Dave, thanks for taking us along on your journey. I think you'll find a lot of out there on the road have similar backgrounds. I spent about a year flying from COS to Memphis to visit my dad who had lung cancer. A few months after his passing I quit my job, had a friend move in to take care of my dog, and I boarded a plane to Lisbon with one bag, no reservation and no idea when I'd come back. I showed up about a half a year later with a lot of miles under the shoes. That was about 5 years ago.
The only reason I came back was for my big furry beast that's been my best friend for 12 years now. I'm now nursing him through his old age and expect after that it won't be long before I'm back on the road and this time with no ties.
A long journey is good for the soul. Be safe and I'll be lurking around.