Crossing America – The First Time

There is nothing like a cross-country road-trip to capture the spirit of being an American. While cliché, there is truth to what they say – the freedom of nothing but you, your car, an open road, and infinite possibilities ahead of you somehow defines us as Americans in a way. Our life, our freedom, and a million ways to go. What do we choose?

In this case, I chose to drive from San Diego, CA to Pittsburgh, PA. The road-trip was a cathartic experience, as I left my life in San Diego – family, friends, loved ones – in order to make the transition to Pittsburgh for a graduate program at Carnegie Mellon. With each new day on the road, I slowly but surely lifted out of the funk that had overtaken my life, working in administration in San Diego for years before I made the big decision to plunge into graduate school on the other side of the United States.  The challenge of the logistics on the road and the surprises that seemed to come with every turn were exactly what I needed.  My dad always gently reminded me that change and new environments bring new ideas. Now I finally see what he’s talking about. I guess if you agree that we are all in a constant state of evolution, this trip definitely sped up my process just a tad. 😉

I hope you’ll have a chance to do one of your own, soon… 🙂

To help out your planning process, here’s an interactive map of our route complete with photos mapped along the way, as well as a google map with our exact destinations plotted.

ITINERARY
I revolved many of our stops around friends and major landmarks

Day 1: Las Vegas, NV
Day 2: Zion National Park, UT
Day 3: Best Friends Animal SanctuaryKanab, UT
Day 4: Denver and Boulder, CO
Day 5: Rocky National Park – Estes Park, CO
Day 6: Mount Rushmore – Keystone, SD
Day 7: Iowa City, IA
Day 8: Chicago, IL
Day 9: Chicago, IL
Day 10: Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite Day of the Trip: Our day in Denver and Boulder, CO. Both cities were beautiful and dynamic, full of great things to see and explore, great food, great beer, and a nice vibe. I want to go back.
Most Random Experience: On the way out of South Dakota we ran into the Sturgis Festival. I don’t think I will ever see so many motorcycles in one place again.
Favorite State: Utah. Unbelievably beautiful.
Best Meal: Chicago deep dish pizza with my great friend Tracy, of course.
Biggest Surprise: Iowa! Iowa was a really dynamic state, full of universities and cool people. My friends live in Iowa City where we visited them. The city architecture was interesting, the food was great, and we loved our stroll around town with them.

This photo gallery of my fave pics from the trip can be plotted on an interactive map of our route by clicking here.

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One response to “Crossing America – The First Time

  1. Pingback: Traveling the Earth and Loving it. | Gracefully Global Blog·

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