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An Ending

Justin, Natalie, and AndorraThis project began almost 4 years ago in a tiny 3rd floor Winter Park, Florida apartment that smelled like cat pee on hot days. Perhaps the desire for nomadic wandering was birthed from a lack of satisfaction with my current career or a desire to figure out who I wanted to become. No matter. The time we spent saving, planning, and traveling was worth it. By learning about the world, we were able to learn a great deal about ourselves and who we wanted to become.Andorra the labradoodle

Although traveling was never lonely, it often lacked purpose. The freedom to wander from place to place never lost its charm but, eventually, the backpacking lifestyle  lead me to existential questions: What was my purpose? What should I do with my life? Do I matter? Although it may sound pretentious, once my normal day to day l life was filled with adventure and beauty, I stopped appreciating either. Perhaps this makes me awful an person – or simply a glutton for the mundane.

At the moment, our lives are fairly static. Natalie is an elementary school teacher. I teach high school English. We own a house. Adventure is often limited to hiking in the Rocky Mountains with our curly labradoodle. The birth of our first child is just around the corner. My idealistic nomadic self would have scoffed self righteously at my current life with its responsibilities, patterns, careers, and home value conversations. A part of me longs for the pure simplicity of my nomadic former self. At least once a month I close out of a travel blog and think about walking way from my “professional” life. I dream often about teaching abroad. At the same time, I legitimately like working with teenagers every day and I know longer wonder about my purpose.

The Nomadic Backpacker chapter of our lives are now, somewhat regrettably, closed. If I had to do it all over again, I think I might have made different choices. I might have picked up my backpack after my father’s funeral instead of  putting out resumes. Then again, perhaps not. I am satisfied with how life has worked out and I am glad who chose to record everything on this website. We will leave this resource, this website, online in the hopes that it will be helpful to others.

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