From what I have read, most people take a year to plan a trip around the country. Then, there is me. This trip will have a three month gestation – – three months from the moment the idea was a gleam in my eye to Charlie and I bursting out into the world. I am digging the challenge. It is like a riddle or a very convoluted logic puzzle with multiple facets. What do I want to bring? What do I NEED to bring? Where do I want to go? Where do I need to go? Do I need to bring my red high heels? If I bring the heals, could I make my hiking pants look “dressed up” enough that I do not have to bring a nice dress too? What do I need to do prior to leaving? Get AAA. Get a Minnesota license. Grab that bottle of vodka from Jed . . the one at Bill’s . . .the one at —– How the heck am I going to fit all those bottles of vodka that I have stashed around town in the car and properly packaged to be legal? See what I am saying? Important stuff here!
I have started multiple, handwritten, to-do lists while daydreaming at work (because I don’t have enough to get done there), hoping that I do not forget anything important. I ALWAYS forget to pack a pillow and am unable to buy more than necessities on the road.
The trickiest part in planning a trip this size is budgeting. There are so many unknowns. As I stated in my previous post, I do not have a disposable income. In fact, most people would think that this trip is truly the biggest financial mistake that I could make. Perhaps they are right. What I do know is that thirty years from now, when I am still slaving away for “the man”, dreaming about the good ole days where social security was just that – security, I won’t regret this experience. How can one regret experience? Perhaps choices made along the way will be regretful, but there will always be a lesson to learn, a story to tell, a book to write . . .
When I finally sold my house, paid off a lot of my debt, and put some money into savings, the plan to was to continue working in Fargo for a few more months, then move to St. Paul with my partner at that time. The money that I had saved would go toward a new sofa, new bed, deposit on a our place, and enough left in the account to cover bills for at least a year – just in case I didn’t get a decent paying job right away. I wanted to make sure that I was able to support myself in any situation. Although the break-up was one of the most soul destroying situations that I have one through, thank goodness it happened BEFORE we moved in together. What I suddenly realized the other night is that the end of the relationship tore my world not apart, but wide open! I do not have to stay in the northern Midwest. I don’t have to get a job that I may not enjoy, in a city within I really do not feel at home. I can go and do what I want. I am free to finally be me . . . whoever I am.
So, here I am — currently sitting at a good friend’s in the Minneapolis area, drinking a mimosa, and wondering if there is enough time to sell everything in my storage unit (or if I am too old to become a sugar baby). Either way, trying to figure out how to make at least an extra $2K before I leave. I am at a bit of a loss; however, I do know is this — I am taking this trip – alone. I am strong. I am happy with myself and by myself. I do not fear the unknown. There are reasons for everything – – and now is the time to figure out where I am meant to be in this world.
Also – here is another picture of Charlie. If you made it this far into the post, you deserve to see this handsome face. I am going to eat some toast. Cheers!