sure, there was annoyance, but instead of instantly dabbing the corners of my eyes dry, I began contemplating how much an Uber would cost to the nearest tow yard.  In this regard, I've certainly come a long way.

Almost At the Top
But more than anything else, I discovered that I am very good at being alone.  Perhaps a little too good.  I am most comfortable in the solitude of my own presence.  A place where I hit all the wrong notes, sing all the wrong lyrics, and go unshaven (and unshowered) for days (weeks?) at a time.  In fact, my impending doom (excuse me, return) which insists on biting at my haunches, has me feeling less relieved and more terrified of the interaction to come.  This means I will be seeing friends and family, searching for employment, renting an apartment, etc. etc.  AKA I will be forced to assimilate back into "The Real World."  I can't tell you how many times people seem surprised by the fact that I am traveling alone.  They often ask, "Aren't you afraid?"  I shake my head of course not, but in my head I'm thinking, "Aren't you afraid of stinking up your camper after some baked beans in front of your SO?"  A house is one thing, but there's not a whole lot left to the imagination when you're travelling on wheels.
Definitely Not at the Top

And then someone reminded me of a very important fact of this vanventure.  The whole point of hitting the road straight out of college was to gain some life experience outside of my comfort zone.  So perhaps it is the social aspect of meeting friends, setting plans, and committing to something - anything - that has me out of my comfort zone.  Perhaps these are the next goals I must achieve in order to be a "well-rounded" individual, in which case the closer I am to the east coast, the more afraid I will become.  But maybe.  Just maybe.  This is a good thing.
The Best Kind of Road Block


  1. Being comfortable and happy in your own skin is a gift many people never receive. Appreciate your new found happiness and know you it will serve you well in all your future endeavors.

  2. Well written. Incredible journey.


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