<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Lindsay. She’s crazy … and bat shit … and I love her for it! For reals, she hitchhiked across various African countries!!! The girl is a whackadoodle noodle, but not at all a nerd. That is where I come in handy- I’m Lindsay’s navigator on adventures. See, I show her how we get places via google maps, and she reminds me to stop tweeting and look up every once in a while. It’s a match made in nerdy/non-nerdy heaven. That being saiiiddddddd … she lives her life on the road and wants to offer her travel advice to all the nerdy folk out there that may be looking to do the same. Hit it Lindsay!!! </editorsnote>
I’m about to go on an insanely amazing epic adventure… but don’t be jealous because I’m gonna break it down for you every step of the way so if you want to, you can go on one too!
I am taking the next two months (read 60 whole days!) to go on a cross-country road trip across the US. I don’t have much money, I’m not making any plans and I KNOW it’s gonna be one heck of a ride.
Three months ago, I literally had $20 dollars in my bank account, I managed to save up about $2,600 (how I saved up was an adventure in and of itself. I lived in my car, worked on a pot farm, picked up random promotional jobs and day-played for television shows on NBC and the MTV’s VMA’s– phew!) I’m gonna share my budgeting with you every step of the way so you can see how doable this really is if you can afford the time (MAKE the time.)
Greyhound sells something called a Discovery Bus Pass that is $560 for 60 days of unlimited bus trips anywhere that Greyhounds goes (and they go EVERYWHERE.) That’s my mode of transportation. “WTF, Greyhound?!?!?” you ask. Yes, Greyhound. It’s perfect. The new buses have free Wi-Fi and any long trip Greyhound has an outlet under your seat to charge your laptop or cellphone- it’s literally like a mobile office which is perfect for me because I am going to be blogging and researching the whole time in transit (when I’m not daydreaming out the window.)
You know I’m a hostel kinda girl but even the cheapest hostel is more expensive than a free couch from www.couchsurfing.com or crashing at a friend house so that’s where I’ll be sleeping during my cross-country trip.
Because not having a car and only staying places for free is such a variable, everything else is going to have to work around those two things. Absolutely this trip is gonna be a make-it-up-as-I-go kinda thing.
The unknown variables I am foreseeing are:
Getting from the bus station to town. Will I be able to get a ride to where I am staying or visiting? Is there other public transit available? What time does everything shut down, will I get stuck somewhere at night?
Transit Times. Everyone knows that buses and public transit takes forever and sometimes requires double backing to get places but how long really is ‘forever?’ I totally know that I will be spending an insanely long time on a bus but am I going to have enough time to actually enjoy the places I travel to as well?
Backpacker rule of thumb is If you don’t have much money, you better have a lot of time. I got 60 days- that HAS to be enough.
I am budgeting $1,200 for spending money for the whole trip which comes out to be $20 bucks a day. That is extremely low if you look at it one way but I’m thinking it will actually be enough taking into account that many days will be spent completely in transit where I’m only spending money on food (I’ll be granola bar-ing it up) and I am hoping to be able to spend at least a good few days back in Virginia with my parents so I won’t need money then either. I DO have about $500 as a buffer if I really really blow my budget but that $500 is actually for when I get back to LA after my trip for really important stuff, like rent.
Ugh. Typing all this stuff up gets me not-so-excited and a little anxious so now that that’s all out of the way, let’s get on to the good stuff.
Okay, sooo I’m beginning to form my IDEAS for my trip. These are IDEAS, very different from PLANS because I am loosely intending for these things to happen however I am not trying to control anything and my panties won’t get in a knot at all if some (or none) of these things happen. It’s about having intentions, not expectations and just going with the flow. When your backpacking, Ideas are better plans.
Starting up the coast of California from LA up to Santa Barbara to San Francisco, I am looking at an northern route across the US. I have friends I would love to see up in Oregon and Washington and I have never been up there so that will be super amazing. I want to go up to Vancouver because I have never been to Canada (I know, WTF? right?) which means I’ll have to find a place from Couchsurfing there for the night. Then I’m thinking down, all the way down to Colorado, up to Montana and Minnesota (I have friends in Minnesota but not Montana- I want to try to ride a horse in Montana somehow.) Minnesota to Chicago to visit one of my best college girls and then from Chicago up the west side of New England. “Hi” to my girl and her boyfriend in Maine, get a little hippie-ed out in Vermont, meet some college boys in Boston, visit friends and party all night in NYC and finally, kick it in Virginia with my family for a bit.
Back on the road and down to North Carolina where I went to college and visit my little bro who goes to college there now too. Through the south all the way down to South Beach, Florida to visit my very best girlfriend (we are basically sisters) in Miami. I’m gonna see if I can talk her into partying in Key West for a night, back up the west coast of Florida and hopefully getting involved with a volunteer effort to help clean up the oil spill for a day or so before heading to New Orleans. I want to get rowdy on Bourbon Street and help out with a volunteer restoration project for a few days there as well then off to Texas. I am super excited to meet up with a friend in Austin who is a Texas Roller Girl and wants to see if I have what it takes to make it in the roller ring with her. Bounce around to somehow get to the Grand Canyon because I have never seen it and I have ALWAYS wanted to (I have heard it makes you feel so small, I love that feeling. It must be the same as looking out into the ocean at night or laying in a field, looking at stars in the country.) From the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas, of course. Party it up, fully taking advantage of free booze while I gamble quarter slots (just make sure to tip your cocktail waitress and she’ll keep coming back even if she knows you’re not really playing.) Then hopefully finding a bus that goes from Vegas to San Diego to have a surf session with some friends in Ocean Beach before a quick ‘Tequila shot and Taco Trip’ to Mexico for the day. THEN and finally then, back up to good ole’ Los Angeles where my car is parked inside my friend’s apartment complex’s garage holding everything I own.
Just wow. So that’s my trip- it’s gonna be a trip. I’ll keep you guys posted the whole way.
I was ‘planning’ on leaving September 17th but I booked a job just yesterday to make a few extra bucks on the 24th so I will be leaving sometime after then (ha, that’s what I get for trying to make plans.)
I haven’t bought my ticket yet but I have basically prepped everything else in my life to be gone for two months (which was extremely easy as I keep everything in my life changeable at a moments notice.)
Absolutely the ONLY reason I see this trip not happening right now is that I am currently in the pitching process for a travel television show based on my adventures (go figure) and if we somehow sell this thing or enter negotiations or anything like that within the next few weeks, that obviously takes precedent over my little cross country expedition (but that would be like, THE raddest reason ever to have to postpone my trip.)
Well, that’s that!
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