As you can imagine, a lot of questions have been thrown our way as we’ve prepared for this trip. Many have been the same questions that we’ve answered over and over, so we might be able to anticipate some of your inquiries. If your question isn’t answered here, leave us a comment!
How can you afford it?
Saving. Saving. Saving. We’ve been saving for the past two years, planning to move out of state. Our thought was that it would be easier to find jobs in another state if we already lived in that state. Therefore, we’ve been saving up enough to live jobless for a few months in a new state while we looked for new jobs. Now, of course, we’ve decided against moving out of state so that we can invest ourselves as young professionals in WV. We are not blowing that few months of living money on the trip! In fact, those savings are not to be touched during the trip. Quitting our jobs is a risky move, so we’re saving this money to fall back on when we get back and have to look for new jobs in WV. Plus, we’re living with Andy’s mom right now to save on rent money (THANK YOU, SUSAN!). Fort the past 5 months, however, we’ve upped our savings, and these savings have gone into a separate trip fund.
How are you getting there?
Our 2015 Volkswagen Jetta. Sure, we wish we had a VW Bus, a truck, or any bigger, more comfortable form of transportation (raffled for that tiny house at the Home Show and lost – ugh!), but this is what we have and what we can afford. We will make it work.
Where will you be sleeping along the way? Hotels or something?
Camping, baby!!! Definitely can’t afford to stay in a hotel every night. We’ve got a good tent and great gear. (Shout out and endless thanks to the Johansens for getting us all set!) We’ve got a National Parks Pass and we’ll also be staying with a couple friends and family. Every now and then, we’ll rent an Airbnb or a hotel.
Laundry and showers???
Both provided at most of our camping sites! We’ll really be glamping more than camping, given that this tent will be our home for the next almost-90 days. And again, we’ll stay in Airbnb’s periodically to make sure we have the necessary amenities often enough.
I sure hope you’re visiting (fill in the blank).
Listen, there are so many places we want to visit. We could spend an entire year (more, really) exploring this nation. It’s huge! And there is so much beauty to see. Unfortunately, we just can’t see every single place and thing that we want. Especially given that we’d prefer to really experience a smaller number of places, rather than just seeing the surface of a zillion places. But it’s okay. This won’t be our last trip. We’ll have time in the future to dedicate a vacation to places like Montana, Washington, San Diego, and some of the other places you (and we) wish we were going to see.
This is somewhat loose, but here are our big checkpoints:
- South Dakota: The Badlands, Mount Rushmore, & Rapid City
- Wyoming: Yellowstone & Jackson Hole
- Idaho: Grand Tetons, McCall area
- Oregon: TREE HOUSE HOTEL (yup!)
- California: Redwoods, Giant Sequoias, Highway 1, & some beach time!
- Arizona: Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon
- Utah: Moab, Arches, Zion, Brice Canyon
- Colorado: Denver, Mesa Verde, Colorado Springs
- New Mexico: Chaco National Historical Park, Santa Fe, Taos
- Texas: Austin
- Louisiana: New Orleans
- Tennessee: Nashville
Again, some of this may change as we go.
What are you most excited about?
- Andy: Excited to see the red desert, hike in awesome places, and eat great food.
- Kathryn: Excited to meet new people and experience different cultures across the states. I’m interested to see how different our experience in West Virginia really is from others’ experiences elsewhere.
Is this a tour to check out what state you might want to move to?
Actually, no. While we had been thinking for a long time about moving out of state, this trip is actually in substitution of that idea. We’ve realized how much we want to stay in WV and so we are taking this trip so that we can see more of our nation, gain some new experiences, broaden our horizons, and expand our perspective.
Why quit your jobs and spend 2 1/2 months on this trip? Why not just take multiple week-long vacations to see new places over the coming years?
This trip is really about the experience as much as it is about seeing new places. As mentioned above, we had been planning to move out of state for a while. When we finally decided against that, we still felt a strong desire to broaden our horizons, gain new experiences, and -most importantly- get out of our comfort zone. This trip is an effort to embrace risk, take opportunities, and grow as individuals.