Why And How I Went On A Solo Road Trip
A few weeks ago I went on the most magical road trip BY MYSELF and it was the best thing I could have ever given to myself as a graduation present. So many of you had so many questions while I was on the road, so I’m happy to answer all of these here :)
Why would you go alone?!
Two reasons. The first is that I’m such a caretaker in my life and always have been. I love helping others and supporting others in whatever ways that I can, but I realize that in order to take care of others, I need to also prioritize my self. This trip was my version of self-care, by going somewhere without caring about what anyone else wanted- where to stay, eat, when to stop for potty breaks, etc. It was really nice to only worry about myself for a week (okay, maybe my dogs, too) and I don’t think it’s selfish. It was just rejuvenating for me and at the end of the trip, I felt refreshed enough to continue being there for others without feeling burnt out. The second reason is that I’m working on being okay with being by myself in general. I’ve been trying to do more and give more to my self without relying on anyone else to do it for me. This was an amazing opportunity for me to get comfortable with myself, get silly, comfort myself if I was feeling a hint of loneliness and also be with my self in the moments of excitement. It was all so worth it.
How did you plan the trip?
I like to call myself a spontaneous planner… if that makes any sense haha. The way I planned this trip was first identifying top places I wanted to go through Wyoming, Montana and Alberta. I then used google maps to figure out directions and approximate hours it would take to get to each spot. From there I decided how much time I wanted to spend in each place, where I wanted to stop, etc. Depending on places I wanted to stop, I searched for dog-friendly hotels/airbnb’s. I organized everything in a word document (screenshot below) with specific dates, hours expected, location, etc.
How did you feel safe traveling or hiking alone?
I made sure to stay in generally populated areas. I mostly went to National Parks and stayed in hotels and Airbnb’s that were not necessarily “off-grid” and felt safe to me. As far as hiking, I also stayed on hikes that were pretty populated. Although, I am more of a morning person and do like to avoid the crowds. I never felt unsafe throughout my entire trip! I think camping would be a different story… Also, I typically had my tripod with me on hikes, as well as bear spray, so there was definitely a few moments that I considered those as weapons haha.
How did you get photos if you were by your self?
Most commonly asked question ha! Tripod, self-timer and app control. There was maybe once or twice that I had my tripod set up and did have a stranger passing by that helped snap a photo. Some of you asked for specific equipment. Here is the exact camera, tripod and app control that I use:
What were expenses like?
I would say I probably spent maybe around $2k total? I did a mix of staying in really nice places and average places, as well as really good meals and mediocre meals. I didn’t keep track of gas, whoops!
How did you stay awake/entertained while driving for so long?
I played different music depending on my mood! Sometimes I needed some slow indie stuff to help me reflect, sometimes I needed Britney Spears to wake me up and sometimes I needed rap to keep me going. I am honestly not a podcast or audiobook person. I think it would have put me to sleep! Especially if driving for such a long period of time.
How did you get across the border to Canada with your dogs?
Okay, so I feel like I got really lucky because nobody checked anything except for my passport going in to Canada and coming back to the U.S. I have heard mixed things about dogs needing immunization proof, but I was not asked for this (thank goodness, because I did not have it on me). I suppose you would want to be safe and have that with you. Otherwise, I had no other problems! SO easy.
What did you eat while driving?
Honestly, I didn’t eat much while I was driving, rather I would make sure that my drives were in between breakfast, lunch and dinner. So while I was driving I mainly had somewhat healthy snacks to keep me going, such as berries, popcorn, crackers and some banana bread I made before leaving. I think keeping things light and healthy on the drive really helped me with not feeling fatigued, bloated, etc. with all of the sitting.