So, I finally set dates for hitting the road (I will get to that later). I was a bit ambitious with an early August departure. So, I thought to myself, “Why am I rushing?” This road trip culminates in landing back in Massachusetts to a whole bunch of unknowns. I am basically a nomad. So, I didn’t need to rush back.
The synonyms ‘itinerant traveler’ or ‘wanderer’ or ‘roamer’ might sound more romantic than nomad, which is defined as one with “no permanent abode, and who travel[s] from place to place to find fresh pasture.” Its only romantic when the circumstances that make you a nomad are romantic.
A friend posted a Guardian piece titled “The closest feeling to homelessness is having a broken heart.” The headline was a bit of a bait and switch. Other than the quick analogy in the opening hook of the piece, the author’s motive was to talk about homelessness, society and social welfare. Interesting and compelling topics in their own right, but that hook really hit home.
“The closest feeling to having nowhere to stay for the night is that of a broken heart. It is a feeling of abandonment, of rejection and loneliness. When you are homeless you feel rejected by all, not just by another.”
That’s me – the heartbroken homeless. I took off to California to lick my wounds and examine my broken heart. I still don’t know if my heart’s been crushed, but it’s wounded. Since I got to California on June 23rd, I spent the bulk of my nights in a comfy spare bedroom at my brother’s very generous in-laws’ house (35 nights). Intermittently, I also spent 1 night in a hotel, 1 night on a twin bed, 2 nights on an air mattress and 9 nights in various friend’s spares rooms from California to Colorado.
I had my mail temporarily forwarded to my most frequent short-term digs from my last permanent dwelling that I don’t know if I will return to. Which reminds me, I need to extend that forwarding for my new travel schedule. But, first, I need to decide if it should revert to the original address or if I should do another temporary forwarding to my sister’s place where I will crash for several weeks after the birth of her second child. I will make a temporary home on either her couch, an air mattress on the living room floor, or share a room with my 3-year-old nephew. It could be a hotel too, I dunno.
I even had problems deciding what address to use for my. It is wristband I will wear to identify me, my birth year, emergency contacts, and a website to find out pertinent information about be in case something bad happens in the road. I settle for home as my former permanent address and the place I am crashing for my “summer” address.
I am scheduled to return to Massachusetts at the end of September. I go to the house of my last permanent residence where many of my possessions reside in boxes. The same address I probably will ship the two big pieces of luggage I brought with me to California, but can’t transport on a motorcycle. They will go there because I don’t know where else to send them. I am contemplating sending a portion of the clothes to my sister’s place because, although I could manage, I probably don’t want to live with just two t-shirts, a pair of shorts and a pair of jeans along with my moto gear for two or three weeks.
I don’t have a place to live in Massachusetts. I have places to crash, but the reality is, in about 7-weeks, I am basically homeless. . . or heart broken. . . or both.
I mentioned feeling untethered in a previous post. Untethered is far too light, airy and free for something that feels so heavy, daunting and uncertain.
It is a lot to think about. So, perhaps the best strategy is to stay in the now and focus on the things that are not unknowns. . .the things that are tethered.
Despite the heavy start to this post, this nomad is seeking riding buddies and new friends in my wandering adventure across this continent. I may not know what’s at the end of this trip, but I do roughly know what is along the way. I am looking for people who might share in legs of my journey.
I admit, I am nervous about making this public appeal on a forum with few filters or protections, but we established, I am irresponsible, so this goes with the territory.
I mapped my intended journey on this map. Unfortunately, GoogleMaps isn’t cooperating with letting me tweak my route to stay off interstates, so I am resorting to paper maps and a marker to refine this trip and dial in my distances and routes and stops.
I hit the road on August 24th. I make 14-16 stops along the way over 19 days. If it goes according to this plan, I continue the journey from North Carolina to Massachusetts at the end of September.
Here is a rough schedule for my trip. Now accepting riding buddies, friends and suggestions.
- August 24: Pollock Pines, CA to Austin, NV
- August 25: Austin, NV to Panaca, NV
- August 26: Panaca, NV to Page, AZ
- August 27: Page, AZ to Dolores, CO (stay with friend)
- August 28: Dolores, CO to Buena Vista, CO
- August 28 – 30: Buena Vista, CO
- August 30: Buena Vista, CO to Aurora, CO
- August 30 – Sept 1: Aurora, CO (stay with family)
- September 1: Aurora, CO to Stockton, KS
- September 2: Stockton, KS to Topeka, KS (stay with friends)
- September 3: Topeka, KS to St. Louis, MO
- September 3-5: St. Louis, MO (stay with family)
- September 5: St. Louis, MO to Memphis, TN
- September 6: Memphis, TN to Nashville, TN
- September 6-8: Nashville, TN
- September 8: Memphis TN to Telico Plains, TN
- September 9: Telico Plains, TN to Asheville, NC
- Ride the Tail of the Dragon
- September 10: Asheville, NC to Durham, NC via Blue Ridge Parkway (stay with friends)
- September 11: Durham, NC to Swansboro, NC (stay with family)
Come, ride with me.
Happy cooking and wandering! Hope to see you on the road.