After what will be more than two and a half years of overseas living and traveling, I’m heading back to the US, but I will actually then start traveling more than I ever have.
The plan is to be in Nepal until the end of February and then go spend a month in India. Then I’ll fly back to the US and spend a few weeks with family in Chicago and Houston before getting a cheap truck, van, or SUV of some sort, which I will then outfit so that I can sleep in it. The next many months will be spent on a sort of endless hiking and mountain climbing road trip. I would like to do most of the following between April and Novemberish:
- Hike the Lone Star Hiking Trail (96 miles; Texas)
- Hike the Arizona Trail (800 miles; Arizona)
- Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail (162 miles; California/Nevada)
- Hike the John Muir Trail (210 miles; California)
- Climb all 15 of California’s 14,000-foot mountains (California)
- Hike the Wonderland Trail (93 miles; Washington)
- Climb all of Washington’s major volcanoes (Washington)
- Hike the Colorado Trail (486 miles; Colorado)
I will be writing books about each of those adventures and more.
In between hiking/mountain climbing adventures, I plan to hole up in friends’ and family members’ houses in Utah, California, and Washington. If you live anywhere in the western US and would be willing to house a weary traveler for a few days so that I can rest, shower, and use your internet, let me know. I’d very much appreciate it. Regardless of where you are, I’m sure I’ll pass through your neck of the woods sooner or later.
One glaring omission in that list of adventures above is any form of rock climbing (beyond some easy soloing that climbing some of the California 14ers will entail). This is odd, since rock climbing has been my passion for a very long time. I was the climber before I was the traveler. The problem is that I’ve never quite figured out how to write about rock climbing in any meaningful way. It’s very, very difficult for me to effectively convey those experiences in words. I think part of that stems from the fact that I am horrible at remembering climbs. I forget about moves as soon as I’ve done them. So while I’m sure I’ll fit some rock climbing adventures in there somewhere, I won’t be writing books about them.
Then what? What will I do once winter sets in? I’m not sure. I might head south to Mexico and Central America. I might get an apartment and spend a few months writing and working in Utah or Nevada or Arizona or somewhere else. I might hike the Florida Trail. I might ride a bike across the southern US. I might go to Australia or Africa or the Middle East. Who knows? There’s still a lot of world to explore.
All of this is subject to change. Maybe my body will fall apart halfway through the summer. Maybe I’ll get tired of all of the moving around and feel a more stationary life calling me. Maybe my truck will break down and I’ll be stuck forever in the desert somewhere. But approaching unknowns is one of the most appealing and interesting parts of traveling. It’s that feeling of uncertainty, that space that is as yet filled with only the potential of endless opportunities, that I love most about my life. All I know is that I’m going back to America at the end of March. It’ll be fun to see what happens after that.