2013 Was A Year of…Travel!

About halfway through the year, I posted my travel stats as collected by TripIt. I did so because I was amused by the proportion of time I’d spent traveling versus at “home,” which is nominally Boston.

Back then, I’d spent 156 of 196 days traveling, or roughly 80% of the year on the go.

I checked again this morning, and was further amused. I have no further travel planned for 2013, which leaves me with the following:

I was gone from Boston for 302 of the 365 days in 2013. That’s about 83% of the year. In those 302 days, I traveled 130,409 miles, or 209,873 kilometers. I visited 56 cities in four countries across two continents.

2014 doesn’t look to be much different. I leave Boston this Friday, January 3, and have plans that will keep me away through at least the middle of February; I hope to extend that many months more. In 2013, I managed to leave Boston in January and not return until June, which is to say, I have a new personal record to set. 🙂

Year in Review

I experienced two notable milestones last week. It’s been a year since I joined Automattic, and I’ve been without a permanent home for the same duration. During this year, I’ve visited a new country, met innumerable incredible people from both Automattic and the WordPress community, attended fourteen (14!) WordCamps and spoken at seven (7!), and taken over as lead of Team Custom. I’ve flown in excess of 100,000 miles and spent at least seven months away from my Boston-area home base.

What a great experience I’ve had and a wild year it’s been! I have no desire or intent to settle down any time soon, and going forward, will be posting more about my nomadic experience  at Get Transient along with Siobhan McKeown,  Hanni Ross, and guests.

Travel stats, a bit past midyear

I happened upon the stats in TripIt this morning. Laughing ensued.

For the year, I’ve been gone from home (the Boston area, vaguely) 156 days. Today is day 196. Quick math says, I’ve been away from “home” 80% of the year. Mind you, I write this from Montréal, where I’m spending a chunk of the summer.

How far have I gone in these 156 days? 60,388 miles or 97,185 km.

Having a job that allows me to be a nomad has its advantages. By the way, Automattic is always hiring.

Surviving My Nomadic Lifestyle

I spend a lot of time on the road–ten trips covering 36,952 miles and 26 cities in 2013 so far–and my nomadic lifestyle often comes up in the context of “where are you from” inquiries. A frequent question is how I deal with being away for so long, always on the go, particularly given the unsettled nature that comes with living out of a suitcase. Having lived like this since July 2012, I’ve refined my approach to travel such that I’m not bothered by constantly relocating.

Continue reading Surviving My Nomadic Lifestyle

A Random January Road Trip

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit another four National Wildlife Refuges. On Saturday, I traveled to Virginia for an Eddie from Ohio show at The Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, VA, and, as part of my trip, planned enough time to visit a few refuges along the way.

My first stop took me to Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Basking Ridge, NJ. This location features numerous boardwalks and viewing blinds, permitting visitors access to areas deep within the refuge while simultaneously providing protection to view wildlife without disturbance. After four hours on the road, the opportunity to walk around for a bit was welcome, and I found myself amidst numerous white-tailed deer. Unfortunately, my shoes on the composite deck material of the boardwalks made enough noise to alert the deer and I was unable to photograph any. After wandering around Great Swamp for an hour in the relative warmth of 45° sunshine under a bright blue sky, I continued south towards Philadelphia.

Continue reading A Random January Road Trip

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Finding myself with some time to kill this afternoon, I stopped at the two units that comprise the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Both units are located near Boston, one in Sudbury surrounding the river of the same name, the second in Concord, also near a river with which the unit shares its name.

While the weather wasn’t optimal for either hiking or taking pictures, it was still a worthwhile diversion. I certainly intend to return with my hiking boots and warmer clothing to wander the many miles of trails throughout the refuge.

Some photos from my trip are at https://i.ethitter.com/2010/01/great-meadows-national-wildlife-refuge/.


My Southern Excursion, Part 4

The following is the fourth and final installment recounting my trip to Georgia. For the first three parts, see “My Southern Excursion, Part 1,” “Part 2,” and “Part 3.”

The final leg of my northbound journey had just one planned stop, at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Davis, WV. Already, I had stretched a journey that can be made in 18 hours into a three-day excursion, and too many more diversions would add a fourth day. While I would not have minded an additional day, I found my desires at odds with my wallet. After all, being unemployed necessitates a weekly visit to Connecticut as the state does not offer direct deposit. So, after ending the second day of my trip at an I-79 rest area in Servia, WV, I continued north to US-33, which would take me into the Monongahela National Forest before delivering me to WV-32 and this day’s destination.

Continue reading My Southern Excursion, Part 4

My Southern Excursion, Part 3

The following is the third of four parts recounting my trip to Georgia. For the first two parts, see “My Southern Excursion, Part 1” and “Part 2.”

After spending the night in Cleveland, TN, I set off on US-64 for the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests, and ultimately, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With hundreds of miles of roads crisscrossing these forests in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, I planned to spend the entire day wandering through the woods. Just before sunrise, my first stop along the way found me at Ocoee Dam #1, part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system. This dam, the first of three, impounds Parksville Reservoir and is one of the oldest hydroelectric dams in the TVA system. US-64, portions of which are marked as the Ocoee Scenic Byway, follows the northern perimeter of the reservoir, affording many views of the Parkville Reservoir and the river that feeds it. The Ocoee River, home to some spectacular rapids, was the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics’ canoeing, kayaking, and slalom events and is now home to the Ocoee River Whitewater Center. As I continued along the Ocoee Scenic Byway, I encountered numerous scenic overlooks and an assortment of recreation areas that provide access to the river and its famed rapids. Stopping for pictures along the route can be treacherous in some places, however, as an overlook may be no wider than a car, placing one very close to traffic along this two-lane byway. After exiting the Cherokee National Forest just shy of the Tennessee-North Carolina border, I headed north on TN-68 out of Ducktown.

Continue reading My Southern Excursion, Part 3

Westward Bound: Planning My 7,600+ Mile Road Trip

I’ve begun planning my next road trip, which will take me to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, the West Coast, and more. I’ve laid out a tentative route at https://disparate.info/wb. Any suggestions and input from people living on the West Coast is definitely appreciated. Also, if you’re living out west, let me know. I’d definitely like to meet up with anyone who’s available.

Either leave a comment here (with a valid email address) or use the Contact Me form. You can also call me via Google Voice from the Contact Me page.

Complete details, including my itinerary, reports along the trip, and pictures, will be available at https://disparate.info/westwardbound/.