Georgia’s Underbelly

I have a new job. I start next week, and while anxious about newness in general, I’m psyched and ready for the change of course to come. I could’ve gone back to Charlotte this week. I could have chilled at my parents’ all week. Restless for more, I decided to continue #RunningAway with a solitary tour of Georgia’s underbelly. ~ ~ ~ It’s strange, calling a state home for eleven years — my address, my college, my first driver’s license — and feeling no […]

To Drown Myself and Be Weak

I’m tucked in my sleeping bag amid poison ivy and dirt. I’m sliding down uneven earth, and I readjust my sleeping bag atop my backpack to compensate. It’s pitch black. I have a headlamp, but I’m not allowed to use it. The students won’t have headlamps, so I can’t use mine. I can’t use my hammock either. Not yet. Not during this first phase. Drums are beating in the black beyond my slanted tarp. Earlier today a wild man invited us to join his drum […]

Hopefully a Bear Doesn’t Eat Me This Week

I’ve been #RunningAway for a week now. I needed to escape my jobless lifeless normalcy in Charlotte, and something about South Carolina was beckoning my attention. Columbia and Charleston had been in the news these last few weeks, and both cities moved me all over again. I camped out at Congaree National Park for a night. Did you know there’s a national park in Nowheresville, South Carolina? Yeah, me neither. Weirdest coolest place, that Congaree. The swampy trees have knees coming out […]

Love Will Find You

I’m sitting at Kudu Coffee in the heart of Charleston. The spacious, grassy Marion Square lies a block to my left. Another block down on Calhoun Street sits Mother Emanuel AME Church. I was here on #RunningTo just six months ago. Here at this coffee shop, there in the square, and even over there walking past just another unsuspecting church; there are dozens of churches in Charleston. I’d have had no reason to suspect then what would happen in this city […]

This is My Nicotine

The last four months I’ve felt like a fish out of water, breathing strange foreign air I’d not breathed in a long time. It tasted a lot like the air of normalcy I left behind in California, but with a tinge of toxicity that’s grown into a veritable strain. It hurts to breathe this air. There’s something to be said about sticking things out and working through your discomfort. That’s where growth happens, after all. But there’s something else to be said […]

One Year Later: I’ve Forgotten All About You

One year ago today, I watched the sun rise over the rim of the Grand Canyon. It was the start of a road trip without limits. I had no idea when or even where it would end. One year later, now settled in Charlotte for the last three months, I’m still thinking a lot about that road trip. A day doesn’t go by when the skyline of Chicago or the shores of Maine or the volcanic waters of Crater Lake don’t flash like lightning […]

28.2 Road Trip Travel Tips

Over the course of my 282 days on the road, I built a list of 28.2 road trip travel tips. I gathered some of these valuable tips from other wanderers who’d trekked before me; many others, I learned as I went. I wanted to share my list with you for whenever the road beckons your name as it did mine. Whether you travel solo or with others, and whether you embark on a week-long journey or more of a year-long quest, I want you to uncover the most epic […]

5 Reasons You Should Try Couchsurfing

A lot of people reached out to me throughout my 9-month road trip. I heard from college and high school classmates I’d not seen in years. I stayed with readers of my book and this blog. But I also used a website called Couchsurfing to find hosts all over North America. I actually relied on Couchsurfing a lot. I didn’t have to use Couchsurfing on my road trip. I could’ve passed over entire states and clocked several 15-hour drives in between people I knew. But I […]