Road Trip Across the Country Alone // 25 days, 7027 miles
March 22, 2016: This is the face of a girl who had no clue what she was about to get herself into. With my bags packed, the car loaded, and a joyful heart in tow, I began this road trip across the country completely alone. On an early spring Tuesday, I secretly journeyed out on an extraordinary adventure that only a few folks knew about. It was an experience that forever changed my life. In 25 days, I drove 7027 miles with just my VW Jetta, a tent, and the open road. I believe that you cannot claim to be something unless you are living proof of it. My soul believes in every ounce of nature's offerings, and it has left my heart so full.
In early 2015, I had this idea of wanting to go on an extended road trip out West to visiting National Parks. The parks hold a special place in my heart, given me a life full of memories thus far. Part of my soul lives in the western states: the majestic mountains, the deep red canyons, and the wide skies. Wildest dreams are born here. A power explodes from the deepest parts of my inner self, and yet there is such a sense of peace present. An awareness of belonging to something greater than just myself rises, but then I realize the greatness is already inside of me. The Universe is within me.
I have always been a nature lover. Most years my family would travel to ski the powdered slopes of Colorado and New Mexico. My dad taught me how to ski with a hula hoop around my waist when I was a little girl. I spent my childhood in Texas playing outside all of the time and my teenage years on camping trips with my family after we moved to Tennessee. Ten years ago we even went on a similar National Parks RV trip for six weeks traveling the country, but then I was too caught up in other things to be fully appreciative of my opportunity. My dad grew up in the Arizona desert and moved my mom from Florida out west after they married. It is easy for me to see how this wanderlust was instilled in me at a young age and the spirit runs in my blood.
A trip of this magnitude alone was an overwhelming thought to begin with and terrified my mom (and myself too if I’m being honest) to death, but there was no other way I wanted to accomplish this adventure. I knew this chance would separate me from a world of chaos, give me a good three weeks spent in the quiet brain of my introverted self, and be an unforgettable experience. All that held true as expected, but what I did not realize is the extent of immensity of what would be revealed. All the bits and pieces — the boundless discoveries of the unknown, the people I would meet along the way, the impact witnessing the Milky Way and standing in complete awe out in the middle of nowhere at 4:00 am alone — brought me to an understanding of my journey. I learned liveliness, found my place in this world, and ultimately discovered an unconditional love for every ounce of my true self.
This trip was about letting go of all expectations, releasing what I thought should come of it and letting it come to pass as it was meant to. I am ever so grateful for my being and the endless gratitude for my chance to live on this beautiful Earth.
I FOUND EXACTLY WHAT WAS IMPERATIVE TO MY SOUL AND HAD NO CLUE I NEEDED THIS.
The words of John Mayer's song "The Age Of Worry" was a rather suiting beginning for this adventure. I blasted the whole Born & Raised album as I embarked on my journey and headed out west with my headphones on.