Lost on purpose

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park – August 2021

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park – August 2021

If you don’t like the road you’re walking, pave another one.

Dolly Parton

Hi! Eric here. Welcome to my brand-new travel blog, Eric Gets Lost. I’m about to embark on a big adventure, traveling around the United States for the next year or so. And hoping to get lost along the way.

I leave for my first month-long Airbnb stay in a few days and couldn’t be more excited—even if I am a bit nervous. So how did I get here? Well, it’s been on my mind for quite a while.

Starting a business during a global pandemic

Almost four years ago now—during the summer of 2018—I quit my job as the digital marketing manager of a large non-profit just shy of my 15-year anniversary. I was burned out and in need of a change.

I took four months off, spent a couple weeks exploring Germany and Austria with my mom, recovered from the trauma of a stressful work environment, and started dreaming of traveling the world.

During that time, I founded Pixeleric, my web design and development business. Originally planned as a side hustle while dipping my toe into the corporate world, I quickly realized the dream of being a digital nomad was a real possibility. I went full-time with Pixeleric in late 2019.

And then a few months later, COVID-19 hit. The thought of traveling while working stressed me out. Plus, I was busy figuring out how to run a full-time freelance business.

I truly believe COVID was a blessing in disguise. A way for God to say, “Whoa! Slow down. Enjoy life a bit more. Find a better work/life balance.”

I spent a lot of time over the past two years thinking about what I wanted out of life. Climbing the non-profit or corporate ladder was no longer a dream. Having lived in Minnesota my entire 42 years of life, I was ready to experience warmer winters!

“Mid-life crisis? Nah, it’s a mid-life opportunity.”

I did feel a bit lost in life. I loved my freelance business but was sick of living and working out of my cozy but cookie-cutter townhome. I loved being close to my parents, brothers, and their families but was itching to travel—and potentially live—outside of Minnesota.

I asked a friend if I was going through a typical mid-life crisis. “Nah, it’s a mid-life opportunity. Sell your house, get rid of your things, and travel for a bit! Try out new places. Maybe you’ll find somewhere that sticks. Maybe you’ll be back in Minnesota, but with the experience of a lifetime.”

2022 is already moving fast.

This past January I got a cold call from a realtor. “By any chance are you thinking about selling your house in the next six months?” Thinking about it? Yes, all the time!

Long story short, my townhome sold in 8 hours for well over asking price. To say it’s currently a sellers’ market is an understatement.

Over the past two months, I purged, organized, sold most of my furniture, donated a lot of my stuff to thrift stores, and moved the rest of my belongings in with my parents. I changed my official address to my parents and moved stuff back into my childhood bedroom. The “Eric’s Room” sign is still on the door.

It’s all been a bit surreal. I’ll admit it’s fun being back with my parents, even if it’s just for a few weeks in between upcoming travel adventures.

Imperfect adventures of a brand-new digital nomad

I leave this Sunday, May 1 for the two-day drive to Grand Lake, Colorado, where I’ll live for the month of May in a rented Airbnb. Just minutes from the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado River, and numerous hiking trails, the homeowner promises high-speed internet—all I need to keep my freelance work going!

After May, the possibilities are endless! Call me crazy, but the unknown of where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing a few months from now is quite appealing. It’s freeing.

Am I nervous? Of course. But I’m also so excited—and even a bit giddy. I can’t wait to get started on this adventure. Will I like solo travel? On my own away from my family and friends for months at a time? Who knows. But now you can follow along on the ride!

To be honest I hope to purposely get a little bit lost. Take the road less traveled. Turn off the GPS for a bit. Who knows what I’ll find along the way.

Thanks for reading. Now, let’s get lost!

Texas Wildflowers
Texas Bluebonnets
Texas Bluebonnets
Texas Bluebonnets
Texas Bluebonnets
Texas Bluebonnets