My MyPod

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Yep, that’s my MyPod. I put a down payment on it today and am super stoked to almost own my new home-away-from-home. It’s not as roomy as my current apartment, but I have adequate head space, a comfy mattress, AC, and an entertainment system. What more could a girl ask for? This lil’ bad boy is going to follow me around the country. I think I shall name it Clarence.

Should I break a bottle of champagne on its side, or do you think it will dent the fiberglass?

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Shmooping it Up

Though tempting to overlook, the financial sustainability of a year-long road trip is of utmost importance. Gas, campsites, cell service, and health insurance all cost money. And let’s not forget food. Food is quite essential. I’ll definitely need to consume some calories while hiking, climbing, and simply living. So, one can conclude that money is necessary.

Enter Shmoop. A company based out of Silicon Valley, Shmoop is dedicated to making education fun and relevant through various forms of curriculum. Teachers, parents, or students can purchase study guides or lessons all the way from Kindergarten shape patterns to AAP calculus. I am now an official contracted writer for Shmoop. That’s right! During my time on the road, I’ll be writing 4th grade math lesson plans while listening to the babble of brooks and the raging hum of mosquitoes (all in the comfortable safety of my trailer, of course). Did you catch that? I get PAID to write anywhere I please. So goodbye 9-5 brick-and-mortar office and hello 2 am Everglades writing binge.

Thank you Shmoop for that delicious can of lukewarm tuna and sleave of stale crackers I’m bound to eat at some point.

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The Great Plan

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Apparently visiting all of the 47 national parks within the continental U.S. isn’t an original idea. I assumed that others had attempted this journey before and decided to do some recon to support my suspicions.

  • Isle Box has mapped out the optimal route (although they claim there are 48 – not true)
  • Scott Cochran, a photographer, visited all of them within a year and documented his journey through mainly pictures back in March ’14
  • Some other, non-American peeps have attempted the voyage, but the jury’s still out on whether or not they actually completed the circuit

And then there was me. Starting at Shenandoah (that’s point “C” along the East Coast for those of you who are map illiterate), I’ll be working my way clockwise around the loop. I’m estimating about three days per national park, with no more than five hours of driving time during my in-between days. This means I’ll have some fun stops along the way. Atlanta? Yep. Nashville? Prolly. Dallas? Heck, yeah!

This is my Great Plan, but right now it’s the forest rather than the trees. Details will need to be worked out as June 29th, my launch date, approaches.

And to all those who have gone before me, I salute you.

Renegades and Wanderers

I am astounded at the responses I receive when I tell people about my journey.

“Good for you… I’ve always wanted to take a road trip like that.”

“Like a renegade! That’s awesome. I’m so jealous.”

“I’d take a trip like that if I could. It’s the trip of a lifetime – one you’ll always remember.”

“You’re going to have so much fun. You’re going to discover so much. I wish I could travel.”

There’s a resounding connection that the human race seems to have at the concept of an epic journey. It tugs at people’s desire for adventure… a deep longing that we all share for exploration and discovery. What is it about wandering that grips at our very souls? Why is it that, regardless of our current situation, we all want to roam?

And so, as I plan out my quest and begin to share my future plans, I continue to elicit a sense of wonder. Fellow renegades, I challenge you to think of what quest you will take. It might not be a 47 week voyage, but something as simple as exploring a new part of your world. Why not take a week off and tune into to a natural setting? Why not get in your car and drive until you feel the pressure of a 9-5 career melt away for a while? Why not let some wanderlust rise up and see where it takes you?

Why not run away… just for a little bit?

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