It is now May 18, 2021. I have officially hit the road. I know what you may be thinking: “Didn’t you do that back in October?” Well yes, and no. My project/lifestyle took shape over the course of initial planning, and quickly became a ten-year idea. Then, love. And I am no fool, you don’t say no to that. So, ten years became two and a half, but my plans were in place for the first couple pieces of it, including the stints in Virginia and Florida. As I sit here today, I can say that I am no longer in Florida. There are 49 other states, after all.
I travelled away from the sunshine state yesterday, and made my way to Atlanta. I was searching for which rink I would go to, but not putting much thought into it past the google map search. That proved to be story-worthy. I showed up in Atlanta at the tail end of rush hour, and headed to my destination. As I got close, I looked upon a mall. I thought to myself how strange that was, but decided to continue. I ended up finding the area where the rink is, and pursued more information, only to find it was a seasonal mall rink. Silly me. So, I moved on.
The next stop was an actual arena, and I had a slightly disheartening experience. As I walked in, I went to the front desk, as is usual in my routine. I began talking to the person up front, handed them a business card, and by the end of the conversation, had the card handed back. Now, in my head I thought: “That’s not what you do with those”. But my better senses took over, and I decided to simply utilize the arena for power. One of the toughest things on the journey is finding places to safely park for the night to sleep. I finally did meet with the owners of the facility after they got out of a meeting, and ended up getting some direction as to where I may be ok. It all left a sour taste in my mouth. I am traveling and telling these wonderful stories about how inviting the community is, and I found an outlier, that is all. I didn’t like it, though.
In the truck that evening, I could find little comfort. I was back in it for the first time in almost six weeks, so there is a factor of acclimating that has to again take place. I slept some, but not well. Yesterday was hard. I had to leave my Florida family, after such an unbelievable time and experience living day-to-day with them. The game nights, many smiles, beach walks and bike rides will all be part of the memory bank, and I will treasure the time I had with all of them. But I must push on! Like I have been told, and in turn, told you, there are 49 other states still to go.