50 States and 50+ National Parks
I’m headed out on a road trip around the United States. I plan on visiting all 50 states, and around 50 of our national parks. I expect it to cost between $10 – 15k to drive 25,000 miles over the course of 8 months. The plan is to camp out for the majority of the nights either in a tent or out of the back of my car. I’m taking 50 state flags with me that I’ll trade with the people I meet along the way – my new flag for their weathered flag. I’m excited and anxious.
People ask why. Sometimes I ask myself why, and the answer I have isn’t straightforward. Of course it’s a combination of reasons – adventure, bravado, attention, experience, curiosity, confusion, identity, fear, and just for laughs. How each of those reasons are weighted is the complicated part.
The first 3, adventure, bravado, and attention, are pretty self-explanatory. And even though they are the most obvious reasons, it doesn’t make them any less true. The search for experience has more intrinsic value to it. Experience the people, the wilderness, the cities, and experience myself in different settings. Curiosity – I’m not the smartest person in the room. I’m not the most creative. I’m not as persistent, passionate, or patient as I’d like to be, but I do have curiosity in spades. And it’s my curiosity that I think might carry me the rest of the way. It’s my secret weapon. Curiosity leads easily into my discomfort with Confusion.
There are plenty of stereotypes scattered across this country – but what’s the real deal? The south is racist, and the northeast is pretentious? The northwest are hermits, the southwest are terminally superficial, and everything in the middle is forgettable? Unlikely.. so what’s with this perception? Then there’s the biggie – identity. It means something different to everyone, and if things go according to plan, you’ll hear more about what it means to me in the upcoming months. Lastly, fear. The fear of regret mostly. Sometimes my fear of what my “future self” will think, or do, or not do is overwhelming. It can be motivating and healthy sometimes, other times it’s paralyzing. For now, I’m feeling motivated.
And who doesn’t appreciate a good laugh. I cant decide what would be funnier – if by some rad chance I actually see this trip through, or if my car gets totaled before I get out of California, forcing me to call the whole thing off. Sure, I have my preference, but for sheer comedic value, I’d call it a toss up.
Shown below is the general route I plan on taking. Starting out East from Southern California and moving counter clockwise around the country.
- Costa Mesa, CA
- ~ 4,350 MILES
- ~ 9,400 MILES
- ~ 14,300 MILES
- ~ 17,600 MILES
- ~ 20,000 MILES
- ~ 23,000 MILES
*Hawaii and Alaska are not shown – more info to come later..
This route will be modified as I go along, but I wanted to have something to reference back to in order to track my progress. I will be staying with friends and family where I can along the way, but I expect the majority of my nights to be spent camping out of my Honda Element.
Lastly, I am not too experienced with bloging, but it’s a nice way to keep everyone up to date with where I am and how I’m doing. I hope to entertain you, keep myself sane, and improve my writing all at the same time.