Driving down the West Coast (again!) – a week of talking

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So back on September 23rd, I was minding my own business, doing work for a Virtual Nathan client when out of nowhere I get a message from an actress I know:

“Nathan – my parents need someone to drive their car from Spokane to LA – are you available?”

Now, since I’m in the midst of selling everything and relocating to Hawaii, I was pretty sure there was something I could be doing towards that goal during the first week of October, but this just seemed too fun! I immediately jumped on the opportunity, which included a free flight up to Spokane and gas money to cover the drive back down – so I was pretty much looking at a free vacation! Plus, I planned to stop in Seattle, Ashland & Sacramento to see and stay with friends – completely out of the blue, I was going back to the PacNW (an area I really love) and it was all free!


About a year ago, I’m sure I’d be reading about someone else doing this kind of trip thinking, “this stuff never happens to ME” – I think now that I’ve put it out there that I’m doing this whole permanent nomad thing, some cool, random stuff is going to come into my life.

I later learned that I would be driving a 1985 Lincoln Town Car – at first I thought, “what did I get myself into,” (thinking this might be a mistake), but then quickly started laughing about this development, realizing now we really have an adventure on our hands!

It was an amazing 6 days – here are some highlights:

  • Day 1: from LA to Chewelah
    • Used a tip from The Art of Non-Conformity to get myself into Alaska Airlines Board Room (a members only lounge) – just by asking if I could be someone’s guest!
      • Probably the best part – silence. No constant stream of announcements, no gate changes, missing passengers, no low murmur of FoxNews or MSNBC on a raised TV, and almost – no one else. It was pretty sparse in there. Will definitely be employing this tactic again!
    • Fantastic conversation with John (who owns the car) – really awesome to open up to someone I’ve just met (and he did the same) – LOVED connecting that way. Again, planning to do that more often, too!
    • Pizza in Chewelah, where the girl at the counter literally knows your name. She was a real good sport about me asking for non-dairy cheese (we just went cheeseless) – I wonder if “I’ve been living in LA” would show up on my forehead under a blacklight.
    • John showed me a book that his wife Gwen put together of a 2.5 month trip the two of them took around the country on a motorcycle – it was amazing! 60 pages of remembrances, pictures, and sketches of their days on the road – and the notes cover everything that was going on in their life: the good, bad & ugly, so it can totally take them right back to that moment. [photos below]
  • Day 2: Spokane to Seattle
    • Thought I was going to run out of gas in the middle of a national forest but thank god for an (expensive) station right when it was about to get hairy.
    • Dinner with my Seattle family
  • Day 3: Retracing my Seattle tracks
    • Walked around the city – down by Lake Washington, the Intiman, around the Seattle Center, downtown, up Pike, then up Broadway back to the house – out for about 4 hours – and what a gorgeous day!
    • So trippy to be back: on the one hand, it feels like the show was ages ago (SO much has happened with me since then) and on the other hand, it almost feels like I never left – so many things are still the same.
    • Saw the show at the Intiman
    • Met up with Brad (a “Paradise Lost” cast mate) for some pizza & pool (I decided not to be so hardlined about dairy this time…)
  • Day 4: Ashland – the third time’s the charm!
    • Lots of flashbacks from my time in Seattle – can’t believe I’m already leaving!
    • Quite a few marathon (and awesome) conversations from the car with friends
    • My 3rd stop in Ashland this year – and I’d never been here before! :-)
    • Dinner at Martino’s and my first drink in over 2 months (the last one was actually at Martino’s, too – and someone was buying then, too!)
  • Day 5: We’re going to – Sacramento…?
    • Bought a floppy hat! I had seen this hat back in July when I was in Ashland, but thought I could find it cheaper online – couldn’t even find it, so I didn’t make the same mistake twice!
    • Client call from a rest stop near Mt. Shasta
    • More marathon conversations from the road
    • Met up with John in Sacramento – about 6 hours of talking!
  • Day 6: Back to LA
    • Walking tours of Sacramento
    • Easy drive back to the Southland
    • Dropped off the car, then came home and went to bed! (did not set the alarm :-)

Did I really just spend 6 days traveling? So amazing! And it was interesting to note how this trip was so more about really connecting and talking with people – it seems that’s what I was doing almost the entire time. It really wasn’t about seeing the sights or doing anything. Talking about the journey I’m on, where other people are in their lives, seeking greater consciousness, and just having fun – LOTS to talk about. And I think that’s where I see my life continuing to go – I’m so interested in connecting with people on a genuine and meaningful level – and I had so many opportunities to do that on this trip! Started to brainstorm about what my life might look like if I traveled around, talking to people about what they are passionate about, and giving them a platform to share their message/content with the world. Sounds pretty fun to me.

I really am so grateful for it all. Thank you.

So below are a couple quick videos I did (and then a bunch of pictures) – first up is a stop in Chewelah and meeting the car, and the second is from Seattle – reflecting on the craziness of being back! Hope you enjoy

Video #1: Back to 1985 (at least the car…) – let’s meet the car & its owner John!

Video #2: And back to Seattle!- serendipity, and how it’s also about being the right person at the right place at the right time

John, me & the car!
Gwen’s amazing travelogue!
John & Gwen’s trip (black dots)
complete with pics, journal entries & sketches
so cool!
john, gwen, their motor home (and me!)
dinner by julie – i really miss this kind of living
my seattle family (tim’s in argentina)
happy to be back in seattle!
linda & phoebe from the intiman
love walking around Seattle
gorgeous day in the park
cool mural in Capitol Hill
a new friend in Ashland
Jess, Matt & me in Ashland
matt in the wooden hand chair – had a very good juice smoothie at this place
jess & matt’s other dog – she’s gonna be HUGE
bought a hat in Ashland – now I’m ready for Hawaii!
me & the car – lookin’ good!
Mt. Shasta in NoCal
i did a client call from a rest stop! awesome!
with Casey & John in Sacramento


this pic feels like it’s from the 1970’s (minus the neon green bike in the back)

Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad - looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.