On July 12th the first chapter of my adventure closed and a new one opened. Around 5 in the morning I dropped my Dad off at JFK Airport and began the solo part of my journey.
I knew this day had been coming and had been excited about starting off on my own. I was not prepared for the weight of emotion seeing him walking into the terminal as I drove away. I hadn’t realised how much I had enjoyed spending time with my Dad over the last month and how lonely it felt becoming aware that I did not know any one else on the continent.
I had been in this position before when I travelled Australia with a friend over a decade ago and my plan, when she went home for uni, to continue on my own had lasted less than a day before I was changing my flight plans to get home!
I was determined this time to prove to myself that I could manage on my own. The first few days were hard, it is funny how even when you are not necessarily talking to each other all the time it is comforting to have someone with you.
After a couple of days sorting out rental cars and dealing with cancelled travel plans I made it to a hostel in Philadelphia. Here I met a few brilliant people who showed me that I could make friends and enjoy travelling on my own. It was just what I needed.
Exploring Philadelphia was fantastic and there is a lot of history in this city, from Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed to the Museum of Art where Rocky ran up the stairs in the movie! I highly recommend a visit if you are nearby.
From Philadelphia I travelled through Ohio, Kentucky and other states through to Georgia and visited some amazing sights such as the Smoky Mountains National Park (which I fully intend to return to and do properly over a longer period of time) before arriving where I am writing this in Florida.
The last two weeks have helped confirm to myself that I am able to travel on my own and still enjoy things. I have been very privileged to have this opportunity and I am excited for what comes next.
Today, for example, I am in Cape Canaveral eagerly awaiting the second attempt at a SpaceX rocket launch, the first being cancelled yesterday due to thunderstorms. Looking out the window it is unlikely to happen today either but that is part of the fun!
However I would also like to thank my Dad for joining me on the first part of the trip, for putting up with my annoying habits and indulging my silly requests and overall supporting me to do this adventure in the first place. I could not have done it without your backing. Thank you.
I will leave you with an image showing the journey so far, it amazes me how much of this country I have seen but also just how much I have driven right past! Check out the My Journey So Far page for more information about where I have been and how.
If you are interested in following the journey I also encourage you to follow my Instagram which is updated a lot more than this blog 🙂