This past Friday, I made the decision to pack my things and head south to my parent's condo in Florida. Now - before the critics start to come at me for traveling during COVID SZN, know that I've already come up with a pretty bulletproof excuse as to why I did it.
See, the smart, selfish move would have been to stay back in Michigan with my parents and lick grocery carts in hopes of contracting COVID so I could ultimately spread it to them and expedite the inheritance process. Instead, I decided to - and I can't stress the word unselfish enough - unselfishly self quarantined at my parent's Florida beach residence to work from here.
Early on in my journey, I realized I finally had the chance to become one of those #vanlife people. Rather than selfishly hoarding my travels, why not use this opportunity as a source of inspiration for my followers? How incredible would it be to share this experience even if you're not here with me physically? I'm well aware that not everyone has the bravery to take the jump that I did and drive to their parent's beach town condo, but that won't stop me from insisting on telling you that you should travel too.
**Insert Wanderlust post**
Stop making excuses why you can't, and start figuring out a way that you can. While you've been looking at COVID as a roadblock, I saw it from the perspective of cheap gas prices and a chance to judge all the people ignorant enough to go to the beach at the same time as me. I've been going every day since arriving here to see these morons for myself.
Besides, I'll tell you from first-hand experience that it's not that hard to travel as I do. Just have your parents buy a beach house that they'll let you stay in, free of charge. It's really that simple...
To be clear, I took this 16.5-hour spiritual journey in my 2009 Honda Fit instead of a van. Why a 2009 Honda Fit? Because I'm a fiscally responsible gangster, that's why. I get 38 miles to the gallon. Charge it to the fucking game, cuz...Or my credit card that I get 3% back on while building my near-perfect 800 credit score.
To help jump-start your own #VanLifeButActuallyA2009HondaFitLife, I've put together an in-depth travel guide for the seven states that I passed through. I didn't actually stop at all besides to sleep and get gas, but I've always lived with the underlying belief that you can judge a state by its highways. They're like individual elevator pitch's on why people should spend time in that specific place. Anyhow, let's hop right into it:
Ohio is Michigan with better roads and fewer lakes.
There was a place called Coon’s Candy in rural Ohio. I wasn’t sure if that was a racial innuendo, but if I were black, I wouldn’t take my chances.
The city of Findlay refers to itself as “Flag City,” which pretty much describes my excitement for Ohio.
Ohio loves putting city names on bridges. To the point where I think it may be the law.
At one point, I lost service, which is a huge problem considering I’m directionally challenged. I couldn’t tell you how to get out of my driveway, let alone navigate interstate travel. I didn’t know if I should blame Ohio or Sprint for my lack of service considering Ohio is the Sprint of the United States, and Sprint is the Ohio of wireless providers. We’ll give equal blame.
Two horses were freely eating grass on the side of the highway with no fence and no one around, leaving me to wonder: Are horses smart enough to not run in front of cars?
I drove through West Virginia while it was dark out. It’s better off that way. I prefer taking on West Virginia the same way I take on fat chicks: In the dark and blackout drunk.
It took 30 minutes for the toll booth worker to explain that I had to pay them $4 and not the other way around. I just couldn't wrap my head around the concept of paying to be in West Virginia.
Clouds and smoke billowing from coal mines are one in the same in West Virginia.
There was one light I was fixated on for nearly 30 minutes. It was the first light I had seen in hours, and it lit up the West Virginia sky. When the source of the light finally revealed itself, I was unfazed to discover a billboard about Opioid addiction. In all fairness to Purdue Pharma, there's a legitimate argument that West Virginia is just as guilty for simply existing.
West Virginia minus the West.
They have mountain tunnels, which I found to be quite thrilling. That being said, I took a more substantial amount of acid than I had initially planned on. I meant to microdose to stay awake, but I couldn't handle the reality of driving through a second Virginia.
Virginia but flatter
After back to back Virginia's, driving by Charlotte felt like I had arrived in Vegas.
Stopped at a rest stop and didn't get molested. Probably because Honda Fit's are rape whistles on wheels.
A UPS semi-truck let a lady out to go to the bathroom; Thought that was kind of weird. Then I saw this sign next to the men's sink:
The billboards in South Carolina make it seem like they blew it with the perfect girl - in this case, Jesus - and are sending drunk texts to try and win her back.
There was a COVID checkpoint entering Florida. I had two issues with this:
(1) I still don't have a license and haven't had one for nearly a full year. I've lost so many licenses that the state of Michigan no longer allows me to order new ones online because they think I'm selling them to underage kids...Which I am. But listen, I can travel to another country with my passport. Why the fuck do I need a license?
(2) There's something about my face that screams "search this car," and it's not the blackface I wear while I drive. I've had the dogs called on me while driving to my college orientation in 2012. I've also had my car searched three separate times, entering and leaving Canada. To be fair, I don't think they like it when I keep saying, "Oh, no, thank you, sir. I'm white," after they tell me to step out of the car.
**And the guy from the back yells, "Well, Mr Bigleys, if you're not doing anything illegal, then you shouldn't have any reason to worry!"**
Right, I get it, but then how am I supposed to transfer my drugs?
I quickly took to Google to see what I was in for. I found that they require out of state citizens to sign a sheet promising to quarantine themselves for 14 days. This - as you might imagine - blew my fucking mind. Not the fact that I had to sign a paper saying I was going to self-quarantine, but rather the idea that a group of elected officials sat around in a circle, presumably Indian style (yes I still use the racist version of criss-cross apple sauce), and wrote up a government-backed pinky promise.
Fine, give me your pinky, but if we’re playing by these elementary rules, then you should have accounted for the oldest rule in the book; I crossed my fingers, you dumb fucking idiots. Nowhere in the fine print did it say crossing didn’t count. Did you guys even consult your 9-year-old daughters? Morons.
Anyhow, right when it was about to be my turn, they started letting everyone through. That or I unintentionally started a mass protest. The guy in front of me did turn right and park but I just kept going forward; A move that everyone behind me followed. Either way, I didn't sign that sheet so the beach is still fair game.
With that, I hope this served as some motivation to get off your ass and see the world. Barriers are just things you have to navigate around. Don't have a car to drive on vacation? Ask your parents to buy you one. Don't own a beachside residence? Use your parent's. Can't afford to travel with no income? Use your parent's credit card. Are you a single parent with two kids? Put them in a foster home; They'll probably still be there when you get back. Just stop making excuses and go travel!
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