Nomad, She Wrote
I was once a woman lost in a sea of uncertainty. Undecided of who I was, unsure of where I belonged, I felt out of place in a reality that so many accepted as their own.
I tried to live the life that my mother wanted for her children when she immigrated to America, but I felt like an imposter trying to occupy someone else's shoes. For 28 years, I lived a lie and chased a dream that I didn't even want for myself. It wasn't until I lost everything during the Covid-19 pandemic that I realized life is too short to waste my time doing things that don't make me feel happy and fulfilled.
Oddly enough, losing my job and house, and spending several months in quarantine with my family were the catalysts that resulted in my life-changing for the better. Months of free time with absolutely no pressure to do anything allowed my mind to decompress and step away from the expectations of society, my family, and myself.
After months of solitude and personal reflection, I decided it was time for me to start chasing my own dreams, even if it meant stepping off the beaten path.
So I took a leap of faith: I bought a minivan and planned to convert it into a campervan so I could travel, live my own life, and hopefully figure out whom I was meant to be all along...
After 8 months of slowly piecing it together, my van was finally ready enough to hit the road - but I was not. Sure, I was excited about the adventures that would ensue but I was terrified of facing the unknown on my own. I had spent my entire life tucked away in the Pacific Northwest because I was deeply insecure and I doubted my ability to survive on my own. I let my fear of disappointment and failure hold me back - but not anymore.
It took me a week to get over my anxiety and gain enough confidence to uproot my life and leave the only home I've ever known. "Better late than never," I thought to myself as I pulled out of my driveway.
Photography by Ryan Lundbohm
I've been on the road and living out of my van for the last six months, and I will continue traveling and living free for the foreseeable future.
I drove across the country for the first time, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and meeting fellow travelers and fans of my blog along the way.
Fans often tell me that I’m brave, that they could never do what I’m doing. When I hear that, I think back to just last year when I said the same thing to myself.
I never imagined that I was the type of person who could solo travel around the United States while living out of a minivan - but here we are!
Traveling and living out of my van has unlocked a version of myself that I never knew existed. I know myself so much more intimately now. I'm confident in myself and my abilities. I know what I want, what I need, and what I'm capable of achieving as long as my head and heart are in the same place.
The most important lesson I've learned while on the road is not to tell myself that I can’t do something until I put 100% of my effort into trying to make it work.
Life isn't just one long, drudging road to the end, it's full of side streets and back roads - we were never meant to follow the same path as everyone else. Just remember: you will never be 100% certain or 100% ready to take a leap of faith - but that's why it's called a leap of faith. You just have to go for it and trust in your ability to figure things out along the way. That's all you can do, and that's enough.
Photography by Ryan Lundbohm