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!

San Antonio River Walk
Fiume Pizzeria and Wine Bar
San Antonio River Walk
San Antonio River Walk
Arneson River Theater
Arneson River Theater