Five Cent Tour

Today was my I-hope-I-can-fit-everything-in-my-car trial run. Needless to say, it was quite a success. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

trunk
Trunk
front seat
Front Seat
back seat 1
Back Seat #1
back seat 2
Back Seat #2
back seat floor
Back Seat Floor
mypod 1
MyPod #1
mypod 2
MyPod #2

 

It’s almost time, dear friends. Wish me luck!

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Spot Check

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This lil’ gadget came in the mail yesterday and it just may save my life.

Introducing the Spot Gen3 – a nifty satellite GPS messenger that, with the push of a button, can summon a helicopter for a cliff-side rescue or simply let my mom know that “I’m okay”.

When I first decided to embark on this journey, I realized one of the downfalls of travelling alone is the whole safety aspect. Taking an adventurous road trip will be so much more fun when I don’t have to worry about sitting at the bottom of a gully with a broken femur or waiting in Death Valley for some Good Samaritan to swing by and realize I’m out of gas.

 

I like to think of it as being off the grid on my terms as I push the boundaries of cellular reception.

Those of you with T Mobile might just consider investing in one of these ingenious tools.

Countdown

One month and counting! In exactly 31 days from today, I will be saying goodbye to the modern conventional life and beginning my trek across the country.

The planning process is fun but somewhat overwhelming. Do I splurge on a bear-resistant cooler that will keep my food cold for days or do I put that money towards more greasy spoon nights out? Do I purchase that pricey mosquito resistant net, or put that extra cash towards a quick-dry towel?

In the midst of deliberating over some essential decisions and eagerly awaiting my departure date, I’m making a point to appreciate and deprecriate some key aspects about my current existence in Northern Virginia.

I may miss…
– a bed that stays in one place and does not move
– a room that I can stand up in
– a fridge
– free museums that I tend to visit once every 5 years
– some pretty flippin awesome people

I will not miss…
– traffic
– chain restaurants
– traffic
– cement and concrete

And to all my NOVA readers: stay strong.

Cuisine (Part I)

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About a month ago I bought Carnation powdered milk. It was an impulse buy while I meandered down the baking aisle one late Sunday evening. My thought process: “I should give this a try before my trip.” Yet each morning after grabbing my Honey Bunches of Oats, I purposefully reach for my deliciously cold soy milk rather than mixing up a concoction of room temperature water and a clumpy, cornstarch-like substance.

Yesterday I found an assortment of dehydrated meals on sale. Without a second thought, I picked up one of each flavor, excited about the concept of adding boiling water to a bag of shriveled up mushrooms and rice. I have a feeling that those meals are going to sit comfortably in my cupboard until the day before my departure, at which point I shall delicately place them into my travel food bin for future consumption.

At the present moment I plan on enjoying “real” food for as long as possible. Given the choice between a turkey burger with all the fixins and a can of Spam, the former will win out every time.  From previous climbing/camping experience, I know that food on the go often turns into a necessity, rather than a luxury.

Yes, I’m sure I’ll be in for some interesting food surprises while I’m on my journey.

Yes, I’m positive that I’ll learn what’s tolerable and what is clearly downright unsavory.

Yes, I’m confident that this is all part of the adventure.

Bon appetit!

What To Do…?

A lot of people have been asking me, “What will you do?”

The easy answer is: hike, rock climb, snorkel, watch wildlife, kayak, go caving, attend ranger-led tours, and simply explore.

Yet I assume that most people mean, “What will you do when you’re not doing adventurous things?”

So I’ve come up with a list:

  • Serenade the mosquitoes with my ukulele
  • Make a beef jerky necklace
  • Decorate the interior of my MyPod with fancy push pins
  • Create intricate origami out of previously visited National Park brochures
  • Weave a laundry basket out of pliable plant fibers

And if all else fails and I’m suffering in absolute boredom, there’s always this game.

download I’ll probably cheat, just so you know.

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?

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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