Make your road trip a reality. Where would your journey take you if you had an extended time to travel? This detailed, step-by-step manual of real-life information on organizing the trip you've always wanted to take will have you on your adventure in no time. Written with a positive "you can do it too" attitude and generous doses of humor and insight, this successful, award-winning book is now filled with more tips, stories, budgets, lists and advice that every traveler can use to plan their trip of a lifetime. The new Second Edition now includes information for younger road trippers including, updated an technology section; a resource guide to helpful websites and books; information on mid-life sabbaticals, "road-schooling" your children, and working on the road.
Carol gives an overview of the book:
CHAPTER 1 - YOU TOO CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN
It's early January 2000. It's raining out (what else in Oregon?), and I am sitting down with a cup of tea to pay the bills. I come upon a renewal notice for "Golf for Women", and mechanically begin to write out the check. "WAIT!" my subconscious says to me, "why are you doing that? You won't be here to read it! You're going on a year long trip, remember?" And so the serious decision making of preparing for "The Trip" begins. At first the tasks seemed almost overwhelming. So many things to think about-it's enough to make you cancel the whole idea before you get started! But with that first small step of not renewing subscriptions, came a torrent of activities over the next 6 months.
Everyone has dreams. What we hope to do in the next few chapters, is to help you turn your dream into a reality. Not our dream--your dream. What we did on our trip is really not important. How we went about it can help you turn your vision of the perfect trip into your reality. Everyone has issues and concerns that make them drag their feet. The difference between those who make it happen and those that don't is not how any obstacles you have, it is how badly to you want to do something totally life changing -- totally for yourself. We will give you the tools to change your dream into reality, but the rest is up to you. Our hope is to get you off the couch and believing that you too can do this.
One thing you may be asking yourself is "Do we really need to commit a year to this -- couldn't we just do a bunch of smaller trips?" And, of course, the answer is yes. But there are some really good reasons to consider one larger trip -- whether it is a year or not depends upon what you want to accomplish (more about that in Chapter 4).
As you will read in Chapter 2, there are some real financial advantages to doing one long trip. Freeing up your income stream to spend on the trip is a necessary part of the planning for most people. Some of the strategies we employed wouldn't be available if you were taking a series of shorter excursions. Then there is the whole idea of planning and actually getting out of the house. After you read this book, I think you will agree that you don't really want to go through this amount of detail more than once!
The third factor, and the one that we feel speaks the loudest to doing it in one long sweep, is the "kid" factor. How long has it been since you could basically leave your day to day responsibilities behind and focus on just doing what you want to do? Only a trip of extended length can allow you to be that kid inside again. Before we left, we had no concept of how freeing this would be. We had done enough planning, so that we really could let most things happen on "auto-pilot", and we could explore, experiment, and try new things every day. Once we got the rhythm of being on the road, we could feel our curiosity begin to creep out of someplace deep inside us. We were less inhibited -- we'd strike up conversations with people most anywhere, stop to look at something "just because", and find new perspectives about the way things are in this country. There is no doubt that in some way you will come back from this experience a different person than the one who left.
Related to the whole idea of freeing yourself to experience the trip fully, is the notion of focus. If this is just an extended vacation of sorts, you will not truly "leave it all behind". You will make compromises with yourself -- "oh, I can handle that, I don't need to make arrangements for this to be taken care of", and pretty soon, you will be focusing on home obligations, and not on fully experiencing your trip of a lifetime. You will inevitably have to take some of your life with you, but we will show you how to minimize that, in order to focus on yourself.
If you do decide that a series of trips is the way to go for you, then we would strongly encourage you to plan them all out a once -- and then stick to your schedule.
Can this be done in a series of trips? Absolutely. Will you gain the same benefits we found from taking one long trip? Probably not.
By now you are probably beginning to formulate your own ideas of how this could work for you--what your trip could include. But the nagging voices are already talking to you -- the roadblocks are beginning. Acknowledge them as items that you will have to address and work through. Do not let them become reasons to close this book and forget the whole idea. You can make it happen. We'll show you how.
Traveling for a year? It is either one of your fondest dreams – or your worst nightmare! It’s something many baby boomers have long thought of doing after we are through with the family-raising stage of life and before we succumb to old age!
The difference between whether you can make it happen or whether you can’t is not how many obstacles you have, it is how badly to you want to do something totally life-changing -- totally for yourself.
When we first told people we were thinking about doing this, no one believed us, especially the kids. "Parents don't just run away for a year!" they exclaimed.
But we did.
Once we got the rhythm of being on the road, we could feel our curiosity begin to creep out of someplace deep inside us.
If you try to plan your every move, you will begin to feel like you are on a forced march to that next commitment, not on a trip of joy and exploration.
Let the child in you live again, your trip will be over too soon.
Once you have settled back into your routine, be sure to take some time to reflect on what you've accomplished. You have done something that not many people can say they've actually made happen. Congratulations!
So, would we do it again? You bet! We will never have another experience in our lifetimes as awesome and memorable as our road trip dream.