“I moved from Washington, D.C. to Colorado to have the mountains in my backyard, but Denver became too loud and crowded. I sold my cute little house and became a nomad in November 2019. I’m working with a medical device startup that’s interested in Baldwin County. I started moving to Fairhope as Hurricane Sally hit. They said it was going to be a Category 1 storm, so I wasn’t worried. I waited it out in Shreveport and then spent a few days in Montgomery. I rolled into Fairhope late one night. Trees were down everywhere, and I still loved it. I couldn’t wait to see it during the daytime. I like it here. I get to work by the bay, and I’ve been surprised by the good food.
I learned to live my life today. My father died when I was 11, and my best friend died when I was 16. I started fearing who was next. I had depression as a kid and was suicidal, but we didn’t talk about it. The 10th anniversary of my father’s death was my light bulb moment. I was 21 and feeling sorry for myself. But new awareness gave me the freedom to live my life. I graduated college and went on a backpacking trip around Europe with a friend. I became a traveler and took jobs that allowed me to work internationally. I’ve been to 35 countries. I worked in global health with biotech and pharmaceutical development. I traveled to underdeveloped countries and got used to the instability. My favorite place so far is Bhutan. Instead of measuring gross domestic product, they measure gross domestic happiness. They try to preserve their culture.
When I started traveling, there were no cell phones, no Google maps. They just told us at the hotel which road to take. You learn to be flexible and open. When you’re in the middle of the country and they have a train strike, you figure it out. There were AK-47s pointed at us in Kenya and we paid them off with a quarter. I was an introverted, depressed kid, but I traveled the world and became a mountaineer. I learned to face my fear and work it out.”