My Answer: Go on the most epic road trip I can.
In response to the onslaught of questions about what I planned to do after graduating from Vanguard University, I came to this conclusion: Drive about 21,000 miles around America in the most budget-friendly way possible.
When I began preparing for life after graduation, I spent a little time applying for full-time positions and a lot of time trying to figure out how to make a circle-around-America road trip possible, and ultimately, affordable. With everyone wanting to know my post-graduation plans, I buckled down and created a massive Excel spreadsheet that maps out hundreds of destinations across close to 21,000 miles and 42 states. Staying with family or friends, at campgrounds, in my car and on the couches of strangers using Couchsurfing (while being very safe of course), I plan to make this epic journey budget friendly. Plus, I want to find fun and affordable (or free!) local deals around America that I can share with you for your next adventure. With southern coastlines, the Florida Keys, wild horses on an island off the coast of North Carolina,New York City and untold numbers of local deals in my sights, I hit the road.
As they say in the movie Up, “Adventure is out there!” And with that mantra, my adventure began. The first stop: Colorado Springs, Colo. At a total of 1,089 miles, the longest distance I have ever driven alone thus far, I traveled along the I-15 through California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah, watching as the beauty of the big open skies passed my windows, and then along the I-70 passing beautiful mountain peaks through Utah and into Colorado. First on the list of destinations, Colorado Springs, Colo., is the home of Pikes Peak, the Air Force Academy, my family, and, as it turns out, my first post-grad job in the “real world.”
In combination with some remote work for a public relations firm, I am also now working as a content writer for a marketing agency in the Springs. They requested that I spend about a month in-office to help launch a new project before continuing on my trek around the nation. Although I was secretly wary about accepting the position at first, because I didn’t want it to keep me from the trip (immature thinking I know, but that’s the truth), I knew that I needed to take the opportunity and I am so grateful that I did. I can already tell that I will learn a lot through the position.
Along with the amazing job opportunity, the Springs also offers a place to refuel after a challenging senior year and to save-up money before embarking on my exciting, but long, trip. It’s the perfect pit-stop. Not only do I get to save up money and get some rest, I also get to see my family. With my little sister leaving for Israel to marry her fiancé in about three weeks, a whole other story, it really is the perfect time to be at home and see her, my parents, and my younger brother. (I’ll get to see my older brother in Florida. There are four of us.)
With about a month or so to enjoy Colorado before the next leg of the journey begins, I plan to work a lot, save a lot and spend a lot of time being outdoors, hiking and enjoying all that Colorado has to offer for a girl on a tight budget while sharing those discoveries with you.