Millennial Focus: Tanya Lopez-Marin

Welcome to the first in the Millennial Focus series where I interview various people in the Millennial or Y generation and ask them about their lives, thoughts on the whole Millennial thing, and advice to others.

The first in the series is Tanya Lopez-Marin. She runs the blog Adventure Tits in which she blogs about her bicycling journey across the U.S. I managed to catch her on Facebook chat when she was currently set up in Pennsylvania. Here’s what we talked about:

Credit to Tanay Lopez-Marin

Credit to Tanya Lopez-Marin

Janel: Okay, tell me about your early life.

Tanya: I was born in Mexico but was brought over when I was one year old. I grew up in Houston.

J: Think Houston had an effect on your life?

T: Oh my, yes.

J: How would you say it did?

T:It kind of forced me to get out as quickly as I could.

J: Sounds like you always had the traveling bug.

T: Yeah, well, my mom and step dad did help with the traveling bug.  I’d go to Mexico once a year when I was younger for the holidays and when we were there we’d always go to some interesting place or other state within the country.  Then when my mom got a better job in the states we traveled a little bit more to more exotic places like Jamaica and around the United States.  I fell in love when I was younger.

J: That brings us to the present. Tell me, what brought you to do the nomad life?

T: It was a perfect storm of circumstances I think.  I got fired from my job and didn’t have a home because I never signed a lease once I left for that job in the first place because it was a traveling job.  I had few attachments and plenty of reasons to just take off and discover the parts of the world I wanted to see.

J: How has the experience been going so far?

T: It’s been nothing but wonderful.  I could probably end the trip now and leave with everything I was searching for when I began a little less than a month ago.

But I’m not going to.  Each positive interaction with a new person or a different city compounds upon itself and is drastically shaping the person that I’ve always wanted to become.  If I could do this forever, I totally would.

J: What would you say this person is?

T: Hmm, it’s a plethora of adjectives that I’m not sure I’ve pinned down to a select few that would properly describe it… but I suppose I could try now.

Kind, adventurous, optimistic. Maybe inspiring, but I feel that to be inspired sometimes that’s got to come from within you.

J: True words right there. Do you think part of this trip of self-discovery comes from being a Millennial?

T: Depends on which defining characteristic of a Millennial you’d be referring to, I think.

J: Let’s look at the characteristic that we are considered entitled and more willing to not work forever at one location.

T: No, not for me anyway.

J: Do you think older generations are too hard on Millennials? 

T: Maybe, but not much harder than the generation that preceded them with their opinions on them did.  It’s a cycle that repeats itself and it will continue for each generation.

J: Most definitely.

T: We want to analyze and generalize so that we can pretend to understand the world and what’s going on around us, but to me, it’s all relative.  We’re all pretty unique so just because one generation packages me a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true at all.

J: Make sense. Do you think there is any trait that describes our generation and if so, what?

T: Debt.  Should I go on? But yeah, debt is my final answer.
J: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
T: Oh man… I’d be what, 33?  Possibly deceased.
J: Aww, you don’t think you’ll be around doing awesome biking trips?
T: Ha ha, actually, yeah I think based on what I’d like to do it could go two ways.
Working as an ER nurse or firefighter paramedic in the city of my choosing and traveling as often as I can OR traveling long term with my significant other (if any) going on as many adventures as possible.
J: Do you think an ER is a departure from what you’re doing now?
T: Ha ha, not really.  Those jobs can vary daily, you never know what you’re going to get and you have to keep your shit together or it’s going to be a bad time.  There are days where I have no idea where I will be sleeping for the night or what kind of road hazards I will be coming across during the day.  Instances like those are good practice for keeping calm and just figuring out the situation as it comes.  Skills-wise, I don’t see it as TOO much of a departure.
J: And to think, people say that roaming around is for bums.
T: Ha ha, I know right? It’s also good for people skills.
J: Sounds great. What would has been your favorite part of the trip?
T: Meeting good people.  The kind that will go out of their way to help you or that have a story that will inspire you to keep going when you don’t feel like it sometimes.

J: Any advice you would give to someone who wants to embark on this lifestyle?

T: Just go for it.  Don’t over-think it or you’re going to end up not doing it.

J: Do you think the lifestyle is for everyone?

T: No, absolutely not.  I’ve met people that have told me they admire what I am doing but they’d much rather sleep in their own bed every night and have a routine.  I respect that people have their own defined comfort zones based on a lot of things (environment, upbringing, etc.) and if they’ve found something that works for them and makes them happy then good for them.

J: If someone was up for it, how would they go about starting it?

T: Depends on how long you want to be away for.  Long time? Start selling your material things or things that would hinder your departure.  Short term?  Have a general plan of what you want to do, for how long, and how you’re going to take care of the stuff you need to while you’re on the road.  But like I said, don’t over-think it though, because you might just give yourself enough excuses NOT to leave.

J: What’s the next stop for you?

T: My next big stop will be in Buffalo, NY.  I’m actually planning out my route right now.  It should take me about 4 days of biking to get there.  I’m hoping to camp out on Lake Erie at least one of those nights.

J: Very nice. Any final words?

T: Oh man, that’s tough.  There’s so many to choose from! Let’s see…

“The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.” ― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
J: What does the quote mean to you?
T: Well, it’s a video online that someone edited with footage from famous movie scenes and parts of history while Carl Sagan narrates a short bit from his book Pale Blue Dot.  In the beginning it kind of gives you an incredible amount of existential angst (or it did for me anyway) and by the end he describes the importance of humans on this planet despite that.
J: Thanks for the interview and I’ll let you go.
T: Oh, of course!
To read more of Tanya’s adventures, can follow Tanya on her blog at http://adventuretits.com/.
If you like the interview, leave a comment about it. If you have any suggestions on who I should interview, leave me an inquiry or leave a comment. I want to give a special thanks to her for being the first of what I hope will become a regular feature on this blog.
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