Earlier this year, I had planned to resume this road trip to volunteer in every state with an epic sweep of the northern states. I spent countless hours calculating miles and alternate paths around potential bad weather; contacting organizations to set up volunteer opportunities along the way; plotting places to sleep, camp, see friends, etc. I relished the adventures that awaited me.
It turns out…. all of this careful planning didn’t guarantee one key thing: that it would go according to plan.
Because I fund this trip by working along the way, I had to follow a last-minute opportunity for work in New York – waaaay ahead of my intended schedule.
So I packed up my newly reformed car-turned-condo-on-wheels in Phoenix, and headed east as quick as I could (via a brief detour through Oregon).
Although I missed the trip I had so carefully plotted, I don’t regret the decision at all! Because of this unexpected work, I have been able to volunteer in the eastern part of our country instead. I spent time assisting those devastated by the floods in West Virginia. I distributed water to riders in a bike-a-thon in Rhode Island. I attempted (and may have failed) to distribute hugs in Connecticut. I participated in conservation efforts in Maine. There has general clean-up and trail magic performed along the AT. Feeding the homeless. And this will continue until I have volunteered in each of the east coast states, and head to ventures elsewhere. (Possibly that northern route I had previously planned?)
Something else this work has provided? The funds for a new computer. I have been lacking one for a year now, and I am excited to be able to continue writing about great organizations and opportunities. I have a backlog of stories that I hope to share with you soon.
Change has been a constant source of frustration-turned-delight in this journey. It is taught me something that has infused nearly every aspect of my life: embrace the change. Oh – and those concrete plans I try to make? They will go awry. And that is ok! As long as I continue to strive to complete this goal of mine, I will continue to succeed. Even if I throw my timeline out the window, and take a few detours along the way.