Originally from Kansas, USA, Kyle Batson is a photographer and designer and will soon be living full-time in his converted camper van. You can see more of his photography at kylebatsonphoto.com.

Serenity at Hungry Horse

Serenity at Hungry Horse

Part of the allure and the motivation of living in this nomadic way is the elusive search for beautiful, peaceful locations where you might feel transported to a simpler time. In Montana, this lagoon near Hungry Horse Reservoir came pretty close. Surrounded by mountains and forest, it included a bubbling stream feeding into the lagoon.

Of course, I wasn't the only person to discover this secluded location, but the presence of other people didn't bother me. There was enough room that each group of people could choose to keep their distance if they so desired.

It was also the perfect location to take a dip. I had been craving a good swim for weeks, and especially as I hadn't bathed in a few days, diving into the cool lagoon was one of the most refreshing experiences I have ever had.

I was pulled by a desire to build a fire and bake under the stars in this place. One of the only things I miss about not having a house or an apartment is the lack of an oven, and I have been wanting to do some baking for awhile. My first attempt at making apple cobbler a few weeks ago was met with failure, but I learned from my mistakes and, this time, made something quite tasty.

Not wanting to completely shut myself away from my neighbors, I brought over some of my creation so that they could share in my bounty and I am glad that I did. Upon closer observation, they appeared to be homeless and were quite grateful for some fresh dessert.

I think that in this point in my journey, I have really understood the need and desire to make this connection to nature. Before deciding to quite my job and head out in a van, I was working under fluorescent lights away from windows for the whole day. I frequently didn't have time to have a lunch break away from work, or the energy before and after the work day to cook myself a healthy meal.

At the same time, despite the gratifying feeling that I have from being out in nature, it is tinged with hollowness without having someone to share the experience with. The connection I have to friends and family is still brings me the most satisfaction, regardless of the circumstances.

As I suspected when I first left on this journey, I knew there would be a kind of pendulum swing. An intense desire to escape from the hard work and stress of the time, but understanding that I would ultimately find a balance between what a fulfilled life feels like: cities and nature, work and vacation, solitude and companionship.

I am now on a job hunt to get back into the workforce. I am searching for remote jobs so that I can choose the balance I want in life. I want to gain a greater sense of control over my own destiny. So wish me luck.

Rodeo Time!

Rodeo Time!