I turn 30 today. That’s not something I’ve been looking forward to saying out loud or professing to strangers on the street. Aging makes me anxious; it’s never birthday candles and cake for me. It’s more a period of deep reflection, meditation on how strange time is and some self loathing. Okay, lots of self loathing.
Last year I didn’t blow out any candles, but I did make a wish: that next year when I hit the big 3-0, I’d be doing something different with my life. It’s not that my life was bad — great job, apartment with a garden, boyfriend and big fluffy dog. It’s more that I regretted never taking any big risks. I did not backpack around Europe after college. I did not move to a new city or take a new job unless I had time to calculate and plan every move first. I didn’t even stick with that yoga class I really liked because it was too hard to get out of the office by 6:00pm.
This year as I prepare to join a new age bracket, as I accept that 1986 is no longer in the first few scrolls when selecting birth year in online forms, and as I come to terms that I made zero 30 under 30 lists, I’m trying to instead think about one simple fact: I’m in Idaho.
What I don’t say often enough in blog posts and Instagram is that this lifestyle is hard, especially for me. In between bike rides along the Gulf Shores of Alabama and picture-perfect sunsets in the Tennessee Valley, I’ve cried a lot of tears. I’ve thought “I want to go home” at least a hundred times. I started a business that’s been fulfilling, but not quite the success I’d hoped. I’ve been humbled by the trip so much that I’ve questioned everything from what I’m good at to whether or not I’ll ever be as successful as I thought. And I’ve failed. A lot.
But today I’m in Idaho. I’m 38 states into a 48 state road trip. I’ve traveled 60,000 miles in a car with one other (kind/thoughtful/adventurous) person and my dog for 300 days. I took a risk, I made a move, I went outside my comfort zone. Which means that last year’s wish came true.
So I’m skipping the extra self loathing today; I think I’ve done enough this year to last until at least 2020. Instead, I’m choosing to remind myself of 30 incredible moments we made this year because we bought a trailer and took a risk and made it much further than I ever imagined.
Here's to you, Idaho.
- Saying YES to Carson at the top of the Nebraska capitol building
- Snuggling with Costello & Carson in our tiny trailer almost every night
- Canoeing Lake Umbagog in New Hampshire
- Hiking the Beehive at Acadia NP
- Eating & cooking my first fresh Maine Lobster
- Looking across the Verde Valley from Jerome, AZ
- Admiring the sculpture garden at New Orleans Museum of Art
- Sledding the gypsum hills at White Sands NP
- Watching the javelinas raid coolers at Fort Davis SP
- Touring the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis
- Biking Dauphin Island, the Sunset Capital, in Alabama
- Wading in Fall Creek Falls TN
- Standing atop the overlook in Coopers Rock WV
- Eating salt water taffy at Rehoboth Beach
- Sitting in the mouth of the Wayne Coyne art exhibit at AFAM in Baltimore
- Taking a sunny boat tour of Providence RI
- Cheers’ing a successful Tabled market day at Harpoon Brewery in Boston
- Lounging in the adirondack chairs atop Mount Royal in Montreal
- Gazing at Niagara Falls lit up in pink, blue and red at night
- Biking 30 miles in PA’s Grand Canyon
- Sipping Stella Artois from the back patio of the Grove Park Inn
- Sewing under our awning at Potato Creek SP in IN
- Getting in trouble at the Mark Mothersbaugh exhibit in Cleveland
- Reading + drinking cocktails at Crockett in Milwaukee
- Watching Don’t Think Twice at the Fargo Theatre
- Backing Elsie up to the Missouri inlet at George Sibley Park
- Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in ND
- Listening to a blue grass jam session at The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo
- Climbing the path to the raptor observatory in WV at 6:30 in the morning
- Appreciating all the kind, generous and amazing friends, family and campers we’ve met along the way — you know who you are (!)