I set off with fellow travel blogger Juno Kim of RunawayJuno.com at the end of July. She’s from Korea and had never been to the North American continent, so my goal was to show her around as best I could. I thought a road trip would be the ideal way to explore the northeastern United States, be able see some cities as well as small towns, visit some of my old friends, drive the scenic back roads, do some hiking, eat and drink well, all while continuing our blogging work remotely.
56 days on the road: 27 nights w/friends & family, 11 nights press trip provided accommodation, 6 nights backcountry/wild camping, 4 nights couchsurfing, 4 nights paid hotel, 3 nights paid campgrounds
3804 miles (6,122 km)
11 States, 2 Countries, 1 Province, and the District of Columbia
31.43 average miles per gallon with a loaded 2004 Honda Accord
$3.73/gallon ($.99/liter), average price of gas [cheapest gas($3.30/gallon)=Virginia, most expensive($4.83/gallon)=Quebec]
We started and ended our trip in Fredericksburg, Virginia. After briefly stopping in Washington, DC, we headed north to Gettysburg, for some civil war history. Following that, five days in Philadelphia gave us great eats and plenty to write about. Juno had arranged a multi-day press trip with the Philadelphia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. On the way up to Albany, NY we stopped in Boyertown and Clarks Summit, PA, two small towns to visit friends and family. Albany was a surprise favorite of the trip. “ALBANY??” everyone asks. Yes, we liked Albany—An Amazing Discovery, as their tourism slogan proclaims. We stopped in Putney, VT, before attending a friend’s wedding in Keene, NH. We hiked for two days in the White Mountains with AMC and then relaxed at Lake Francis in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods. I then satisfied a long craving of my own by visiting Quebec City. I didn’t know anyone there before going, but soon made friends through couchsurfing.org. On our way back south, we stopped in Burlington, Vermont, and then went hiking in the Green Mountains. On the way down to Lebanon, NH we stopped in small Vermont towns and at some favorite breweries. The following days saw a few hours’ drive north into Maine, for a rainy two day hike in the Bigelow Preserve. Then we drove over to the coast of Maine, stopped in Camden for a day, before driving down to Portland. We hopped, skipped, and jumped through Mass., Conn., and New York City, before relaxing in the off-season shore of southern New Jersey. We visited Annapolis, MD on the way back to Fredericksburg.
Because I am rich. This is what a friend of mine thought. Either he doesn’t know me well enough, or he was joking. If by rich, he means that I’ve got a stockpile of money that I pull from every time I want to travel, he is wrong. For the past six months, I have been traveling exclusively on my blogging income. It isn’t much, but it does allow me to live the lifestyle I choose, the lifestyle of location independence (i.e. living and working from anywhere).
My location independence hasn’t been quick or easy. It was the desire that pushed me along this far. Blogging is one major way I’ve been able accomplish this goal of working from anywhere. And enrolling in Travel Blog Success was something that helped give me practical resources to reach my blogging goals. (Read my review of Travel Blog Success if you want to know more.)
I also couldn’t have done this particular trip without good friends and family who helped by hosting me in various towns along the way. Juno also helped secure a few press trips in different cities and states over the course of the trip which saved some money. But this was a working trip as well. Without our laptops and reliable internet access along the way, the trip wouldn’t have been possible.
I have also, through experience and research, learned how to travel with an extremely small budget. I try to share those tips with my readers whenever possible. I most recently posted 8 Ways to Improve your Next Road Trip and last summer I let you know my secrets for road tripping on the extreme cheap.
Where to next? I’m going to hang low in Virginia for a couple months before hopefully going back to Asia, where my money is worth more and I’m immersed in cultures other than my own. So I’ll be on my computer working on some new posts and other writing projects in the coming months, all while visiting my favorite search engine looking for cheap tickets to India or China.