Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Achievement Unlocked

Park Ridge, IL

I feel like I'm already done. I took a picture in front of the 48th state sign for the trip. I'm back in Chicago - a place that I've possibly spent more weekends than I have in Peoria. The next four days feel almost like a formality - I'm just visiting friends, waiting out the days until I get to 100.

I could have been home today, in fact. I drove about four hours this morning, leaving Green Bay around 8 and driving straight through til I got to Park Ridge a little after noon. I've been sitting at Panera since then, indulging in my latest addiction - Dexter. (I watched the Pilot last night around 9:00pm, and I just finished episode 8.)

To be honest, I'm ready for a break. I'm ready to just sit around for a few days, hang out with friends, and have a good time without worrying about where I'm staying or riding, not worrying if I'm contacting people enough ahead of time or if it's too close to when I'll be there. Not feeling guilty when I sit on the internet for hours. It will be nice to just... relax.

I'm glad there was a time limit though. As much as I would have loved to spend more time in some of the places (and with some of the people), the time limit is part of what made this trip what it was. I said on my couchsurfing profile that "I'd rather spend a week seeing every sight than sitting on the beach doing nothing." And this trip has forced me to do that - that guilt I feel when I spend the day sitting in Panera on the internet is part of what forced me out to do other things like see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or the EMP museum when I might have otherwise just relaxed on my own. Not allowing myself to relax is part of what made this trip as much as it was.

I'll do some more post-mortem analysis when the trip is actually finished, but for now, I'll just say this: I'm ready for it to be done, and I'll miss traveling this way like crazy. I will be looking forward to the next trip I can do like this, wherever I happen to be. Maybe South America... or India... Got any ideas?


  1. Sri Lanka! Although Mom probably would be even more worried about you driving there. It is such a neat land to see, so many different climates in a little island. Plus, there are a lot of motorcycles there, and it seems drivers are more aware and cautious.

    Dexter is one of our favorites. We did the same as you, watched many right in a row. One night we stayed up until 3 in the morning watching episodes. New season starts on Oct. 2 (Happy late Birthday to me!). We are getting cable just for that show!

    Enjoy your last few days before you have focus on job searching - yuck!

  2. Eric,

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! That was no small task, and I really enjoyed following your posts and blog entries. The beginning of your trip reminded me of some of the things I did when I was your age: heading "out west" with no particular agenda. Did that 3 times with friends of mine and saw several of the same things you were describing. Brought back memories... Your trip was, of course, on a much grander scale. So did you wear out your bike? Time for a new one? I'll bet getting back into your car the first time will feel pretty weird... Hope you find a job you like in a place you like so you can save up for your next trip, and just enjoy life.


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