This a past issue of Weightshifting, a newsletter documenting overland travel and the American West by Naz Hamid and Jen Schuetz.
Hello. You’re receiving this long-dormant-now-re-reawakaned newsletter because at some point in the past you subscribed. (Thank you, by the way.) Back then, I was writing about some nexus of travels abroad, personal or professional news, and technology-ish topics.
There are some changes afoot, which this issue kickstarts.
I often percolate on how best to use an avenue. I started this newsletter on Tinyletter as a way to write quick thoughts about what I was experiencing many years ago during trips to Malaysia to visit my family. It was a way to blog without too much fuss.
As has now been written copiously everywhere, the pandemic has led to reflection and, in some cases, clarity. I stew on these things much longer than I used to, and I have now manifested a clearer purpose to this newsletter, which I’ve long loved but neglected in ways.
Since January, my wife Jen and I have been outfitting an (dare I say it) overlanding rig. A truck…-ish. A softcore Mad Max-ian rig that will take us on the Fury Road into the halls of Valhalla. Or really just remote places that allow us to be away from crowds and people (Anti-Social Distancing Distancing Club) and to experience this land that we live on in ways many do not. To be self-supported and off-the-grid. To enable the once every-six-weeks trip-by-plane that we were accustomed to that allowed us to explore, rejuvenate, be inspired, and reset.
We’ve gone on a few trips now. Each one has been longer than the last — 11 days was the longest, which concluded at the beginning of August. I’m writing to you from our second day in the Sierra Nevada in California, sitting under a tree, mobile hotspotting off my phone, 6664 feet above sea level, watching a haze settle over the valley we look onto, with Highway 395 below, growing murkier as each minute passes. (If you didn’t already know, California has been on fire.)
We sync up with friends at camp today and vacate tomorrow. We travel eastward on what will be 3-4 weeks on the road as we explore backroads, 4x4 trails, and some of the great mountainous states, hoping to catch the glorious colors of fall and take in a little adventure.
I’m also working from the road — my two main duties (consulting creative director for a VC firm and all things design for a stealth app startup) continue apace — to experiment a way of life I’ve long wanted to try.
Over the next few weeks and beyond, expect photos from the road, notes from the field, travel insights, and occasional gear nerdery.
Questions, replies, and feedback are always welcome. I’m excited for this endeavor and hope you will be too.
Cheers and thanks for following along,
P.S. Why the title?