As I am getting ready to embark on an “extended roadtrip” of sorts, one of the biggest components of making it all happen is research.
Jon and I have been spending countless hours of the internet compiling information we might need on the open road.
In my experience, traveling usually requires two things above anything else: an open mind and resourcefulness.
If you are resourceful, chances are you are able to find solutions to almost any imminent problem using the tools you have at hand. If you are lost, you look around and collect clues to help you be found. You are a likely survivor. Also, an open mind is probably the best thing you can have while traveling.
While reading John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley In Search of America, who coincidentally travels America in a 3/4 ton truck and camper trailer, makes a powerful statement that rings true for all adventurers:
“A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip, a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
This journey definitely has a personality all its own: I’ve never traveled with a boyfriend before. I usually do all my traveling solo. This poses unique challenges and opportunities such as, “Where do WE want to go?” and “Do you they offer employee housing for the BOTH of us?” But biggest of all, “How are WE going to make money?”
In any case, we’ve been hitting different resources to prepare ourselves for what’s out there, even though both of us are completely willing to live at the edge of our seat and go with the flow.
Here are a few resources we’ve been using that we hope will come in handy. The rest will be up to the trip to decide.
1. A good old-fashioned atlas
This app allows you, through Google Maps, to explore different breweries, campsites, kitschy All-America spots and more through a series of filters. It’s very comprehensive and we will definitely be using it!
This is similar to HelpX or Workaway, but is great for RVers. You have to join for a small fee ($40 for 12 months), but once you do, you can access a list of prospective “Hosts” like winemakers, farmers, museums and other attractions that allow you to stay on their property for 24 hours for no cost. The “catch” is hardly one at all: You get to learn all about the property owner’s business by taking a tour or enjoying a nice meal with them. It sounds like a great way to meet people on the road and crash out somewhere other than a Wal-Mart parking lot for free!
Their motto is “jobs in great places,” and it’s very true. You can browse this FREE resource for jobs by state, season or national park. They have a Help Wanted Now tab in case you’re hard up for cash and on the road at that very moment. You can work at Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon or a series of amazing fisheries, wildlife sanctuaries, white water rafting places or resorts for a season.
Perfect for the traveler with a short attention span like myself, this is a website similar to Coolworks in that you can access a list of short-term adventure jobs. There are plenty of environmental sustainability projects to choose from, campgrounds you can counsel at and an array of volunteer and paid positions to peruse.
Now you can’t say that your dream job isn’t out there waiting for you!
In any case, I’m sure there will be more resources out there waiting for us as the time for our trip is upon us. I just have to keep an open mind and hopefully the resources will keep flooding in.