Note: Well, I wrote this about a month ago, a few days after our July 16th “freejourner anniversary”, the day we originally left Austin, TX and started traveling. It didn’t really turn out the way I wanted to write it, but I figured “Why write this whole thing if I’m going to just keep editing it and never publish it?”.
Location: On the road to Breckenridge, CO
Geocaches: 363 (It’s funny how I always used to write those two things)
3 years and one month ago, Dad notified us that we would be leaving our neighborhood and house in Texas to travel the country on amazing adventures. We had one month to sell everything off that we couldn’t travel with, clean the house, prepare for traveling, and tell all our friends.
3 years ago, we had just finished selling everything off, packed up our car for the first time, and drove out of Austin, Texas to start what would be an amazing journey.
Back then, I never knew I would be eventually be competing in the 2016 USASA Snowboarding National Championships, or running track (I’d never even heard of high jump!), or that I would backpack in the Sierra Nevadas and Channel Islands, or that I’d we’d get into YoYoing (of all things!), or that we’d see old friends and meet new ones across the country.
Even before we started traveling, we had a very potentially mobile lifestyle. We were all homeschooled, and Dad could work from anywhere. In leaving, schooling didn’t change much. The hard part was leaving our friends. Initially, when we left, we thought it would only be for a year. Welp, that didn’t happen, obviously. We’ve been back to Austin a couple of times, and it’s been enjoyable to see all our friends and catch up with them. In 2014, we came back to Austin for 3 months. That was the first time that we had come back since our departure. We totally surprised all our friends and freaked them out by knocking on their doors.
I remember telling my friend Sage “Hey, are you at your house?”, and him asking “Why” (without the question mark :P), and I just gave him a dumb answer something like “Uh… So we can play Minecraft together on August 24th, 2014 at 2:30 PM, of couse”. Somehow he didn’t suspect anything, and he completely freaked out with excitement when we knocked on his door, as did all our other friends still living in our old neighborhood. After we had gathered everyone, I took everyone out to the 7-11 we always used to go to, and told everyone about our travels.
We got to have my 13th birthday in Austin, with all my friends and family, which was, to say the very least, memorable (or a little next to the very least, because I can think of a few words that are less than memorable. Just pointing that out :P).
After we left, it was straight off to Colorado again for another snowboarding season! Our first season with Team Summit, and a season where I feel I progressed exponentially (like Snowboarding Skills^1 :P. Just kidding), with learning new tricks, getting introduced to boardercross, and learning more about snowboarding in general.
This was when my love for track was born. When spring came, I got signed up for track and field through Summit Middle School, and while I won’t go through everything that happened (because I have quite a few posts from before that detail my first track and field season), I will say that I got hooked on sprinting, competing, and most importantly to me, high jump. I really don’t know why jumping over a bar over and over again is enjoyable to me, but then again, when you put all track and field events into perspective like that, I guess they’re all a bit strange in their own way (Shot put = Throwing a metal ball as far as you can, Long Jump = Running and jumping into sand, Triple Jump = Running and jumping three times into sand, Pole Vault = Launching yourself into the air over a bar using a pole, 100m = Running as fast as you can for as long as you can, etc. :P)
In November 2015, we returned to Austin once again, this time just for ten days. It still was an amazing time (I should really stop using the word amazing. Time to go search for synonyms! Well, after I finish writing this “amazing”-filled post.), and we got to have many more memories with our friends than if we wouldn’t have gone there (well, that last part was kinda obvious, but I needed something to write while I think of the next paragraph, just like I’m doing right now!).
This last snowboarding season was probably my favorite, because I met new kids, got to learn new trampoline tricks at Woodward Barn at Copper Mountain, and most importantly (unless I can think of something more important right now. Nope. Carry on), competing at the 2016 Snowboarding National Championships. I raced a lot during the season (I think it was in total around 12 days on the course), and it was enough to get into nationals. Placing 42nd wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst, so I’m pretty happy with the result.
Track and field was a bit worse this season, as I got statistically worse in high jump, and I never won any event (except one 4×100 win, if you count that). On the bright side, I got to run, jump and throw again.
We’ve been staying in Sedona, AZ for the past month, and it’s been a blast. We started in a week-long Nike Tennis Camp, which was an amazing time. We played for 7-8 hours every day, and definitely improved our game. I got to high jump a lot more, because I found a high school with a high jump pit, and I definitely improved in that too. I cleared 5’2″, and I think I’ll be ready for this next track season, especially with the upcoming all-comers meets I’m planning on running.
Now we’re on the way back to Colorado, bringing our trip to a close. It’s crazy to think of all the places we have visited, all the mountains we’ve snowboarded, all the sports we’ve played in different places, and all the new friends we’ve met. I’m going to continue this in another post, detailing all the places we’ve stayed. Well, I better get to writing that now, so I’m going to finish off this post saying goodbye!