It’s December 1st and my humble little travel blog has already entered into its seventh month of existence today.

I’ve anchored and co-authored a few blogs already in my time – two on video games, one about random guy stuff and another on college football in Montana. The latter (The Cat-Griz Insider) is still going strong without me, but the other have faded into the ether (a.k.a. the Wayback Machine).

I didn’t have any specific goals in mind when I started this other than documenting my new found thrill for the road  and while it’s probably a little bit early for a retrospective, I’m surprised that a few thousand people have cared enough to stop by already in this short time. The fact that I may have inspired just one reader to follow in my footsteps or embark on their own journey keeps me inspired to come up with new adventures.

And those adventures have been many…far more than I’d ever expected to have in the short time since I’ve been in the D.C. area. There are more than a few reasons I (along with my girlfriend, Breeah) have managed to surprise even ourselves with our frequent getaway schedule. All told, here are some of my observations as I look back on an incredible year:

  1. Somehow we visited the Caribbean twice in two months (Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico) and spent a grand total of three full days there (bookended with four partial travel days). Even better – I only used one day of vacation…(and two saved holidays)
  2. In the calendar year (that’s since Jan. 1) I’ve been on the ground in 22 states (Breeah in 20) and four provinces. By my standards – that is insane. I know there are those that grab 48 states in a week’s time or so, but they aren’t actually seeing the country either.
  3. We’ve been to Delaware four times. Easy explanation there: I have family residing near Rehoboth. However, upon our third entry into the tiny coastal state, she was sure nobody from her neck of the woods (Northern Minnesota) had ever ventured into Delaware that many times, especially in a year’s time. As a Montanan, I could likely say the same thing too.
  4. I’ve made two extra long  detours to pick up South Carolina and Vermont. A dip into upstate South Carolina upon returning from Knoxville provided me a 15-hour day on the road (and to think I was considering driving further into Alabama before heading back – yikes). That was solidly beaten a couple months earlier with a 21-1/2 hour “jaunt” from Saint John, New Brunswick to Washington, D.C. just so we could drive through Vermont. I didn’t realize it would take THAT long, but it made for a memorable Fourth of July drive.
  5. I’ve tackled two single day trips that likely would never be done by anyone within reason. My sister and I headed out on a “practice run” of sorts a week before Breeah and I headed to Canada. From D.C. we drove to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (for both of us our first time in the state, and the first of three for me this year) just in time for the BBQ and Seafood buffets to open up at 2 p.m. We spent $70 on lunch (no joke) and stepped on the beach for a few minutes before heading back onto traffic infested I-95. We were in Kitty Hawk for no more than two hours, if that. We were on the road for around 10-11 hours. Breeah and my sister joined me on October 15 for a drive to the New Jersey Pine Barrens  and the town of Chatsworth that rivaled (but didn’t quite touch) the Kitty Hawk drive in terms of time and distance.
  6. That makes me wonder if anyone had ever followed up a trip to the Pine Barrens to a trip to El Yunque National Forest just eight days later?
  7. I based an entire drive in June (story later) to Central PA just to visit Punxsutawney.
  8. Add another event to my sports fan resume – the Little League World Series, and to see a team from my hometown play for the U.S. title no less.

Getting paid to blog and travel would be nice and is a dream that a lucky few have fallen into. How great would it be if the office was the entire continent and all you needed to decide is where and when you’ll go next? As you can see, that thought has already crossed my mind many times. The reality is the market for travel writing is stingy at best and I honestly, at this point, I have no clue on how to penetrate the market. If I happen to make a few bucks doing this, fine. For now I’m content to  keep exploring, one story at a time.

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