lost, for a little while

interlude: south dakota
July 14, 2011, 11:54 am
Filed under: rant

The billboards for this started in WYOMING.

South Dakota is pretty much one giant tourist trap—endless miles of billboards that advertise knock-off caves, mystery spots, and every outlet, depot, or watering hole you could think of. It’s kind of fitting, though, because as the end of this road trip is swiftly approaching (only three states to go), I’m feeling pretty trapped.

When I first started, I was worried I’d get sick of traveling and want to go home. Then, as I really got into it, I worried I’d never want to stop. Now, I’m somewhere in between. I’m looking forward to having 24/7 shower access and meals that don’t consist of peanut butter sandwiches, instant oatmeal, and whatever fruit looked ripe enough to spend money on. But I’m dreading the questions I’ll be sure to get from pretty much everyone—what are you going to do next, do you have a job lined up, do you know where you want to go—along with the sense of claustrophobia that comes with living in my parent’s house for more than a couple weeks. This road trip has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I’m afraid that I’ll be following it up with an existence that revolves around job hunting, rejections, and sleeping in a bedroom that still looks like it was decorated by a seventh grader.

When I decided to do this trip, I had hoped that, by getting lost, I might eventually find what road to take next in life. But even after 119 days on the road (I know), I’m just as clueless what to do with my life.

I have, however, learned a few things that might help.

  1. I never want to live in New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, or South Dakota.
  2. As cool and hip as Seattle and Portland may be, they will never be anything but gray to me.
  3. I want to live on the coast. In the absence of ocean, I will accept nearby large lakes or a plethora of picturesque rivers.
  4. I dig California.
  5. Strangely enough, I also really liked Texas, Montana, and Wyoming.
  6. I couldn’t care less about clubs, and only enjoy bars if they meet most of the following criteria: A. They have live music or it’s quiet enough to hold a conversation. B. A beer costs less than $6. C. I can wear jeans and flip flops without feeling underdressed.
  7. I still might not qualify as outdoorsy, but I do love the outdoors.
  8. Talking to strangers is so much easier when you have interesting experiences to share. Having experiences, period, makes it easier to relate to people.
  9. I can get by on very little.
  10. Almost any topic can be interesting if I have the right person to teach me about it.
  11. I need the sun. Simple as that.
  12. I still want to visit Maine.
  13. I’m pretty much over the northeast, but would consider Boston or D.C. with the right circumstances.
  14. The south isn’t as terrible as I thought it would be.
  15. Even though I barely saw it, I think I’d fit in well in Colorado.
  16. I still love to write, even if I’m writing nothing that’s worth reading.
  17. More than writing, I love stories. Hearing them, telling them, tweaking them, and sharing them.
  18. You can get away with a lot if you look innocent enough.
  19. I sleep better in the back of my car than I ever did all of last year.
  20. I’m going to make sure that the next step I take in life will be one that makes me happy. It might not make money or sense, but it should make me happy.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Lisa you are incredible. Thanks for sharing your blog, your thoughts, and yourself with all of us you visited. You’re welcome to come visit me anytime, anywhere and I hope that I can do the same. Don’t let the mitten get you down. Do what you need to stay happy and fit. Keep dreaming about where you want to be next and you’ll find a way to make it happen. Here’s to meeting up somewhere in Cali, Wyoming, or Montana. I’ll meet back up with you in Yellowstone anytime.

Take care sister.

Comment by Margaret

p.s. I bought a kick ass pair of cowboy (girl) boots at Wall Drug when I drove out west!

Comment by Margaret

Lisa, You are sucha wonderful person who allowed yourself to experience what others only talk about. You are a doer. Continue to DO what you want. You have kept yourself tuned into the work world, now you’ll be ready for it when it happens Loved…loved…loved our week out west with you. GREAT FUN!
xxxoooAuntie Barby
Please continue to write..I’m gonna miss these travel blogs. Looking forward to your next chapter. It’ll be FABULOUS!!!

Comment by BARBARA

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