Friday, February 04, 2011

Retirement = Road Trip!


My wife Pearlene and I are looking forward to my retirement, and a road trip.

A 30 day road trip has crossed my mind as a great celebration focus. Is this do-able?

We live in Virginia and have never see much west of Tennessee. I plan to retire August 30. Because of the weather in the north west I see our trip sometime in 2012.

How would you suggest we plan?

Thanks, Arthur


Dear Arthur --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- and congrats on reaching your retirement. A road trip sounds like a great way to celebrate!

Since you probably have plenty of time to enjoy your travels, I suggest you take it slow and steady -- many people spend their vacation time driving and driving, while for me the point of a road trip is to get out from behind the wheel and enjoy America with all your senses, doing what you want when you want. (For me, one of many ideal road-trip moments is sitting by a peaceful riverside, listening to birdsong while enjoying a slab of smoky BBQ...)

All of the 40,000-plus miles of roads I describe in Road Trip USA lead to savory moments like this -- my whole point is to get you away from the concrete freeways and franchised fast-food, so you can enjoy the many unique aspects of America. My trips go to the great national parks and special historic sites, all over the lower 48 states, and I try to keep things interesting while getting you there.

The actual destinations are something only you can decide, but I hope you will check out Road Trip USA -- online, and the book! -- and plan yourself a fantastic adventure. To start, maybe take a trip down to the Deep South, where a ride along the Mississippi River will bring you to the architectural delights of Natchez Mississippi, the powerful history of Vicksburg, and the abundant good food and great music of New Orleans and the nearby "Cajun Country." Then head west, into Texas and beyond, or loop back up the East Coast to enjoy Savannah and Charleston and so much more.

If you really want to see something totally different, head west to the national parks, like Montana's Glacier National Park (pictured above, from the glorious Going-to-the-Sun Road!. You could get there and back in a leisurely and totally enjoyable 30 day trip, for sure, though I should warn you that this sort of road-tripping can get addictive.


Or if that doesn't suit, give me a better idea of what you like to see and do, and I'll try to come up with some other suggestions. For now, thanks again for getting in touch, and

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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