It’s been almost four years since the last journey and many of you (right, my horde of followers) may have thought the old guy had simply faded away. The truth being, the last few years I kind of did just that. I’d lost the desire to take any journeys. Home became a cocoon, and in so many ways, I just shut down. I concentrated on gaining weight and embracing a sedentary life style (which I really excelled at). Perhaps that’s a side effect when one goes to the extreme in preferring security over excitement, comfort over adventure. I had stopped focusing on looking forward to what life was offering, and instead, began reminiscing on what it had already given.
After spending time as the reigning poster boy for bad living, I found myself more and more disliking the way it made me look and feel. I was embarrassed every time I looked in the mirror. I had become fat (gross morbidity), and had began to look and move old. Simple tasks required more and more physical effort. In short, I was a mess! Thankfully, I came to realize that giving up comes at a cost, and in a epiphany of sorts (not really, it just sounds good), I accepted it wasn’t a price that I was ready to pay.
Deciding to change (I found out) was the easy part, losing the weight and getting back into some semblance of shape (physical & mentally) took a commitment and dedication that did/does not come easy for me (I’m terminally lazy). But I was determined this time and so, I began a plan of action that included following the “Noom weight loss program” and getting in 10,000+ steps a day (had to work up to those numbers).
It took almost a year, but after sticking with “Noom” and religiously hitting 10,000+ steps per day, I reached a point where I had lost 80 pounds and could take the garbage container to the road and back without keeling over. As Frank Constanza (Seinfeld sitcom) said “I’m back baby’.
Plus, along with the physical changes came a renewed, invigorated mental outlook. I had been given a big challenge and I did it, I felt good about myself, I felt proud of what I had accomplished. This time I didn’t quit, I stuck with it and it paid off. Now I was ready to start living again.
I was back, now where to go? My first journey option was to take my 22’ Grand Design travel trailer I had bought during my metamorphosis down to Florida for the winter, similar to what I had done four years earlier.
I began planning the journey that I’d anticipated would be approximately five months. I did my research and reserved campsites for along the way. State parks in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, with most of the time to be spent there. I prepped the truck by buying new tires, and got everything I could packed in the bed just so.
I had put in hundreds of hours preparing for the journey and while it had been four years, I was still a little anxious about going. I think this was a residual effect from my recent past but even so, I was ready to hit the road.