From an early age I remember having this uncontrollable, insatiable urge to travel, and explore and see new things and take in all this world has to offer. I would imagine, as so many kids do, of being in a different time and a different space. As a child I had my go-to books that, no matter how many times I had read them, I would chose to read again and again. There were not many, just my select few consisting of my favorite subject: Atlantis, Pocahontas, Sacajawea, Sir Edmund Hillary, anything Greek mythology and the Loch Ness monster. Quite the mix, but the underlying theme is discovery and stories that make your mind rush with excitement.
As I grew up, I read more and more and watched a lot more television. They say T.V. is a bad influence, but when you’re watching History Channel and A&E and Food Network, the influence cannot be that terrible. My reading now consisted of Eastern religions and American sub-cultures and I would spend free time soaking up the feeling my local book store gave me. People think I’m crazy, but that feeling you have when you walk into church and you just feel calm and at ease… that’s the feeling I get in a library or book store. It’s very centering.
Moving on, time passed, I grew up and moved away from home. Before graduating high school I had planned to go to Australia on holiday and experience the country. Fate had other plans however, and I was instead packing my bags for sunny Phoenix, Arizona for a job with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
After two seasons with the Cardinals I moved to a position with a up-and-coming real estate development group, whilst still working game days with the Cardinals. During this time I had grown, and started on a very settled and secure life path… and then came the pre-mature quarter-life crisis.
I decided to quit my job, leave my 3-year relationship (and recently purchased home) and move to Vegas to pursue a hair-brained scheme of becoming a fringe-sports journalist. While I wouldn’t say it was the best experience I’ve ever had, my 13 months in Vegas reaffirmed my life-long mantra of “Everything works how it is supposed to.” There were ups, there were downs, but it was an experience that made me believe in myself more than I had. I had taken a chance, and as much as some might consider it a failure, I did it on my terms.
After Vegas came Tri-Cities, Washington. It was back to small-town living for me. Moving home with your mom at 23 isn’t what everyone dreams of, but it was exactly what I needed at the time. I took six months to work on “me” and figure out that it is okay that I don’t have all the answers, and accept that while I may always have a plan, life will not always follow it. Side note: if you have a chance to experience south-east Washington state in the summer, take advantage of it. The countryside is strewn with vineyards and they grow varietals you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else out of Europe.
The plan after Washington was Los Angeles, but as I’ve already touched, life doesn’t always follow your plan. I was coaxed back to Phoenix… and back to the blasted heat!
Phoenix’s second go around wasn’t a total wash, I met some amazing people and made fantastic contacts. I worked at a restaurant that I really believed in and supported and was proud to be a part of.
While I generally complained (negative by nature) and pined over escape routes while in Phoenix, I have to admit it wasn’t all that bad. Plus, it gave me time to start my next chapter: Australia and the great journey of uprooting my life and moving to the other side of the world.
And that is where this story begins…