70 Days, 7000 Miles-A Midlife Odyssey


In 2001, I took a solo 70 day, 7000 mile camping trip across the US and Canada. I was 52 years old and an elementary teacher at the time.  I left my home the Saturday  right after school let out and returned the Saturday before school started up again. Having taken many camping trips that seemed to end so quickly, I wanted to find out what an almost infinite vacation would be like. I kept a journal, 88 pages of observations, insights, and some whining.  Being middle aged and newly menopausal, I needed to find out what this part of life meant to be me and others, where I fit in, and what the future might hold.   I hoped a completely different context and a little adventure would bring some answers.

All school year I saved money for the trip.   My daughter didn’t want me go and she made me promise not to get in a car or boat with anyone. I swore I would  follow her instructions and told her I would call my friend every three days to check in and report my location.  I didn’t have a computer at the time and I used pay phones for communication.  I think I had a bag phone which was only good for 911 calls.

I asked my dad to search for a minivan for me.  He loved to wheel and deal and found me a used Dodge Caravan in great condition.  I gratefully reimbursed him.  My plan was to tent and use the van if I couldn’t find a place to stay (this actually happened one night) or if I didn’t want to take the time to set up camp or if the weather was really stormy.

I left on June 23, 2001.  Many friends have told me I should write about this adventure. Well, starting this Saturday, June 23, 2018,  I will be including my daily writings from my journal and some insights from the present.

Come along me!  I promise to get us all home by September.  Please consider clicking the word “follow” on the right hand side of my site. If you do, you will be notified by email when I post something new.  It would be great to have you with me on this odessey and hear your comments.  Thanks for your interest and support.


5 thoughts on “70 Days, 7000 Miles-A Midlife Odyssey

  1. Michèle

    I remember when you undertook your 90 day adventure. I thought you were very brave and gutsy to undertake such a trip for that lenght of time…. A real gypsy soul!
    I consider doing this myself but find now that I’m attached to my garden and my numerous house projects, time with grand-daughters when they now favor it, golf, friends gatherings & outings, dog walkings… You are for sure an autonomus traveler! Looking forward to your journal entries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Autonomous Traveler

      Thank you for your support. I learned a lot and because of it was able to give back some of the strength and wisdom I gained to help a group of children.

      Liked by 1 person

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