Cate had just returned to the US for a visit to surprise Michelle for her birthday after spending three months in South America, with every intention of returning. But, after many conversations and some soul searching, she decided it was time to be honest with herself. It was time to reset the sails, so to say.
Enjoying one of her Sunday favorites – coffee and the NY Times bridal section (I am my mother’s daughter after all) Cate turned to Michelle and said “I am not going back….”. It was that easy. It was that simple.
At about the same time, Michelle had made the decision it was time to leave NY after 8 years.
We had a plan. Or so we thought.
We would move Michelle’s stuff to her parents house in North Carolina and from there start a three week road trip through the Southern states in early September. We talked music venues, friends to stay with, fried chicken and sweet tea. It would be the chapter before our longer trip through Central America later this fall.
While we kept talking about Tennessee and Louisiana, places like Seattle and Southern California and South Dakota kept creeping into the conversation. Almost simultaneously, we both said: “Why don’t we just drive cross country? It’s always been a dream of ours.”
At that point, there was no turning back.
After 2 months of purging possessions, moving out of apartments, saying goodbye to friends and family and a few Dave Matthews concerts somewhere in between, we are finally ready to get behind the wheel.
It’s this simple: we are two far from normal 31 year olds, hoping to connect and reconnect with our country and those who call this place home.
On September 19th, we will pack up the old Volvo and set out on a three month journey that will likely change our perspective on life. We have a general plan and a general idea of the route we want to follow, but we’re also going to take it one day at a time and see where the wind blows us.
We will be spending our first weekend outside of Philly before making our way up to Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and then further west. Our hope is to spend at least a month on the West Coast before heading home through the South for Santa’s visit in December.
This trip is not just “Cate and Michelle’s” trip. This is OUR trip and we hope that you will join us along our journey in whatever capacity you can. Have a cup of coffee with us in your town, suggest a restaurant we should not miss, tell us about a local band we should check out, invite us to have lunch with your great aunt Ida or your grandfather, or if you are able, host us for a night.
We are traveling with sleeping bags, air mattresses, towels, tents (and lots of laughter). Thank you to those whom have already opened your homes to us along the way.
We hope you will visit the “HOP IN THE BACKSEAT” section of our website where you can send us ideas, suggestions, thoughts and encouragement. We want to hear them all!
This website is not only for us to document and relive our journey across the US (and back, hopefully), but it’s also for you.
To inspire you, to encourage you, to motivate you.
Mark Twain once said “you will always regret the things you did not do more than the things you did.”
Cate and Michelle