This is it. A cross country trip from New York to San Francisco….with a bit of an unconventional path. A shot down the East coast to Atlanta, before embarking on the road to the West. This has always been a dream for me…To see America while traversing it’s roads. To experience the unique culture of different parts of the country and see what characters i encounter, what experiences mark the journey and ultimately to see how much of it all i can affect by choosing when and where to go.
Look…I loved New York. It was non-stop fun, for real. There’s a lot about it that i’ll miss. But when i searched the depths of my soul, my heart and my head, my instincts told me to go traveling and get back to California. It made sense, after all, it IS home. Furthermore, the people that are nearest and dearest to me in this life are there…many of them are just around the corner or down the street 🙂 I’ve always said that i never wanted to leave California and now i’m coming back to her. And so the journey begins…
New York gave me the biggest middle finger on my way out. She poured rain on me as i tried to pack and ship boxes. I was battered, my body was achy, but on Thursday morning (more like 2 pm, lol) i hit the road. My first destination was to be the Charlotte, NC area where some family friends from Brazil live. But something happened as i was cruising the new York City city streets and trying to find my way to the highway. An impulse. I noticed there was a double header in Baltimore between the Orioles and Pirates. After not thinking for too long, i laughed and said out loud: “I’m going to Baltimore!” And i did. I went to Camden Yards for the first time and loved it. But more than the baseball game, my favorite part of it all was the impulse and acting on it. This is the essence of the life on the road that i’ve chosen for the foreseeable future. The freedom to make decisions on a whim and act on them. It’s a good feeling and one that’s been inspiring me every day so far. It’s these types of decisions that shape the road trip and make it unique:
It’s driving for 3 hours after the ballgame to get as far into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley as possible before the evening ends and staying in a redneck town.
It’s a random sunset with lifelong friends in Davidson, North Carolina (the house that Steph Curry built!) that makes you feel like you’re truly seeing the country.
It’s cracking a bottle of wine you’ve had cellared for 3 years with Fernando while watching Damian Lillard hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to clinch a series for the Blazers over the Rockets.
It’s waking up to a simple Brazilian breakfast, while your friends’ daughter runs around the house laughing.
It’s seeing your Italian cousins outside of Atlanta for the first time since you met them in Italy 7 years ago.
It’s taking your cousin to her first baseball game and doing the Tomahawk Chop with the Braves fans.
It’s staying up til 2am watching the Mayweather fight (that you bootlegged) with Domenico.
It’s feeling emotional pain when you leave your family behind for the road ahead because they were so welcoming and you want them in your life forever.
It’s almost running out of gas in the middle of nowhere in Alabama.
It’s deciding to go to New Orleans for 2 days instead of one and switching the vibe of the whole trip. (for the better!)
And that’s where i am right now. Inspired. For every single one of the 1463 miles i’ve driven so far. The conversations i’ve had with family and friends up to this point have shaped my outlook on the life i’m living and the world in front of me. I KNOW i’m on the right path and believe it or not, after talking to some travelers at a cafe this morning in New Orleans, my path is a modest one…hearing their stories of hitchhiking and taking boats to Africa put my trek into perspective. We’re all on a path to somewhere, some of them are just windier than others. One love.
Listen (and subscribe) to the running road trip soundtrack on Spotify:
And follow the journey on Twitter and Instagram too! @Spinelli37