On August 4, 2016, after nearly four years in New York City, I embarked on a four day Amtrak ride cross country to my desert home in Tucson, Arizona. As much as I adore NYC and many of its inhabitants, the last 20 months of my adventure there had pushed me to my edge in almost every way possible. Around the beginning of 2016, as I came out of the abyss of 2015, I looked around and found myself needing a break from a life that was longer aligned with who I was, I didn’t recognize myself, and felt uninspired…embroiled. On auto-pilot in a zombie loop, and survival mode, I was no longer spending as much time and energy on the aspirations and activities that bring me joy, growth, health and inspiration.
I gave my notices, packed everything into storage and headed west for a desert sabbatical. On the train over 3 nights and 4 days, we trekked down the southeast coast through Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, stopping in New Orleans for a night; then on through Texas, New Mexico and into Arizona, seeing parts of the country only visible by train or walking. After many swamps, bays, the great Mississippi, prairies, and desert expanses later, I arrived in Tucson. Below are 14 images that reflect the sights and wonders of my trip from within the train as the countryside, backwaters, small towns and urban areas passed by.