In just two short weeks, Jason and I are headed out on a 23-day adventure across the country.
That’s right, I’ll be living, working and blogging from the road for over three whole weeks. With Jason. In a car for hours on end. (Heaven help us.)
So what brought about this big excursion?
Back around Christmas time there were a few travel opportunities that popped up for Jason and me, all around the March timeframe and all out West – SXSW in Austin, a speaking gig for Jason in Phoenix, a camping retreat out in Joshua Tree, CA.
When we were figuring out how to make the trip work, it was Jason who first brought up the idea of driving instead of flying.
The way he laid it out for me was we could basically spend a modest fortune bopping around airports to get to our various destinations – as we’ve done many, many times – or we could spend a modest fortune and make it a trip and a memory we’d never forget.
Last year we made a trip out to Fargo, ND and it literally changed our lives – we are different people doing different things because of that trip. Knowing what an impact getting out of our comfort zones can have, making it a road trip seemed like a no brainer.
And so here we are, less than two weeks away from the start of our journey.
As our trip approaches and this plan that we’ve made starts to become real, it has me thinking a lot about values.
First off, when I envisioned a life that would make me the best and most vibrant version of myself, I knew that it involved FLEXIBILITY. Flexibility is something I value highly – in many ways above money, recognition, etc – because I know that I’m a bit of an unpredictable spirit. Some days I wake up uninspired and I don’t get real work done until 1pm in the afternoon (true story.) Other days I hop out of bed ready to go with my creative pants on. I love having the ability to ebb and flow with my spirit as it moves me.
Sure, travel itself excites me, but the idea of a completely nomadic existence doesn’t interest me the way it does some (like my inspiring traveling Misfit friends, AJ + Melissa.) It’s more about the flexibility that travel requires.
I’ve told a few people about this adventure that Jason and I are about to embark on, and a pretty unanimous reaction is – “You’re so lucky!” I understand the impulse, for sure. But something I want to make sure I get across to you reading this right now is that luck has nothing to do with it. It’s by design. It’s a decision.
I took a look at what was important to me, and I created a reality based on those values. It is entirely within your power to do the same.
I determined that flexibility is more valuable to me than stability. That’s why I chose the uncertainty and pressure of being responsible for my own income over the security of a steady paycheck. Because I know which I value more.
It is completely within your grasp to travel the world, or work from home, or to land the job of your dreams – you just have establish your values and go after them whole-heartedly.
Secondly, while Jason and I knew the road trip idea was something that we wanted to do, we honestly went back and forth for a few days on whether it was something we SHOULD do.
Traveling is not cheap. Gas, hotels, beef jerky… it all costs money, and we weren’t sure if we should be spending money on a trip when we’re both in a bit of a transition phase with our businesses. I, being the more practical one, was especially weary. But again we had to take a hard look at our values.
When we travel together, it helps us grow in more ways than we can in our everyday lives. We have to learn how to compromise, to handle the unexpected, to communicate, and – most importantly – we get to be inspired together. THAT is more important to us than the amount of money in our savings account. As a couple, we value experiences over money. Of course, not everyone feels that way, and that’s okay.
So even if you’re not headed on a cross-country adventure, I challenge you to take a look at your work life or your relationship and think about what your values are. How can you make decisions that honor that value system?
Below is our itinerary. If you have any suggested detours or necessary pit stops that aren’t too far out of the way, PLEASE let me know in the comments below!
We’ll be staying in a mix of hotels and Airbnb finds, so if you have questions about that process, I’m happy to answer those as well!
March 7 – Travel to NOLA
March 8 - NOLA
March 9 - Travel to Austin, TX
March 10 – Austin, TX
March 11 – Travel to Phoenix, AZ
March 12 – Phoenix, AZ
March 13 – Phoenix, AZ
March 14 – Phoenix, AZ
March 15 – Travel to Palm Springs, CA
March 16 – Palm Springs, CA
March 17 – Travel to Joshua Tree
March 18 – Joshua Tree
March 19 – Joshua Tree
March 20 – Joshua Tree
March 21 – Travel to Sedona, AZ
March 22 – Sedona, AZ
March 23 – Travel to Albuquerque, NM
March 24 – Albuquerque, NM
March 25 – Travel to Oklahoma City, OK
March 26 – Oklahoma City, OK
March 27 – Travel to Nashville, TN
March 28 – Nashville, TN
March 29 – DRIVE HOME!
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