Phase one completed!! East coast loop and Quebec - one month
I'm so excited to report (to whomever will listen) that I have successfully completed Phase One of my grand road trip dream. Just went through a divorce (age 33) to a European after having relocated to France for 7 years to follow my man. Decided I wanted to ease the transition back to the US by getting to know MY country - thus the road trip.
I came back to the US, bought a car, got health and car insurance, put a cell phone in place, settled my belongings into storage and then hit the road June 22nd. The decisions I had to make before hitting the road exhausted me after having made far too many life changing decisions before leaving France. (Do I leave my good job? How do we split our personal belongings? How will I make it without my soulmate? etc. etc. etc.)
Once everything was in place, I somehow put off the departure for 48 hours (I just COULDN'T leave my brother's place - like a little bird released from the cage not knowing quite what to do...). I finally hit the open road the 22nd of June. (Got a starbucks as I left and told my little story - the worker girls didn't get it at all.)
Started in Indianapolis (brother's place), headed to the east coast and climbed from NYC to ME, then over NH and VT and then into Quebec province for a week to get my French language fix (am I adicted?). Visited good friends, and friends of friends along the way. Did the city thing, did some camping, got my haircut but a woman with a wild east coast accent. Did some hiking. Had alone time, had group time. Had close girlfriend time. Found just sitting in a random backyard in Boston for an entire Sunday afternoon sipping wine and observing the comings and goings of the 30-somethings around me was worth so much more than a "good tourist day". I think I am re-connecting...
Zipped through Northern Ontario to re-enter the US via the UP of northern Michigan, my home state, crossed over the Mackinac bridge (memories of childhood), and am writing now from the safety of my parents' house in Michigan!
Phase two should bring me West! This is the part I've dreamed of most. Just wish I could compress the drive from Chicago to Colorado somehow. Excited to loop from CO to NM, AZ, all the way up the west coast San Diego to Vancouver, hit the Canadian Rockies, down to Yellowstone, and back over ND to end up meeting friends in northern MN for a final summer fling before "getting serious" again and settling.
Will this help me transition? Or is it just an excuse to avoid reality? And in moving around I may just appreciate Michigan more than ever before - who knows maybe I'll take this break time to get a calm beach job for a month or so before starting Phase Two... (in which case the above described loop would be done in reverse!).
Thanks for reading my news at any rate. I hope in phase two that i'll meet some other Women doing this for the same reasons I am. I know you are out there, but have yet to cross your paths...
Cheers to all who have been brave enough to get on the road, and thanks for this site to help me see that I'm not a nut case!
We all need some of it
If you are a "nutcase" -- we could all use some of it. Sounds like the perfect way to enter the next phase of your life.
Personally, I like those long miles between Chicago and the Rockies -- very meditative -- plug in some good tunes and roll-on.
Looking forward to your next posting. (We have a few hundred lurkers here every day -- so your postings are getting read -- whether you hear from them or not...)
What a great way to heal, re-connect, and have time to think about your next move. I agree that the long miles on the road will be a great time to ponder your choices so look at them as one of the assets of the trip, not a detriment. I think when one has had a life-changing event that taking time before making a major decision is important and valuable. You don't want to just jump into something, do you? A roadtrip is a great way to do that. I had a tragedy when I was young and became widowed at age 22. I pulled up stakes and moved to Hawaii for a year. It was the best thing I could do for myself. I'm sure you'll find that this is the same for you. Looking forward to reading more trip reports. Enjoy!
Your trip sounds great, and triggered a couple of questions in my tiny brain. The first: I'm starting to think of a road trip from Chicago up through Wisconsin, as far as we can comfortably go in Canada in, say, two weeks or so, then back through Michigan and around the lake to Chicago, with the Canada part the most important, I think. It will be just my son (age 29) and me. Do you have a suggestion or two? The second: My wife and I are contemplating living in Paris for a year when we retire in several years--I have visited several times and she speaks French so well they think she's Belgian. She actually lived in Nantes a year or so when in grad school. So, the question is, can Americans find true happiness living as ex-pats for a time in Paris?
French - Canada
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
Bienvenue sur les forums de RoadTrip Amérique.
Carl, What are your objectives for the Canada trip? If you want to see beautiful natural settings, then basically a circuit of Lake Huron might suffice, with time to explore the provincial parks like Killarney, Algonquin, and the smaller parks along the lake shore. If you're looking for something a bit more cosmopolitan, with two weeks you could head on into Québec and sample some French culture, both small town and big city, before returning through Ottawa and Toronto.