Travel plans

One thing guaranteed to get me daydreaming is a good old-fashioned map. I have all kinds of maps – funky new ones, faded antique ones, maps of places that don’t exist (yes, I own a map of Ankh Morpork– in my defense, it was a present – but I love it, so there!)

There are some pretty great map wallpapers for your computer too, for those times when you’re chained to your desk and need reminding of the world out there waiting to be discovered. Here is my current favourite:

travel plans

The map that has been of most interest to me recently, however, is this one:

travel plans map us

You see, since I first set foot in the US I’ve been dreaming of seeing more of this vast country. I hear tales of people travelling coast to coast and north to south and think about how much fun it would be. I sing along to the radio, “…get your kicks on Route 66” and think about all the places I want to see. Not too long ago, an amazingly vibrant friend of mine sold everything she owned, bought a camper van that used to belong to a Dead Head and hit the road. So.flipping.cool I could barely stand it. I went over to her place to say goodbye and almost stowed away in the back seat!

Fast forward a few weeks and one of my best friends from Seattle called me to tell me she was moving to Boston. She has a dear, sweet doggy who gets kind of car sick, and she was thinking it might be easier to do the journey with a friend in tow. So she asked me if I’d like to do a road trip from Seattle to Boston. Yeah, it took all of, oh, about 2 seconds to say yes. Truth be told, I think I’d already said yes before she finished asking the question.

So my plan is to take a train cross-country from New York to Seattle, (Why train? Because trains are cool!), hang out in Seattle for a few days, drive back across the country to Boston, and then fly back to Seattle to rediscover my love of the west coast.

Three times across the country in as many weeks; by plane, train and automobile. Hey, that would make a great movie title.

Who’s excited? I am!

Follow my adventure here.

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About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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82 Responses to Travel plans

  1. You will love it. My first husband and I took a 3 month trip across country right after college (this was 1978!), living in a van as we traveled. He ended up getting a job as a reporter in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They told us we could finish our trip at our leisure, and then report to work in Idaho in January, 1979. What an adventure. We saw everything!!

  2. travtrails says:

    Envy ur cross country trip

    • ailsapm says:

      I can’t wait, it’s really only starting to sink in now, I’m packing like crazy with the radio on full blast. 🙂

  3. I’m excited too!! Let us know when your longer trip in Seattle is beginning… I wanna get in on some catching up action 🙂

  4. fgassette says:

    How exciting. Hope you take plenty of pictures of your travel. If you look carefully at your second map, you will see Pittsburgh, right above Columbus. Maybe one day you will visit here.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  5. I’ve always wanted to do this! Have a great time!

    • ailsapm says:

      Thanks Doris. I’ve always wanted to do it too and now it’s going to happen. I hope that one day soon, it will be you writing a post like this, getting ready to hit the road. 🙂

  6. Debbie says:

    Great time to be in the PNW–we are in the midst of our summer finally. So much to see and do here. Enjoy!

    • ailsapm says:

      Seattle is so lovely in the summer; there’s usually just not that much of it! The best description I ever heard was: Seattle is like a beautiful woman… who is sick all the time. Good job I like the rain 🙂

  7. Ohhhhhh! Lucky you. I am so jealous! Traveling the USA in every way, shape, and form is my dream. Have a blast. PIX!!!!!!

  8. adinparadise says:

    In my book, American road trips are the BEST, Ailsa. What fun, you and your friend will have. Hope doggy doesn’t get too sick. 😉

  9. So FUN!!!! Let me know if you head through Colorado, which of course you SHOULD! 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      Will do – although I suspect that’ll be a little out of the way, going from Seattle to Boston we’ll probably stay north. Which means I’ll just have to do another road trip later to take in Colorado! 🙂

      • True – would be quite a detour, but I would love to get to meet you and you could get some great photos out here! 🙂

        • ailsapm says:

          In which case, I’ll make sure to let you know when I do another road trip and am headed your way, I’d love to meet up! It would also be a great opportunity to see the breathtaking scenery in your part of the world! xxx

  10. Happy Trails… to you! (to keep along with your movie reference 😉 )

  11. Gilly Gee says:

    You know the colour of Shrek? Well i’m that colour now!

  12. tacts says:

    When I was in the US back in September/October last year, I caught a train from New York to Washington. The journey was SO smooth… I honestly didn’t notice the train was moving until someone pointed it out….

    • ailsapm says:

      I’m hoping that will be my experience too! Although it’ll be a slightly longer trip – three days and three nights! There have been some heatwaves in the north east, and that’s caused some trains to derail, but hopefully there’ll be slightly cooler weather for my trip! 🙂

  13. Susie C. says:

    Whoo-hoo! You’re going to have so much to talk/write about! 🙂

    (And if you hold doggy in your lap with the window rolled down, so it can look out the window and get fresh air, (s)he may not get carsick at all. Worth a try…)

    • ailsapm says:

      It’s going to be an awfully big adventure, Susie. The doggy in question (he) is a Rhodesian ridgeback so he might flatten me if he tries to sit in my lap 🙂 but I shall snuggle up next to him as we both look out the window 🙂

  14. aparnanairphotography says:

    Hi! I just nominated you for the inspiring blog award!! http://aparnanairphotography.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/my-first-blog-award/

    • ailsapm says:

      Woohoo, thanks Aparna. I love that you have nominated my little old blog. I have been the recipient of some wonderful awards over the past couple of months and still haven’t written an awards post, because I’ve been so busy having adventures! But I have tried to respond to everyone with a huge thank you so they know I very much appreciate the nominations, and when things slow down, I shall try to do a very overdue awards post!

  15. pommepal says:

    Train trips are surreal, the scenery rushing by while you just sit and enjoy. Looking forward to your posts…

    • ailsapm says:

      I adore train travel, it reminds me of those classic old movies – I always feel like I should be wearing bright red lipstick and a hat!

      • pommepal says:

        1989 I did the Transmongolian. Just the best experience ever

        • ailsapm says:

          Oh boy, now that sounds crazy cool – have you blogged about it?

          • pommepal says:

            In 1989 blogging was not heard of. Didn’t even have internet back then. Cameras were not digital and had to wait nearly 2 months before I could get my SLR 35mm film developed when I finally arrived in UK. I have started my second blog memoriesaremadeofthisblog with the intention of posting about those times but am so busy just keeping up with recording and doing present travels that it will have to wait till I am in my rocking chair!!!!!

          • ailsapm says:

            Gosh, I almost forgot there was a time before blogging. BB and AB 😉 You know what, pommepal, you are an inspiration, and I’m willing to bet what when you’re in your rocking chair, it’ll have wheels and you’ll still be having adventures!

          • pommepal says:

            I hope so….

  16. Penny says:

    I love trains. Sounds like a blast. Will be looking forward to your posts.

  17. Enjoy the ride, from coast to coast to coast…(to coast?). 😉

  18. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming | Tay in Europe

  19. LubbyGirl says:

    This is totally our dream – a cross country trip by train, plane, and car, and maybe even a boat to Alaska. Who knows – it could happen!! Have a wonderful journey!!!

    • ailsapm says:

      Ooh, I do hope you get to do it soon, LubbyGirl – and the boat to Alaska sounds like an awfully good idea. I have my sights set on Alaska sometime soon. Got to see those Northern Lights!

  20. Sounds like a rollicking good time and a truly great road trip. Will you be picking up the Starlight Express in LA to Seattle? Hope you have a chance to stop off at some of the oddball kooky roadside attractions like the mustard museum, and the beautiful national parks along the way. Will you have time to try a ferry boat ride in Seattle? Totally worth it.

    • ailsapm says:

      On the way over, I’m going through Chicago, and then straight to Seattle, so I won’t be travelling via LA at all. I’ll only have a short turnaround in Seattle before heading off on the roadtrip. We’ll be travelling the north route across to Boston, which goes by/through some incredible countryside – I’m so excited to see the Badlands! Then I’ll spend a little bit of time exploring Boston – and then back to Seattle so will be spending quite some time there at that point. Ferry trips are most definitely on the horizon – one of my favourites is the trip from West Seattle to Vashon, but I also want to make it to the San Juans, I hear they are spectacular.

  21. Road trips and train trips are so much fun! The US is so immensely varied and fascinating, you can’t go wrong. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous!

    • ailsapm says:

      It’s ok to admit jealousy, Silken, we’re all friends here 😉 I have to admit, I’ve been reading about folks criss-crossing the country and watching friends head off on trips and been green with envy myself, so I’m thrilled I’m finally setting out to see some more of this huge country. Now if I can just fit everything I need in my backpack!

  22. sued51 says:

    Ailsa,
    How wonderful! I just signed up so I can hear all about your wonderful trip and see your photos…have a blast!!

  23. Train trips can be dreamy – hope you get your wish!

  24. Amy says:

    You are way too cool! Looking forward to seeing your travel pics!

  25. It is a wonderful life!

  26. Pingback: weekly photo challenge: “dreaming” « Just another wake-up call

  27. TBM says:

    Wow I’m so excited for you!!!! I can’t wait to hear about it. I wish you a happy journey and I hope the dog handles the trip well. Take lots of photos and I hope you share. And yes, trains are cool!

    • ailsapm says:

      Oh yes, TBM, I shall be taking my camera with me on the road, and it will be put to good use, that’s a promise. Yes, I hope our canine road buddy does ok, but we’ve built in extra time just in case he needs to get out every so often and take a break. 😉

  28. Madhu says:

    Ooh! So envious 🙂
    But then we will get to live it vicariously through you when you return. Have fun 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      I’m hoping to try and do at least a few posts while I’m on the road – I don’t know how difficult it will prove, but wish me luck, Madhu. xxx

  29. Ailsa, how can I have missed this exciting news? I’m just back from Kandy and missed your weekly challenge yesterday and came in to see what’s happening – I guess the answer is, you’re on the road! Have lots of fun with puppy – windows down, lots of fresh air (I know, Maggie gets car sick too!). Look forward to hearing about your trip, and seeing your pictures, when you stop a while:)

    • ailsapm says:

      Whew, I’m back online, Wanderlust – but still on the road. What a spectacular country this is! Just posted the weekly travel theme, I lost track of the days, hee hee! Puppy is doing remarkably well!

      • Look forward to hearing about it later. Glad puppy is doing ok – that could have been a bit dicky!

        • ailsapm says:

          I got covered in plenty of drool before he got his ‘road legs’ – but he’s a seasoned traveller now, and I am (almost) drool free. I do believe I shall dedicate a post especially to him, he’s the most adorable dog. 🙂

          • Found myself grinning broadly, making those funny mewing noises one makes when one is tickled, thinking how lovely! I’m such a sucker for dogs, and those bonds we make with them!

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