An Ode to the Road: Photo Essay

Life isn’t what it once was. I’m cooped up. And I absolutely hate it. Recovering from a surgery that’s taking longer than I ever expected. Frustration engulfs my mind every day as I try to find a rehabilitation protocol that makes my body feel good. It takes a lot of effort not to slide into depression.

Ups & Downs

Before 2016, I took the opportunity to travel for the vast majority of 18 months. It was a fantastic time. Friends wanted to talk about how great college was. Why? I wanted to live in the NOW. There was no time to live in the past. The present just kept getting better and better.

New countries. New adventures. New experiences. New friends. I couldn’t get enough. I was like a junkie. Every “new” was another endorphin rush. First time in a new city? I’m high on life just walking around and exploring. Learning to surf? One of the best feelings in the world. Cracking up as you figure out the Dutch have the corniest jokes in the world? Endorphins flooding the brain. Just met a new cutie? Talk about a dopamine rush.

Dealing with the Downs

I had plans to continue my travels in 2016. While I did spend a little time in Colombia, I’ve been dealing with health issues for the majority of the year. It’s a bit depressing. The suburbs of Kansas City don’t quite compare to:

  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Machu Pichu, Peru

Life won’t always go according to plan. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. I’d like to be traveling right now, but that’s not an option. Health needs to be my priority. So I’ve been focusing on two things during this time to keep me positive:

  • Spend as much time as you can with family and close friends. Even if it’s just watching a movie on Netflix. 
  • Make more money. By the time you hit the road next, you should be flush with cash and focused on passive income. 

By focusing on the above, I’ve been able to stay relatively positive over the course of my surgery recovery. A surgery that isn’t going as planned. Still, I miss the road. I miss the adventures. I find myself perusing old photos on a weekly basis. Travel junkies will understand.

An Ode to the Road

So I figured I’d post some of my old travel photos as a form of meditation for me. And for fun. And for my two article a day challenge. So here’s my ode to the road. A photo essay about the good times I’ve had traveling:

With my nerds. Folly Beach, SC.

With my nerds. Folly Beach, SC.

Bienvenido a Miami

Bienvenido a Miami.

Taking my first international trip alone.

Headed on my first international trip alone. Kansas City. 

Squad certainly sober here.

Squad certainly sober here. South Beach

Sunsets on a deserted island. Major key.

Sunrises on a deserted island. Major key. San Blas, Panama. 

Staying in shape on an island. Almost major key.

Staying in shape on an island. Another major key. Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Halloween is fun in every country.

Halloween is fun in every country. San Jose, Costa Rica.

And they told you the parties were good in college?!

And they told you the parties were good in college?! San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. 

Bus rides in Latin America often smell like ass.

Bus rides in Latin America often smell like ass. El Salvador. 

Real life Lion King shit.

Real life Lion King shit. Leon, Nicaragua.

Random beach in Nicaragua.

Random beach in Nicaragua.

Mi novia. Mi amor. Mi corazon. Managua, Nicaragua.

Mi novia. Mi amor. Mi corazon. Managua, Nicaragua.

Murdering some Cuban food in Miami.

Murdering some Cuban food in Miami.

Con mi gente en la calle. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Con mi gente en la calle. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Finishing up hooping in Santo Domingo.

Finishing up hooping in Santo Domingo.

Keepin' it pimpin. Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Keepin’ it pimpin. Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Autism runs in my family. Cozemul, Mexico.

With my odd family. Cozumel, Mexico.

Fam is life. Cozumel, Mexico.

Fam is life. Cozumel, Mexico.

Coolest boat I've ever taken a ride in. Peru.

Coolest boats I’ve ever taken a ride in. Peru.

Living in Lima, Peru wasn't too difficult.

Living in Lima, Peru wasn’t too difficult.

Getting to Machu Pichu sucked ass, but it was worth it.

Getting to Machu Pichu sucked ass, but it was worth it.

The grit and grime that is Bogota, Colombia.

The grit and grime that is Bogota, Colombia.

Pimpin' ain't easy, but somebody gotta do it. Medellin, Colombia.

Pimpin’ ain’t easy, but somebody gotta do it. Medellin, Colombia.

Lil' dude was rollin' swollen. Medellin, Colombia.

Lil’ dude was rollin’ swollen. Medellin, Colombia.

Santa Marta, Colombia is stunning.

Santa Marta, Colombia is stunning.

An Ode to the Road

I’ve never really produced this type of content before. So I have no ideas or expectations about how it will go over. If you’ve made it this far, I assume you at least kind of like it. Let me know in the comments. Do you want to see more photo essays in the future? Too many photos? Not enough? Should I use a gallery format?

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Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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anon1 - September 24, 2016

I enjoyed this, also similarish situation in that I’m not travelling as much as I want too, and family and money generation are the current focus. Need to work on the latter more

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    NomadicJake - September 24, 2016

    Thanks. And definitely. Even if you can’t get on the road right now, by focusing on cash, you set yourself up for a better travel lifestyle once you can.

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