Moving Forward

It has been too long since I’ve written here. To get you up to speed on my activities, I decided to write a blog post about it.

Most of my time in 2021 was spent planning and executing a 67-day road trip across the USA. This expedition was initially slated for the spring of 2020, but we all know why that had to be scrapped. However, anyone who knows me can tell you that I cannot stay in one place too long. Even when it comes to small things: when I talk on the phone, I pace; when I sit, I have the bad habit of shifting around. But in a larger scheme, I have often felt a Thoreau-esque urge to try out new lifestyles, and thus, travel is a must in my life.

From where I’m typing, I can see a scrape-off map of the world that keeps track of the places I’ve been. It is a constant reminder of all the places I still haven’t been. However, over the twenty-five years of my life, I’ve made much progress, and it may very well be the proudest achievement with my life. I could not have written Follow Me were it not for my travels, and my next novel (whose seed sprouted during this summer trip) could also never occurred to me had I never been to Cambodia.

The road trip itself was astonishing. Among the highlights, I saw a black bear and her two cubs in King’s Canyon, a shooting star in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a mountain goat charging a dog in North Cascades (no one was injured, thankfully), 2,000 year-old sequoias that by all means should’ve been killed from wildfires but somehow persevered, a moose eating from the bottom of a lake in Glacier National Park, rain as I drove into Death Valley, a bighorn sheep and her baby exploring Badlands, and bison walking within five feet of me in Yellowstone. I gained more elevation than I ever had before, completed day hikes of over twenty miles, and even carried War and Peace (I only brought one book on the trip) up to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.

There is much more, but if pictures are worth 1,000 words, and I have over 1,000 pictures, it does not take a mathematician to know there is not enough space to describe everything I witnessed, did, and felt. Suffice to say that it was everything I needed and more, and I am beyond thankful to have been able to do it.

Now that my travels are over for now, I have returned in earnest to getting my novel copyedited and the cover chosen. Publishing a book is hopefully longest and most difficult the first time around, and from there on out, it’ll get simpler. One of the things I learned on this trip is that sometimes, decisions must simply be made and action taken, or else you’ll spend all that time instead bound up by indecision. It’s better to make mistakes but move forward than to stay in the same place. Hopefully, I can apply that knowledge as well as it deserves to be.

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