To travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination. (English Slang)

I completed my #walkabout #roadtrip just before the first of the year. I had traveled ten weeks and 10,641 miles. The urge to find myself had been fulfilled, I had found a suitable locale for my next adventure, and I was ready to unleash my creativity. My intent was to settle in the Asheville area, find a job and start writing my memoir. I was still dedicated to camping and boondocking, and there were plenty of outdoor options to satisfy me here.

My fiance, Edward and I planned to be reunited for the New Year’s holiday. Curious about my experiences and wanting to share in the spirit of my new lifestyle, Edward booked a treehouse for us on Black Mountain. The private, covered deck with a port-o-let, cell connection and intermittent 3G service was his way of easing himself in. I was proud of him. After all, it was December in the mountains and we would be sleeping outdoors. I was anxious to introduce him to Asheville. I toured him around the city and the country. We sampled the local public houses, took in a little of the art and music scene, and explored the land of waterfalls. I was in love with this region, and I hoped he would fall in love too. After six long years of long distance dating, we would soon be planning a new life together. I was certain this was the right place for us.

Then my heart took a left turn on me. Not a turning away from anything, but a turning toward something. This happens more often than I’d like to admit.

A new challenge came knocking, issued through, found random on my Facebook feed. It was the shiny gold medal that caught my attention, with the words “2017 – 1000 Miles” emblazoned on it. Ooooooh, what’s *that* all about? One click took me to the challenge, which was to run/walk/crawl one thousand miles in one year. I did the math. That’s about twenty miles per week. I am already putting in close to that. Joined!

Sometimes my fitness gets relegated to the back burner, when a time crunch forces me to re-prioritize my priorities. I felt this challenge would help me stay focused on my physical goals as well as my creative ones. A healthy body makes for a healthy mind.

The following day, Justice and I explored around Dismal Falls and put in a run along the forestry road. The new challenge was still fresh in my mind, and I was invigorated by it. Justice looked so cute, with her muddy little paws trotting alongside me. Justice! Justice is putting in her miles too! I had created a Runkeeper account for her months before, as she nearly always accompanies me. She deserves a shiny gold medal just as much as I do! I giggled at the thought of that bright, beautiful medal around her neck and decided then and there that we would complete this challenge together. I smiled so satisfied as our feet turned over and over, side by side.

I thought about how rich my life had become since I had taken up running. I thought about all of the beautiful places I had churned my feet through. In fact, since the first of this year, I had run in Alabama, North Carolina, and now Virginia.

Cue the epic music score. My next hair brained idea is rising…

What if we ran those one thousand miles through all fifty states? I did the math. That’s about one state per week. It’s only the second week of January. I am already doing this. OMG I am already doing this! I only needed to decide to keep doing it. A flood of elation surged through me. It was as though every step I had taken had led me to this one. I knew in an instant that this was the perfect project for me. Images of my #walkabout flashed through my head. My heart soared. It wasn’t over after all. It was just beginning.

To travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination. (English Slang)

Suddenly my future is unknown again.



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