When I left my job and let my lease run out back at the end of January to travel the country with a few select belongings in hand/on back, many deemed me a fool. A freeloader. A worthless vagrant! Actually, I don’t know if that’s true but that’s probably what I would have said.
“He’s leaving his job? And wandering around the country… alone? What an idiot!” And truthfully, there’s way more logical things I could have been doing. Things such as:
1. Staying at my job and saving money/enjoying San Diego.
2. Refer to number 1.
Regardless, there’s no figure any job could have put on the time that I spent on the road. The struggle got real but the takeaway was priceless and I’m forever changed because of it (positively, I think).
Since I started in February, I’ve traveled more than 24,000 miles, all in North America, and only 3,342 by plane. That’s 20,658 land miles logged this year, coast to shining coast, meeting countless people from both sides of the force by train, bus and car, and who knows how many shots of Jack Daniels to take me smoothly from A to B.
And then C, D, E, and so on… Google Maps lets you add destinations only up to “Y”… what is that about?
So now I’m here at the end of the road and apparently the Google Alphabet: Santa Monica, Cali. But! not at the end of my couch surfing streak, no way! I’ve slept on couches from New York City to Los Angeles. I’ve crashed out in Austin, TX and Pittsburgh, PA, hung ten on the cush-waves of Denver, CO, and change dived into the seats of Charlotte, NC. And now I’m on the final couch. The final level of neohomelessness: The 11th Couch.
If nothing else, my 8ish months of travel were an exercise in networking and perfect timing, and definitely contributed to the opportunity I’ve since taken here in LA. The fact that I paid for only ONE hotel out of pocket my whole journey says a helluva lot about the people who go through Ohio University (all my couch donors were Bobcats or friends of!).
Being on the road for that time was like constantly waking up to the first day of college and never knowing what to expect, even though you’re excited as fuck for whatever is about to happen. Good things seem to keep happening and the crazy things that have already happened over 2013 will never be lost, especially not in the couch cushions ‘cuz I got those covered! For now at least.
Every worthy adventure starts by getting off the couch.