"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
—F Bueller - 11 June 1986
Having spent the last 30 years institutionalised in the Public Sector, my retirement and transition into a full time photographer is going to be a challenging time. On top of that my son is reaching the age he is likely to head off to Uni and a whole new chapter starts in my life.
A lot of guys in my position buy a convertible or a motorbike or even have a tattoo, but a dream of mine has always been to take a solo road trip of the US. I think it comes from my love of film, the thought of visiting those places you only ever see on a screen, of diners, rock and roll, cowboys, and that amazing clash between unbelievable commercialism and the most dramatic landscapes and displays of nature.
Then as we have struggled through COVID lockdown, I spent so long watching different series of people travelling and trying new things and going on adventures I just knew this was what I wanted to do.
Firstly I must thank my wife for allowing me to wander off for a couple of months, leaving her behind and for totally supporting me on this quest. Don't get me wrong, she has used this to her advantage, making me promise I take her on her dream holiday to the Maldives, but I appreciate how lucky I am to have some one so supportive in my life.
So with the help of a fantastic site ROADTRIPPERS I have started the plan for my trip. Starting in the North East corner and Boston , I work my way down the east coast and then head across Tennesse, Arkansas, down along the Mississippi into New Orleans. After some Southern hospitality it will be westbound along the Mexican border through Texas and then up to New Mexico and the dramatic scenery of Colorado and Utah. This is probably the part of the journey, as a photographer, I am most excited about. A few years ago (and the reason I am not doing it in this journey) I toured California and the Grand Canyon and remember I could have stayed out all night to feel one with nature, but with a wife and son moaning about the time I spent sitting behind the camera, it wasn't possible.... well this time it is!
After the barren landscape of the dessert states, it is on to Idaho and the wild west with the grassy plains of Montana and South Dakota and a final sweep across the northern states back in to New York and homeward bound.
My aim is to keep a running record with a regular blog of my trip. I want to try and accomplish something new every single day of the trip, whether it be new foods or new experiences, I want to use this to get out of my comfort zone and use the fact I am on my own to meet and talk to people and communities. Luckily between Roadtrippers and internet search engines it have the opportunity to intricately plan the adventure.
So now all I have to do is hold on tight until next summer when this comes true.