2012 Travel Update: The Overly Ambitious Tour


I have just one commitment this year.

There’s only one event where I need to be in a particular city on a particular day in 2012.

No, not a friend’s wedding or a family reunion; the big event on my calendar?

The World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon in July. :)


So back in February, after bouncing around with family for almost two months, I knew my roaming would resume soon.

It was a funny feeling: I was becoming comfortable in Massachusetts (I knew where everything was, knew the people, had food, etc.) and yet, that’s not my life.

I truly enjoy traveling, so I had to break through all those seductive comforts and get back on the road!


I realized I’d have to sit down and figure out where I want to go before WDS 2012!

I jotted down “who do I want to see,” “where do I want to go,” and “what do I want to do”the people and places I wanted to make part of my immediate future.

My travel idea: explore the East Coast states, then check out the Southeast (never been to any of the states on the Gulf, except Florida), and head over to the Southwest to find some sweet National Parks (still got my year pass)!

After about an hour of looking at a few travel books of the USA (people still use those!), I had about 18 locations to hit in about four months!

Yes, exactly: insane.


WARNING: if you get dizzy by ridiculous travel plans, do not continue. You’ve been warned… :)



South America is so SMALL - it's the size of my hand! I can totally see all of it in a week!!


Here are my original travel notes for mid-February-July, from 2/5/12:

  • States: NJ, DC, VA, NC, SC, TN, GA, FL?, AL, MI, LA, TX, NM, CO, UT, AZ, CA (LA, SB, SF), OR
  • National Parks: Guadalupe Mtns (TX), Biscayne (FL), Appalachian Trail (part), Shenandoah (VA), Great Smokey Mtns (TN), Carlsbad Caverns (NM), Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion (all UT), Grand Canyon (AZ),Big Bend (TX)
  • Sights: Bayou Country (LA), Outer Banks (NC), Great Sand Dunes (CO), Death Valley (CA)

Um, kinda absurd, right?

I had about 18 weeks to cram in 18 states, and even I knew some things would have to wait.


My other goal became to be in Los Angeles by mid-June. Nothing firm – I’d just like to get out there, see family and friends, and then head up the coast to Oregon (one of my favorite routes).

The other day, as I was coming up on three months before Los Angeles, I thought it’d be good to sit down and reassess what I would do with the next 12 weeks.

You know, actually assigning rough dates of when I’d be where – probably a decent idea. :)



Updated travel schedule for mid-March-mid-June, from 3/13/12:

  • Charlottesville, VA; Charlotte, NC; Anderson, SC: 10 days, 3/12-3/22
  • Atlanta, GA: 2 weeks, 3/23-4/5
  • Huntsville, AL; Hattiesburg, MS, Gulfport/Biloxi, MS: 10 days, 4/6-4/16
  • New Orleans, LA: 2 weeks, 4/17-5/1
  • Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, San Diego: 1 week each, 5/2-6/14
  • Los Angeles: mid-June!

So much better!! Only 14 stops in 12 weeks – totally possible!! :)

Yes, still very ridiculous, if you ask me.


I’m sure the dates, times, and places will change. (They already have – thank you beautiful Asheville, NC!). I just needed to give myself a sense of what’s ahead. If I actually want to hit all of these places, I didn’t think I could just “wing it.”

The other piece is that I could sense that between some big stops (Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles), I want and need some down time while I travel: a time to focus on relaxing, catching up on work, and not as concerned with seeing all the sights.

There’s actually a project I’m working on, which influenced why I’m spending a couple weeks in Atlanta and New Orleans – more on that later… :)



How will I get everywhere?

Good question! For some places: I have no idea!

  • I’ve been taking Amtrak for quite a bit of the journey thus far, and now realized I’m on routes that often leave or arrive at very inconvenient times (departure 3:30 am!)
  • So, I’m also looking into Greyhound, though really want to limit my time on buses, as frankly, I just don’t enjoy the cramped atmosphere: nowhere to go, can’t move around, stuck in traffic.
  • I’m also keep an eye out for Rideshares, through Craigslist (in Los Angeles, for example) and now Zimride, though these aren’t always a dependable way to get around.
  • I’ve even learned about a $10/day weekend rental deal at Enterprise, which I may use from time-to-time! Seriously, this deal is INSANE – they picked me up, I rented a car for two days, got a free upgrade to a sweet KIA SUV, drove 350 miles, and it only cost me $26 plus one tank of gas!

thanks Enterprise! :)


One thing is for sure: I’m seriously excited to connect with people along the way and just figure out rides as I go!



What have I done so far, from mid-February-mid-March?

  • States:  PA (Philadelphia, Harrisburg), NJ (Somerville), NY (Manhattan, Brooklyn), Washington DC, VA (Charlottesville, Richmond)
  • Parks: Shenandoah (the pic above – even hit the Appalachian Trail!)

Not too shabby for about a month, huh?



What’s beyond July?

Well, it gets a bit fuzzy – and a bit nuts…

  • mid-July-mid-August: road trip to Alaska (plus Olympic and Cascade Parks in Washington) – this is my DREAM TRIP for this year (like the PacNW last year), my “vacation”
  • September-November: um, Canada? maybe California?
  • December: I’m planning to take my family to Hawaii for Christmas — all on points! The hacking is underway!! :)



PS – I’m compiling a Google Map that will indicate where I know people. Is there a better tool for this?
I’d love to hear your response + any other comments you have below! Thanks!!


Looking forward to learning more!