Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to survive a cross-country roadtrip

Really, I have no idea. I think it was mostly luck combined with a little bit of planning. The idea to drive from Maryland to Seattle was born primarily out of necessity - we needed to get 2 humans, 2 dogs, and 300 pounds of luggage from point A to point B and for some crazy reason, this seemed like the best plan. Part of it was wanting to avoid a monstrous day of flying for the dogs and the other was the allure of seeing some new parts of the US, after galavanting around Europe for more than 3 years. I mean, it's a bit shameful as an American when Spaniards have seen more of your country. 

Let's be clear, this was no wind in the hair, convertible cruise filled with quirky roadside attractions and back road shenanigans. We needed to travel over 4000 miles in less than a week and there was no room for error, or else we would miss our flight to Japan. No pressure. 

Our route:

This was dictated by a few factors. The typical northern route was out since it was January and we worried about winter weather slowing us down. (Irony alert: There was a giant snow storm in Oklahoma that almost forced us to bypass it by driving north.) The southernmost route, along I-10, wasn't appealing either, because we had done long sections of that in the past and I absolutely refused to drive the entire width of Texas, which is a brutal 12 hour haul. We also needed to see Graham's family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina before heading west. Final piece of the puzzle - my one request was to see the Grand Canyon. I mean, what's a cross-country drive without it?

Grand Canyon kisses.

But how did Graham and I survive (we even still like each other!) all the boring 10-hour plus driving days that made this trip possible? I'm not quite sure, but here's what helped:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Leaving Spain

I want to talk a little bit about my emotions upon leaving Spain. I know that I left nearly a month ago and that I'm already in Japan, but right now my life here is just a jumble of jet lag, hotel living, and general confusion (if you want photographic evidence of that, check out my instagram @meghannbg). But my feelings about Spain are very fresh. When I think of my very recent home, there's a pain there that varies between dull ache and intense longing. I find myself reciting overused platitudes. It's better to have loved and lost. All good things must come to an end.

First day in Spain! The love affair begins!