Every Road Trip Needs a Wingman

My move from D.C. back out west required a huge amount of logistical planning. I’d decided to trade the cumbersome UHaul for the freedom of my VW, which meant downsizing and shipping all of my belongings before I hit the road. Then there was the cross-country road trip itself. I knew that as a single woman it was safer to stay in hotels than camp. Besides, I didn’t want the hassle of tangling with the gear.

Most people hire movers for this type of transition. Not me, I’m from Utah, state of the industrious do-it-yourselfers. Luckily, I had not one, but FIVE wingmen to help me get it right. These mavens filled critical roles, saving me time and energy. I want to give props to my wingmen and highly recommend you line up yours before beginning your next EPIC road trip.

The Organizer. My BFF and fellow adventure sidekick Amie has moved across the country twice and knows how to use every inch of available space. I was frantically trying to mop the floors and move out when the parents of the new tenant arrived ahead of schedule to hang curtain rods and complain about their daughter’s poor choice in location (just tell her not to walk outside by herself late at night and early in the morning and she’ll be fine, I assured her). Amie unexpectedly showed up on my doorstep just as I was about to lose my mind and proceeded to direct the loading process. Who knows what I would have left behind if not for Amie’s sound mind.

The Muscle Man. Bobby, D.C.-local-turned-wilderness-lover who twice suffered loading my car and driving to the shippers 30 minutes away in McLean, VA. I had decided that if I had to face the wrath of D.C. postal service workers even once more I would be the one going postal.

The Air Traffic Controller. Bob Nash. This computer guru is so good at what he does that I have to include both names. Bob would use my SPOT GPS Tracker to look up my location on Google Maps, estimate my ETA at the next largest city, and text me the phone numbers of hotels that still had availability. I could rest assured knowing Bob was at the computer.

The Nurturer. Cathy, who single-handedly made sure I had enough gourmet crackers, tuna, AND chocolate to get me across the country and beyond. There is no threat of going hungry with a nurturer like Cathy in the wings. In fact, there was so much food that I was eating it in Peru, during the 10-hour drive to California, and on the Pacific Coast Highway!

The Worry Wart. My mother, of course! No need to worry with a mother like mine, who sent me a GPS navigation system especially for the occasion and called several times a day to make sure I hadn’t gone off the road and gotten stranded. Thanks MOM!

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