Sunday, February 10, 2013

A foreword...afterwards

What makes us happy? Human connection?…partly, but just as instinctively there's a longing inside all of us for something else. Why are iconic road trips across the county with our best friends so fantasized? Why are books/movies like Into The Wild so popular? The simple answer is freedom. We all have a deep desire for freedom. When we look to punish someone, and we want to inflict the most uncomfortable circumstance, what do we do? We take away their freedom, we imprison them. Even in childhood we are put into time out. As a society we've decided taking away freedom is the most uncomfortable punishment we have without inflicting physical pain or death… 

We are our own beings, we want to make our own choices. There are so many unhappy people in the world because they do whats "expected". We are taught to be contributing members of society, mirroring some picture of what we think our life should be, doing what other people have already done; very few are free. We work in jobs we don't like - spending most of our lives living from weekend to weekend. Often we follow the paths of others rather than creating our own paths. If we start to create our own paths many times we are shot down, sometimes by parents, often by grandparents, and sometimes by "friends." Why are we wasting the short gift of life doing the things we don't want to do? Do what makes YOU happy in life, who cares if it's unconventional, if it's not approved, or if you're the only one doing it; if you have everything you need, then none of that matters. The people that matter in your life will still be there. Whether on the beaten path or off - use your heart as your guide.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adam's Final Post (sierras final post below)

I’ve been waiting for the right time to start writing the final blog post, I have put it off so long I knew nobody would still be waiting on it. I think I just need to write it for myself, and also the book I’m turning the blog into. Until tonight I haven’t been able to slip into the right state of mind to write it. As I took my dog outside tonight, the air seemed perfectly crisp and cool but not too cold, reminded me of some of the first nights on the trip. As I turned to walk back into the house I stopped and gazed at the Bigelow mountain range silhouetted against a burnt orange evening sky. My mind flashed back to Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and the likes. The mountain view, and the feeling of finally having sold the van, I knew I could write the final post tonight.

As I sit here reading back through the blog in the quiet house, home alone, I can remember all the details in the blog we didn’t write about. Every time I read a post I remember all the events, all the stops, all the sensations that didn’t make it into the blog that day…I remember on different days how the sun felt and how the air smelled...I hope that as time goes on, those memories don’t fade…

I’ve realized that I’ve already forgotten to be thankful for warm pajamas a reclining chair, running water, a sink – better yet, a dishwasher – and knowing where I’m going to sleep tonight.

Part of the reason it took so long to write the final blog post, is the same reason I took the road trip in the first place: life gets busy. So a short recap of our arrival home: After arriving home and surprising everybody it wasn’t long before me and Sierra said good-bye for the day and slept at our perspective houses. The feeling of being home was surreal, and took weeks to sink in. To everybody else it was just “Adam is home, things are back to normal”, but to me everything was different. After 50 days on the road all the comforts of home seemed to be such luxuries. BBQ’s ensued and lots of socializing occurred. Trying to explain the road trip to people proved and still proves to be challenging, and in a way impossible. People constantly ask what my favorite place or favorite memory was, and I don’t think I will ever have an accurate answer. In random conversations I can talk about the road trip and bring up specific instances and places, but know one can truly understand. Even for those of you who read the blog everyday, you’ll never know the full extent of the experience we had. I couldn’t talk long enough or remember the details to get you to fully grasp it, and even then, you’ll never really feel what we felt.

Now, in the midst of the chaos, whether at work or school, I think back to that feeling of not having a place to be for the rest of the day, or the next day. I remember the feeling of the way the van felt going to sleep, the feeling of pulling into a Walmart, and the soothing highway at night. I long for the freedom to look at a map and pick a place to go the next day. I miss the way it felt to walk through towns that are completely new, the feeling of perfectly tension free muscles, and the sensation of pulling into our destination.

I want so bad to do the trip again, expand on what we did. I know now what to do, what not to do, where to go, where not to go, and where to plan on spending more time. The thing is, I could do the trip a thousand more times and never see it all, nor satisfy the hunger to explore.

On a recent trip to Vegas, my Dad and I rented a car and visited the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, we traveled some of the same roads I traveled in the van over the summer. It was surreal to see and remember the landscapes.

I can’t wait to be get back out there throughout life, and revisit the beautiful spots and places we called home this summer. I can’t wait to go to the same campsites or the same hotel parking lots, and just sleep there to immerse myself back into my mind and re-live the memories. For now, I'll occasionally just put on James Taylor’s album: Hourglass,(the CD we listened to at least once a day on the trip… “at least” being the key word), and just re-live it in my mind. 

Thank you to everyone we met along the way and everyone we got to spend time with. Thanks for all the support and thanks for following. And of course, thanks to my best friend Sierra, couldn't imagine doing a trip with anyone else, especially now.

As for the future, I will finish school and then go from there. I know what I want for a career and I’m not afraid to start. I’m just nervous to be tied down for the next 50 years not being able to ever feel as free again. Maybe I’ll spend a few years being a park ranger in Glacier N.P….or maybe I could just squeeze in one more trip…who knows.


p.s. dont forget to scroll down and read sierras final post.

Sierra's Final Post

I still remember when Adam and I were in Olive Garden and he was telling another one of his friends about his roadtrip, and I said, “Well….can I go???”  I think that for a long time, he didn’t believe that I would actually save my money to do it, but here I am, one road trip later, and with no laptop at college.  But, it was never just about the money.  It was leaving and understanding that we couldn’t just go home; it was being with one person for fifty days, it was driving to California in an 85’ VW bus, and attempting to get back.  The roadtrip began with us having to make choices that would result in a summer of pure freedom, a summer that we will never forget. 
The roadtrip turned into an adventure that even I wasn’t expecting.  The van troubles that now make us smile, the people we spent time with that changed or impacted our lives in different ways, that one James Taylor CD that became our roadtrip soundtrack, the silly, crazy places we went and things we did that no one will ever truly understand, the support and encouragement that people gave us, and a friendship that will never be the same.  You know, when you live out of a van in 110 degree weather for fifty days, it’s too hot to argue!  So you have to just laugh, say “what have we gotten ourselves into?”, make up stupid handshakes, sing Disney songs at midnight, roll the windows down, and simply enjoy the gift of a summer spent being free with your best friend.             
Adam has been telling me to write this last post since we got back, and to be honest, I have been putting it off for as long as I possibly can.  The roadtrip still feels surreal or in the making.  I don’t want to except nor recognize its end, but I understand that the roadtrip was a season, maybe the best of my life so far, but still seasons change. 
I owe thank yous to so many people and places, but I will probably forget someone….first, mom and dad, thank you for embracing, my adventurous spirit, and letting me go on the roadtrip.  My Tudela family, thank you for helping Adam and I the whole way to California and back, I love you guys!  Rick and Brett, thanks for all the hard work you put into the van, and Val thanks for introducing me to Adam, and for encouraging me to play, and for hanging out with me while the boys worked on the van.  Goulet, thank you so much for all your guidance and ideas, we’d have been lost without you.  Don, and Eric thanks for the shower and a bed to sleep in, we had so much fun.  Mike, we LOVE your camp, thank you so much!  To everyone in Minnesota, thank you for a fun few days at the lake, and Gramas spaghetti.  To South Dakota thank you for Wall Drug and prairie dogs, and for the badlands…amazing to even think about.  Wyoming, thank you for the elk and Jackson Hole and Debbie.  Dustin and Leigh, you guys made our stay in California absolutely unforgettable, you guys are awesome and we love you!  Tennessee, thanks for that three hours of sleep and the foggy sunrise.  Debbie, we love you…thank you for everything.  To the Galvan’s, we had so much fun in Virginia and you guys are just so much fun, thank you.  And to my dear friend Adam, thanks tudela, you are the best and it was so much fun, and WE DID IT!  We drove across the country in a hippie van…we walked out on the mesa and we stumbled on a few songs J Love ya tudela, thank you for everything before the roadtrip, during it, and after.  The day I met you was such a blessing. 
Well thanks anyone who read the blog, and followed us!  We had so much fun sharing the crazy trip with you all and we are just so thankful for everything.  I can’t believe it’s really over, but hey, stay posted for another blog a few years down the road, maybe, you never know.  


Friday, August 12, 2011

K so a little busy with wedding...there will be a wrap up post...

Monday, August 1, 2011


So, heres the deal: since New Mexico we had to fake the blog a bit. We had to make everyone think that we were farther west then we really were. To start, the night when we "slept in New Mexico" we actually just kept driving until we were in Kentucky. It was over 1000 miles in one day and we drove for 20 hours, only stopping for gas and restrooms. After driving through the night we went to sleep at 6:30 a.m. about two hours outside of Debbie's. We woke up at 10 a.m. in a van that was 115 degrees...I had to change my shirt because it was drenched...

We got to Debbie's at noon and enjoyed lunch and some air conditioning and we all napped. From there on out the blog has been completely true, except for the fact that you were getting the story a day or two delayed from when it actually happened. When we were writing about Debbie's we had already arrived in Virginia. Again, all true, just delayed.

We had a app on my phone to fake our gps location. It took an enormous amount of time to set up and make sure the routes and timing were correct to correspond with the blog, and we had to check on it constantly because it would malfunction and sometimes give our actual location. We also said we stayed three days in Virginia but we only stayed two.

A couple of days ahead of the blog, we visited Gettysburg and that night stayed at our friend Donna's house. The next day, Saturday, we drove home.

Getting to Maine was a awesome feeling, the feeling of returning home is like none other. We had gotten lucky with traffic the whole trip, so naturally when we got to the Maine bridge we hit a wall of traffic and slowly made our way across the bridge. Man did I miss Maine though!

We got to Augusta around 6 p.m. We surprised Sierra's friend Jen and then went out to Olive Garden, something we have planned since the beginning. After Olive Garden, we went to a movie and then some of my other friends who live in Augusta stopped by our place...Walmart parking lot... We sat up talking in the van until about 3 am.

Sunday came, a day we have been waiting for since the first day. At 7 am (3 days earlier then we were expected) we awoke and drove to Fairfield. We snuck into Sierra's house made coffee, french toast and made noise so her parents would get up...they were surprised!

Next we headed to Val's place and set up a scavenger hunt for her to come and find us in the middle of the field. She was at church while we set up. After set up, we headed to my house and I walked in and me and my dog Nova had about 10 minutes of cuddle time before the house started discovering me. Slowly but surely everyone was surprised. After some visiting, we rushed back to Vals house and hid in a field. After an hour the scavenger hunt led her to us and screams erupted followed by silly string and hugs. We left her a video camera and she filmed her hunt. (stay tuned for a video on facebook)

After hanging out with Val and her family...our "second family" we parted ways...after 50 days with someone it feels weird to part. We didn't get too sick of each other and we rarely fought. I'd say we did alright. Oh, and we didn't fall in love...sorry, still best friends. :)

An amazing end to an amazing trip. Sorry for the sloppy writing, I'm tired. Stay tuned for a final post by both Sierra and I on Friday at the absolute latest.


Sunday, July 31, 2011


After a some careful planning and some serious dedication we have managed to surprise everybody and arrive home 3 days early. Stay tuned for details, I will write tomorrow, but tonight, I'm going to veg and and sip some wine.

Look for a post tomorrow evening and then a final post after that. Can't believe it.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Woke up around 9:30, which is pretty good because I stayed up until 3:30 watching a scary movie that Uncle Andy got me hooked into. Anyway, got up had a quick cup of coffee and we joined Aunt Wendy on an errands quest.

First we stopped at a State Farm agents office, Charles Tilson, and his employee Kim presented us with a check. We felt so grateful, especially since we will definitely be needing all the help we can get to finish up the trip...funds are running extremely low. Next we hit a couple thrift stores, something we have been doing all trip. Aunt Wendy hits the thrift stores often as well, so it was nice to do it together.

Next was Chick-fil-A....which is my good! With full tummies we moved on to the grocery store. Aunt Wendy campaigned for us there as well prior to our arrival, so a gas card was waiting there. After the grocery store we headed home and enjoyed the evening together.

We plan on getting up in the morning tomorrow, and just taking our time, maybe leaving around 3 or 4ish. We will see.