My name is Paul Edson and I am a 19-year-old introvert and homebody who craves comfort and security but wants to travel the world. I had always known growing up that there was more to the world then my hometown in Massachusetts and have always had a burning desire to experience that world. However, I also wanted to be content being naive and blissful about while staying in my own bubble at home where everything was familiar. In the summer of 2018, an opportunity for me to get a glimpse of the rest of the country arose when my father invited me to go on a cross-country road trip with him the summer before my first semester of University.
I was aware of the physical journey that we were going to embark on. We were going to drive from Massachusetts to Arizona over the course of just over one month and we were going to do some cool things and see some amazing sites and meet interesting people along the way.
Little did I know, it would not be about the physical journey that was measured in miles at all. What I was about to begin was a mental, emotional, and spiritual journey that could never be measured in miles. When I came back home from my adventure I had changed, but everything and everyone around me had stayed the same. I felt like I didn't fit. And I officially had wanderlust. After seeing a little bit of the country I had fallen in love with everything about traveling. The unpredictability, the people, the culture, the landscape, the different points of view, the growth, everything. Despite this, I tried to integrate myself back into my old life and even though I wanted to travel instead of going to University, I went to University 15 minutes down the road and tried to silence my urge to travel.
I wanted to make this work but I couldn't. I made some friends and had some fun but I really wasn't happy. I knew that the path I was going down was not leading me in the direction of the life I wanted to live. If I kept going down this path I was going to graduate in 4 years and probably still be living in my hometown afterward. This made me quite depressed and I spent most of the days alone in isolation dreaming of traveling.
And then Winter break came. And then Christmas passed. And then New Year's Eve came. I decided that I was going to make some resolutions and start living the life I had envisioned for myself. I wanted to start a podcast and I wanted to start a travel blog. I also wanted to drop out of school and start traveling.
10 days passed and it was the day before the second semester was going to start; the last day to drop out. A guy named Dave was redoing my mom's bathroom and asked me what I was studying. I told him of my desire to travel and that I was thinking of dropping out. He told me that he didn't get a degree in 4 years and that he had bartended for a while and made good money doing it. He told me that there were plenty of jobs that I could work anywhere and that working in a restaurant was one of them. That was all I needed to know. I drove to school right after we finished talking and filled out my withdrawal papers.
2 months later I had a job in a restaurant and was making some decent money. I was going to wait until I had $10,000 saved up to leave but after a trip to Los Angeles, CA to see my aunt and uncle I realized something. I could leave now. What was I waiting for? In fact, I needed to leave now.
I went back to Massachusetts and started to look at options and ended up applying for a work/trade in southern Utah near the national parks. 2 hours after applying I got a notification saying I got the position. I booked a one-way flight there that night and left one week later with $1,000 to my name.
Since then I have had many adventures, found myself many times, and lost myself even more times. I have even considered going back to University after finding passions in different areas of study through studying. I don't know what I'm going to do. I guess I'm just living life.
There have been times I felt like I was on top of the world and times where I desperately longed to be home.
Every time I think about going back home I think of how far I've come and how much of the world there is to explore and I think of the endless possibilities of life. Being able to be my own person and to not be tied down by any expectations of what others think I should be like has been the most freeing feeling I have ever experienced.
I created Live Spontaneously as an outlet for myself to write about my traveling experiences and share them with others. Since then, I have evolved and therefore so has the purpose of my website.
While it is still an outlet for me, it is also for all of the like-minded introverts and homebodies out there who know they want to travel the world but don't want to leave their comfort zone.
On this website, you can follow my journey while also learning how to travel as an introvert and a homebody as I give you all of the advice that I wish I had when I started traveling.
The goal is to create a community of like-minded individuals who want to travel the world and break outside their comfort zones but are afraid to do so. We will help each other take those first steps and be there for each other along our journeys. We will celebrate the great times and pick each other up when we fall while encouraging each other to keep living the life we've imagined.
This is not a website where I showcase my life and pretend to be a vagabond. This is not a website for those people hiking in the Himalayas and drinking cocktails on the beach in Thailand. This is for the people who said they've always wanted to go to Europe but haven't even looked at plane tickets yet and said they've always wanted to travel but haven't taken the chance to really travel yet. This is for the people who want to travel, not take a vacation.
This is where homebodies and introverts live spontaneously and shatter their comfort zones.
This is where we all #DiveIn.