Two years ago today Dixie and I walked away from our house and moved into an apartment in Denton, Texas.
One year ago today Dixie and I left that apartment and became officially homeless.
Since then we have driven thousands of miles and slept under the stars of half of the states in America. We have seen snow-capped volcanos and deserts, massive canyons and oceans, dust-devils the size of small tornadoes, lava formations stretching as far as the eye can see, dust storms that blocked all visibility, smoke from forest fires that blotted out the sun, cliff dwellings thousands of years old. We have driven through ghost towns that pass in the blink of an eye and cities that stretch to the horizon. We have hiked miles and miles of trails, some of which were first walked thousands of years ago. We have seen the largest trees known to man and been bitten by bugs so small as to almost be invisible. We watched a whale saying her last farewell, and a grizzly hungrily gnawing on a carcass. We watched condors, once almost extinct, gracefully ride thermals as they rose from the Grand Canyon walls.
We have tasted wonderful food in remote desert houses, in small cafes and in bustling city markets. We saw famous and busy places and landmarks, and we saw remote stretches of trail with hardly another soul in sight. We moved slow, we took it all in, and in return we stepped into a different realm. It sometimes seemed as if we had stepped off of the racing escalators and instead took the stairs. So many rushing by, in such a hurry, glimpsing what they could quickly, seeing and not understanding, so to speak.
Now we have crossed into another world. We are the minority. The words we hear, the signs we see – all are meant for others. It requires a mental shift, an adjustment. And yet we do not feel like too much of an outsider, rather welcomed. We connect with fellow travelers, we forge friendships with other cultures. We learn. We grow. Our minds are opened, and expanded. Our lives have been changed.
We thought it appropriate that we left behind all vestiges of a permanent residence on the first day of April. We are doing what many would call foolish, after all. But sometimes what one might see as foolish is, instead, truly wise.
We are guided by many who have gone before. I will close with this inspirational quote from Everett Ruess, an explorer ahead of his time:
Adventure is for the adventurous. My face is set. I go to make my destiny. May many another youth be by me inspired to leave the snug safety of his rut, and follow fortune to other lands. – Everett Ruess