After much ado and many delays, and despite having left Akron, Ohio—my home of the better part of the past fourteen years—over a month ago, today is the day I start my big trip. Finally.
The wait has not been for nothing. I spent most of August at my family’s home in West Virginia, helping on the farm and assisting my dad with an apartment renovation. I saw my brother for the first time in years, learned how to properly deadlift from my middle sister, and won many times at cards. (I didn’t lose. Not even once. Don’t listen to what they tell you.) It has been time well spent. But there are too many dogs and they are too big and shed too much. And the birds are loud (but that’s okay, Heidi; I still like your birds).
My Prius-turned-camper (named Penelope II) is packed and my cardboard cutout of Mark Hamill dressed as Luke Skywalker1 is sitting in the passenger’s seat and growing impatient.
Yes, it is time to go.
The big trip!
The plan, vaguely
The plan is to leisurely head up to Maine and then down the East Coast (but not so leisurely that I become snowbound), then to drive along the southern border to the west, and keep going until I reach Anaheim. Really, I can go as slow or fast as I feel like. There are only a few places that I have to reach by certain dates—Birmingham by October fourth, New Orleans in early November, and Anaheim on the twenty-fifth of May.
The trip should map out approximately like this:
Though, it just as likely will look like this:
What I’m saying is: I can go wherever, whenever, as long as I reach Anaheim by the twenty-fifth of May2.
A more relevant question might be, “Why not?” It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m never going to be freer and abler to do it than I am right now. But there’s more to it.
You might say the pandemic—more specifically: the government’s handling of it and businesses’ treatment of their workers during it—has radicalized me, but I no longer want to work to make someone else wealthy. I’m opting out. And the best way I can think of to tell the whole system where it can shove it is by removing myself from it as much as I can. As a person of limited means, living cheaply and simply out of my car while on an extended trip seems a fun way to go.
My labor going forward will be for me.
I’m knee-deep in the second draft of my novel. By the end of this trip, it is my hope and plan that it will be finished and agented, and hopefully even sold. I’m also working on a couple of games. One is a tabletop roleplaying game and the other is a text-based narrative adventure game. And I just started a small business venture with my sister (more on that in a later post).
Plenty to fill my days and maybe even make a little money along the way. But just enough to remain free.
Off I go