5300+ miles ago I ‘graduated’ from the perfect job to drive across the US solo. The goal of “Couchella 2019” was to only sleep on couches (some people have been gracious enough to let me sleep on a bed) and to meet/interact with as many people as I possibly could.
This trip was meant to serve as a precursor for ‘what’s next’ im my career and to give me a sense of what ‘entrepreneurship’ looks like as a young adult. Also, it just so happens that my ‘Top Places for Innovation’ are on the toilet, in the shower, and the open road…being I couldn’t waste that much time in the bathroom, I hit the road.
When I left Charlotte, NC on March 1st, I know people thought I was crazy, and maybe some doubted how far I would actually drive by myself. I know this is true because I doubted myself, ‘there’s no way you can drive to California, Austin… no way.” The more I drove, the more I realized how far I had traveled. There’s something about driving through Texas (in the middle of nowhere), and realizing you drove to Texas. Or hydroplaning and being all alone and relying on strangers (or Angels) to help you through it all. Or hugging a huge tree or seeing the mountains that you’ve only ever seen on your 3rdgrade science textbook.
There’s really something about all of this ‘road trip,’ Couchella thing that just seems weird and crazy. It’s kind of like entrepreneurship.
Kind of like entrepreneurship?? Yeah, you heard me. Driving across the US by yourself is the cheapest, most exciting, non-binding way to experience a form of entrepreneurship. I’ve had tons of fun, I’ve been lonely, I’ve wanted to turn back, and I’ve made it further than I had ever imagined. This trip has shown me that people are the most important thing in this World, and you have to trust in people (and their couches) to get you to where you want to go. It’s also confirmed that entrepreneurship is exactly where I need to be. I’m just still looking for what that means.
A 4 hour drive seems like 30 minutes….
As you might guess I’ve spent a lot of time on Waze, Google Maps, and talking to random strangers to find the quickest route to my destination. Most times I never end up on time, but on rare occasions Waze surprises me with a quicker route. Some routes have tolls, others don’t but introduce me to huge trees, but all these roads got me to where I am. When I think about my next career step, I think about the quickest way to get there. What route do I take, what path makes the most sense? Then I remember how I got to Pacific Beach in San Diego. I got in the car. I stopped at the gas station, and I started driving.
Someone asked me recently if “I’d lost my mind yet” but I think I was a crazy man before I left Charlotte, NC. I think I’m getting closer and closer to ‘what’s next’ and I know it starts with people and ends with just doing. It’s not always about the quickest way to get to some place, but it’s about how we get there, and the people we get to impact along the way.
Other funny things I’ve learned along the way:
There are more bugs in California than anywhere else, my car windshield is proof
5300 miles is a long way, but it’s just a number.
I love people
The quickest way to get somewhere is to go
Lean on people, call them, pick up the phone
Don’t be afraid to ask, what’s the worst they can say?
Sometimes you get lonely and that’s ok
Sometimes unexpected people are in unexpected places
Calling people makes their day (ps keep calling me)