Tomorrow I leave for a summer that will be spent completely on the road and living out of a tent.
I. Don’t. Have. One. Thing. Packed.
As I sit here in my bath towel, unable to foresee myself getting anything grandeur accomplished before mere hours of my departure, I procrastinate further and bring you one last blog post from the comfort of my home. While it’s filled me with great anxiety that I didn’t have time to write more prior to my leaving, moving from Chicago to Ohio and then Ohio to California is one hell of a job.
Saying goodbye to Chicago was bittersweet. While I’m beyond ready to start this new job/adventure, when you meet people you click with – parting is always such sweet sorrow. As they say, your last impression is your standing impression. Truth.
But, it’s road trip season, and that’s the name of the game in my life right now. So, kids- you’re about to embark on a road trip post-grad, you are planning on going cross country just because or you’ve now read this and decided to throw the towel in, quit your 9-5 and blaze that Ford Fiesta up and down this country [good girl!]? Here are a few things you should make sure you have with you. Just ’cause, trust me. You need them.
[Not my pic. Obviously.]
You’re a human. You need to stay hydrated. The worst thing you can do is find yourself in a broken down car in the middle of New Mexico with only a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper.
Purchase. Fill. Drink. Repeat.
Last year I went on a road trip of the West Coast states. I only had an iPhone. I’ve been given a second chance, by the graces of God. Don’t make my mistake. Buy a nice camera. It’s worth it. And if you are a writer, this will give you more leeway on finding freelance travel writing opportunities [you know, so you can make extra cash on the road.. thus allowing you to travel for EVEN longer]. I just spent the last of my money on a Nikon D80. I expect it to be WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.
A miniature bottle of wine
Now, I don’t like to encourage vices, but if the person driving the car is driving you loko, you just hiked up one of Colorado’s 14ers or you are about to embark on night 26 of tent sleeping and you just can’t fall asleep, chances are you’ll be pumped as hell you stashed one of these babies in your duffel. Medicate. Celebrate. Dream.
You’re a 21st century kid. You have a Garmin, Siri and Google Maps – what could you possibly need a map for? Well, when you find yourself in the middle of Death Valley with cell phone reception miles upon miles away, you’ll be glad you can follow your route with your finger on a map. [Same goes for mixed CDs. You'll lose that playlist. And maybe the CD, too. But, creating the chance of you finding said CD years down the road creates that auspicious feeling you can't walk away from.]
Snacks. No. Healthy Snacks.
Oh wait, you thought that McDonald’s Fried “Real” Chicken Sandwich was going to get you through the next 8 hour leg of your cross country trip? While you’re lagging through the part of your trip that you’re suppose to be kickin’ back and jammin’ out to that 90s playlist you made last minute, you’ll learn an important life lesson.
Don’t eat gas station snacks, fast food, energy drinks or any of that crap that comes in packaging.
Driving takes so much out of you. Don’t feel like hell when you get to point B. Pre-make banana bread muffins , veggies or make your back seat a fruit basket. Who doesn’t love a good chunk of watermelon on a hot, summer day? Get a cooler.
When leaving Chi-town for Ohio, I made a quick batch of peanut butter protein fudge [as seen in the aesthetically PERFECT picture above... I PROMISE it tastes better than it looks in my driving hand] and it not only warded off excessive hunger, but it was better than any stale candy bar I could of ever come across.
3/4 cup natural, fresh peanut butter
1/2 cup raw, natural honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 scoop protein powder
Place coconut oil in skillet with peanut butter and slowly melt and stir together. Next, add honey in the middle and mix completely. Place this mixture into a small plastic Tupperware container [I used my Whole Foods peanut butter container] and put protein powder on top. Stir. Place in fridge for at the very least 1 hour, cut and wait for the hunger to set in.
This obviously isn’t the complete list of everything you need, it’s just a good start. But, the dryer to my last batch of laundry just went off, so time’s a tickin’.
Here’s to an unbelievably charming summer.