Life on the road is challenging. It is exhausting. It is exciting. It forces a focus and mindfulness on the present, otherwise the infinite variables of possibility overwhelm the mind. A life that breeds an even greater desire to explore and to travel the road unknown quickly becomes addicting. The more we see, the greater our awareness of that which has yet to fall within our sight. All the while, we long for a sense of retreat, stability and familiarity. The never-ceasing conflict of life on the road. Now autumn has arrived with winter on the horizon. As the brisk air snaps the reality of seasons changing, we are working to ‘hibernate’ for a few weeks before hitting the road again, heading north for the forthcoming holiday season.
Over the summer we meandered around the U.S. covering more than 16,500+ miles in five months (more on that here). Initially, we set off with limited plans, no itinerary and the car packed tight. We hit the road. We didn’t look back. We took it one day, one week, at a time – it was months before our minds accepted a state of immediate presence. Everything in my nature desired to deny that I was unable to decipher and determine our next steps beyond five to seven days. While we had few major milestones to arrive, the majority of our summer was open-ended. We went where the wind blew.
The nomad life proves to be an arduous adventure. No one single event stands out as especially difficult, rather balancing the constant state of not knowing what next week will bring with our ambition and desire to effectively manage our life proves an ever-present challenge. Yet the nomadic lifestyle presents opportunity in ways never offered to the static dweller. So, we push forward – one mile and one day and one week at a time. Currently our motto in life is ‘surrender the journey.’ We have learned that when we open our schedule (and our minds) to allow space for serendipity the unexpected always finds us, wherever we may be.
To be honest, we initially departed with the misguided notion that at the end of more than 15,000 miles we would arrive at the answer. The answer so many of us desire definitively – what’s next? About halfway through our journey, we began to realize the error in our thinking. Our life’s journey is not fixed to a schedule, nor to an itinerary. We must take life one day, one week at a time. A privilege more than burden.
In the spirit of taking it one day at a time, we have a several projects in the works and a few on the horizon. We are currently working on two books, of sorts. One a photography book from the many, many images we captured while meandering this beautifully diverse country of ours. Second, as part of our method to mentally process the five months of travel, we are developing a report or book that covers the basic stats of our trip, anecdotes from the road, research we developed, opportunities we discovered, people we met, business challenges others are tackling, and much more. Simultaneously, we are writing a lengthy article series on the future creative economy to address the trends we have identified and emergent opportunities for a broad scope of creatives and entrepreneurs to consider. In recent years we have developed a network of brilliantly talented photographers and social influencers. We are collaborating with them to develop new business opportunities and serve toward stronger professional development. Jen is considering graduate studies, so she is researching fields of interest and possible points of focus. Plus we are consulting with several entrepreneurial endeavors on growth, strategy, brand, digital, design and more.
After a welcomed pause for a few in weeks in Atlanta – a short hibernation of sorts – we will be hitting the road again heading north for the holidays. We are taking it one day, one week at a time, trying to make sense of this crazy adventure we call life.
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