Wow. I'm actually on my way.

I’ve never experienced rain like this. I’m outside Moravia, N.Y., and I’m cleaning up my trailer as water pounds hard against the aluminum frame. It’s unending. The lightning must be striking close, because immediate, dramatic booms accompany each flash. It’s 4 p.m., which somehow makes me feel safe, but last night, in the throes of the same thing, I was genuinely scared. But I’m extra vulnerable these days. Now that I’m finally traveling, I feel completely out of my element. I haven’t ever done something as risky as this trip, and the result is both exhilarating and frightening. Just as long as it’s not debilitating, however, I think I’m in good shape.

Let me back up, explain. My name is Stina Sieg. I’m 26, and I have just left on a solo journey around America and Canada in a silver, Boles Aero trailer, vintage 1969. I want to explore these countries, and myself, over the course of at least a year. I don’t know what I’m looking for, exactly, just that I have to go. As I’ve been working at newspapers and magazines for the last five years, a big part of this experience will be paying my way by getting writing and photography gigs as I go along. This thing of procuring jobs is one of the scariest parts of the trip to me, but it’s also one of the most necessary. I love hearing and telling people’s stories. My pen and camera get me outside myself and into the world, and I feel such gratitude to them for that.

Plus, I’m a terrible barista and a spotty waitress, which makes me all the more grateful for finding my vocation.

I’m a Californian, but in the last few years, I’ve also lived in Oregon, New Mexico and Colorado. Three weeks ago, I left my most recent home of Moab, Utah. After pausing in the northern section of the state to do some writing work, I sprinted across the country in four days, eventually arriving at a country town, north of Toronto, where I did some stories for a few small magazines on either side of the border.  Really, I should have been writing my blog weeks ago, but my world was so new and jostled that I didn’t feel I had time to describe my impressions of things.

In lieu of this blog, I have tried to commit to memory certain moments since I left Moab on July 15. In Vernal, Utah, I ran through silvery blades of rain along the downtown strip and smiled because the wet felt so nice. In Cheyenne, Wyo., I took pictures of the baby rabbits hopping around the visitor center’s lawn. I remember how good Iowa’s green, rolling hills looked after Nebraska’s flatness. At a parking lot somewhere in Illinois, I think, my truck slipped out of gear, and my trailer almost slammed into someone’s fifth wheel rig. Here, in upstate New York, I fell in love with banjo player Old Man Ludecke while driving and listening to the radio. Later that day, a friendly guy in Batavia helped me out when my tire blew. More recently, in Moravia, I smiled wide as a slightly drunk, lusciously effeminate, energy worker boy told me that I’d be “all powerful” in four years.

I’m not pretending that all these experiences add up to anything specific. I have no conclusions to draw, and I guess that makes sense. I’m only at the very beginning of this trip, and I’m gently opening myself up to it. I’m excited. I’m scared. God, I want to explore.

I am that mix of emotions and more as I sit in this New York campground. The rain is dying down, and I’m contemplating my next move. I’m thinking Québec and then Maine, but who knows? I’ll let it unfold. Without sounding too presumptuous, I invite you to follow me. I don’t know what form this blog will take yet. I just know that I want to share this trip, wherever it goes.

Thank you for reading. I’m honored. I promise much more to come.

2 comments to Wow. I’m actually on my way.

  • Van

    Hello, I heard you speak about your trip on a nudist podcast i was listening to and wanted to say hi and that i will be following your blog.

  • Marcel

    Hi Stina, I also heard your interview with Stephane on the nudist podcast. I think what your doing is great, and will be reading your blog (I have a lot of catching up to do!)

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