East Coast Food Tour ‘12

Road trips: The ultimate (American) way to travel.

Planes are convenient, sure. To be honest, they’re absolutely mind-boggling. How am I supposed to just be OK with the fact that a 189,000-pound aircraft (Yes, I did Google it. Who just KNOWS that?) can drive fast then lift into the air and take me across the country in 4 hours? Like … why are we all just accepting this? Has anyone checked into it? Are we POSITIVE magic doesn’t exist?

I prefer driving. I love stopping at hidden gems (restaurants, not like an antique store or something. Come on.) along the way. The picture above is from The Black Sheep, located in Richmond, VA. An Adam Richman hotspot, we scooted in for a “battleship” sandwich. And yes, Nicholas and I sunk that bit … er … thing.

These past two weeks were quite a whirlwind. Living out of a suitcase for the second two-week stint this year, eating every meal from a new restaurant, sleeping in a different hotel bed each night and hosting promotional events at various bars up the east coast. It’s an interesting way to work in a “marketing job.” No desk. No office. No time sheets. No meetings. No conference calls. No work clothes. No … stress.

I think I’m learning more than ever how much I enjoy professional freedom. The ability to sit in an empty Starbucks at 3 p.m. on a Friday and get paid for it. The opportunity to drop everything and drive a custom-wrapped SUV up the east coast because of a high-level advertising idea WE thought of. The fact there’s no water cooler. Where there’s no “escaping to the coffee machine” when I couldn’t stand sitting at my desk anymore. 

I haven’t felt a “Monday morning” in 10 months. I haven’t requested “time off.” I’ve never had to “duck out early” to beat the traffic. I’ve never frantically done laundry the night before a meeting because my “good pants” were dirty or wrinkled. I haven’t gotten “stuck in traffic” on the expressway.

I was skeptical about the lack of structure with this job. At first. I thought it might throw off my zen. That equilibrium I finally found to be the best version of myself. But it hasn’t. It’s allowed me to care less. Sound bad? Or lazy? Maybe.

I thrive on living a stress-free life. I used to care about what people thought of me. It used to eat away at me. I never wanted to be portrayed as “lazy.” That was what I lived for. Now, I put out more content than anyone I know yet my brain’s “stress level” never surpasses 20%.

Part of me thinks I’m close to the next big thing in my life. Not an invention. Not a start-up company. Not a new way of living. Just another milestone. I’m on the brink of something shaking everything else up. I can feel it. I just don’t know what that is yet.

Traveling as much as I have this year has certainly shaken up my way of thinking. How much world is out there and how closed off we can sometimes find ourselves. Road tripping, for people like me, is an incredible thing. And a tragic one. Because being comfortable in one place feels like a cop out.

These are words in a post that have little to no order. They’re thoughts that have swam around my brain for weeks. I refuse to organize them at this point.

So, what are you, next big thing? Show yourself. I know you’re there somewhere.

I’m right here.

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