Why Community is Important

People are social animals. Like it or not, this is true. We oftentimes try to pretend that we need little to no human contact, but even the most introverted among us wants someone to share things with. This is why Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and every single dating site out there was invented (though, it’s not because they care about fostering community; they just know people need connection and they can monetize that). But that’s not my point. I’m not here to dis Facebook today.

By the time you read this, I will have been “on the road” (or homeless, as some of my relatives like to say) for 3 weeks. I left my dad’s house on October 10th and have traveled to some neat places as I’ve made my way to Florida.

I camped in a park with an amazing raptor rescue in Pelham, AL…

I had breakfast with a deer and a cardinal…

I rode my bike all over the place, pausing to do a little work between dips in the ocean…

I jumped into the cool 72 degree waters of Manatee Springs…

I watched the sunrise and sunset over the water, all on the same day…

I touched a stingray and walked with the fish…

I gave a lot of van tours, even to the wildlife…



I camped with some dear friends and walked around the St. Pete Pier with another friend I haven’t seen in a decade…

I cooked a whole lot of yummy things…

I decorated my campsite for Halloween…

But above all these amazing things, I met people. I talked. I listened. And I am enriched beyond words by these experiences.

I’ve had conversations that ranged from self-employment to Socialism, from nature to NCIS, and just about everything in between. I chatted for nearly an hour with a couple in their 80s about teen fiction and sci-fi, and got a tip on where to see a very eccentric sculpture garden (though I haven’t vetted that one yet and I’m not sure I will).

And I made friends…good friends, the kind that I know are going to be a part of my life for a long time.

None of this would have happened though if I hadn’t stepped outside myself. I am on a journey, yes, that’s true, but my journey is just one in a million. Every single one of us is on a journey and no one’s is any more or less important than the other. We are all different, yet more often than not there’s one little thing that connects our stories together, and finding that fascinates me.

Being part of a community, whether it’s minimalists, homesteaders, vanlifers, campers, solo-travelers, writers, readers, bloggers, homemakers, gardeners, or people who love apples, is so vitally important. We all need connection. And the only way to get it, is to open yourself to the experience.