My nomadic life has begun or maybe it was always supposed to be this way. I left ahead of schedule, but am likely already behind. Even as I type those words I chastise myself for having a “schedule” or “plan”, the plan is supposed to be there is no plan. I have spent my whole life “making plans”, especially as a graduate student and postdoc. I am not sure how many of those plans stuck, but I do know that I am more comfortable with a “plan”. Granted, I failed big time on my “plan” to remain in academics or continue my life as a researcher, scientist, or educator – that was always the “plan” for as long as I can remember.
The “planning” of this trip has also resulted in a set of emotions I did not quite anticipate. As I consider the places I want to go and the route(s) I want to take, it has been difficult for me to “fit in” camping days, because I will also be visiting friends along the way. The first emotion that passed through me was gratitude – I realize how grateful I am to be able to call so many people friends. Then sadness, because I realized that many of these people I met in graduate school or as a postdoc over the last 5.5 years. So why does this make me sad? Because I feel like I will be leaving that life behind. More descriptively, it feels like that part of me has died (or is dying), which is something that is difficult my mind around.
All of this to say, apparently having no plan is not as easy as I thought, but I am sure going to try.