Hey there! I know it’s been a while but I haven’t forgotten you, my fellow flake. And guess what? We’re going on a road trip! If you want to come along for the virtual ride, that is.

You see, I have been longing to pick up stakes and hit the road since I was a teenager. That’s when my mother and I went on an epic vacation that led from our small Minneapolis apartment through the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, across the mountains of Wyoming, all the way to Yellowstone.

It was 1959, the summer I turned 13. We camped out under the stars and slept on a mattress in the back of Mom’s white Valiant station wagon. I’ve never forgotten the buttery taste of rainbow trout that we caught ourselves and cooked over a campfire next to a still-icy stream, the smell of crisp air and wide open sky, the  shock of seeing snow in June (and throwing snowballs in my shorts) in the majestic Grand Tetons, the breathless feeling of freedom on the road.

We were so happy during those two amazing weeks that we decided to live like that some day. The plan was for me to drop out of school at 16 (this was Mom’s idea, believe it or not, and homeschooling was not even a concept back then) and we would drive around the country seeing all there was to see. When we ran out of money, we would stop and work as waitresses until we saved enough to take off again.

It was a beautiful dream.

I can still see my fantasy: the two of us traveling back roads, meeting all kinds of people, seeing the real America. I lived for my 16th birthday so we could go on our Big Adventure at last. But Mom must have forgotten our dream because she went and opened a restaurant, fell in love, and got married. *sigh* Women.

So we didn’t go. But I didn’t forget. Soon it was the 70’s and I dreamed of going off in a converted VW bus with a bunch of hippies, but life intervened. In the 80’s, I planned to go on the road in an RV like Charles Kuralt (only without the CBS camera crew and money), traveling from town to town, interviewing ordinary people about life in America. I even went on a cross-country trip with my Aunt Babe and Uncle Bert in their big motor home, to see if my fantasy could survive reality. It could, and did.

And then I fell in love and got married. *sigh* Women.

So here it is, 2013, and I still haven’t followed my dream. The husband is long gone, the kids are grown, and it’s time. I’m 66 — I can’t wait any longer. So I’m going.

Okay, I do have to wait a bit.

Preparations must be made. Funds must be raised. A proper vehicle must be found in which to live and travel — I’m not up to sleeping in a station wagon any more. Nonessential stuff must be disposed of. This cranky old body must be put back in shape, as much as possible.

Beyond all that, decisions must be made about the purpose of the journey. I want to interview people and share their stories in a book and/or film. And I definitely want to visit all the wonderful friends I’ve made in cyberspace.

This will mean lots of criss-crossing of North America — and I hope, some longer jaunts to Europe and Australia. All of which takes lots of planning! Which is a total blast!

So I’m setting a launch date of April 1, 2013 — April Fool’s Day, which feels like the perfect day to begin a fool’s journey Oct. 15, 2013 (had to postpone a bit to have time to save up for the van.) And I’ll be blogging the whole thing — the preparations, the planning and, of course, the trip itself — right here on The Complete Flake.

That’s my dream — what’s yours? Are you planning a big, awesome trip or other goal?

Let’s work on our dreams together.

If you would like more than the occasional blog update, if you want the insider stuff — the small but real steps of how I’m making huge changes in my life, and how you can too — sign up for the special Road Trip! newsletter. (No worries, I hate spam too.) There’s a small monthly fee of $7 — a no-brainer, right? And it’s free!

Think of it as a motivational journey — what can you do now, small steps, to get there. You can do the fitness part with me, or decluttering/downsizing if you like, or work on your own Dream.

Any questions?

  • Where do you plan on going?
    The U.S. and Canada, plus Baja California. I hope to hop over to Europe and Australia eventually, too.
  • Will you visit my town?
    I hope so! Sign up for the newsletter and help plan my itinerary. 🙂
  • Who will you interview? What will you talk about?
    I’ll be talking to the people I meet along the way, and gathering their stories for the blog and possibly for a book.
  • What will you do with the interviews?
    I’m hoping to write a book and possibly make a documentary film. Ideas for that will be a topic of discussion in the Road Trip! newsletter.
  • How long will this trip last?
    A year, maybe two — maybe the rest of my life.
  • What will you need in order to get going?
    A used cargo van that I can live in (I have a friend who will convert it for living with a bed, solar panels, etc.), camping gear, and an emergency fund for car repairs and other unpleasantries.
  • How will you raise the money for that?
    By selling my book, Getting Sh*t Done and other writing, and possibly a Kickstarter or Indie Go Go campaign.
  • But it’s dangerous out there!
    It’s dangerous everywhere. I’ll find a loveable-yet-protective (and cute!) pooch to adopt for company, security and entertainment. Don’t worry!

Come away with me!* $7/mo. Free!

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*We even have our own theme song, Come Away With Me by Norah Jones. Love that song.

Liked it? Take a second to support LaVonne Ellis on Patreon!
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Showing 42 comments
  • Kathryn Hunter
    Reply

    I love that you’re doing this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The previous exclamation abuse doesn’t even begin to express how happy I am that you’re going after this dream. *hugs*

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      You can expect a request (or two) for a guest post (or two). We need your travel wisdom!

      • Kathryn Hunter
        Reply

        Hit me up for whatever you need. You have all my experience at you finger tips. 🙂

        • LaVonne Ellis
          Reply

          That is awesome, Kathryn, thank you! Right now, I’m working up the courage to go shampoo-free with baking soda, thanks to meeting you and seeing that your hair is beautiful, lol.

          • Diane Overcash

            I want to meet up with you somewhere on the road. What fun.

          • LaVonne

            Definitely, Diane! Where are you now?

  • LaVonne Ellis
    Reply

    Yay!!!!! And I LOVE EXCLAMATION ABUSE. Also, caps abuse. 🙂

  • Phyllis Nichols
    Reply

    LaVonne – I admire you for following your dream!  I can’t virtually take this trip along with you!

  • Phyllis
    Reply

    Geez, it should say I can’t WAIT TO virtually take this trip…

  • Alisha Sommer
    Reply

    wowza. i love it!! can’t wait to watch this journey!

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Alisha! Glad to have you along on the journey. 🙂

  • Sandi Amorim
    Reply

    NOW you’re speaking my language, kicking that someday thinking to the curb! Love it LaVonne, really, really love it! 

    And make sure Vancouver is on your list! 

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Vancouver is totally on my list, Sandi! I’ll be heading there first — with stops in San Francisco and Portland on the way, of course. 🙂

  • Jen
    Reply

    Hi Lavonne….. is speaking about online business/blogging/female empowerment through unrestricted expression online etc..a possibility…or does it make you pass out with terror…just a thought :)) have you thought of offering social media exposure to hotels etc along the way, sponsored accommodation/travel tickets ?

     Yours is such a beautiful story I think many people would like to support you, from the heart, and the fact that you can swap a little social media savvy is just a great bonus… :))and yes, I will sign up…no problem…I don’t want anything in return….it will be a pleasure, an absolute pleasure to know I can help you to realise your dream, and a privilege to be with you on that journey.. you have done so much for me over the last few years…

    and what you are doing here is truly INSPIRING ! 

    mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah xxx

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

       Lol, yes – it makes me pass out with terror! Not just because of the public speaking thing, but the added complexity that would add to my trip. I don’t think I’d enjoy it very much if I had to manage all of that. But I do appreciate the suggestion… and of course, the support and encouragement… very much. Thank you!

  • Jeanie Witcraft
    Reply

    LaVonne, I am so, so proud of you. It IS scary. Especially in a car without tinted windows. 

    I fell in love, ran out of money, and am getting married. WOMEN. I still dream of finishing the USA & Canada though. 🙂 You are MORE than welcome to stay here when you get to the Atlanta area. And maybe…I’ll go with you north. 🙂 Or west. Whichever. 

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Thank you, Jeanie! I’d love a guest post from you about your experience sometime. And it would be AWESOME to visit and have you ride with me! In fact, that’s a great idea… maybe I can invite a few people along for the ride for REALS on different parts of the journey. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  • Larah Ritchie
    Reply

    LaVonne!!!  This is FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC!  You can totally do this!! The road is already calling me back…less than six months after driving 6500 miles with 2 kids and a dog!  I’m here to help in any way I can.  <3

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Ooh, I’d love details about your road trip, Larah! And about the call of the road, lol. Maybe a guest post, some time?

      And thanks for the support!

  • skaja wills
    Reply

    You are more than welcome to stay here, should you come through the Florida peninsula.

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Thank you, Skaja! I’d better figure out a way to keep track of everybody I’m going to visit, so I don’t miss anyone, lol.

  • susantblake
    Reply

    LaVonne, I knew you ROCKed but this proves it! I am so happy for you and proud of you! I love road trips, and doing the long-term live-on-the-road-for-a-while thing is on my list, too!

    Come visit me in San Francisco! 

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Susan, I will totally visit you in SF – that will be my first stop. I wonder how many people secretly dream of doing this?

  • stacy
    Reply

    Yep, you’ve got several places to stay here in Atlanta! I would love to meet you in person!!! Good for you for following your dreams. Yay!!! Will you put up a donation button? I bet people (like me, ahem!) would donate to your trip fund! Oh, and, since I’m doing a lot of launch consulting I always have people asking me about audio. We should talk soon – I’d love to get some details from you about that so I can refer people. 🙂 And about the fitness stuff, I’ve recently changed a ton of my diet, and feel SO much better. LMK if you want to talk about that, too! 🙂 🙂

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Ooh, thanks, Stacy! I’d love to meet you too. 🙂 Good idea on the donate button, thanks.
      Would love to talk about diet/fitness. I’m eating mostly green smoothies and salads, and enjoying it.
      Sent from my Kindle Fire

      _____________________________________________

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Oops – forgot to say YES on the audio thing! Let’s talk! I’m lavonne.ellis on Skype. 🙂

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

       Chip-In box now in place on the sidebar!

  • anne@juicylife.ca
    Reply

    Epic LaVonne!!! I love it.  Oh and the stories you will tell!  Wow!  Sparking secret deeply buried longing… if only I hadn’t fallen in love and gotten married…Women!

    Good luck in your preps and on the road!  When you stop in and see Sandi Amorim in Vancouver,  you’ll be driving past my place on the way!  Give me a shout!

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

       Woohoo! thanks, Anne – and you better believe I’ll be giving you a shout. I’ll park in front and yell, “Anne! Anne!” until you come out, lol.

      • anne@juicylife.ca
        Reply

        You can feel free to beep the horn to get my attention too.  (The neighbours do it all the time, and I figure turn around is fair play!)

  • Melissa Dinwiddie
    Reply

    Yay hooray! love this idea!!!! And huge hugs to Jenny Thomas for letting me know about this scheme — somehow I missed this post before… 

    I do hope you’ll do a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign! And you MUST visit me in the SF Bay Area! I’ll drive to SF to meet you, or if you want to visit Silicon Valley, my sofabed is yours. 🙂

    I signed up for your newsletter and am so excited to follow your journey!

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Hooray, Melissa! Thank you! I will totally come to see you in Silicon Valley but I won’t need your sofabed, just a parking spot for my trusty home on wheels. 🙂

  • Emily Rose
    Reply

    This is fantastic and I’m rooting for you!

  • LaVonne Ellis
    Reply

    Thanks, Emily – looking forward to making it to Cleveland! Or is it Cincinnati? I always get those two confused, lol.

  • Pam
    Reply

    LaVonne ,what a fantastic idea ,you are going to have a wonderful experience ,I hope you come to England .Love Pam,

    • LaVonne Ellis
      Reply

      Thank you, Pam! (Sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner.) I hope to come to England too, though not with the van. When I do, I’ll be sure to blog about it, so you can let me know how we can meet!

pingbacks / trackbacks
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