It was November of 2018 after I was sitting subsequent to a good-looking stranger round a campfire exterior of Etosha Nationwide Park in Namibia.
I’d seen him earlier within the foyer however assumed he was a part of a pair. Not many individuals solo journey by this desert nation.
However G isn’t your typical traveler. He’s been to The Azores, Mauritius, Tasmania, and extra alone, and he’s at all times down for an journey.
I do know this from first-hand expertise, as a result of that good-looking stranger turned my life accomplice. The one downside was, he lived in Reno, Nevada.
Reno isn’t a spot I’d have thought-about. All I knew of it was the freeway passing by on my option to Burning Man. I went eight years in a row with out exploring Reno or giving it an opportunity. I even tried to consider ways in which I may persuade G to maneuver elsewhere.
But it surely did so occur that I used to be available in the market for a brand new place to dwell on the heels of leaving Berlin after over 4 years of creating it my residence base.
Why go away Berlin for Reno of all locations? Berlin is well one of many coolest cities on the planet.
It’s low-cost, gritty, artsy, and the nightlife by no means ends. In my 20s, I couldn’t think about a extra occurring place. Once I was there, I felt like I used to be within the epicenter of all issues cool. I acquired to dwell in a metropolis that really by no means sleeps.
However after 4 years I began to really feel like a stranger in an odd land. I missed mountains, I missed the ocean, I missed the simplicity of smaller locations and acquainted faces like I’d had after I traveled.
I began to surprise if dwelling in an enormous metropolis was actually dwelling. So I made a decision to depart, and in between ending my lease and giving up my German residency, I met G, and he satisfied me to present Reno an opportunity.
I had at all times considered Nevada as one thing to get by with the intention to go to Vegas or Utah. I keep in mind pondering Reno was only a poor man’s Vegas. I imagined the entire of Nevada was barren, rocky, and warmer than hell. That’s how most individuals image it.
However I used to be incorrect, and it began proving me incorrect virtually instantly:
You might say that I moved to Reno virtually 2 years in the past, however I didn’t spend significant time right here till final March. I used to be lucky to have many working alternatives in 2019, which stored me away virtually all the best way till the pandemic hit.
And whereas it’s been troublesome in some ways, the silver lining is it gave me an opportunity to like my environment extra – to really discover what’s in my very own yard right here, and it’s superb.
There are pine timber right here which can be a whole lot of years previous, a few of them on my avenue. Up within the mountains, they’re into the 1000’s.
Hawks fly by day by day, cawing their presence, and I’ve noticed a bobcat on the path up in Tahoe, which should be the world’s most stunning lake.
I’ve watched as totally different birds have migrated by, constructing their nests and consuming the acorns this winter. I watched as every little thing went into full bloom final spring, exhibiting me a season that I hadn’t realized I’d not skilled earlier than.
There are extra mountain lakes than I can rely, extra mountain climbing trails than I can in all probability ever cowl, extra funky little eating places and communities that I’m dying to discover. I do know I’ve discovered my place, I hope that I can discover my individuals too.
Now almost 2 years in, I’m realizing how misguided all of my earlier assumptions have been. To only drive by on the freeway confirmed me nothing of the a whole lot of mountain climbing trails, beautiful mountain lakes, salt pans and sand dunes that I may attain.
Rising up in higher Los Angeles, it took hours to get to issues like this. Nature is far more accessible right here, and that’s precisely what I wished after I left Berlin. I simply by no means anticipated to search out it in Reno.
Reno with its 200k residents is the smallest space I’ve lived in – by far.
And tacky because it sounds, I’ve come to understand that it actually is the most important little metropolis on the planet.
It’s sort of humorous, though nearly all of Nevada appears to be like nothing like the cruel desert panorama that has come to outline it in standard tradition, that is nonetheless the picture that most individuals have of their thoughts. And it’s in all probability all the higher for it.
And I do know in the long run that residence isn’t a lot the place, it’s a mind-set. It’s the corporate you retain, particularly your personal.
Some locations really feel like residence the second you land there, and others take a while to work their means into your coronary heart. Reno has been that for me, and I’m so grateful to G that I acquired an opportunity to get to understand it.