Life is full of forked roads, vanlife is no different. I often find myself thinking about where I am and how I got here, and how little decisions, made by me or for me, have led me to the place I am today.
The other night I was thinking about college. In 2006 I was on the path to get my B.S. in Finance, but then when it came time to take my first finance class, I bombed it. I was failing the tests, the tests for a class that was at the heart of my degree. I had never failed a class in my life. I took it as a sign that I needed to switch majors, so with all the core classes in place for business, the most creative course seemed to be marketing and advertising.
In the end, I still had to take the finance course, but this next time, with a different teacher, I aced it. The lesson here is this: had I taken this class with a different teacher the first time around, I might have never dropped finance as a major, and then who knows how differently my life might look right now. Maybe I would have met my wife in a class, have kids and house, who knows. Ultimately, it matters very little, as I am where I am now – and honestly I am pretty stoked on it.
With these thoughts in mind, and the belief that when on a journey such as mine, and really just life in general, it is important to be flexible in ones plan. On my way north, with all intention of being in Oregon by the end of the month, I met up with a van friend I had met while living near Bend Oregon. She was heading south to do some work in OC. Over lunch she mentioned that her tent attendant for the horse show she was going to flaked out, and that she needed to get someone to come fill in for the next few weeks. In that moment, I was given the option to go with my “plan” of passing back through Oregon – OR – taking this unknown path and heading back south. While part of me really wanted to see some folks back home, another part knew that I would be a fool not to take a leap and go where the winds were taking me.
I won’t know just exactly how this choice changed my life, not for a while, and maybe never. The choice to not go back and visit friends in Portland may have changed some other course too. Who knows? What I know is this – when you come to a fork in the road, one easy and one unknown, do not take the easy one. It may turn out to have been an awful decision, or maybe it will be a great one, either way it will definitely be an opportunity to grow and learn. In the end, what else is life about?