It’s not often that life presents the opportunity for an epic road trip, but when it does, you shouldn’t let the chance slip by. At 44 years old, I am about to embark on a journey across the US and plan to visit friends and family along the way. I hope to reclaim some of the excitement that I found on childhood road trips.

My family was always on the road when I was a kid. We got our money’s worth out of a AAA membership. I can’t remember going anywhere without an official state TourBook and being fascinated with the TripTik maps. I would flip the pages of the highlighted maps and cross-reference the tour book for upcoming towns. I recall the books as miniature encyclopedias for individual states (fast forward to my current day fascination with Aerial America). We stopped at random roadside attractions, visited large amusements, toured state capitol buildings, participated in factory tours, walked through gardens, and even climbed chalk pyramids in middle-of-nowhere Kansas. These were great memories!

Planning a trip as an adult takes much more preparation than I knew about as a kid. Over the past few weeks, I’ve purchased new tires which include a replacement warranty good at over 600 Discount Tire locations.  I’ve had an oil change and added new brake pads. And I am finally getting around to fixing a damaged reflector. Truth be told, I bought the part 4 months ago, just haven’t managed to tackle the 3 screws needed for the fix. And as the ultimate adult act….I’ve become a AAA member!

As I type my first blog post, I have 3 maps and 6 TourBooks spread before me. While they still offer the traditional TripTik, I have chosen to create them myself online via their website. I still plan on highlighting the paper maps because it seems wrong not to do so.

Another thing that I should clarify is my motivation for undertaking the trip. My husband and I recently separated after nearly 10 years together. We started a Segway tour business 6 years ago which was about the same time that we got married. Those tours were successful enough that we needed a landing spot for folks before and after the tours. A year later we opened a coffee shop as an amenity to those tours.

The life of a restaurant owner is not always as glamorous as it looks on the outside. But it’s all worthwhile when you meet a new customer that becomes a regular, who then becomes a friend.  My ex would agree about how satisfying those connections are. It’s something that we will always have in common. He chose to continue building an even bigger & more successful shop. I decided to continue making chocolate bonbons and will now have the time to expand that craft. My last official day in the shop will be on December 30th.

It’s going to feel odd not being at the shop after reporting to work almost every day for the past 5 years. New challenges will provide a path for getting to know me again. This trip will create a pause for contemplation. I hope that these mini-visits with friends and family will bring clarity to my soul. This blog will be a tool for self-reflection.

Where to go and who to see? Those details are being sorted out. I want to plan for unexpected experiences but need to balance the needs of folks that I plan to visit.  The route that I’ve chosen primarily follows Interstate 40 west with some offshoot trips that will likely include road, rail, & air travel.

Feel free to join me on the journey by subscribing and commenting….

4 Replies to “The what’s and why’s…”

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