Let me start off by saying that I’m no stranger to road trips.
Last summer, I drove on another 3-week vacation from Miami to Madison, Wisconsin, and back, with dozens of stops in between. It was a nostalgic trip – I visited old friends in many cities, saw the beautiful, rolling farmland of the Midwest that I’d never appreciated until then, and got to be with my grandma one last time. The summer before that, a week after my college graduation, I drove from Athens, Georgia to Cambridge, Massachusetts and then all the way back to my hometown in Florida in a span of two months. I thought I had a life plan, but that road trip taught me differently – I experienced more life changing moments, more soul searching, more belonging, more crying, and more despair than in all of the other summers combined. In many ways, it burned me to the ground.
This upcoming road trip will be an all new kind for me – one for fresh opportunities and new beginnings. I’ll be going from Miami to Boston again like I did two years ago, but this time, so much in my life has changed. I’ll be leaving this Wednesday, July 23rd and won’t be back until mid-August. I’ll still be blogging about the experience! Here are my top four reasons for going on a road trip this summer:
One. I’m exploring various towns and cities that my boyfriend and I can make a long-term home in soon. Since I was 16 years-old, I have uprooted myself nine times to different cities and countries around the world. I have friends and memories from all around, but what I don’t have is a sense of community or “feeling at home” anywhere. Stefan and I are interested in moving someplace with a more intimate, down-to-earth lifestyle than Miami. My town wishlist includes: getting to walk or safely ride my bike where I need to go most of the time, having a thriving creative scene, lots of outdoor activities, innovative businesses, and mild seasons that won’t be as hot as Florida but also won’t be so cold that we can never leave the house. My East Coast ideas are the Raleigh/ Durham area in North Carolina and the Charlottesville area of Virginia. My college’s town, Athens, Georgia, is pretty awesome too, but I doubt there are enough professional positions available for Stefan to find a job in his field of engineering. So, basically, I’m on the prowl for our long-term community! Please let me know if you have any other town recommendations.
Two. Through the people I meet and activities I get to do on the trip, I’m exploring future career interests and making connections. There will be so many hours spent alone, driving, that I will either successfully complete a “soul search” and find my passion – OR I’ll just go insane. One or the other. It’s a toss-up. Along the way, I’ll be reaching out to people in the wellness community, visiting locally-owned creative businesses, and even checking out a couple of universities for graduate school. I’ll be going to farmers markets and yoga studios, and exploring every love of mine in between.
Three. I’ll get to visit friends and family that I haven’t seen in years. Basically, enough said. All of my college friends live Georgia or north of that, so I haven’t seen any of them in over two years now. It’s time to catch up! Besides that, my multi-day stop on the North Fork of Long Island, New York is for our bi-annual family reunion. My dad’s whole side of the family will be there – we’ll walk on the beach, sip cold beverages from hammocks, play ping-pong, and eat delicious, homemade food. I cannot wait.
Four. Road trips are just awesome. There’s something about road trips that I can’t get enough of. I enjoy being able to see the sunlight in the trees as I pass by in my car and having the ability to stop anytime that I’d like in order to buy a fresh, local watermelon and ask people why they love their town. Nothing feels more like summer than getting to explore and appreciate all of stunning roadside beauty of the United States. I love the intricate memories that you make through traveling this way. I know it’s not possible for everyone to take weeks out of their life to travel, but it’s really a much more meaningful experience than flying over in an airplane.
Anyway, I hope road trips will become an annual tradition for myself. How about a drive to California next year? 😉 Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever been on a crazy long road trip and what your favorite part was. Also, if you have any recommendations for me from Miami up to Boston, let me know and I’ll try and do everything. Next time you hear from me I’ll be on the road!
Have a great day,