Part One and Part Two of the Adventure

Well since my sleep schedule is a bit wonky lately with all of the excitement and stress, I find jumping into my writing helps me get the anxiety out a bit. When I started planning this adventure at the top of the year, I really had no idea HOW I would go about it. I knew my favorites, I knew what sounded interesting, but there would also be necessary dots to connect all of the “exciting” stuff. I know that I want to spread kindness intentionally, and I know that I would like to meet new and old friends along the way. So with all of that said, I needed to take smaller bites from this obviously very large sandwich and make it into two parts for the sake of my sanity.

Part One

I am leaving Florida on Tuesday, June 1st, and the butt crack of dawn to head to Georgia. Why start there first? Well, I really like Christa and Martha who are my first contacts that day. I have met up with them before and they just make me smile, so I wanted to start off on a good foot. I am not counting Florida as first because 1. I have lived here for 10 years 2. It’s not that exciting to count where you live as the VERY first thing on a road trip because you have done it a million times prior and 3. I will count Florida at the beginning on next year.

So I leave FL, then GA (Christa and Martha), drive through TN (another one for next year), KY (Stephanie, Ari, and her Mom), IL, WI (too many to count), MN (meeting my second niece for the first time!!), SD, ND, MT (Angela and family!!), ID, WA (Kyra joins me here for a week- dinner with Aaron), OR, ID, WY, UT, CO, NE, KS, IO, MO, OK, NM, double back to OK and maybe KS, TX, NM, AZ, NV, CA (Craig joins me for 10 days here and I get to celebrate Halloween with Kelly and see old Classmates), AZ, NM, and TX is Christmas with Mom.  The reason for this half of the U.S. was that I was going for warmer weather in the Mountains, I have no interest in the snow if I can avoid it. I know that I can’t control that, but I feel I have done my homework as best as possible on when and where I land during this.  I realize in the Fall months it will get cooler, but I only camp in the summer months. That being said, it snowed in my campground last week in Yellowstone, so we shall see how this goes. There is a bit of double backing because on my “Life Bucket List” I wanted to be able to see the Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Mexico so I had to make plans to get there when I was only near it in MO. Hence the several times I may see Oklahoma, or Kansas.   I also plan on doing upper and lower parts of the State, so it really isn’t repeating for me.  Places like TX and such are so big, you could spend months traveling inside without doubling back. 

I am still on par for National Parks- I have lots of tours scheduled. Once I booked my first, I got hooked on the idea of being around people that I could meet while traveling on my own.  Seemed like a fun idea. Things like Pikes Peak seem terrifying to drive myself, so having the bus tour to take me up and back will be great.  Lots of ghost tours planned at Prisons, lots of foodie places to eat at, and lots of meet ups planned.  Now, we plan and God laughs right? Nah, I got this. I have planned until Christmas and then a long the way I will plan Part Two- so if you are in Part Two, you will hear from me more towards the end of this year.

Part Two

After Christmas and some much needed Mom time, and a trip to Mexico for the first time, I head to the Southern States of AR, LA, MS and AL. Good friend Nick lives here so I stay at his pad with his family and we tool around the Southern area for a week or two.  Then it’s off to Florida for a couple weeks of Disney magic and whatever else I want to count in Florida. Then it’s up and out to Savannah, GA to see Christine and whatever else in GA on the Eastern side I haven’t done yet. Then the Carolinas where I see Cheryl and Monica, TN, KY again, OH for a rest and visit, then heading to D.C. to see the Cherry Blossoms.  Basically then D.C. is the kick off to the entire East Coast, including my first trip to New York City. Past D.C. I have NEVER been too before, and am quite excited to visit and see friends in this corner. Once I hit Maine, I go up  further (pending borders open) and see Alisa and my dear Prince Edward Island in Canada so I may live out my “Anne of Green Gables” dream.  Visit the areas for awhile and then back to the U.S. down the upper Coast of the States to visit PA where I have family and where Emily will join me to see the Mr. Roger’s stuff. Then it’s Midwest with OH, IN, MI (another stop in Canada here to see Bethany), and then probably finishing in WI to see family again a year later.  Now, I do plan on Hawaii and Alaska, but they are bigger fish to fry with bigger plans to be made, and my head is already smoking so I am not diving into those until I am done with the others first.  And then- who knows? Life has a funny way of revealing your next steps in life if you pay attention. I will be paying attention.

So there ya go. Was it as exhausting to read as it was to write? Things will change I am sure or get tweaked because you can’t be on the road for a year and not expect the bumps and bruises. As Crush says, and yes I am a Disney Nerd through and always, “Just Go With the Flow.” I can’t control anything, I can only plan, hope, and enjoy.  Folks have asked me HOW will I be sharing this grand adventure? I am trying to make this part as simple as possible. Oh and if I forgot to add your name to a State or visit, it’s just because I am trying to do this post from memory right now, so please forgive me if you don’t see you- if we have made plans, I WILL see you!!

Every day on the blog, which you are on right now, I will post my day.  It will be listed as “DAY 1” and so on. There will be a BYLINE that will tell you WHAT I did that day- some will be exciting, some will be rest and reflection days, and some will be talking about what is coming up.  The reason for the “Journal Style” for this is to keep it all straight for my sanity and for yours.  Once the trip is done, I will go into more depth on certain areas, places, parks, etc.. that will make their own posts and categories for future reading and use. Instagram will be ONE pic a day with a link to the blog post a long with my FAVORITE picture I took that day. Twitter is for seeing the links, but my Business page on Facebook is where you will see my LIVE stuff. I will go FB LIVE as much as I can to encompass a moment or feeling that must be shared, a long with videos I will take a long the way. I HOPE to have YouTube running with videos as well, but I don’t know if I will have the time for any kind of editing. Just being real- I want to enjoy this and not spend more time recording it and less feeling it. Balance will be key and the kinks will work themselves out, I will be learning patience, isolation, and acceptance on this journey, so please be patient with me. This trip is so many things in one, and only I know what has to be done in my head and heart for it to work for my soul.

4 days….

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