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How does one prepare…

…for a four month road trip? How do I tell a 52-year-old economy car, "Hey uhhh, let's go for a 12,000 mile drive?"

I suppose Buddy is used to it by now: "Hey wait that oil change was earlyyyy woooah" and POOF! Now we're in Maine.

I think I'm going to wash the windows. Certainly I'll check the oil level, maybe even grease the points. Point is, once you've undone fifty years of hack repairs and neglect, a vintage Volkswagen is as reliable as any car you can buy new today. Just clean, lubricate, and adjust.

The logistical preparation for Tour is a completely different battle. In 2016 when I first quit my day job and moved into Buddy full-time, I was physically prepared but mentally unsure of what I was doing. Nowadays things are mostly reversed; I'm emotionally ready to leave any day now, while SO many e-mails and tools and parts and chemicals and dates and e-mails need to be dealt with first.

The book here was a gift from my mom in 2016; it's a hardcover copy of my blog "What the Road Tells Me," from that same year. If you'd like to read it, check out Be mindful, I was younger, and much more full of angst. Fortunately, most of that has left and allowed more room for Volkswagen diagnostics.

The shoes are the same, and not much worse for wear. (And yes, I did manage to drive across the US before turning 30… Four times, in fact!) Now in my sixth lap of the country, I'm much more comfortable as a traveler. In 2019, I took about a week to pack for a five month tour. Last year, I took about a day and a half to plan the friends-and-family 2020 loop. This year, I'll be on the road for four months. I'll probably start packing the day I leave… At least I know Buddy is good for it.

See you on the road,


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