Sam Becker-Miyadai

Digital Marketer / Food Systems Nerd / Community Developer

Thank you for the last seven years.

I might've told most of you by now but I'll be on the road this next year. The goal is twelve countries, give or take a few, in twelve months.

Why am I leaving?

A number of people have asked me an excellent question over the last several weeks of prep and embarkation on this trip, "Why am I leaving?" or “Why am I doing this?“ If I'm honest, I've asked the same question. Especially as my sister and roommates drove me to the airport, there was a lot of silence and us trying to fight the awkward small talk as if I wasn’t leaving. My eyeballs were fighting the tears during that ride to LAX. I'm not going to lie I was and am more than a little bummed to leave you all. I almost hoped my flight was at 8am and I'd missed it, instead of 8pm.

It's a weird tension because I finally feel and felt a little more settled into this #adulting and work thing after three years. Now I'm up and leaving to who really knows what. But from what I hear the unknown and doing something that kind of freaks you out helps you grow.

The way I see it is I have a window. A window of where my neck won't get as stiff from long flights, where my adrenaline carries me enough with less sleep, where I'm not quite too stubborn enough to open my perspectives and try ridiculous street food, and finally where I can dive fully into other cultures + experiences. I think that’s what draws me away is the deep desire to better understand the way others live, love, hurt, celebrate and beyond.

I'm curious about the world and learning more about it and perhaps a little more about myself, as much as I hate to sound cliche. I know 12 months will just be the tip of the iceberg but I hope this trip will be the launching pad for much more.

Thoreau Time

This year long trip allows me the opportunity to practice and put to the test a desire to live a more simplified nomadic lifestyle. Is it really all that it's cracked up to be? I don't know. I'll let you know, maybe a blog post or video to come.

My one suitcase and one backpack exploded in my apartment.

My one suitcase and one backpack exploded in my apartment.

It's weird and more challenging than I imagined to consolidate my things into one pile in my room and take inventory of them. I already don't own much.

Let's be real I'm a 26 years old and I was just starting to replace that college furniture. Still it blows my mind how much stuff I collected over the last 7 years of living in LA. I still feel like I packed too much for this trip and I only have a regular backpack plus a medium checked bag.

All this to say, it doesn’t help that I like Thoreau and his words from Walden. The words are below and they keep ringing in my head as a call to minimalism and simplification. Maybe this is what I’m subconsciously pursuing with only having a few things and clearing the clutter of unnecessary material things.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...”

I digress. This post is meant to celebrate and give thanks to the folks and settings that made this last year and the last seven years in the LA area and early adulthood super duper special. Below you'll see some photos that I've been staring at this last week of getting settled and while I flew the 13 hours to get to my first destination here in Chile.

A Few Thank You’s

Thanks for everything! Thanks for how you’ve loved, encouraged, and supported me. Thanks for making me more aware of my strengths and calling me out on my weaknesses. Thanks for the game nights. Thanks for the Rollin Ragers at the local rink. Thanks for the roadtrips up the coast and bumming it on the side of the road with Soar Patch Kids and Spitz sunflower seeds. Thanks for the late night Taco Bell runs and Trader Joe’s sampling parties. Thanks for the surf trips to Mexico. Thanks for letting me always talk about bread or The Office. Thanks for the wig out parties. Thanks for the surf n’ sandy Saturday hangs followed up by Joanne’s donuts at the farmer’s market. Thanks for the sunset skate sessions. Thanks for the Neat Coffee golden latte goodness on Monday mornings to talk about life’s happenings. Thanks for the KSpa hangs. Finally, in the words of Fall Out Boy, “Thnks fr th Mmrs.”

I’ll shut up now and just let you peruse the photos. Hope you enjoy!

You all know who you are and how much you mean to me for your generous support and relentless love even those maybe not captured or represented. You know how much you've shaped my life. We've made some sweet sweet memories in the last seven years.

Know that I'm thinking of you all fondly. I carry those memories and experiences with me and I look forward to sharing with you all that comes about from this time on the road.

Thanks again for everything,

Sam