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So Long Suckers - Home Bittersweet Home

So we're back. 

15 000km, 30 days and 16 states later, we're back.

Coming home after a long trip is very weird, and settling back into your nomal life, on that first dreaded Monday, can be a little harsh. I know this amazing trip happened, but my brain just hasn't caught up yet. It needs to switch off from absorbing all the new stuff mode to old nostalgic lady mode. It'll happen. As of now, we're slightly spaced out, still enjoying the afterglow, trying not to shake off the lingering memories. 

I doubt any words would really describe the way I feel, having seen with my own eyes every single inch of this piece of land from right to left and from left to right, having witnessed the never ending display of beauty, of nature, of skies; having crossed time zones, climates, scenery, cultures. We're not done exploring the whole thing, but we've gotten a LOT closer. 

I'm gonna have to stick to simple lists here, otherwise I'll end up with a 5000-word thing that nobody on the internet will take the time to read. If you're planning a similar trip, hopefully this will help. If you're not, hopefully this will convince you!

Favorite things/places:

- Montana, for the unreal scenery.
- Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, because it's enormous and shines like a diamond.
- Idaho and Oregon for the deepest of forests and gigantic mountains.
- California because it has everything, from desert to sequoia forests, from the ocean to the best city on the continent, from wine country to the Hollywod Hills, every single one of them making you feel delightfully tiny.
- Petrified Forest National Park and its Painted Desert, Arizona, because the history of that place is enough to make you dream for five lifetimes. And the beauty is just... See video below.
- Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the exotic architecture, nice people and fascinating culture. All of New Mexico, really, if only for the sky.
- St. Louis, Missouri, just because it's the cutest place, especially historic Soulard.
- The Grand Canyon, duh.

Those are just a few, but if I tell you everything, you won't be done reading by next Friday. 

Roadtrip tips for you and/or my future self:

- Take large cities and their rush hours into consideration when planning the itinerary.
- Hit grocery stores in every city for fruits-veggies and other fresh food; stock up on snacks. You'll feel better from not eating non-stop Wendy's and you'll save loads of cash.
- Bring hand sanitizer and some toilet paper. This germophobe, who has by now visited about a million public "restrooms", highly recommends it!
- Be mentally prepared to pee on the side of the road often; dress accordingly.
- Do stop in random villages and drive around for a bit; they are full of surprises, and sometimes they're called Pawnee!
- Do eat roasted corn/cherries/churros from carts on the side of the highway.
- Take every exit that announces a scenic route; they're always worth it.
- Make the driving the point of the experience rather than something you have to endure to get where you're going, because at every moment, you're already there!
- Talk to strangers. 
- Research your destinations beforehand to make the most of every stop, but don't plan too much and let coincidences lead you where you're meant to go.
- Read hotel reviews carefully before booking, and write your own to help fellow travelers.
- Bring your own pillow.
- Absolutely use Airbnb, especially for longer stays.
- Do a quick Yelp checkup of the restaurants you're planning on eating at.
- Take some time off.
- Look out the window, all the time. When it gets unbearably beautiful, park randomly and step outside to fully experience the reality of where you are :)
- Wet your feet in the ocean as much as possible.
- Bring tons of amazing music; those songs will hold fantastic memories forever.
- Pick your co-pilots/fellow travelers carefully.
- Be spontaneous, say yes often.
- Don't try to drive 9 hours while hangover.
- Always carry bottled water.
- Do it!

Seriously: DO IT. Nothing makes you feel more alive than exploring new corners of this amazing fucking planet we live on. Nothing! It's too big and magical not to go and discover it every single chance you get. 

No wonder there are books, songs and movies about roadtrips across America. It was everything we hoped for a TONS more. We'll be broke for a long while, but every second of it was worth it. 

Thank you, suckers, for traveling with us! We hope this was of some interest or, if anything, the final push you needed to plan a trip for youself.

Now the only question is: where are we going next?

I'm leaving you with this unintentionally amazing video, featuring the Painted Desert, a soft rock hit, sythethized saxophone and a Simon on fire.
 


(All pictures of the trip are on Instagram here: @GabBebe, @DeSebastopol, @ChenVideo)