Welcome to one of my truly informative blog entries. During the past few weeks, people near and far have been asking similar questions, so in an effort to avoid repetition, here's my first "answers to frequently asked questions" segment.
Q: Where are you traveling to this (year or summer, or from Texas)?
A: Since I need to continue to generate income until the first social security check arrives in late September, I am bound to also continue travel in the US of A. With that in mind, I realized that I have actually visited (not passed through) 44 states plus DC in my lifetime; 37 states since launching this journey in 2014. So yes, this is the year I become a 50-stater! When I leave San Antonio at month's end, I will be slowly camping my way north toward these destinations:
Q: Aren't you getting tired of living in a tent?
A: With a month in Austin behind me, and nearly three more weeks to go of "normal life", I can confidently say, "no, I am not!". I'm itching to wander and to be back in the great outdoors. In fact, I'll be downsizing the homestead to a 2-person backpacking tent starting May 31st, and I'm looking forward to waking up with the birds and a sunrise on the first of June.
Q: Do you think you'll settle down (this year or soon or ever)?
A: While I do think I'll settle in one or two places in 2019-2020, this is really dependent on a few variables. I see no reason to stop until my main bucket list locations have been enjoyed -- yes, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and the Greek Islands are on that list. However, there are also economic, political and personal variables, so one never knows.
Q: When you do settle, what's on your possibilities list?
A: That's the best question of all as I don't really have a list at this point. What's both good and bad is that locations I considered 2-3 years ago have now become overdeveloped and overpopulated. So, to look at this point for another year or two from now just doesn't seem to make any sense.
Did I miss anything? If you care to join me this summer/early fall, drop me a line. There are lodges and cabins, etc. at State and National Parks, and I will surely invite you over for a campfire.
It's been two weeks since I rolled into Austin once again, but it's been a go-go schedule of reconnecting with friends, staying active, catching up with life's chores, and working hard to adapt to city life. Austin has grown exponentially since my last visit two years ago. Honestly, I'm overwhelmed by this metro of 2 million people, and what seems like 10 million cars with aggressive drivers. My friend Fred is right, I have become feral.
Happily, I'm living in an AirBnb for a month in a familiar neighborhood that's very bike/walk friendly, and has a generous amount of green space. The home and family are terrific, my room is comfy, and I'm eating quite well. I'm also 12 miles from downtown, as each Austin visit on the same budget pushes me further and further from city center. While I'm struggling with living indoors (honestly), driving too much, and staying on budget, there's plenty to crow about.
Nearly a dozen folks welcomed me back with open arms after a two-year hiatus, including both of my cycling groups. I've already enjoyed a few rides, some great entertainment, and visited a few nearby small towns. I'm also finding time to catch up on the "to do" list, including summer travel planning, so when I return to tent living I'll be fancy-free. And, while gas prices should be lower (Alabama & Louisiana beat out Texas!), the HEB market still has the loveliest produce at the cheapest prices yet.
I'll be wandering about Austin for another three+ weeks, then on to San Antonio. More to come.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover