After 4 years in Seattle, I finished up my PhD and was headed for a new adventure, a postdoc in South Africa. First, though, I had to move all my stuff from my apartment in Seattle to my mom’s house in Tampa. After quibbling about whether to drive my car back or sell it out west and fly home, I finally decided to take a solo roadtrip across the USA. From coast to coast. This wouldn’t be the first trip cross-country, but it would be the first time I did it solo.
It sounded crazy to drive all those miles by myself, but I was feeling ambitious. I had just finished a PhD. I could cross the USA.
I unloaded, sold, or donated all my big stuff like furniture. Then I packed up my car and headed east. I luckily had enough friends stationed along the way to make the trip into quite the adventure. So with an ipod loaded with podcasts, audio books, and many gigabytes of music, I departed my happy home of 4 years for a future of new adventures on another continent. But first I had to get from Seattle to Tampa.
I chose my route based on friends that I could visit, which meant I had people to socialize with on the road, people to check in on me if I didn’t make to to my next location, and I wanted to avoid winter weather. I was undertaking my roadtrip in December. Not ideal, I know, but it was the time of year I finished my degree and I wanted to get home before the holidays. Thus, my route took me south from Seattle, WA to Boise, ID to Boulder City, NV to Albuquerque, NM to Austin, TX to Covington, LA and finally to Tampa, FL.
The journey took 1 week and had me driving over 3500 miles by myself. This meant that yes I sang and talked to myself. I also plowed through the Serial podcast, which I had saved for such times as driving through western Texas. Egad, Texas is gigantic. Overall, the journey wasn’t terrible. I encountered a bit of snow, but nothing awful or route altering. Gas prices had fallen so my petrol costs weren’t exorbitant. Plus I got to visit with a slew of friends from college, graduate school, and beyond. It ended up being a memorable journey as opposed to just a journey to get from point A to point B.
Here are some photos while on the road.