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  1. Default Road Trip From Atlanta To... ?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm brand new here, but I'm hoping I can get some help with a project. About ten years ago I got in the car and drove away for about a month and the experience changed my life.

    A very dear friend of mine is about to turn 21 and is in a place where she could benefit greatly from getting out there into the great unknown and walking around in her soul a bit and as a birthday present I want to put together a road trip for her. I won't pretend I'm not more or less basing this plan on the movie "Elizabethtown" if you've seen it. :)

    I'm putting together about 25 CDs or so for the trip, so that part is taken care of, but I don't really know much about cool places to stop and have profound moments without going pretty far out west.

    The idea so far is to start in the metro Atlanta area, head to Chattanooga, visit the aquarium and then more or less head north, maybe even through the actual Elizabethtown. Then Memphis, Oklahoma City, maybe as far out as the Grand Canyon as the end point. Then back through a different route that winds through Fla where there's family and friends and then back to Atl. I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of two weeks to a month. Finances will be such that gas and good deals on economy hotels won't be a problem. More than a very few high ticket attractions would be though...

    Anyway, I want to pack it with as many small, meaningful destinations as possible along the way, with as much detail in the mapping as I can get. I want to put pictures and images in the scrapbook style map, etc. This trip is about a journey through the soul as much as it is about the places to go so monuments, battlefields maybe, the national civil rights museum, stuff like that would be good.

    If anyone has any tips on places to go, pictures to use, things to think about, safety or otherwise, I would really, really appreciate it! One of my biggest concerns is safety. I was fine on my trip, but she is a very small figured, beautiful woman who will undoubtedly be less safe on a road trip alone. Any tips on places to avoid, or how to avoid trouble in general would be great.

    I will also be doing my own research on the internet and through friends, etc. but I only have until the beginning of June to put this entire thing together and so any help you can give would really add to this experience I'm creating...

    Thanks very much to anyone who replies!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Let this be her journey...

    Anyway, I want to pack it with as many small, meaningful destinations as possible along the way, with as much detail in the mapping as I can get.
    I only have until the beginning of June to put this entire thing together and so any help you can give would really add to this experience I'm creating...
    Let me just offer this one piece of advice. While I know you want to help, but I think she will get much more out of the trip if she is the one make the decisions about where she should go.

    Now, that's not to say, you shouldn't give her as much information about the millions of things she could see. But when you start getting down to planning details of things like routes for someone else, you start to get away from the soul-searching experience that you want her to have.

    At least that's my opinion
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-02-2006 at 02:35 PM. Reason: format

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default On the Button!

    Jay, I'm afraid Michael is absolutely correct on this one. Note that in your own life changing experience, you just got in the car and drove - presumably doing what you wanted. You say your friend would benefit from getting out into the great unknown, but how unknown will it be if you have everything planned for her? This is not the kind of gift that you can just spring on someone; it's going to require her input and it has to reflect her desires. What you can do is offer her whatever financial or emotional support you can, offer to help with the planning and provisions, and encourage her to make the trek. But in the end, what journey to take, or even whether to take one must be left up to her. In that spirit, the first thing you might want to do is offer her a number of possible basic trips to begin looking at so that she can choose the one that most appeals to her. Here is a thread with both a couple of ideas for 1 to 2 week journeys from the southeast as well as links to many more, Discuss these with her and then sit back, if the idea takes hold, and watch her take the same voyage of discovery that you did and find her own small, meaningful destinations. Then, by all means, put together a book for her of her choices with things like directions, descriptions, opening/closing times, entrance fees, etc. It will not only make a great resource for the trip, but a wonderful reminder of it afterwards. If the trip is done right, she will do some, but not all, of the things in the book, and a number of things that were not even considered beforehand.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I agree with both the above responses...

    ...however, I have to say that you are a wonderful friend. She is a lucky gal! I hope that you can help inspire her to do the type of exploration of the outer world as she also reflects on her interior world. I hope things go well for her and as you hope for her.

  5. Default Thank you

    Thanks so much for the input. You're absolutley right!

    My line of thought was that she doesn't really have the best sense of direction in the world and isn't much of a traveler outside of traditional vacation type stuff and would benefit from the guidance. But you're totally right... General ideas and helpful hints once I get input from her is definitely the way to go.

    It may turn out that the only contribution I really need to provide is the good music that i'm putting together and the suggestion of getting out on the road and diving in to the mystery that's waiting out there...

    Thanks again,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default You sound like a wonderful friend!

    I think you're right about just giving her the music and a not so gentle nudge out of the door. She's a lucky girl.

    About safety - as long as she uses common sense she should be ok. Although, I do suggest that she carry pepper spray or mace and a good knife (not necessarily for defense, but very useful).

    Don't worry about the lack of directional sense. That's where the fun comes in. My navigator is dyslexic and we often wind up taking bizarre turns before I finally pull off into a parking lot and try to figure out where she's lead us. It's been the source of a lot of cool adventures and a few arguments I must admit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A Proven Technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff
    Don't worry about the lack of directional sense. That's where the fun comes in.
    Sometimes even having two sets of good directional sense is not enough. When I am driving and Megan is navigating (and holding the map in front of her) I have been known to ignore her routing advice and blindly head down dead-end alleys... because "I have a good feeling about this..."


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