In March of this year (2015), someone sent me a link to an article with a map. But this wasn’t an ordinary map. This was the map of my future. It charted a trip around the country, hitting every single state in the lower 48. This had to happen in my life. Sooner than later.
The minute I saw it, I knew I was going to do it. I began budgeting, planning and scheming about how I was going to make this work. If I saved X amount, I could take a 3-month sabbatical a year from now and go for it. If I saved twice that amount over 2 years, I could take my time on a 6-month sabbatical. Then I decided if I was going to it, why not a year!? Or indefinitely? There was only the matter of how…
I love to write and take pictures, and I don’t completely suck at, so I imagined I would start a travel blog to fund my exploits. I quickly realized that while everyone online was trying to tell you how to make money writing a blog, very few were actually profiting enough to live off of it. Their blogs were just a piece of the puzzle. There were definitely opportunities, but it wasn’t going to be as easy as just writing a blurb with a pretty picture at each stop along the way. Luckily there were lots of options, and I was determined enough to do whatever necessary to make this happen.
I was deep in the process of minimizing at this point so I knew I could comfortably live in a very small space. My lease was up soon so I began looking for a small inexpensive studio. I wanted to limit my living expenses so I could start my savings. Unfortunately, things went a little haywire in my life quite unexpectedly. I ended up moving into a hotel for 4 months, ultimately delaying my plans due to the expense of my living situation. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and this setback was no exception. During that 4 month period, I was able to research my options, discover some interesting alternatives, and more importantly, I truly began to discover my purpose. It was in that hotel that I solidified my current plan and found the perfect studio to move into, at the perfect price.
That map really was, and is, my future. I didn’t realize it at the time, and I wouldn’t for weeks to come, but this was not going to be a singular trip, it was going to be a way of life.