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?
I’m Johanna, a 20 something tree hugging, adventure loving, urbanite turned outdoor enthusiast, dog mom, who’s passionate about animals, 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 and 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 for the space industry. I didn’t expect, or believe it possible, to love anything more than space. But cliché as it sounds, the 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 – and how I can bring my pupperonis along too.
In my 27 years of life I’ve never been so at peace as when I’m outdoors enjoying the land God created for us.
My Sidekicks: Etta James and Billie Holiday
2018 brought with it a bunch of changes in my life. Most importantly, it brought me two fur babies who I love more than anything and anyone in the word. In March, Etta James was found on the side of I-10 in Northwest Houston. She didn’t have a name tag, she wasn’t microchipped, and if no one claimed or wanted her the people who found her were going to bring her to the shelter. So I rescued her. My roommate at the time was “allergic to dogs” and I was allergic to bullshit so we parted ways and I replaced a succubus with puppy cuddles and 15 pounds of unconditional love.
A couple months later, after a lot of howling and crying whenever I left for work, I decided Etta needed a friend. I wanted a bigger dog so I was looking for puppies in Houston and found a guy with a litter of 6 week-old Great Dane/Lab puppies. And that’s when we found Billie Holiday; a sweet, beautiful, Merle pupperoni. After one look with her pretty little puppy eyes we were both sold (me more than Etta) and she was ours furever. At 6 weeks she was 8 pounds and at 9 months she’s almost 70. So I’ve got my hands full but she’s worth every accident and destroyed stuffed animal. Plus, her and Etta James have become quite literally the two best friends anyone could have.
We like to adventure as much as possible. Be it boating, camping on the beach, hiking at Huntsville State Park, climbing canyons, chasing wild geese, or swimming in the lake behind our apartment. My girls are up for anything. And lucky for me, they both love road trips so no adventure is too far!
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 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.
But who knows? That could change. Though, for now I like to use the 44 paid days off plus the 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.
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, traveling, and living.
So join me as I explore and learn about the Earth and enjoy everything She has in store for us!