In December 2010, I drove away from Portland, Oregon and what appeared to be a pretty good life. At the time, I wasn't necessarily seeking great adventure or the sad life of a country-western song. But after six months and 24,000 miles on the road with little more than a great dog, some cameras and a lot of film, it's quite clear to me now what a great experience this turned out to be. I met lots of interesting people in beautiful lands from California to Newfoundland, rode a bike through Amsterdam, looked up family in Hungary, and dove into the wake of an Egyptian revolution. You can experience some of that as well, with the journal below.
- Collection of images from US, Canada & Europe
- Collection of images and stories from Egypt
On The Road, the movie, coming in Spring 2013!
I met a lot of people on this trip, and most of them just assumed I was going through some kind of mid-life crisis. Friends and family too, I imagine. It was hard for me to argue with them, as I really didn't know. Why else would a seemingly bright man of my age be single and wandering around far-off places with no particular place to go, no responsibities to speak of, and with a sense of longing in his eyes that was difficult to hide?
The hard truth was, this had nothing to do with being middle aged. It was more than a rutt, or being lazy and non-committal. And if I thought a hot babe and a fast car could cure a life-long self doubt, I would have gotten a few of each a long time ago.
I'm a fairly proud and resourceful guy. For the most part I have remained functional, and at times quite successful, by hiding behind the intermittent validation I got from a cool job, beautiful house, good paycheck, the chime of my email box, or a warm embrace from those I cared most about. But the love affairs, be that with my work or a good woman, were precarious. I was overreacting to things that touched an increasingly desperate nerve I seemed to have.
As love life, work and finances became even more stressful and heartbreaking last year, I began to realize that I had completely lost sight of who I was, what I really believed in, or what I wanted to say and do. Beyond wanting to be an astronaut or professional tennis player when I was a kid, I wondered out loud if I ever really wanted to be something other than what I thought other people would be proud of.
It was the autumn of 2010, and short of waiting for a better answer, I decided to simply cut it all loose. I would walk away from my life savings and all the things that didn't matter, so no other choice was left except to deal with me. And so, like many adventurous souls have before me, I figured I might just find myself again on a long and open road, with my dog, a healthy dose of humility and an open mind.
This all may sound a bit too tidy and well-reasoned in retrospect, given that my actions in the moment were anything but that. And now I'm looking back on a year far from my finest and trying to make sense of all the things that caught up with me. Though I'm generally optimistic and happy to begin anew, for now, this particular adventure remains a story without an ending.
Getting Around, Part 1 - January 2011
Just a quick cut from the initial stages of my trip, focusing on some of the different modes of transportation, though the airplanes and Amtrak trains to and around NYC got little mention. Mickey, the camel, makes a cameo. Watch carefully and you just might see me ride a bicycle through the frame in Amsterdam.
Stay tuned for a feature length documentary from the entire trip coming by Spring 2013.