Law & Disorder
I always find it funny that people view New Year’s Eve as an arbitrary dividing marker that doesn’t really change anything. Maybe for some, the years do seem to blend together. For me, the past few years have been defined by large events. Three years ago, 2014 was graduation, the bar, my decision not to pursue law, and starting my career in politics. The decision not to pursue law is the number one reason the next few years became insane, why I no longer live in Houston and ultimately led to me meeting my wife. In 2015, I moved to Austin to work my first legislative session and then moved to Oklahoma City to be closer to Alisha. Last year was all about our wedding. This year thus far is all about Alisha’s graduation and the bar exam (I can’t escape #lawschoolproblems to save my life it seems).
Around all of this chaos, myself (and then myself and Alisha), have tried to squeeze in as much travel as possible. Travel is something I’ve always loved, especially the outdoors. Growing up my family took trips to Colorado, New Mexico, the Texas Hill Country, Arkansas, Washington D.C. and Florida. I always loved these trips and always wanted more but the hectic pace of life and the demands of school sort of shut everything down at some point. We never traveled abroad until I was in law school at which point we went to Mexico. The few attempts I made at seriously looking into studying abroad in college and law school never really panned out the way I wanted them to. I made it a point that when I had even a little more flexibility with my finances and schedule, I’d get out more.
Since graduation, either myself or myself and Alisha have crisscrossed Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Arkansas and visited the Dominican Republic. Personally, I’ve lived in Houston, Fort Worth, Austin and Oklahoma City since the summer of 2014. Something we’ve learned and practiced over the past few years is that one can travel cheaply and many trips do not need months and months of planning. You have to work with what you’re given, make smart choices with your time and money, and try to strike a balance between life/career goals and getting out of your rut. There is a reason we haven’t taken grand trips to Europe or Asia but rather explore hidden corners of the south-central United States (the Texas Bubble), mostly by car. There is a time for Europe and Asia and the rest of the world, and that time is after every wraps up the 700 years of schooling you need nowadays to do anything higher than fast food service.
Quit Talking About The Past
So what’s coming down the pipe in 2017 with so much on the plate, especially for Alisha? Likely, a lot more weekend and long weekend car travels. Two weeks ago we knocked out our third national park in Hot Springs, Arkansas (that write up is coming soon). Last weekend Alisha did a wine weekend in Austin (in hoping to bribe her into her own write up). In the coming weeks we will be hitting North Texas and maybe one or two other driveable locations. The main highlight though is coming in April when we travel to Southern California for a friend’s wedding. This will be our first time in California and we will be seeing San Diego, Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park and Channel Islands National Park.
After California, things will probably quiet down substantially since Alisha will take her law school finals, graduate and then focus all eyes on the bar exam. We have a wedding in September in San Antonio but outside of that, there is very little on the radar until early 2018 when we travel to Costa Rica for another friend’s wedding. Depending on how things play out potential fall trips could include Great Sand Dunes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park or Guadalupe Mountains National Park. There has also been talk since forever about making our way to Kansas City. At the moment we are taking a wait and see approach to anything beyond August 1.
So You’re a Travel Blogger That Doesn’t Travel?
Raise your hand if you love to travel but you haven’t left your state in the past year…that’s what I thought.
One of the issues with travel blogging is everything rides on the blogger’s ability to monetize their travels and then stay on the road log enough for them to continue to grow their audience. To many travel bloggers provide tons of content but not much substance. What happens to those of us who have passions besides just traveling? What if some of us have certain responsibilities beyond “quitting your job to pursue your dream!”? I love travel and the outdoors but I also believe in public service and have a passion for politics. I think now, more than ever, we need good people with their heads on straight working for our communities. There is a reason I titled this site Traveling Politico. Alisha and I definitely have travel goals, we also have family goals, career goals and lots of other things we’d like to do. Obsession isn’t healthy. This is true for people whose entire lives revolve around their careers as well as for those people whose entire lives revolve around their pleasures.
I definitely hope to travel more as we move away from the shackles of school and exams. I also understand the importance of school. If 2017 is about Alisha finishing law school strong, passing the bar, becoming an attorney, and getting her first legal job, then that’s a damn solid 2017 in my opinion. In the meantime for myself, I’ll continue to try and step up at this crucial time in our political history and discuss things like major issues, advocacy, and how to participate in your government in an intelligent, effective, way.
And hopefully we can also travel more along the way.