Announcing the Three-Month, 8,656 Mile, “Because We Wanted To” Road Trip

Note from Caleb: My wife Jen wrote this post. Today coincides with the launch of the new site she is using to chronicle our travels on Take it away Jen!

One of the first things that Caleb and I talked about when we met was our desire to travel.  We showed each other the photo albums we had put together of our individual international trips, reminisced about the places we had been, and dreamed of seeing more.  As our relationship began to develop, traveling together was always a goal.

Why Are We Leaving a Comfortable Life Behind To Travel?

Now, here we are two months after our wedding making our way across the country.  Why now and why at all?

  • Well, we have always wanted to see the US.  He and I have done our fair share of traveling, but Caleb’s new career move has made it possible for us to be mobile more than just two weeks a year.
  • We have tons of friends and family spread out all over the country so we thought it would be awesome to spend the fall visiting them and seeing things on the way.
  • We’re young and able to rough it, we don’t have kids and there are no puppies on the horizon (although I think I’m wearing him down on that one).

I am also just getting started on my photography portfolio and what better way to get some practice taking photos than with family and friends?

Note from Caleb: While this journey will not be by foot (like Nate Damm walking across America), I still consider the journey to be one of the most epic things I have ever attempted to do. Why would I label this trip epic?

  1. I have always done what was "safe" and quitting my day job was not a "safe" move.
  2. Jen and I have been talking about doing this since the first time we ever met.
  3. We are huge planners and we haven't booked any accommodations.
  4. We will get to see a lot of people that flew out to the Northwest for our wedding.
  5. We will most likely take approximately 10,000 pictures.  Give or take 1,000. :)
Caleb and Jen Wojcik

Where Are We Going?

We are going all over the United States. Not just down one coast, to a National Park, or to Disney Land. We’re talking 9,000+ miles behind the wheel of our Toyota Camry (which we’ve named “The Bruce”).

We both love the outdoors, so we are going to major “must see” places such as the Grand Canyon. We also both love exploring new cities, finding the great places to eat, and spending time visiting the museums and historical sites. This combination has us traveling all over the lower 48 states.

There are sure to be places that we will randomly decide to go to, a few of these dates are behind us, and our return route from Michigan to Arizona/California is currently up in the air, but here is the current schedule.

  • Seattle - 9.17
  • Portland - 9.18
  • San Diego - 9.19 to 9.23
  • Las Vegas - 9.24
  • Zion National Park - 9.24
  • Bryce Canyon National Park - 9.25
  • Arches National Park - 9.26
  • Monument National Park - 9.26
  • Boulder/Denver - 9.27
  • Omaha - 9.28
  • Chicago - 9.29 to 10.14
  • East Lansing/Detroit - 10.14 to 10.23
  • Niagara Falls - 10.24
  • Boston - 10.25 to 11.2
  • New York City - 11.3 to 11.6
  • Philadelphia - 11.7 to 11.11
  • Washington DC/Baltimore - 11.12 to 11.17
  • Petoskey, MI - 11.20 to 11.28
  • Drive Westward to Arizona - 11.29 to 12.6
  • Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff, & Tucson - 12.7 to 12.16
  • San Diego - 12.17

ALL dates are subject to change ;)

We'd love to head international for three or four months starting in 2012, but we'll make that decision later.

I Wish I Was a Minimalist

How Is This Possible?

We are able to go on this road trip for a number of reasons:

  1. We both live frugal lives and within our means.
  2. We saved up enough of a cushion for a “restart fund” if we need it in 3 months.
  3. Caleb can work from anywhere that there is Internet with his new job.
  4. We took the fear and uncertainty that comes with “quitting your job to travel” and used it to motivate us, rather than scare us to death.

Whatever is stopping you from doing what you know you should be doing isn’t as scary as you are making it. 

Odometer at Start of the Trip

Help Us Decide Where Else to Go

Where should we go that is missing from our list or do you have any recommendations for places to see in any of the places we are visiting? We’d love suggestions of great places to eat, explore, or stay.

(I’ll be writing about our travels on if you’d like to follow along.)