Four months is plenty of time.
A lot can and will happen between now and September 1st. In fact, as the weather improves, options open up. No one wants to just let two or three months slip away into oblivion, but the brutal cold does have a way of making me want to huddle up in a blanket and turn the lights off. I wasn’t exactly a hermit this winter, but on the grayest days I kept to myself. Now, though, my aim is not to waste the little time I have left here in Boston.
Because once I’m done with Boston, I’m done with the project, and that is a crazy thought.
That’s not entirely true, as the tenth year and tenth city, New York, must still be lived. But unlike every year before it, once I’m in NYC, there isn’t another destination ahead of me. That’s it, the end of the road. The end of a road.
The most frequent questions I used to get were about how I picked my cities or how I found an apartment or job, or if it were lonely doing what I do. Now, though, with only one city left, the question I get most is, “What’s next?”
I suppose that after devoting a decade of my life to such an expansive project, it’s only natural that people would assume there was something else grand on the horizon. 10 Countries / 10 Years, perhaps? Move to Africa? Hitchhike to the moon?
The truth is, I haven’t a clue. I’d like to be able to say, “For my next trick…” but I really don’t have a good goddamn idea what I’m going to do next. I’d love to travel the world, but I don’t want to be just another yuppie tourist collecting life ‘experiences’ like postcards. Traveling the way I want to travel would require substantial funds, something that I’ve never had.
There’s writing, of course. My first and only true love has always been the written word and this entire project arose out of a desire to turn my passion into a career. Honestly, though, I’m not sure I’m any closer to realizing that dream than I was when I first began traveling almost 9 years ago. Certainly, my writing has gained greater exposure and I’ve had my share of publishing credits, but none of that necessarily translates into long-term financial stability. Truth be told, the modern literary landscape suggests that my tastes and style are very much out of vogue, so long-term financial stability probably isn’t in the cards for me unless I decide to write a YA novel about a post-apocalyptic world.
That is, ultimately, the life I chose to live and there’s no regret in it.
I don’t know what’s next for me, and despite the many uncertain paths I’ve taken in life, this may be the first time I’ve ever been able to say that. There’s no college ahead of me, no ‘next’ city. Maybe nothing comes after New York. Maybe my next great project is waiting to be discovered.
That’s a little terrifying. A little exciting, too.
I’m almost there, but I’m here now.