#1 Prologue

Well once again I find myself writing… I love writing but I don’t spend enough time doing it, then again does anybody these days? We are all consumed by our cell phones, devoting every bit of free time with our faces glued to them… Maybe thats why i’m starting this journal/blog, maybe I need some way of cataloging my exploits that will bring experiences to life for my readers and give them an insight into my adventures…? Either way, it feels great to write again!

With that being said it is January 2nd and 2016 has officially come to an end. Overall I think the majority of people had a relatively negative outlook on this year and to some extent I don’t really blame them…. Trump was elected, people died, blah blah blah actually let me tell you how I really feel… I DON’T CARE because it was probably the best year of my life! (selfish I know…) But let me explain a little bit more. At the end of 2015 I was presented the opportunity to travel to Munich, Germany and work out of the European headquarters for GoPro. I had already been working for GoPro for two years and living in South San Francisco which was nothing short of amazing but i’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I started to feel stagnant. Regardless of how great my job was I started to get restless… my soul was yearning for adventure… something fresh, something new, something that would get me out of my comfort zone and allow me to grow as an individual. 2016 kicked off and by January 17th I was packed up and on a Lufthansa flight making my way to my new home in Germany for the next six months!

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How was living in Germany you ask? It was nothing short of incredible…! When I wasn’t traveling for work I would spend every Euro I had to take weekend trips all over. For those of you who already know me you know I have an addictive like obsession with discovering and exploring abandoned buildings and this was the highlight of every weekend trip. After 6 months in Germany I managed to explore abandoned locations in the following countries; Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia and probably some more that I’m not remembering. I would fly out on Thursdays or early Friday mornings, land at my destination, grab a rental car and then spend the next 72 hours driving all over to explore buildings I had mapped out. Every exploration was different and I found myself constantly bettering myself at doing things on my own. I don’t know if its the fact that I didn’t speak any of the languages but somehow I felt invulnerable from legal action whenever I was trespassing abroad. (This isn’t a good mindset to get in) Luckily I didn’t have any mishaps or actual trouble, the closest being when I ran into a gang of gypsies at an abandoned chemical plant in Budapest and when I was caught by a security guard at an abandoned gas plant in Milan who insisted he must call “Policia” which resulted in me bolting into the woods. I guess what i’m getting at is that I did a lot of adventurous/risky stuff by myself and as much as I love sharing experiences with others sometimes theres nothing more rewarding then accomplishing something 100% on your own. After 6 months of these solo weekend adventures along with many local explorations around Munich I finally had to return to the Bay Area and go back to my American work grind.

Returning to America was a great feeling regardless of having to say goodbye to the Schnitzels, Helles bier and all my new found friends. Just a tip for my readers who haven’t traveled much… In order to truly appreciate America or wherever your home is… get away for a bit! I promise it will make you thankful for a myriad of reasons and will really make you appreciate the “little things” ! As much as I love the German people and their culture I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a breath of fresh air to be back in the States.

After about a month of being back that “stagnant” feeling started to creep in again. I realized I was falling into the same old routine I had before I moved. Wake up, Go to work, come home from work, watch netflix, fall asleep…. REPEAT. This isn’t to say that I didn’t get out on the weekends and go camping or exploring… more so that it simply just wasn’t ENOUGH…. I found myself fantasizing and blabbering to my roommates that I wanted to experience a nomadic lifestyle… maybe living out of a truck or a van and exploring every nook and cranny of America. Well… I let that idea brew in the back of my mind and told myself that if I practiced patience I would be rewarded. As it turns out, I didn’t need to be as patient as I anticipated… Due to financial issues, GoPro had to do Layoffs and I found myself with the opportunity to leave my job and get a nice severance package ultimately giving myself the perfect start to my nomadic adventure! I had less then two weeks left at GoPro and had to figure out how to get a truck bed built in my Ranger and how the hell I was going to sell all the shit I accumulated over the past 3.5 years. Fast forward to now…. Got the truck bed built thanks to my buddy Stephen, moved all of my shit that I needed into the Ranger (I call her Tammy) and the rest I had to sell and or giveaway.

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That brings me to this exact moment where i’m currently lying in bed in ice cold Vermont at my childhood home. I fly back to California tomorrow and this new reality actually begins. I will be taking a cab from SFO to my truck which is parked at a friends and literally beginning my “truck-life” As with any major changes in life, when something major happens it feels very surreal until you embrace, accept and fully adapt to that change. I recognized that I wasn’t growing as a person as much as I wanted at GoPro and it was time to get out of my comfort zone. The next few weeks will be hard, I will have no official home, no shower, no place to clean my clothes and will be fully adapting to this lifestyle with no handicap. I’m going from living in a 3 bedroom house to living in a truck with all of my possessions and I won’t lie… it gives me anxiety just thinking about it. Anxiety sucks doesn’t it? I’ll be honest I fucking hate it but I know that its a sign… a sign that I’m getting out of my comfort zone….a sign that I’m putting myself in the best position possible to grow as a human being. At the end of the day I don’t want to be the old person who wishes he did this that and the other thing…. id rather face my fears and live this life the way I want. Maybe I’m ignorant, maybe I’m crazy but somehow I always follow my heart and right now my heart is telling me that i’m gonna be Exploring Solo.

-J.J

 

 

2 thoughts on “#1 Prologue

  1. Stoked for you Justin! Can’t wait to see the amazing journey and fascinating art you produce from it. Adventure on!

    Like

  2. Will miss you here in Cali but looking forward to seeing where your travels take you. We will link up along the way somewhere for sure bro!

    Be safe & God bless

    Like

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