A bit about me

Engineer by trade, explorer by passion

Welcome to my site! My name is Andrew Mortellaro, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. I come from a line of Italians (Sicilians, if we must be technical) that built a life in Ybor City, Florida. Three or four generations later, I came around! I was raised by two incredible parents in (then) rural Lutz, a small town just north of Tampa, Florida. I have a younger brother, who shares a passion for the outdoors. You can find him over at: https://pushingwatts.wordpress.com/

I was lucky enough to receive excellent public education, and pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). I went on to receive my Masters degree, and started my career working in the defense industry in Dallas, Texas. During my two years there, my passion for the outdoors started to bud – by way of camping trips down to Big Bend National Park, and the financial freedom to travel to places like California, Arizona, and Colorado.

The Mortellaro family and our matriarch, Mary. She lived to 99 years.

At my favorite “secret” lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Changes in place, purpose

always on the move

In 2017, I packed up my bags and moved to Denver, Colorado, where I took a new position working in my company’s space sector. It was here that I got to work on cool NASA projects, while exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado. When the pandemic hit, I was burned out at my job, and so decided to try something new – contracting at a popular space launch service company (I will let you guess). My favorite thing about my job is the fact that hardware I have helped develop is (and will be) floating in outer space. I grew up with space-themed wallpaper in my room, and now I get to contribute to that industry.

My brother has a friend (currently on the PCT!) who started to live on Airbnb in outdoor destinations, while working remotely. This encouraged my brother to try it out for himself, which enabled him to explore beautiful places out West. With my new contracting role being a remote position, I decided to follow suit, since I had seen it work out for my brother, and his friend before him. So in 2021, I put all my belongings in a storage unit, and hit the road to live a partially-nomadic lifestyle. (I use the term “nomad” loosely, as I still work a 40 hour weekly job, and have basically traded an apartment for Airbnb). Since September of that year, I have bounced around various Airbnb’s in some of our nation’s most prized lands. 

The purpose of this page

My digital tabula rasa

The opportunities that this lifestyle has afforded me are numerous – I have been able to slow down in regions that I would have otherwise “rushed” to visit during a vacation. I have learned to live sustainably with only the items I can fit in my car. I have met interesting people along the way; some who are also nomads, and others who call the places I visit “home”.

I decided to publish this website because – prior to doing so – Instagram was my primary means of sharing my experiences. I am finding that Instagram, while very powerful, is limited in its portrayal of natural experience. I want this page to fill in those gaps, serving as a more holistic presentation of my adventures – via photos, video content, writings, and eventually a store.

Paths Untraveled is the pursuit of the lesser-appreciated aspects of nature. It’s about taking that unfamiliar dirt road, or finding a hidden gem. It’s about slowing down and immersing yourself in the effortlessness of nature. And most of all – it is the ever more difficult goal of finding solitude in some of our world’s greatest wonders, and sharing it with folks closest to you. Thank you for visiting, and I hope this page can be an inspiration!

In the vast expanse of the Weminuche Wilderness, in Southwest Colorado. Quite possibly my most difficult (and rewarding) backpacking trip to this day.