Most of my posts up to now have focused purely on aspects of my trip relating to climbing. While climbing has taken up a significant share of my focus, it’s not the sole purpose for this journey and isn’t the only area where I’ve felt I’ve been able to mature and grow.
I’ve now been living on the road for the past two months and while I was only planning on the trip lasting another month I’m thinking I’ll try to keep it going as long as possible. This trip has been providing some much needed perspective as far as pinning down how I’d like to shape my life. More than anything, it’s reinforcing past thoughts on the work/life balance. With whatever I end up doing if or when I return, I want to be able to take more than the standard two weeks a year to travel and explore. This time out has had the effect of re-centering me and I really haven’t been this happy or at peace for years.
While making my way across the West I’ve felt a sense of belonging. Whether it be driving across vast stretches of barren plains with the sky devouring the horizon or camping at the base of the mighty Sierras I feel more at home than I ever did surrounded by the concrete jungle. I’m grateful for being blanketed by an ocean of stars at night and being able to wake up and jump straight onto the boulders. Even in the relative doldrums of rest days I feel satisfied just sitting outside or hiking through the boulder fields. Maybe this is because it’s somewhat reminiscent of my hometown, Bend, OR, but even in new and unfamiliar terrain it seems like I’m in the right place. More than that, I’ve been finding my place within a community of welcoming and like-minded people.
I’ve relished sharing a common dialog with those I’ve just met and I’m always struck by the generosity and goodheartedness of strangers. The realization that I fit and feel comfortable within this group has been helping me grow beyond my usually introverted character and begin to put myself out there more. This is one aspect of my personality that I’ve struggled with in the past and being able to feel more secure and confident has surely helped me develop a deeper trust in my intuition and decisions.
Meeting and learning from those that have made these decisions before me has been inspiring and has begun to shift my initial impression that this would merely be a temporary step to the real possibility that this could become a lifestyle unto itself. While this kind of existence is by no means easy to pull off I’ve been learning what kind of choices and sacrifices are needed to bring it within reach. I don’t know if I’m ready to make those decisions, but with time and a deeper understanding of myself I can see it happening.
I still haven’t reached what feels like the conclusion of my journey and I’m sure I never will, but before I return there are still many ways in which I can develop and mature. I’m excited to see growth both in my climbing and on the personal side and so long as the process of self realization continues I’ll be hard pressed to call it quits. If the past two months are any indication I’ll be getting my monies worth out of the coming weeks on the road. Until then, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and try to make the most out of my time here, trying to savor it and remember that it will inevitably have to come to an end.
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