2020 - A Year To Remember
Describe 2020 in one word. Go on.... I'll wait. Got it?
My March and April started similar to most. I first saw the virus as temporary and thought life would be back to normal in no time. As the virus continued to spread I began to see fear and uncertainty cripple friends around me, while others seemed indifferent. Misinformation was abundant. City, state, and national leaders assured that this would only last a few weeks, but I found myself asking “wasn’t that a few weeks ago now. Could this possibly change life more permanently?”
I was fortunate — I was healthy and still had a job as an Account Executive for the Ybor City based advertising agency ChappellRoberts and seamlessly transitioned to fully remote by mid-March. I worked from my apartment in Seminole Heights and reduced my social lifestyle to just those within my household. Life was different and in a word, unfulfilling.
I found fulfillment in the wilderness after I planned an overnight backpacking trip with my now ex-girlfriend, and still good friend, Dana, to the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve. Every weekend after, I began venturing further and further. First Myakka River State Park, next Ocala National Forest, then Crystal and Rainbow Rivers. Could there be a silver lining in all after all?
My adventures stayed within a stone's throw of Tampa, until my brother invited me to my niece’s baptism in San Antonio, TX where he lives. My niece’s godfather/my brother-in-law received military orders and it was unclear when they would be able to celebrate her baptism with him anytime in the near future, so they made the decision to have a very small ceremony with just the immediate family. And so, on May 16, 2020 I set off on my longest journey yet.