When to pack up and move cross-country


Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to give yourself a fresh start. Maybe, you know exactly where you’re going and this plan has been simmering on a pot in the back-burner of your mind until the contents just decided to boil over one day all over your spotless stove top. But, maybe, you have no idea where you’re going and what you will do, just that you need to go and you need to do. If you find yourself relating to these statements, maybe you should pack up and move cross-country:

  • You’ve just graduated college
  • Yearning for new adventures
  • Running away from something
  • Recent divorce
  • Tired of your current location
  • Desiring to meet new people
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Sobriety issues
  • Reconnecting with a long-lost somebody

For me, it was decided over a long period. Pieces clicked into place, I visited said new home for a summer, fell in love with it, found a job, etc. nice and methodological, unfortunately. But, it has been a long process planning this pilgrimage across America. I will be traveling from Huntington, West Virginia to Ashland, Oregon over the period of about 18 days. A direct path between the two cities is approximately 2,497 miles, but my boyfriend, Zach, and I will be stopping along the way to see some beautiful places in our country, and I will post, when in wi-fi, about budget friendly accommodation, eateries, and activities, camping and hiking reviews, tips, and advice for you in your next cross-country move, or simple summer adventure.

Clearly, not as many people pack up their beaten down 98 Grand Am with the contents of their life and drive away from the Southern oppression and negativity that has permanently slumped their shoulders to drive towards the sunny and liberal Pacific Northwest. But, if you are reading this, because that is exactly what you are doing, then here are some new travel tips specific to this situation:

  • As soon as you know that you are moving, start minimalizing.

– This helps with packing for smaller trips as well. Every time you go through and get rid of clutter, there will always be items you feel like you need to keep, but if you wait a few days, or a month, and do it again, you won’t feel so attached to those items, and it makes minimalizing a lot easier.

  • When traveling through areas prone to high temperatures, be aware of heat-sensitive items.

– I have a bag packed with anything that could become messy in temperatures of 105+ such as hairspray, nail polish, and printer ink cartridges.  Glass breaks and aerosol cans explode in extreme temperatures.

– We have only planned to stay in a hotel room in Las Vegas, everywhere else, we will be camping. So, I have windshield visors for my front and back windshields, will park in the shade when applicable, and leave the windows cracked to avoid any damage to the relics of my life in the backseat.

  • Bring an old pillow for lumbar support for those days of 10 hours of driving.

These were a couple of new hacks, I’d never really had to think of before because, well, I’v never picked up my life to move across the country.

Our route will take us to Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks in Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; and up through California before we arrive at my new home in Oregon. This will definitely be an adventure of a lifetime.


Hopefully this will all fit in my little car 🙂

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