My dream has long been that one of my sojourns would turn into a Terry McMillan (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) or Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) like magic, then not only would I have a memorable and potentially life altering experience, but I’d write something wonderful about it on this blog, that would lead to…
…me getting a six figure book deal, becoming a New York Times bestselling author with a story that resonates with readers who will choose it for their book club selections and debate the meanings of paragraphs I’ve written, then I’d sell the rights to a movie, of which Ava DuVernay will sign on to direct and cast Jill Scott (as me) in the highest grossing and multi-award winning movie. Can you tell I’ve thought about this a few times? It’s time to get this thing crackin’ so my dreams can manifest.
A year ago today, I set off for another adventure to lasso more knowledge about myself and have new experiences. I flew from New York to Seattle then drove along the 101S / Pacific Coast Highway to San Diego and hashtagged it #SEA2SAND in 11 days. I wrote about the itinerary here.
(Side note: Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this on her Instagram yesterday. LOVE her!)
When 2019 began, I hadn’t intended on making this particular trip, but because of who the U.S. President is and what the political landscape had been turning into, I thought I ought to make more domestic trips versus international, so I could get home quickly if needed. I felt that something was coming, but who could’ve known it would’ve been this?
I also hadn’t been planning on making this trip when I did, because I was holding “extra-special” trips to take with a man that I’m in love with in the vault — like hopefully traveling to the Maldives one day to luxuriate in an over-water bungalow for a week. This drive fell into that category.
And even though I wasn’t yet in love, I did feel like I had found the potential in someone I would be able to have fun with on a trip like this. I envisioned us driving south in a red convertible, listening to music, laughing over silly jokes, sharing in depth conversations, having a picnic lunch on beautiful beaches, taking a hot air balloon flight, riding rollercoasters at Universal Studios, sitting out to see the stars at night and more. I extended an invitation, but for a variety of reasons, my #SEA2SAND experience was taken solo.
With my desired road trip partner a no-go, so I was already down one-third of the Eat Pray Love portion of my story and because I don’t do random cougar hook-ups, wasn’t going to be getting my groove back that way. I was disappointed and initially put the thought of going on this trip back in the vault. I didn’t want to do it alone and didn’t think I could do it alone. I wanted to take the drive, but I hadn’t necessarily wanted to do all the driving. Ugh. Plus, I already have angst in traveling alone as a woman…as a Black woman…but especially as a middle aged Black woman, but moreover, what kind of potential adventure/love story is missing the love interest? Sigh.
Six weeks before I ultimately ended up leaving, I thought… I’ve been to countries where I didn’t speak the language by myself, I can certainly handle getting from Washington State to Southern California and I wanted to do this. So, I got my Matthew Henson on, ordered some some maps from Amazon, then started planning and navigating distances.
I saw a lot of great things on this trip from grey whales, orcas, ferry ride to the San Juan Islands, Ferris Wheel ride overlooking Puget Sound, I went through Redwood National Forest and a chandelier tree, took the hot air balloon ride, rode rollercoasters, had butterbeer in Hogsmeade (which made me irrationally happy) was in the Price is Right audience…
…but, I also didn’t do a lot of the things because of a lack of time and fear (always twin problems). What people saw online were a few beautifully curated photos, because I didn’t do selfies on my anxiety.
While Washington and Oregon were beautiful, the roads were devoid of traffic in both directions and I couldn’t get cell coverage. I was a nervous wreck. In between listening to audiobooks and singing the entire Hall & Oates catalog multiple times, I was intermittently worried about breaking down and/or being murdered by racists (this thought gained a foothold in my mind after seeing three confederate flags along a particularly isolated stretch of road).
I didn’t spend time enjoying the oceanviews the way I wanted to, because I was constantly racing against the clock to make sure I made it to the next hotel before sunset.
There was no red convertible but a Toyota Landcruiser I had issues handling on the curves along the California coast. My nerves were on edge and my foot was permanently on the brake.
Reflecting on all of this a year later, there were some good Eats (sriracha chicken nuggets in the San Juan Islands and a mangorita with chamoy sauce in San Diego — both of which I still think about), lots of Pray while I was on the road, but no particular spiritual revelations.
However, one moment stands out, and it was while I was in Temecula (between Los Angeles and San Diego) on my hot air balloon ride. I was the only one in the balloon basket who wasn’t in a couple or part of a family (I know, cue sad violins)… the wife in the couple that was in my section of the basket was terrified, she kept holding onto her husband and wouldn’t look around at the scenery and asked me, “you’re by yourself, aren’t you scared?” Oddly enough, of everything that I mentioned before this that made me anxious, hopping in a large wicker basket with fire to go sailing over highways, lakes and vineyards was one of the most relaxing hours of the entire trip.
I didn’t want to make the trip alone, but I’m glad I pressed forward. I thankfully did not end up getting killed by a racist — so all in all, the trip was a success.
Maybe I’ll do it again one day and be a little more prepared — knowing how to change a flat tire and having a smaller vehicle would be the first starting points.
Maybe instead of waiting to have an experience I can turn into a memoir, I’ll just try and write a novel instead. There’s more than one way to the New York Times bestseller list. I might still be by myself, but I’m a little less scared to take that journey.
Please leave feedback in the comment section. Want more? Subscribe to http://www.kimfinite.possibilities for the latest.
Copyright (c) 2020 Kimfinite Possibilities – KMS. All Rights Reserved.