This year has been full of life changes and things none of us expected due to COVID-19. I don’t take the situation our world has been in lightly, but I have worked to improve my mindset and make the best of it at every turn. That’s why my wife, Jill, and I decided we should set out on an adventure and do a road trip around the USA with our three girls.
With everything being remote-friendly right now, we figured this would be the best time to hit the road and create memories. I could work from the car and hotels and the girls could do their school remotely, which helped us stay productive while going from place to place.
I am so thankful to my wife for planning this epic road trip and making it possible for us to visit so many amazing places. Actually, I was really proud of my whole family as we worked out our schedules, got in and out of hotels, managed meals, school/work, and still had plenty of time for fun.
Adventures of Living on the Road
We set out to have an adventure…and an adventure is exactly what we had. The kids loved being on the road trip! One felt a little homesick, but nothing too bad. They were so excited to go to different hotels…especially ones with pools. Also, eating different types of foods (like boiled peanuts) was a lot of fun.
It was really eye-opening traveling to different states, historic towns, and major cities, and seeing how much America has to offer. I think so often that people have this idea that they have to travel somewhere exotic to have an adventure. It is so much fun being able to stop in at a National Park or drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Challenges We Faced While Traveling
Of course, there will always be challenges when you live on the road for a few weeks. For us, the biggest challenge was figuring out the logistics of getting in and out of the different hotels. Plus, we had to figure out a good workflow for the girls and me while we were in the rental car and at the hotels. In the end, both worked out great.
I’ve also been working on losing weight for a few weeks (goal of 160 lbs) and some of my girls are gluten-free. I knew we would have to figure out the best meal choices while on the road. We ate out for every meal…to help me with my weight loss goals, I stuck to intermittent fasting and made the best choices I could for lunch and dinner.
Driving is another challenge that everyone faces when they are on a cross-country road trip. One scary thing happened on the way to Kentucky! We were in the left lane behind a pickup with a trailer that was in the right lane. He was transporting dishwashers and apparently he didn’t have one tied down well enough…so one of the dishwashers fell off and went crashing into the highway. The car behind the guy swerved out of the way and fortunately, no one was hurt. We sped up next to him and yelled at him to pull over to fix it which he did.
How We Prepared For The Trip
There were a few things we had to figure out before leaving on our scenic road trip. For one…we needed a way for the girls to do their schooling and for me to work from the car. I bought wi-fi for the truck so we could be productive while in transit. It was $25 well spent! Also, having the computers to watch YouTube, play on ABCMouse and ABCya! gave the girls something to keep them occupied while we were on the road.
I was so thankful that Jill took the time to plan out the whole thing for us. It made the road trip really smooth and enjoyable. She picked the hotels, routes, and things to do in every area we stayed.
Another thing I had to consider was my morning routine. Since the pandemic started, I’ve been spending an hour on my routine each morning. I haven’t missed a day since March…so I created an abbreviated version that I could realistically do and stick with.
Places We Visited
For our first big road trip, we tried to see a lot including historical monuments and sites, stop in at a National Park, different types of restaurants, beautiful farmland, and fun downtown areas.
Here are some of the places we went:
Ocean City, MD
The beaches in Maryland are beautiful and if you’re lucky you can see wild horses running together.
Jill and I decided to get married again…this time, by Elvis himself. The girls were the bridesmaids and it turned out really awesome.
We stayed at the Read House, which is a landmark hotel in downtown Chattanooga. There’s so much history in that building and all the renovations that were done have made it look really nice.
Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and has cobblestone streets…historic buildings…and a beautiful skyline.
Charleston is another great city full of history and beautiful homes. The streets are lined with palm trees and the beaches are beautiful with white sand and crystal waters.
When we were in Virginia, we visited Thomas Jefferson’s house and Williamsburg. It was really cool to be part of history…standing in buildings that existed in the 1700s. Colonial Williamsburg is such a neat place because they have people dressed in Colonial garb and working gardens, weaving material, glass blowing, and more.
What I Learned While on The Trip
There were so many things I learned on this road trip. For one thing, we needed to develop a team mindset and work together in order to be efficient. I didn’t realize how much teamwork it was going to take to organize life on the road, but we did it.
It was really interesting meeting new people and seeing things that are so different from our friends and home. Overall, it’s been really cool to try new foods, see incredible landscapes, experience hiking trails, and walk into many different historical settings across the US. Our country is really big and offers so much to see.
Mindset Changes From Our Road Trip
Since being on the road trip, I feel more abundant. With being able to work remotely and effectively, I felt productive at the same time as giving my family experiences. I feel so much closer to Jill and the girls. Not only that…I feel like we were able to give our girls experiences they will always remember.
Traveling to new places exposes you to so many different types of people and situations. It is easy to change your mindset when you see all sorts of places, people, and foods. Also, I saw a lot of benefits to us doing something different and out of the ordinary. There’s a huge life lesson in this!
Life is short and it might be a lot shorter than we realize. Seize the day! If you have the opportunity to do something during the pandemic that wouldn’t have been feasible before, I highly encourage you to do it. Don’t put off what you’ve always wanted to do. Take a road trip around the USA!
8 thoughts on “What I Learned By Doing a Road Trip in The USA”
Amazing Ryan! Great example of seizing these younger years with the kids. They are fleeting and we will “never get them back.”
Great point Bryan…you’re right, these moments are here and gone quickly!
Dear Ryan and Family:
First, congratulations for being so adventurous in a time when almost everyone is not. I give you all tons of credit. The trip sounds really great and as you said, memories will last forever. You proved that this type of trip is doable, more than doable. It may well spark a lot of people to rethink their travel plans. We wish you and your family all the best now and for years to come. Great story!!!
Certainly inspires your children to be more adventurous.
Again, fantastic story and trip.
Thanks Franklin! I really do help it inspires other families to go on an adventure!
Ryan this was great and I am so happy that you Jill and the girls got to experience such a great adventure. We did the cross country also during the pandemic and loved seeing the beautiful USA. We loved it so much we leave again across the country to San Diego in November. Love you 🥰and thanks for sharing
Thanks Aunt Cyn! It’s amazing how much there is to see in the US. Some of the driving was amazing (Blue Ridge Parkway especially).
EXCELLENT RY!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR ADVENTURE!! YOU’RE FAMILY IS BEAUTIFUL!
Thanks Dion!! It was such an adventure. I hope this blog post inspires other families to plan a road trip.