24,000 miles, couch to shining couch.

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!” @glassduffleAnd 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 trainbus and car, and who knows how many shots of Jack Daniels to take me smoothly from A to B.
Jack allllll dayAnd 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!).

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC. The city of the 1st Couch.

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.

Author: Eric White

Eric graduated Ohio University in 2012 with a degree in Advertising and immediately went out to San Diego, California to start not using his degree. At the start of 2013, Eric quit his job, let his lease run out and started backpacking North America. Eric has worked with Amtrak, Crowdtap, HootSuite and others, and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA... when not on the road.

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5 Comments

  1. Hey Eric,
    I really enjoyed your writing, your pictures, and living vicariously through your couch cushions. Santa Monica isn’t such a bad place to end up. Thanks for the entertainment.
    Carol

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    • Thank you Carol! It was a great adventure but I’m ready to chill in Santa Monica for a second… definitely not so bad.

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  2. Stoked for you man! You are inspiring tons of people with your adventures and amazing vids / snaps / instas.

    The road less travelled leads somewhere great. Our paths will cross again soon i’m sure.

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    • I hope so man! I appreciate the feedback. If your marathoning ever brings you to Southern Cali, let me know dude! You already know you have a place to crash.

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  3. I’ve traveled 24,000 miles circumnavigating the Earth in the last 24 hours!

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