6 Years a Drifter — Adam J. Cheshier
Get to know me a little better. . .
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Hi, I’m Adam.
I’ve been on the move for . . . a while.
When I was 20, I remember reading a story about a guy who quit his job, got rid of his stuff, packed two saddlebags of necessities, and took off on his bicycle to the other side of the planet.
He rode from Oregon to Patagonia — almost 7,000 miles — all on his own. It took him almost a year. It was an ambitious journey. He experienced more in that year than I had all my life, yet, he was only a few years older.
His name is Jedidiah Jenkins.
Inspired by his parents who had walked across the United States in the Seventies, he left everything behind to pursue more in life:
What an aberrant way to be alive. We fall into a routine and days [weeks, months, years] speed by — filling our idle hours with meaningless activities and nothing important to tell. Routine is the antagonist of our time on Earth.
You can read more about his story in his memoir, To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret.
So, there I was, about ready to graduate and feeling uninspired by my future — like thousands of others my age. As one of my favorite writers once said, I felt like I was doing the same thing as everyone else.
I needed to do something different like Jedidiah. I wanted freedom and I wanted it to scare the shit out of me. So, I left.
I moved away without much of a plan, but I always had the assurance I’d figure it out as I went along.
Years later, having lived in almost every corner of the planet, I’m still figuring things out. But I like it like that. After all, once we have figured out everything, what else is there to learn?
And what’s traveling without learning?
What do I do?
In my nomadism, I have collaborated with and learned from various NGOs and nonprofit organizations.
I love writing and documenting compelling stories. Mostly, to help causes that align with my beliefs. I’ve learned from my encounters. And collected life lessons and skills I could have never imagined. I even published a novel.
As Helen Keller said, life sure has been a daring adventure.
As wonderful as the journey has been, this lifestyle is only sustained with a steady income. Although I pride myself on living with less, eventually the money well runs dry.
I began freelancing in 2015 and since, my life and choices have opened up to the world. It was a choice I made for myself and against the opinion of some people around me.
It was frightening but, at the same time, I never felt alone. I met fascinating people. Gained priceless knowledge of the world. Picked up dozens of new hobbies and interests. And, still, I wasn’t exactly sure where it would lead.
For the past several years of my life, I’ve lived in seasons. My passions and pursuits seem to change with the day. It has all been such a subjective experience. But, then again, isn’t that all life is, anyway? — one big subjective experience.
Even with the changing of seasons, one thing has stayed consistent. My eagerness to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard — whichever you prefer). I’ve romanticized the art of written communication for all my adult life.
Now, I’m so happy to ‘go to work’ each morning passionate about what I do.
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
– Jennifer Lee (travel-quote.com)
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