Twelve Days And Ten Years

Where Have I Been?

Ten years to the day – and nearly three hundred blog posts later (plus an entire novel) – I’ve crisscrossed the country repeatedly and penned memories dating back to my childhood (see Combing Through My Memories from April 2013).  You see, I’ve always been a traveler.  I’ve changed jobs to travel.  I’ve gotten onto planes excited to go someplace new and I’ve fastened my seatbelt crying about the uncertainty of where my journey would end.  Clearly, I am not as brave as others believe me to be.  Whether in my own vehicle (see 20,000 Miles from January 2019), or in a just-get-me-there rental, I’m a veritable Johnny Cash song.

I did not connect travel and writing suddenly when I started this blog.  In the most crudely scribbled and by the most pre-Internet means possible, I kept a travel journal during twelve days in July 1992 when I took a toddler from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Central Florida.  I bought a brand, new car – the first I purchased myself – and a brand, new notebook and made notes each night after Son Number One fell asleep.  We crossed the international border twice.  We saw fireworks in Canada, our nation’s capital, and the Magic Kingdom.  We got misted at Niagara Falls, we visited Gettysburg, we rode a couple ferries from the Outer Banks, and then we meandered back north on an alternate route.  I documented those first twelve days of our journey – everything from the doughnuts we ate to the stitches my son received – and scratched an itch for which I have never stopped hankering.  Yes, I am an addict.

Where Am I Going?

When I returned to my desk job in 2012 after a social-media-documented three-week excursion across the United States and up through Alaska’s inner passage, I knew I was never meant to sit still, and I certainly wasn’t going to spend the next three decades of my life in my doldrum profession waiting for retirement.  I knew I needed to go – and go everywhere, and go now.  As much as I thought I knew where I was headed, since that revelation I have lived in a half dozen states and visited forty-two – all but one an encore visit.  I thought I was nearing a goal (see Forty-Nine from August 2012), but I was going to discover more than I expected.  I transitioned from an empty nester on an adventure to a writer on a journey without a destination.

Along the way, I realized that I love writing more than I knew.  I discovered that when I didn’t keep up with my blog, my brain pestered me to get back to the written word.  I experienced fictional inspiration in the mountains of Wyoming along with real-life, pace-changing passion.  At times I settled for mindless employment that passed time until I delightfully embraced work that brings me joy.  Along the way to my fiftieth state, I met my superhero.  I set out to find a place, a topic, or a lesson that might just serve as advice to my friends and in contrast to my plan, I found love.  For a girl who believes in having a plan, I’ve realized I have no idea where I am going, but at least I know with whom I’ll be travelling, and that I have hundreds of more adventures to share.  Stay tuned…

Where it all began:

On The Advice Of Friends (October 2011)

If you are interested in learning more about the twelve days in July, please enjoy one of these adventures:

George Washington (February 2012)

The 5th Lake (March 2012)

Learning to Drive (January 2013)

Ocracoke Nachos (February 2013)

Niagara Rain Falls (May 2021)

Washington Slept Here (July 2021)

If you want to join me on my three-week expedition across the country, please read one of these recollections:

One-Trip Wonder (December 2012)

Cornered On A Hilltop (July 2013)

The Bus To Wal-Mart (November 2013)

Change of Plans (December 2013)

Computer Guru And Cupcake Godsend (June 2015)

The Alaskan “Wilderness” (February 2020)

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