Why I Quit My Job to Travel the Country

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We started our trip on Monday, August 3rd. Man was I excited – and at the same time freaking out – sixty days ago. I had no idea what to expect. I’d never been on a road trip like this before. Actually, I had only camped twice in my life and I hadn’t even enjoyed it.

All I knew was that we were heading off on an adventure and that was enough for me.

I’d just gotten married, quit my job, given up my apartment and, after two years of planning, I was finally free. Three months on the open road with my husband, our dog and our remodeled 1973 Airstream Land Yacht.

I do what I want, I kept thinking.

Would we come back? Would we figure out a way to live as nomads in our little tin can forever? Would we get chopped up in the woods by a psycho? Would I get eaten by a bear? Would I start making my own granola and decide to live off the land, off the grid, in the woods somewhere in British Columbia?

Or would I wind up back in New Jersey, down the street from my mom, barefoot, pregnant and baking in a split-level with a pool?

I didn’t know. I didn’t care. I just wanted freedom.

And I wanted away from my shitty, condescending boss and the job that I’d hated for over a decade. I wanted away from the subway and the smell of hot garbage and the tiny, exorbitantly-priced apartments. I just wanted to breathe. And I wanted my skin to clear up. That is why I quit my job to travel.

I’d spent the past decade working in a city that never felt like home, at jobs that never felt like me. Seriously, a decade. I started my first job on July 15th, 2005, and closed the book on the New York City chapter of my life almost exactly 10 years later on July 30th, 2015. Yowza.

That decade was the hardest of my life. Ages 22 – 32 were my most challenging years by far. I had a lot of fun, to be sure, but I also had a lot of anxiety attacks. I battled fear, addiction, and limiting beliefs. I moved 12 times. That is not a typo. I moved 12 times in 10 years. Maybe that’s why it never felt like home.

I made it through though, and to be honest, I quite like who I am today. So I thank that decade for molding me and those apartments for sheltering me. But I know now that it’s time to move on.

Move on to what? Not sure really. But first, we travel.

We hit the road and head west on Route 80. We scale mountains. We sleep in the woods and we figure out life, if life can be figured out, around the campfire with some IPAs and a bit of boxed wine. I figure out what it is exactly that I’d like to spend my days doing from here on out.

I don’t have to work right now. I am very lucky in that regard, I know. I realize that I am privileged. My husband makes enough that we don’t have to worry about living comfortably without my working, at least for right now, and said husband also wants me to be happy. He knows how miserable I was in my previous ‘career’, if you could call it that.

I know I want and need to do something though. I have a feeling it involves more writing.

So that question, among others, is what I’m hoping to get answered out here on the road. We shall see my friends, we shall see.

Here’s the first, short leg of our journey in photos:

Pulling out onto the highway…

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The inside of the Airstream…

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Sunset at Indiana Dunes State Park our first night…

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The beach the following day…

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Corn… so much corn that first week…

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And a lot of beautiful scenery, such as…

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Jacko enjoying the sunshine…

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And our rig…

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Dana

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