Tomorrow, I’m going to embark on a two-month-ish road trip by myself. It’s finally happening and I’ve been avoiding being in my feelings, but I’m forcing myself to sit down and reflect before heading out. I know future Vivian will thank past Vivian for this. So lucky you, you get to read some of my rambling thoughts.
As the date gets closer, everyone’s been asking me how I’m feeling. Honestly, a lot of mixed feelings. I’m no stranger to doing things alone. I’ve traveled abroad by myself for a month and have done several road trips with just me, myself, and I. I’ve moved to places not knowing anyone. Especially being older now, not having a partner has forced me to be independent and I’ve always been one to just rely on myself and do things despite others not being able to join me – and I’ve learned to accept that that’s okay. This time though, it feels different. Not only will it be the longest on the road solo, but it’s the first time I’m sad to leave a community I’ve built and stability voluntarily.
First, let’s back up a bit and catch up on what led to this opportunity. Around the holidays last year, I started thinking about quitting my full-time job. I have been feeling burnt out for the longest time (who’s with me?), on top of simply not enjoying my work, management, and overall organization. I told myself that regardless if I have a job or not, I was going to quit by March and take some time off to reprioritize and focus on myself. All I wanted was to have a sense of control of my time and enjoy life again. Earlier this year, an opportunity came up with Outdoor Advocacy Project that gave me the confidence to finally quit my job.
I’ve always wanted to go on a long roadtrip. I’ve dreamed of being one of those van lifers living on the road for a year or so, bouncing from one place to another. However, that felt overwhelming especially alone, so I cut it down to 6 months. I went with that idea for a while, but after putting in more thoughts (hello FOMO!), I decided to narrow it down to 2 months – June being the cutoff as I realized I didn’t want to spend my three zero birthday alone or with strangers. So I randomly chose to leave on the last week of March and it’s been prep time this entire month.
So how am I feeling? Well, tears have already been shed and will likely happen again as I’m taking off. This happens all the time before I leave for a trip by myself. It’s usually a mix of nervousness, sadness, fear, and anxiety. As I mentioned earlier, this time also feels different.
Seattle is the first place I’ve been in one location the longest. It still boggles my mind today that I haven’t moved away – yet(?). I always have this itch to leave after settling in a place over a year, and I found out in therapy why that may be. Surprisingly, I’ve actually grown quite attached to Seattle and the people. I’ve become more comfortable with this place that I’ve come to enjoy and genuinely care about the people that’s in it. So, why disrupt that? Why leave when that was something I’ve been searching for? I don’t know. Granted I am coming back, so it’s not like I’m actually leaving permanently, but to me, this feels like it.
I feel like I’m constantly struggling to find balance between my past dreams with my current ones, my nomadic, freeing side, with my older, wanting stability side, but also not-feel-completely-tied-down-self all in one. Struggling to accept change and letting go of the past. Struggling to feel at peace with where I’m at or a sense of satisfaction. Struggling to accept time for what it is and my relationship with it. Yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life or even with myself. What I do know though is that whenever I have control of my time, I have to do something with it. To no one’s surprise, it usually involves some type of traveling. So, here we are.
I had all these expectations of what I wanted out of this trip, but have thrown them out the window. Why give myself all these unnecessary pressure and expectations? There’s no point in overthinking this – even though I already have and most likely still continue to do so. Hey, I’m only human. But I’m trying to take it day by day and see where this takes me. I know I’m lucky to have this opportunity, so I’m going to savor each moment of it and be present. Thank you to all my friends that supported me and made me feel loved through this prep process. It’s been stressful and even now as I’m typing, I still don’t have my car setup or food ready. One day at a time right?
‘Till next time ✌️