Two years of Eric Gets Lost

A few of my favorite photos from the past year

A few of my favorite photos from the past year

TWO YEARS! I can’t believe I’ve been traveling for two full years already. This second year wasn’t the same whirlwind as my first year. I’ve spent most of it in either Minnesota or Texas at a much slower pace, which was needed.

But I’m ready for a change. I want to settle down again and take a break from being on the road full-time.

Last May, I wrote a blog post celebrating one year as a digital nomad, and I thought it would be fun to look back on this past year and do the same.

The links below are to previous blog posts if you’re curious about reading more.

May – August 2023: Minnesota

Northern Minnesota
Pontooning on Gunn Lake in northern Minnesota

After spending last February through April finally discovering the joys of being a snowbird in Texas and Oklahoma, I came back to Minnesota for four months. It was great to reconnect with family and friends and to spend a lot of time in northern Minnesota. As a native Minnesotan, there really is nothing better than feeling the breeze off a lake during summer while enjoying your favorite drink—and before the mosquitoes come out. Regardless of where my travels take me, Minnesota will always be home.

September 2023: Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Islands
View of the Toronto skyline from Toronto Island Park

Up until September, my digital nomad travels were all in the United States, but I knew I wanted to spend a month in Canada at some point. Knowing I planned to spend October and November in New England for fall colors, I booked an Airbnb in Toronto for September. Canada was awesome! I could live there in a heartbeat—and I might just move to Toronto if things go full The Handmaid’s Tale in this November’s election. During my month in Canada, I explored the Toronto Islands, toured Casa Loma, played two of the largest pipe organs in Canada, visited Niagara Falls—on both the Canadian and U.S. sides—and spent the final weekend in Montréal.

October 2023: Burlington, Vermont

Mount Philo
Overlooking the Lake Champlain Valley from Mount Philo in Charlotte, Vermont

Back in the United States, I spent October in picturesque Burlington, Vermont—the state’s largest city, with only 45,000 residents. Almost every evening after work I would walk two blocks to Lake Champlain and watch the sunset over the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Throughout October—as the colors continued to change—I took many road trips around the Green Mountains and can honestly say that Vermont is dreamy. Of the places I’ve been so far on my travels, Vermont is a state I could easily move to long-term.

November 2023: Trenton, Maine

Jordan Pond at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine - November 2023
Jordan Pond at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine

I drove only five hours from Burlington to Trenton, Maine, my destination for November. That Airbnb loft apartment was my favorite spot to date—the smell of freshly cut wood from the workshop below as well as the views overlooking the woods helped—and it was the perfect cozy place to spend the cooler days as winter approached. My home for the month was only a couple of miles from Mount Desert Island and about 15 minutes from Acadia National Park, which I visited and hiked several times.

December 2023 – January 2024: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Christmas at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota - December 2023
Christmas at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Fall in Toronto and New England was simply amazing, and I was sad to see my trip come to an end. With the days getting shorter and the temperatures getting colder, I took my time on my trip back “home for the holidays” from Maine to Minnesota, spending nights in Boston, Syracuse, Cleveland, and Chicago. The December holidays spent with family and friends in Minnesota were great, but by the time January arrived I was already itching to get somewhere warmer—even though winter in Minnesota was milder than usual.

February – May 2024: Austin, Texas

Texas Bluebonnets
Fields of bluebonnets at the Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area near Austin, Texas

I’ve been down in Austin, Texas since the beginning of February—my first repeat visit since becoming a digital nomad. I feel really comfortable here and have been enjoying a much slower pace than previous nomad stops. I learned that 66% of digital nomads stay in a single place for 3-6 months, and that’s what I’m doing now. Part of me wonders if I should have been doing this all along, to get to know people and places deeper. In March I volunteered at South by Southwest and had a blast working with some awesome people. In April I spent a day wandering fields and fields of Texas bluebonnets on a perfect blue-sky day. Last week between apartment rentals I spent a couple of days in downtown San Antonio. I’ve spent a lot of time during these four months working on myself—doing self-care and planning some changes to my business—and I know it will be rewarding for my future.

What’s next?

After two years of digital nomad life, constantly being on the move is starting to catch up with me. And to be completely honest, I’m getting a bit lonely. I’ve met some great people in Austin—and other places I’ve visited—but that’s just it: I’m a visitor, only in a place for a set amount of time before moving on. It’s been difficult forming deeper connections.

I’m an introvert and fiercely independent, but I still miss my “people” back in Minnesota. I’m so thankful for phone calls, texts, FaceTime, and social media, but they can’t replace in-person connection with those we love.

In mid-June, I’ll be trekking back up I-35 to Saint Paul, where I’ve found a lovely apartment for six weeks near the Minneapolis-Saint Paul border. During that time, I plan to look for apartments, probably in the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

I’m attending a retreat in mid-September near Los Angeles. Believe it or not, it will be my first time ever in the state of California. So I am thinking about another multiple-month trip from Minnesota down to California and back—unless I decide to fly there.

This is not the end of Eric Gets Lost! I just think I need to plant some roots for a bit—and Minnesota is the best place for me right now. I’m a bit tired of living out of boxes and bins. I’ve gotten great at packing and unpacking all my things every month or so, but that’s not necessarily a fun new hobby. I miss having my digital piano with me—because I really miss playing and practicing piano.

But most of all, I miss just being able to hug my niece, nephews, and the rest of my family and friends. Life on the road has been a LOT of fun, but I need a change. I plan to write more about this when I’m back in Minnesota—the pros and cons of nomad life, packing tips and tricks, and other things like that.

From what I’ve read from other nomads, taking a break from constant traveling is a common occurrence. I don’t plan to stop traveling completely—but I want a place to call “home” that isn’t just wherever my Honda Civic is parked. Ideally, I’d love to travel 50% of the time and be back home the other 50%. In a way, I’ve been doing that these past two years—but I’d like my own place again. As always, let me know your thoughts!

Of course, I continue to take loads of photos wherever I go. In fact, the “recents” album on my iPhone (Apple, just call it All Photos!) is currently at 20,466 photos. This past year I’ve been posting my favorites in the photos section of my site. Enjoy!

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