“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination. ~ Roman Payne
Inside of each page heading is a description of what you can expect to find there. Below, he is my story as to why this blog exists.
In 2010, I returned to college as an undergraduate and decided that I would start to get outside more. Though I was working full-time for the Emergency Medical Service in New York City, money was tight because of school and the Great Recession, which had dried up all of the overtime I used to enjoy. I decided for my first spring break that I would revive my childhood love of camping and hiking by building a backpacking kit from scratch and get back it to it. $2000 later and a lot of trial and error, and I was hitting the mountains in Harriman State Park, just 90 minutes north of NYC.
In 2012, three hikes and way to many hours of envious web browsing later led me to want to build my own bicycle. I had already gotten back into cycling in 2006 as a bike medic (EMT-B) with my EMS agency and was doing urban tours on my Diamondback Sorrento. As much as I loved my Sorrento, with its smooth aircraft aluminum finish, the geometry never fit quite right on that 18 inch frame, even after buying handlebar adjustment parts for it. But tweaking that bike out with my mechanic’s took kit taught me some, and lurking the MTB forums at MTBR and BikeForum gave me the knowledge and courage to build my own bike, the Iron Horse AT90 named Revelator that I found in the garbage. Because the hiking equipment I acquired was nominally lightweight and packable, I quickly found myself being drawn into the world of bike touring and bikepacking.
In 2013, I moved to the great city of Chicago to start my PhD in sociology at The University of Chicago. Because I was born and raised on Long Island, the suburbs in the shadow of NYC, I have always wanted to live in a big city and I was really just tired of lower NY in general. With my new start in the Midwest, I sold my Jeep Grand Cherokee to a friend and became a full-time bike commuter. Still trying to learn how to live on a budget while trying to see the nation, and, eventually the world, I offer you Wandering by Installments.
WbI represents the realization of something I have wanted to do for a long time, and significantly improved health via weigh loss (because of walking and cycling) and sleep improvements (via long overdue treatment of severe sleep apnea), I am finally able to expend the energy to write for non-academic purposes. The purpose of this blog is mainly to exhaust so thoughts that preoccupy my brain, but also to inform others who, like me, want or need to enjoy a little wanderlust to stay sane, and do not necessarily have the extensive time or funds to do the Big Trip yet. Over time, I hope to review some of the gear that I have acquired and enjoyed (or hated) in order to save someone from all of the junk on market now. Also, I want to share my journeys in hopes that someone else can be motivated to just get outside and do something new and interesting.
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring