The holidays came and went and the year changed to begin a new decade, and somewhere a screw came loose. 2020 has been a whirlwind that’s made me feel more than once that we’re living in a twilight zone of sorts. My tech travel lifestyle has been upended and my family’s had to adjust to an entirely new way of living, but we’re surviving. I remember reading the news in January and it became worrisome in February. I kept tabs on the lockdowns hitting China and then Italy, a place near and dear to my heart where I lived for three months several years ago.
I’ve traveled the world, living our of a rucksack on my back, flitting from one hostel to the next, sometimes staying with CouchSurfer hosts, and other times, I simply setup a tent and fair through the local weather. For me, travel is about experiencing new and exciting things that I could never have experienced if I stayed home. Well, now my travel years are weening and I’ve settled down in rural Ohio while I start a family. The reason I chose to be 20-minutes outside of the nearest town is because I can still experience some of the best things life has to offer, but I also must be prepared to survive on my own.
For me, nothing is as awesome as traveling the world. From the unique cultures to the food varieties to the ever-changing natural world, when I find myself in a new place, I revel in it. I get into the culture by staying with locals, often by way of couchsurfing, or by simply planning a meet up with a one-on-one tour of the place with others in like fields of work or with like interests. I try and fully explore the local culinary styles whenever I get the chance, starting first with my hosts and then I wander and stop whenever something catches my eye (or nose, rather).
Camping is a favorite activity of mine, for not only does it relax me and helps me escape the stress and anxieties of the modern hustle and bustle, but it lets me to disconnect from technology and to reconnect with the natural world from whence we came. There is something profoundly bad about how we run ourselves ragged in a 9-to-5 job, as well as for how we are constantly on the run. It runs me down and makes me feel exhausted, even after a full night’s sleep.
Capturing the beauty and the memories of a moment is what I’ve thrived on for well over a decade, and so in this line of business, you have to be ready for anything. When you see something and take the best photo to share that memory with others, where you nail the light, the angle, the mood and the story, then there’s little else that feels that damn good.
Sort of like treasure hunting, bird watching is an experience of many lows with a few occasional discoveries that make the downtime worth the wait. I find bird watching to be a rewarding and zen experience, because it keeps me relaxed, focused, and breathing easy without anxiety. Then with the spotting of an eagle or owl, I find myself flooded with a jolt of wonder and awe, which helps to solidify my trust that Nature lives on in a world slowly suffocating by the cause and effect of modern human activity.
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