Starting Over Again: The Tale of Westward Ho 2

Once again, my life is starting over in the same magical place. After a long week on the road, I’m back in southern California.

Last night I stared out at the Pacific Ocean and felt certain peace to be back home. “Home” in the temporary sense that yes, this is where I am meant to be at this fleeting moment in time.

And yet in gazing over Lady Pacific, I couldn’t help consider the oceanic challenges suddenly facing me: finding a place to live, finding enough tutoring/miscellaneous work to cover my expenses, and perhaps more importantly than anything else, connecting and re-connecting with others.

Avoiding the temptation to ride this new journey completely alone.

I drove to this familiar library to type this post, completely forgetting that I was baptized right next door. Words can never fully express the bliss of that day (although I tried). Returning here after a 2,500-mile journey has filled me with intense longing and heavy doubts.

Longing for the good of the past, doubts for the uncertainty of the future. I have no place to live, no job to work, and no complete sense of “home” in this place I’m deciding to call “home” anyway.

I was scared out of my mind to take this risk a week ago, and I’m even more scared now. While my first Westward Ho from two years ago was a completely new, thrilling adventure, Westward Ho 2 was an emotionally heavy, anxiety-inducing trek across America. This leap of faith felt infinitely more daunting than the last time.

Pacific Sunset

Despite the emotional heaviness, I was blessed to stay with my sister and several dear blog followers along my westward way. I graciously received cozy beds, delicious meals, and even baked goods for the road. But far greater than any physical sustenance given me was the pure, simple, life-infusing gift of love.

Love that asked me questions about my wandering life.

Love that offered me prayers.

Love that said I was welcomed back anytime.

Love that reminded me I’m not alone.

Westward Ho 2 was the first road trip I’ve ever taken without a single picture or video. With my emotions running high, I just never felt inspired to turn the camera on myself. Yet for the lack of film evidence, I’m flooded with precious memories that won’t soon perish.

Being driven around Jackson, Mississippi in a roof-less, door-less jeep.

Walking the “eclectic” streets of Austin, Texas at midnight.

Tasting In-N-Out in Tempe, Arizona for the first time in far too long.

Having late-night conversations about life that I wish could last forever.

Westward Ho 2 was the slightly darker episode in a usually sunny series of my wandering ventures. But it was an adventure nonetheless, and one I can’t wait to unpack more in the coming weeks. So many good stories.

I’ve broken down emotionally in the last week on the road and in the last day back in California. Striving to trust the One who brought me 2,500 miles all the way here. Twice.

I have some possible leads on living situations and jobs, so perhaps some resolution is fast on the horizon. I certainly hope so. But beyond the immediate need for physical sustenance, I pray for longer-term emotional and spiritual growth. How I yearn for it.

Thank you all for your prayers. Please keep them coming by the truckloads. I need it.

I’m so blessed by you all. Can’t wait to get this blogging ball going again.

  • Katie Terry

    What a week we’ve had! Love you and continue to pray for you!

    • TMZ


  • MLYaksh

    So glad you’re back “Home”, man. Here’s the truth- God already has everything ready. All of your needs are already provided for. God has had them stacked away for quite awhile and is waiting till that perfect moment to pour them out on you. And that goes for every need- physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational. Keep trusting in Him- He has promised He’ll never fail.

    Always praying for ya!

    • TMZ

      Thank you for that reminder. Striving to remind myself of just that every single day when things appear desperately uncertain. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, Mitchell. Always a blessing.

  • Rebecka

    Praying for you!

    • TMZ

      Thanks Rebecka. Reallllllly appreciate it.

  • Tom, Your travels are amazing and though I only know you from your work on the internet, I feel a connection because when I was a bit younger I too had the passion you seem to currently have for the written word of expression. I think it is amazing how reading or seeing your published articulations can inspire me to take a look back on those earlier years of life and grin to see someone else can also be filled with the same feelings and thoughts that shape a young dreamer. Sadly, these days the only advise I can provide is to never lose the passion no matter how difficult life can and enviably will get. It’s not hard to see that you have an amazing amount of faith and know that the Lord provides all we need to see beyond the difficult times so that we can enjoy life to the fullest of abilities. My prayers are with you Tomas.
    Thank you for being so darn awesome!
    -Kansas City, Missouri

    • TMZ

      Thanks for that comment and for continuing to follow my adventures, Christopher. Glad my story can inspire, and many thanks for your prayers. Please keep them coming!

  • Pingback: One Word 365: My Autumn Check-In - Thomas Mark ZunigaThomas Mark Zuniga()