Once upon a time there was a girl named Amy who really really just needed an adventure. So she threw her camping gear in her Prius [named Priscilla] and hopped on the road. What began as a few days of exploration quickly escalated into a full-blown 48 state solo road trip of the United States.[Okay, enough 3rd person]. Yup, I did it! All the Continental states! And it was fantastic to say the least. I made some specific rules to ensure I did as much exploration as possible while being as healthy as possible.
I also was on a super tight budget so I basically lived out of my car [to avoid lodging fees] AND I can’t recommend more that you give it a try yourself [read more about that here].
After 62 days on the road, 16,023 miles driven AND 48 states explored I have come to this conclusion: Just go!
Make a budget, save your money and just go on an adventure! If you don’t have a car all the larger cities have plenty of public transport. If you have a large family get creative with your cash and make it a true bonding experience.
Traveling the world is amazing but don’t underestimate your own backyard. There is always something new to discover.
And who knows…perhaps you will return home with a new found appreciation for some of the things that I am OH SO GRATEFUL for. Such as…
This was the ONLY thing that was a true pain in the ass on my trip. You can only bird-bath so much when visiting the Southern U.S. in the peak of summer heat/humidity after hiking all day and not all campgrounds have them available. So again…you need to be creative.
Truck-driver gas stations have showers you can pay for and don’t forget about rivers/lakes. I can now say that I successfully washed my hair and shaved a bit in a rest area sink! Also in this ‘don’t take this for granted’ category are temperature controllable sink faucets.
2. Refrigerators [and freezers]
I have NOTHING in my fridge at home and yet I spent 10 minutes starring at it and smiling this morning…daydreaming of the infinite possibilities. To put something perishable inside and days later still have it available for safe consumption is something I will never forget to appreciate again. And obviously, the freezer with it’s endless frozen water (aka ice) availability.
Changing from my PJ’s to actual clothes without performing some sort of contortion act this morning was such a treat. I usually do yoga daily at home but when living in Priscilla changing in the car/tent/gas station restroom was all that was needed to stay bendy.
4. Really Great Photographers
Trying to capture the beauty of this scenic country was much more difficult than anticipated. I feel like this trip made me a better photographer, but I definitely still have a long way to go. Also, trying to photograph each state sign WHILE driving across the border was very time consuming. It often resulted in having to do quite a few u-turns and still lots and lots of blurriness remained.
Props to all the really great photographers out there! See what I mean? Nice and blurry!
Not only do you develop an even deeper appreciation for your loved ones back home when away for a bit BUT you truly realize just how amazing your fellow man is.
At home you tend to watch the news/read the paper which unfortunately focus solely on the negative happenings in the world. People are actually fantastic!
They are thrilled that you chose to visit their town/city/state/country/village and/or cardboard box. They want to ask you questions about your journey and make suggestions to improve it. They compliment you for making the trip and thank you for visiting.
There is a very small amount of bad people out there giving an extremely large amount of people a bad reputation.
As a solo traveller you do need to pay attention to your surroundings and never put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, BUT that is it!
Please don’t let your fear of bad things happening persuade your decision to even go. Give humankind a chance to prove this to you. You will not be disappointed!
Overall, I am so thankful for the wonderful people I got the chance to meet on this trip.
As I continue on this quest to inspire others to pursue their dreams and explore I actually had the amazing honor of inspiring a few people along the way. I am so thrilled to see where their journeys lead!!
Thank you so much for following me on this adventure! And thanks for reading! Any future road trip plans? Have you returned from an adventure with new gratitudes? Please let me know in the comments below. Cheers to your next adventure!
Read more about my solo 48 state road trip here.
Amy’s 48 state road trip route [starting @ home = Southern California] to: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming [again], Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada & UTAH!
Shop Amy’s America Inspired Favs Here:
And use these handy links to save on your next U.S. Road Trip: