Like any good adventure story, there, unfortunately and inevitably, must be an ending. Every great tale of an epic journey has a closing chapter. Wendy returns from Neverland, Jack Kerouac gets off of the road, Jedediah Jenkins reached Patagonia, the list goes on. As I started off on my road trip to Utah I assumed it would resemble one of these classic adventures (maybe not Peter Pan since I haven’t seen a lot of fairy dust floating around.) During my six weeks on the road I saw numerous national parks, ran loads of glorious trails, reunited with friends after years apart, and became an expert at living out of my car. Like all great adventures, however, the road trip had to come to an end. There is a time to snap back into the realities of the “real world.” So what happens when the road trip ends? What happens when you take off the rose tinted glasses and have to get back to being an “adult”?
For so long I thought the nomad life would be for me. I thought the nomad life in its truest from would be the life for me. I thought that with my perpetual itchy feet and my yearning to see so much of the world, living in a constant state of wander would be the ideal. However, I have come to realize that I crave some sort of stability. Some sort of place that allows me to rest my head when the road seems to be a bit too much. Admitting this was one of the toughest things I ever had to do. I am my wandering spirit. I am the friend that you never know the next time you’ll see them or where in the world they will be next. I thrived off of the unknown, so to be in a situation where all I wanted was stillness and stability was a quick swift kick in the ass. Is it losing authenticity when you claim to be a “nomad” but in all actuality what you need is calm? I believe that it is perfectly okay to shift your focus. It is okay to want to get off the road for a while, to be able to exhale for once.
Now that the first of what I hope to be many great American road trips has come to an end I can definitively say I have learned a few things: Always say yes (within reason) you never know the story at the end of the adventure. A few mishaps are inevitable. Don’t sweat it or allow it to bring you down. Almost always accept a cup of coffee from a stranger (and pass along their kindness). Take tons of pictures, but remember to savor some moments just for yourself. If you think life on the road is your be all end all dream- great! Chase it, but be willing and open to admit that a place to hang your cap at the end of the day is mighty nice too. To all those who had some part in making this journey so incredible, thank you. Your kindness won’t be forgotten. Now, on to the next adventure.