2022: A Year Of Travel
Tired of my old life, I decided to write a new one.
I’m Ash, and I live nomadically. That means I move from place to place and have nowhere to call home. Why would anyone choose to live nomadically? Well, for me, it was a no-brainer.
I struggled to live in Los Angeles for years before Covid struck, but during the pandemic, my lifestyle changed, my mental health deteriorated, and my financial income was nearly depleted.
When the city went into lockdown, I experienced a series of unfortunate events that were not only scary but very dangerous. Because of this, I shifted my mindset and decided it was time to move, not only for my mental health but for my safety as well.
My partner and I had different ideas of where we wanted to spend the rest of Covid. He wanted to keep living in a city, and I wanted to move to a small town surrounded by trees. As a compromise, we landed in Portland, Oregon.
We stayed in a beautiful biophilic apartment that was not only cheaper than our place in LA, but they offered us two months of free rent to move in. While we were there, my mental health improved, I was able to save money, and I finished the first draft of my book.
At the end of the pandemic, we both realized we wanted to travel the world and make more memories with each other while we were still young enough and healthy enough to do so. I knew I had enough money in my savings to last me a year, and my partner could work remotely, so we decided to get rid of our apartment, put our treasures into storage, and took a leap into the unknown.
Christmas was spent in an empty apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked a snowy Portland car park. By January, we were spending a month in our friend's Victorian mansion in a small Oregon town where I went viral on Tiktok; I got my edits back from my editor, and we purchased our tickets to Medellin, Colombia.
2022 was the start of our adventures together, and all we brought with us was a backpack full of clothes and our laptops to bring on the journey. We swam in the hidden caves of Tulum, visited the sacred temples of Chichen Itza, explored the Huacachina Oasis, and surfed the desert sands of Ica.
I drank the finest coffee in the most unexpected villages, canoed across the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, discovered the secret witch market of Peru, and cheered for Lucha Libre matches in Mexico City.
We dined at a restaurant in Montreal that only served us chocolate and hiked through the Valley Of The Butterflies, where I almost drowned underneath a waterfall that granted wishes.
We visited the Dead Zoo in Ireland, and a local gang called the Rathkeale Rovers broke in the night prior and stole the heads off of some stuffed rhinos. We made memories with new friends across Italy and Austria, ate meals in Sweeden that made me cry with happiness, enjoyed cocktails from award-winning bartenders, and stayed in Vienna, the spy capital of the world.
It's been a year of travel, and I have been forever changed by all the sights that I’ve seen. I'm writing this to you now in sunny California, January 1st, 2023, and I don't regret a single decision. This past year was about taking chances, making memories, and living for adventure. I'm unsure what the new year will bring us, but I'm looking forward to it.