On January 27th, 2010 Adrian agreed to marry me and along came all of my quirky charm. Since that day I have been actively trying to convince my husband that it’s okay to not have a job and live in your car as you pursue the world. Today I have succeed in my plan to persuade him to accompany me as we camp on the doorstep of the world. Join us vicariously through this blog – Roadside Bears – and experience the adventure of our lifetime.
Every Sunday I will post updates while we are on our road trip, provided there is internet. Included will be details of our adventures and how we are doing, as well as tips on how to make a road trip of your own. Viewer discretion is advised, as you will most likely witness two very hungry people freezing as they sleep in their car. No one said it would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it. If it’s not worth it then we will just sue whoever said that and all will be well.
I kid, I kid.
Our road trip begins tomorrow morning, bright and early, but the trips planning truly has been a 3 year process. You should note that while seeing the US in 90 days may sound like a huge task, we truly have narrowed it down. In the beginning we had set our horizons on seeing the whole world in the same time span. While such a feat is possible (google around the world in 90 days), we really want to experience our sights and not just see them. The impossible is only what you fear to imagine, after all
The last 6 months have been intense planning. We’ve whittled down and carved our plan to fit our heart’s desires. So while you could follow our plan to a T, it may not be what YOU want to see, and what YOU want to do. Feel free to take our planning and adapt it to your own route. Once you’ve narrowed down your route, let the research begin. I spent hours in front of the computer looking up ‘free things to do City/State’, ‘Festivals City/State’, ‘Visiting City/State’, etc and visited multiple sites for each topic. The reason I did so much research now is because I don’t want to get to the location I am visiting and not know what is available to do. I also don’t want to spend hours at each location looking up what I could have already researched. While our route is planned, it is not set, and even though I have those activities written down – it doesn’t mean we are going to do any or all of them.
We have stocked up on canned goods, soups, etc. Anything that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Depending on the size of your car, at least reserve a 1/4 to 1/2 the trunk for food if you want to save money. Bring along a cooler. We will be using dry ice as suggested by a coworker (obviously poisonous to consume, so keep it wrapped up!) to keep our goods cold. We purchased a propane single burner to cook our food on. We are bringing along 1 skillet and 1 pot. Everything will be stored in a plastic tub, which can also be used as a makeshift ‘sink’ to wash our dishes, as suggested by a friend because cardboard boxes tend to fall apart if you wash dishes in them. Don’t forget things like plates, forks, spoons, knives, bowls, etc! Probably bringing one per person, so in our case, 2 of each.
For the most part we will be camping or sleeping in our car. About a 1/3 of the trip we have friends and family who have offered us a place to stay. We will lay our front seats down flat and spread out our mattress topper to sleep on. It’s no Holiday Inn, but this isn’t a vacation – it’s an adventure! If you don’t like the idea of camping or sleeping in your car and have the extra funds, try Air BnB if you are comfortable renting a room from strangers (suggested by a coworker). You will save up to 80% of your hotel costs by doing this and meet locals who may or may not be willing to show you around town! If you don’t have the funds but couldn’t bear roughing it, try Couch Surfing. It’s another website that hooks you up with other people who have a bedroom to spare for a night or two at no cost to you. Try at your own risk.
For people who can’t stick to a $20 budget for one restaurant outing (us), a $22 daily budget is going to be a challenge! I don’t expect this to be easy, but it’s why I spent hours researching FREE things to do in every area. We will certainly be well acquainted with nature and all of the beauty it has to offer, but we already know we enjoy those things. If you want to spend your time shopping in malls, exploring every theme park, eating at fancy restaurant s- it’s doable. Just save more money. On a side note, we also have emergency back up plans. (Notice the word planS). We have an IRA account that requires a little more effort to extract our funds from (i.e. fines if we take out before the year is up, signatures to remove money) that we consider our ‘Storehouse’ (If you would like to know what our storehouse means to us, read The Storehouse Principle. Easy short read that talks about the benefits of having an account like this you consider an untouchable account.) If we end up half way across the USA with no original saved funds to get us home, there is always the storehouse. Another backup plan is our credit card. We don’t like to use our credit for anything UNLESS we have the money already in the account to immediately pay it off. However, we know there may be emergencies on an extensive trip like this – and we want to make sure we are prepared.
Besides funds and food, in order to take a road trip – you need a mode of transportation. Whether it’s by foot, bike, car, train, plane… whatever you choose, you need to know how you are getting around. The reason we decided the road trip via car is right for us right now is because we purchased a new vehicle (Honda Accord) that was certified by the dealer. Any other time we would have taken a road trip like this if the engine blew or the car decided to stop working we would find the trip cut short, and probably be SOL on a vehicle. Now, if the engine blows or the car won’t start – Honda has guaranteed us that they will fix it (for the next 7 years or 100,000 miles.).
We will keep a daily journal so that when the internet collapses we will have a hard copy of our memories. Also, we will take tons of pictures and videos.
I think that sums up the planning. However, I have to wrap this blog up because I actually need to help Adrian pack up the car rather then watch him from over the top of my computer. Check out OUR road trip route here! Use Myscenicdrives.com to create your own trip. It’s a really cool website that calculates approx. gas cost and milage. It’s free right now but I think I read somewhere that they may start charging. So check it out while it’s free!