ABOUT THE 5 to 9 NOMAD

Hi! Thanks for visiting The 5 to 9 Nomad! I’m not too good at these “About” things so please bear with me.

Who Am I?

Hamilton Pool
October 2013: Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

I’m Johanna, a 26 year old tree hugging, adventure loving, wander lusting, urbanite turned outdoor enthusiast, passionate about exploring and preserving the outdoors. I was born in Brooklyn, New York and I’ve lived in NYC; upstate NY; Long Beach Island, New Jersey; Estero, Florida; Daytona Beach, Florida; and now, Houston, Texas. I didn’t spend my life hiking and camping or spending much time outdoors (or having any desire to) unless you count the days I spent at the beach or jumping on my trampoline. In fact, my first memorable hike was in October 2013 at Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs, Texas right outside of Austin. I still remember that weekend like it was yesterday because it literally changed my life.

The universe brought me to Texas to pursue what I thought was my life’s greatest passion – working in the space industry. I didn’t expect, or believe it possible, to find anything that I love more than space. But cliché as it sounds, that weekend I visited Austin changed me. I had no idea I would love hiking and exploring so much so that it would become one of those things that I work all day waiting for 5PM so I can take a hike or camp or get on my kayak and navigate the lakes, creeks, and bayous throughout Houston. All I’m ever thinking about is the next park I’ll explore, mountain I’ll climb, or beach I’ll visit.

In my 26 years of life I’ve never been so at peace as when I’m outdoors enjoying the land God created for us.

So Why the 5 to 9 Nomad?

As much as I love the outdoors and the joy it brings me, I also love my job. I’m a Safety Engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center – the job I’ve dreamed of since I was 13 years old. I work 9 to 5, five days a week, overseeing all kinds of testing at JSC and helping to keep our Astronauts safe. At the moment it’s not the kind of job I’m willing to give up to spend my life (or even a few years) as a full-time nomad. Who knows? That could change. But for now I’ll use the 44 paid days off and 26 three day weekends I get each year to travel and explore the great outdoors – which is how I came up with the 5 to 9 Nomad.

Once 5 o’clock rolls around my work day is over and my adventures begin. Be it 5PM Monday to 9AM Tuesday or 5PM Friday to 9AM Monday or even 5PM Wednesday to 9AM four Tuesdays later. From 5 to 9 I can do whatever I want, wandering the city, state, country, and even the world.

So that’s what I do.

Chamber B Run With Z-2 Suit
May 2016: Supporting a Z-2 Space Suit CO2 Washout Manned Ambient Evaluation | Photographer: James Blair

I’m by no means an expert in traveling, exploring, backpacking, or being sustainable and still have a looooong way to go before I’m even close. But life is all about the journey, right? The 5 to 9 Nomad is my way to document my journey as I explore new places and learn about best practices in regard to backpacking, camping, and living.

So join me as I explore and learn about the Earth and enjoy everything She has in store for us!

 

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