Road Trip 2024: Today is What I Got
"I see you on the Camino," four different people told me last year who do not know one another, and one of them was a total stranger. That settled into me pretty good for I could see myself there, too.
I had gone to Scotland last year and traveled around for a couple of weeks with my sister and a friend, and then spent another week on my own solo traveling after they flew back home. I pretty much used up my emergency savings to make that happen.
Despite the expense, I could see myself coming back to Europe. The Camino, short for the Camino de Santiago, is a famous and well traveled pilgrimage walk in Spain. My sister and I started loosely planning a trip there for this late spring.
But then I realized something that had me hit pause: instead of daydreaming about the Camino, I was instead preoccupied with thinking about road tripping and being an itinerant artist in the United States. The Camino was pushed to the back burner.
I wondered whether or not this was the year to do a big road trip, something I've been wanting to do ever since I left the factory in 2019. But it just never seemed the right time.
When is it ever an optimal time though?
Every single risky leap of faith I have taken was not at the most optimal time with optimal conditions in place. Yet still I leapt and things have always tended to work out some how some way for me. I land just fine every single time.
Last year a vendor's husband passed away during a show, their booth not far from mine. That was a tearful reminder of the no guarantee for tomorrow. "Today is what we got," I said to a friend and I have kept saying that to myself just about everyday since.
I'll be turning sixty this year... OHMYFUCKINGSTARS... how did that happen ?! I've never cared about my age. It's a number. But this one... it has me mindful more than ever to Seize the Day for today is what we got.
My older friends add, "Travel as much as you can while you can!"
And so, I am leaving to hit the road for nine weeks the end of April. I'll be back the end of June to hop into the summer markets around here.
My travel itinerary is slowing gelling as I consult Google Maps and various friends and folks I know all over the country. I feel very pulled to the Midwest where my bestie has moved to Iowa, and I've other friends there I plan to spend time with and get some art workshops going. I'll also be in the South, traveling through the Southwest as well as the great state of Texas.
I'm excited to begin my trip with a short camping trip in the Redwoods off the most southern shore of Oregon and northern boundary of California. These trees are the royalty of the earth. I look forward to hugging them hard as it's been almost two years since I last flirted with them.
From there I'll head to Vegas which is my hometown. My military traveling family settled down in the Las Vegas valley when I was in the middle of fifth grade. We ended up putting our roots down. My mom still lives there in my childhood home. I'll spend extended time with her as well as friends in the area (Hello Pahrump!). I'll be on the lookout for opportunities to teach, give presentations and sell art as well as offer my well received Really Awful Sketches. I'll be packing art supplies as well as workshop supplies that are easy to travel with. I've been preoccupied daydreaming all the details to offer what I have to offer while I road trip across the country.
This is not a vacation kind of road trip, though there will be some camping and leisure time. My main motivation is to Get On the Road and provoke my heart and mind with new scenery and new experiences. I also want to see how who I am and what I offer translates in other places.
I feel a lot of giddiness about this trip, and also a lot of trepidation. I have to keep earning and working while I travel. I have a few ideas in the fire that I am forging with the lead question being, How can I support myself as an itinerant artist, as a creative who is on the move?
I welcome your ideas!
I also welcome your hospitality and leads to teach workshops, organize day long retreats or host an art pop-up or speaking presentation. After my time at my mom's in Vegas, I'll be heading through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas including a side trip to Marfa and Big Bend National Park ... then onward to Louisiana where I've family and Alabama... then up to Nashville to explore a bit and then finally to Iowa where I will be for quite a while with various friends before heading homeward.
There is a lot of shifting in my world right now. I've a deep knowing that this road trip is going to bring some clarity for the next season of my life, a season that I hope and daydream that will involve being on the road more and all over the US as well as beyond like the Camino and other places around Europe.
"Today is what I got," I tell myself. "Dream it and make it happen because today is what I got."
I welcome your ideas. Your advice. Your home and hospitality if you are anywhere near where I will be (a more specific itinerary is forming though feel free to comment or reach out if you think you can host me or especially host a workshop or a day long retreat or art pop-up show. I'll have all the things with me!)
More to say, so much more. I'm a wordy woman. I always got more to say !
Rumi the poet wrote, "Travel brings power and love back into your life."
Love is my word of the year for 2024... to fall deeper in love with Life and the gift that she is.... I think travel will be a great way to romance the vitality of existence with new horizons that enthrall and inspire. This then is the dream, For Today is What I Got.