I will be setting forth on my adventure in solo travel in 18 days. At this moment, I have a definite plan on my route and the cities I will stay over night in. I do not, however, have a place to sleep in most of those cities as of yet.
I do have the first 3 nights covered. Ever heard of the website, airbnb.com? Some friends told me about it. You type in the search box, where you are going and the price range you can pay, click, up pops multiple pictures of complete strangers willing to open their homes to you. These “hosts” charge a minimal fee to rent out a guest bedroom, a shared room, or their entire place. This just seems weird to me! Being a long time “Little-Trust Leslie”, it seems a wee bit intimidating to walk into an unknown person’s home with an overnight bag. I mean, what the heck do you say? “Honey, I’m home”? I have no idea who these people are! What if they are serial killers, robbers, or worse… non-coffee drinkers! Guess what? I booked anyway, 1 room in Little Rock and another in Albuquerque! Fear be DAMNED! Total cost for 2 nights, $50. What a deal to take another tiny step towards my Journey to Courage. The other of the 3 nights, I actually splurged $43 (big spender) on a room in one of the original Route 66 motels for nostalgia sake. You got to do it, at least once.
Due to very limited funds, I have also been researching “car camping” as an option to save some major bucks. I had no idea how many people just up and go on road trips with virtually no idea where they will lay their heads, shower, or brush their teeth. At first, it was unimaginable that I would have the guts to even contemplate the idea, but you know, it’s kind of growing on me. When I close my eyes, I envision a group of hippie people decked out in bell-bottoms and tie-dyed halter tops. They are driving down the road, windows down, in a 1966 Volkswagen van, covered in peace signs. I can hear the faint sound The Byrds singing “Turn, Turn, Turn” on the radio as they passed by me. With this vision of pure happy abandon and fearlessness, road tripping and sleeping in my car, seemed less scary and much cooler. Not that I’m all about the “cool factor” but, I have always prided myself in being a hippie at heart. Sleeping in my car at a WalMart parking lot or a Truck Stop has to be safer than sleeping in a tent in the middle of nowhere, right. One extra point, I have no idea how to set up a tent anyway.
I thought driving across the country alone was a large enough challenge for me to face, now I’m adding all these bonus dares to myself. Well, I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of gal. Sleeping in cars and staying with strangers may be just the piece of humble pie I need to help keep me confident and sober on this journey. God always has a reason, I just have to eat up and move on down the road.