Road Trip America
We used to be a fairly normal family. My husband Jared and I worked and lived in a Central Florida suburb with our two kids, Devin and Emma. And then one day I got a crazy idea: I wanted to take an epic road trip across America with my family.
Why road trip America?
My life was good. I was traveling frequently as a freelance writer and enjoying a salary from an extremely flexible marketing job. Jared and I were getting a long better than ever (thanks to a lot of marriage counseling), and we were comfortable financially. But I wanted more for us. I wanted to be able to spend my good life with the people who meant the most to me, the people who were spending most of their life in school and at work. Extended travel seemed like the perfect solution.
We decided to travel in the United States because there was a lot of the country we hadn’t seen yet. It seemed silly to backpack across Europe or Asia when we’d never even been to San Francisco. World travel sounded exotic, but it made more sense to explore our own backyard first.
How we made it happen
We sold our stuff, including all of my shoes. We gave away my car. We bought a 24 foot travel trailer and hitched it up to our 2002 Chevy Trailblazer. After about 8 months of planning and saving, we hit the road together on June 1, 2011.
You can read more about the planning in these posts:
- And This Comes Next
- Deciding Where to Go Part A
- The Beginning of a Plan
- On Getting Rid of My Shoes
- And Then We Bought an RV
- The Stuff We Keep Just In Case (and what we don’t)
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Big Trip
- Video Tour of the RV
- Jared’s Last Day of Work
- What We Did with Our Car
- Here We Go
The reality of our American Road Trip
Our plan was to travel the United States for about a year.
Of course, life almost never goes according to plan, and our Great American road trip was no exception. We ended up traveling for 10 months, visiting 29 states and stopping in 40 cities.
You can read about some of our travel adventures in these posts:
- Happiness Highlights in Savannah
- Happiness Highlights: Myrtle Beach
- Highlights from Raleigh and Richmond
- Happiness Highlights from DC
- Week 2 in Washington DC
- Happiness Highlights from Philadelphia
- Week 2 in New York City
- Running from Irene
- Trapped on Kelleys Island
- Falling in Love with Pittsburgh
- Homesick in Hocking Hills
- Settled in Austin
- The Great Outdoors of West Texas and New Mexico
- The Grand Canyon. Wow.
- Vegas with The Babies
- From Sea to Shining Sea
- Coming Full Circle in San Francisco
- Salt Lake City Through the iPhone Lens
Photos from road trip around America can be found in the photo gallery.
More important than how much we saw is that traveling the United States together changed us, as individuals and as a family. You can read about some of what we learned during our journey in these posts:
- What we learned the first week on the road
- Savannah Artist Proves There’s No Such Thing As Too Late or Too Old
- 18 Things We Learned during the 30 Days of Traveling the United States
- Inspired by a NYC Street Musician to Live from the Heart
- Where My Heart Is
- 32 Things I’ve Learned About How to Be Happy
- How to Be Happy: Go Outside
- How to Be Fearless
- The Shockingly Undramatic Truth about Living in an RV
- Confronting My Bigotry in Salt Lake City
- The Unexpected End to Our Great American Road Trip
I have no regrets about the sacrifices we made to take this journey together. The experiences and memories are priceless, and I am so grateful we had this time together before our kids decide we are totally lame. I hope that they will remember how much we laughed, how we rolled with the punches, and how we took the leap to embrace the here and now.
If you’re considering taking your own road trip around America, my recommendation is to go for it. There is so much to see and do in this country (and tons we still haven’t done!) and there is never a better time than right now, mainly because it’s the only time we are guaranteed.
For press inquiries, tips, questions, or just to say hi, please don’t hesitate to contact me.