SOLO ROADTRIP HACKS
I remember everyone before I left for my roadtrip like
"You're really going by yourself?"
"I don't think that's safe at all.."
"You're going to get so lonely"
And hey here I am reflecting back on that trip 2 or 3 months later - INDEPENDENT AND ALIVE
Better than ever actually
I wasn't alone/lonely but independent.
I think that's what I learned the most on my 4200 mile journey on the road. The difference between those two or three I guess. Yes I was alone, a single body (plus Tux: Cierra's dog) but I never felt lonely.
It was the most freeing, empowering and inspiring feeling I've ever felt. It was me for once being independent. I coudn't even describe it with all the words that my blog post lets me.
I remember filming my first little vlog snippet on that trip which I never followed through with.. But I said something in that 3 minute video that I keep looking back at and reminding myself.. Whenever I feel a doubt about my current life decisions.
"Just go and do it. You don't know what you're missing or filling until you go. And it sounds cliche, everyone always says that. But you're really not going to know how you feel until you try. It could be wrong or it could be right. But you're not going to know what you felt until you've put yourself in that uncomfortable position of growth. Something we fear, but it all turns into excitement. And I hope that you personally allow yourself change and fill the fear with confidence"
So here are my personal experiences to share with you on hopefully how to make travelling solo an independent journey that you enjoy..
PACK THINGS THAT REMIND YOU OF HOME
This is kind of a no brainer but seriously if you have a nice and cozy blanket you have at home and love: Throw it in the car! Nothing beats a long day of hiking and getting all cuddled up in it
I LOVE essential oils so I packed a few with me so I could always relax and wind down at the end of the night once I found home
Since Netflix is the best and I'm sure all of you have an account: Pre download some movies or TV shows offline so you can watch some before falling asleep or if you have some time to kill waiting out bad weather or something! It doesn't require service or internet once they're downloaded
I don't personally play the Ukulele but when Cierra dropped off Tux, one of her friends was with her and gave me hers incase I got bored and this actually was so fun to play and jokingly sing around with (Shoutout to you Lyss)
Bring a journal and a book.. And make it a goal of yours to write a page a day, write down every little thing so you can remember it all. How you're feeling in the moment. Where you're at, what you're doing later. A conversation you had with a stranger. Places you saw while driving that you want to check out sometime. Everything and anything. Trust me
TAKE SOME PRECAUTIONS IN YOUR CAR- If sleeping in it for your trip
I always hung up towels or extra blankets on my windows and back window at night that way nobody could see in
My brother bought me a stun gun and pepper spray so I always kept this in my side door next to me where I slept (Just in case)
I once read somewhere to always put your keys in the cupholder up front and your drivers seat open just incase you need to get up and go in a hurry. Now I always do and don't ever lose my keys either hehe - I just put my extra bags or backpacks in the passenger side now
TALK TO PEOPLE
Yes being on the road alone kind of sucks but when you can facetime or call your friends or family it's that much better. I swear for once my brother was actually interested in what I was doing because he was concerned where I was everyday. Everyone will care so much about where you're at and how you are, more than usual honestly.
Since I have an iPhone I always had my location sharing with people like my brother and mom so they could see where I was when I had service but was driving or something
All the people you see chilling at rest areas or at the trailheads- They're doing the same thing you are. So why not ask how the hike was? Where they're from? I've met so many people by just asking them how they are! It's so fun and inspiring to hear people talk about things you're not usually used to or hearing about their hometown
I always called or facetimed someone close to bed time so I didn't feel alone when I laid down at night
Whenever I enter National Parks I always like talking to Park Rangers or people at the gift store because they are all so excited to hear about adventures and where you're coming from or headed- They also will tell you some low-key spots usually
-I never told people I was alone on the road though especially when it got close to night time and I was staying in the area nearby, just for precaution-
PLAN YOUR ROUTE AHEAD OF TIME
I loved planning my 10 days in advance.. That way I was able to post on Instagram where I was going to be at to make plans with friends or even new ones!
A plus of being alone is you can pick where you're going and don't have to follow along on those places that you really don't care to see
I was able to kind of map out camping depending where I thought I would be during my nights. I found that the nights I didn't have any idea for my sleeping situation was the ones that were the hardest since I had nobody to help me decide if it was safe or not. You can literally type in on google "Free camping near Aspen, Colorado" -or wherever you're going and so many different options will pop up. Just do a bit of research ahead of time so you can feel confident! I also would drive to my spot that I would be camping and see where I start to lose service so if I ever felt unsafe where I was I could maybe go back to that area to sleep with the service. Rest areas are always great too honestly or just booking campsites if you want to pay the extra money!
Since you're the only driver on this trip you're going to want to sort of plan when you'll be driving from each place and how long the drive is - That way you know if you can drive 5 or 7 hours especially at night time. Because I for sure can't lol
-Soon I'm going to be posting a blog or video on the best way I've found for planning road trips so stay tuned on that-
Another couple random tips or tricks for road tripping alone-
EMBRACE IT! Some people don't even get to have this opportunity for several reasons so take it as challenge that you're accepting even if it's scary!
Get a paper map or a cheap road atlas- My phone died in the middle of a long drive one time and I couldn't start my maps again because I was out of service. It came in handy when leading me in the right direction. Plus they're always fun- I found one of my favorite places I went from my atlas
Blast your favorite songs and scream at the top of your lungs: singing and dancing, who's going to stop you? I listened to my favorite song 6 times in a row at one point
Wake up for sunrise and sunset as much as you can, you'll feel so accomplished everyday
Pack hot chocolate for cold nights- Thank me later
I took lots of photos and videos for my own sake that I'll never probably share but I had so much fun wasting the time taking those, the memories are so bittersweet looking back at. Me pretending to be a contestant on survivor or someone on MTV cribs showing friends my sleeping situation for the night or all the horrible dancing videos of me in the middle of nowhere in the desert. They are so fun to look back on. Timer on my camera became my bestfriend this trip
If you have a long drive: Listen to podcasts! It makes you not feel alone
I admit there was a few times I felt like I was a bit lonely.. That beautiful beautiful sunset I saw in Colorado with nobody for miles upon miles to share it with.
When I was in the middle of Idaho and saw so many groups of friends out hiking while I was by myself
But it was easy to shake those thoughts with "I really need this time to connect with myself in all aspects"
"I am going to appreciate time with friends even more now"
"How blessed I am to witness this night alone - almost like it was made just for me"
I learned a lot about myself on the road.. And I could sit here and name all of the different ways that trip changed me. But I promise you it's something that you'll never be able to comprehend feeling until you're out in the middle of a state that's been on your bucket list, running around and catching yourself in that moment. As a "Holy shit I actually am here".
It's a different kind of feeling. Finding yourself lost in a moment you've dreamt about.
And feeling yourself blossom in the whole process
I remember sitting in my car in the middle of Colorado (My bucket list place) on this dirt road I found, after witnessing the most beautiful sunset I had seen in months. Head pointed to the ceiling, eyes shut and filled with soft tears, my favorite song playing lightly in the background and the silhouette of those beautiful Colorado mountains. Smiling and just literally saying to myself "I'm so happy I did this, for me"
You see, it's easy to make excuses as to why you can't go on this trip. Being alone as a girl, no experience, bad weather, no idea where to go, wanting someone else to go with.
And those are all things I personally thought for awhile until I realized I can't wait for my bestfriend to take time off for a roadtrip I really want to go on. I can't make her save up the same amount of money I have to go on this trip. I can't have other people live out my dreams with me because it's not theirs. I can't wait for anything or anybody except myself to put in the work for it.
So what I'm trying to say is stop making excuses as to why you shouldn't go and let's think of all the things that can go right from this.. All the reasons why you deserve to go. For once do something for YOU and be selfish.
I really hope that you personally can do it soon.. Let fear be a humble reminder that you're fully alive and in the direction of a change. A good one.
Thank you as always for taking the time to read my blog! I hope you enjoy this and can make use of it.
If you use any tips I'd love to hear back from you in my email or DM's on Instagram
With all of my heart,