Last year I started to obsess over the possibility of dropping all my stuff so I can gallivant across the country with a backpack. I’m not the type to follow society’s proposed rules all willy nilly, and I wish more people would think outside of the box and follow their own paths instead of conforming to the norm. We weren’t meant to do a 9-5 in a cubicle from Monday to Friday in order to earn weird green paper with imaginary worth. Evolution didn’t give us that; society did. Society also gave us Donald Trump, so something is seriously fucked up in this land of depression-inducing luxury. Something needs to change.

Evolution gave us the drive for adventure. We’re meant to be out and about. We’re meant to be exploring. We’re meant to be battling the elements to grow and find our own food. As much as I love new technology, I’m just as obsessed with the idea of getting back to basics. I think we could all benefit by putting the phones away from time to time. So I’m going to do that, consequences be damned.

That’s one of the reasons I decided to add this blog. In just under a week, I’m hopping on a train and starting a trip around the country. These are the tentative plans:

Leg 1

  • NYC: 3/22-3/23
  • Philadelphia, PA: 3/24
  • Baltimore, MA: 3/25
  • Charleston, SC: 3/27
  • Tampa, FL: 3/28-4/5

Leg 2

  • Atlanta, GA: 4/5
  • New Orleans, LA: 4/6-4/8
  • Houston, TX: 4/9-4/10
  • Tucson, AZ: 4/11-4/14
  • Los Angeles, CA: 4/16-5/30

Leg 3

  • Santa Barbara, CA: 5/31-6/1
  • San Luis Obispo, CA: 6/2
  • Oakland, CA: 6/3
  • Klamath Falls, OR: 6/5
  • Salem, OR: 6/6
  • Portland, OR: 6/7
  • Seattle, WA: 6/8-6/14 (and maybe Vancouver).

Leg 4

  • Whitefish, MO: 6/15
  • Minot, ND: 6/17
  • St. Paul, MN: 6/19
  • Chicago, IL: 6/20
  • Buffalo, NY: 6/21
  • Albany, NY: 6/23

That takes me back home. A few days after that I plan to backpack Vermont’s Long Trail and perhaps part of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire and Maine. It depends on how fast I go and how far I make it by early September. Mid-September I have a separate family vacation to Vegas/Phoenix for a week. Then in early October I plan to move to Abingdon, VA. The town is smaller, cheaper, and has more outdoor options than where I am now. I feel like it’ll be a better place for me to sit, read, write, and meditate on all the crap we’re doing wrong in the world.

I’ll try to write a blog post for each city I visit (and perhaps more during the longer visits to Tampa, Los Angeles, and Seattle). The plan is to research and discuss the tech innovations that each city is making in order to better adapt and prepare for the future. For example, a lot of cities tackle traffic alleviation in different ways. Yeah, I probably won’t do much of that. I’ll mostly write about my experiences in these cities, how poorly my preparations played out, and what I wish I’d done differently. Expect to hear mostly about what goes wrong. So much is gonna go wrong. It’s gonna be awesome.

I’m most looking forward to the outdoor backpacking portion of my trip, but I won’t have my computer with me during those inevitable months of pain and suffering. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to make updates, but I’ll try to do so once every week or two just so people know I’m still alive.

If you’re interested in following my travels, go ahead and follow this blog. On top of that, follow me on Instagram for some maybe pretty photographs of what I’ve seen and done. I’ll probably make some periodic Facebook updates as well, so feel free to follow me and/or hit me up with suggestions on what I should see and do when I get to these places!


About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running MMR, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.