Soooooo today is a very special to me, why? On this exact day a year ago I was embarking on a great adventure, little did I know I was going into the greatest adventure of my life! Reminiscing this past 365 days fills me with incredible joy and satisfaction-life is crazy, and I absolutely adore it! I would like to share a little bit of my trip-how it all began, where we have driven to, highlights, and etc-so get ready to have a heart-to-heart reading.
Honestly, I am still amazed that traveling on the road has become a lifestyle for me-I am a road traveler. Thinking about my past, I am sure that if you told me about six years ago that I was going to live in the US, I wouldn’t have believed you; I am pretty sure if you told me about five years ago that I was not going back to Brazil, instead, I would remain in the US, I wouldn’t have believed you too; I am positive that if you told me about ten months ago that I would be a road traveler for more than a year, it would become my way of living, I wouldn’t have believed you either. But alas, here I am in a Walmart parking lot in Colorado Springs, CO, writing about my one year anniversary of traveling; additionally, I have no clue what I will do today or where I will sleep or shower, but I am fine with that because uncertainty thrills me-I learned how to go with the flow of things.
I wish I had knew how to describe this past year to you guys all of the craziness, jaw-dropping moments, laughs, unimaginable landscapes, and everything I learned throughout my trip; thus, I will quickly summarize the best of the best of moments-the ones that took my breath away and left me speechless, or the ones who filled me with so much joy that I couldn’t stop smiling. But one of the greatest things I realized is please, do not lose time, explore, adventure, get out of your comfort zone because we never know if things will be there in a year or many years from now-don’t lose the opportunity to have your breath taken away by the night sky or the glorious mountains.
If you were to ask me, “what´s one of those ‘moments’?”, I would certainly answer that I get to reflect pretty well when I´m taking my outdoor showers…weird? Maybe. But there´s just something about taking a shower outside that gets me…it might be the dotted sky with stars, or it might be the place I at-the sandy beach or the wilderness-that just fills me with so much joy (it´s just not fun when you get busted by the cops). Another one of “those moments” is when I sitting on the shotgun and we are driving alone in the road, the vast green fields stretching over the horizon, and the mountains raising high above the ground, almost touching the clouds. For me, I find peace in those little things-they awe me.
I don’t think I have a “favorite state”; however, there were certain events that marked me, and there were states which were splendorous in natural beauty. Some of the events that first come to my mind were our paddle board trips on the crystal-clear (also freezing) Jenny Lake; we glided on the clear waters and the Grant Tetons were so high and beautiful. Another event that marked me deeply was the Lakota Sundance, a religious ceremony for the Native Americans of the Lakota Tribe, because I will never be able to see it again and it was a quite powerful thing to witness. I will forever treasure that rolling green hills of Ohio and the Amish buggies, and how we got to go to their houses and have dinner with them; additionally, I was amazed by the beautiful skyline of Manhattan from our friend´s apartment, from the 89th floor we had a 360 degree view of the entire city. There´s much more I wish I could share; nevertheless, it would be a veeery long post. But as for natural beauty, the beautiful lakes of Wisconsin, the white sandy beaches of Florida, the deserts and canyons of New Mexico and Arizona, and the grand Rocky Mountains of Colorado were some of those “jaw-dropping” places.
Speaking of states, I was fortunate enough to visit about forty of them-each uniquely beautiful. If you are looking for beautiful mountains and lakes, go to the Rocky Mountains and Northwest region; if you are a fan of the Native American culture, visit the Great Plains; if you love lakes and ghost towns, explore the mines and trails of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan; if you are a lover of history, the East coast will teach you more than any university; if you adore white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, adventure in Florida; if you like music and good food, travel to the South and Tennessee; if you are looking for vast canyons and wild deserts, wonder around in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. But, out of all these states, I felt most connected to Hawaii-since I come from a tropical island back in Brazil-which isn’t a state I got to visit this past year; however, I strongly suggest a trip to those beautiful islands.
It is hard to imagine that all of these began on a bike ride, way back when I lived in Bellingham. From that day, an idea sparked, plans were made, and we drove off to an adventure on July 21st –the greatest adventure of my life. I know that this trip wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for three-very-special people: my parents, Yuri and Fernanda, for having an adventurous spirit and always encouraging me to explore; my little sister, Maria, for always cheering me up and making me laugh; and God, for he made such a perfect creation, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).