It has been 2 weeks since we arrived home in Saratoga Springs, NY - after our amazing 7,400 mile Road Trip. I thought it would be simple to write a “wrap-up” blog post, summarizing the learnings and lessons from the trip around America. But, I needed time to process, de-compress and reflect on the experiences of the 32 day trek.
So, here are some take-aways to share with the over 1,000 friends and colleagues that have followed our adventure:
Road Trips Are So Different and Inspiring! The experience of waking up each morning in a new city in America and moving onward was an unexpected exhilaration - especially after 2 years of Pandemics.
Each day was an ADVENTURE! New roads, new towns, new weather, new food, new geographies and new cultures. Everyday had a basic plan of target destination, miles to drive in the morning or afternoon, Tesla charging stations, new sites to see and perhaps a colleague to visit.
Every day had Unexpected Delights, Surprises & Discoveries! While we had a route planned out, America is all about random sights, sounds and people. A highway sign pointing to a historic marker, a restaurant that popped up on Kayak, a conversation with a waiter or a growing love for the welcome at a truck stop. Plans give way to knowing that Surprises will happen every day!
Electric Vehicles Are Today and Tomorrow! We wondered if keeping our Tesla nicely charged over 32 days would be stressful or difficult. It was easy! The GPS in the car mapped out where to stop for a charge and the level that would easily get us to the next stop. Conversations about having an electric vehicle happened every day - with people being envious of the ability to bypass rising gas prices. It will be fascinating to see how charging capacity grows as GM and other cars go electric. We will need faster and higher capacity charging stations soon!
Help Wanted Signs Everywhere! One take-away was the reality of employers needing more people in the workplace. Everywhere we visited, there were help wanted signs and notices about reduced hours of stores being open, due to staff shortages. It is real - and it is universal.
Chapter Changes in People’s Lives & Careers: Everyday, we encountered friends, colleagues and strangers who were in the midst of a Life Chapter Change:
New Location: Folks that moved to a new destination during the Pandemic, working from home in a new home.
New Career and/or Job: People exiting from a long term job or career - as their home and work balances are changing.
New Skills or Degrees: Large numbers of people enrolling in degree or skill building programs - either in higher education institutions or at subsidized/free employer delivered programs.
Low Risk of Changing: Normally, people articulate how risky it would be go leave a stable job, after years in an organization. In these times, the risk of leaving is overpowered by a sense of huge opportunities and tolerance for change.
Life Balance is Articulated Loudly: It was inspiring to hear the focus on life balance from so many colleagues and friends. Conversations about family, health, commuting times, proximity to outdoor exercise and other “life balance” factors is an overt and more honored part of the career choice process.
Ukraine War Bridges Politics! While there are issues and topics that continue to divide Americans, we were awed by the extent of concern for and support of the Ukraine citizens facing the war efforts of the Russians. People that we might differ from on a wide range of domestic politics shared a deep concern about the events in Ukraine.
The Fun of Sharing a 7,400 Mile Adventure! We NEVER ran out of conversations to have as we shared the driving, navigating and exploring America - side by side. It was 32 days of humor, laughter, songs to find that matched the new destination, historical markers to visit and really strange foods to sample along the way. Cathy and Elliott were Awesome Co-Pilots!
Thanks to You and a Favor! It was wonderful to have over 1,000 people follow our adventures on this blog or posts to Facebook/LinkedIn. Could you take a minute to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a few comments about following this trek. Thoughts, questions or opinions are welcome - send to email@example.com
Yours in Learning & Travel,