The Most Embarrassing Article I've Ever Written: Warning TMI Ahead
I think this needs a second warning before you start. I’ve been told I have ‘pulled no punches’ in how grossly detailed I have written this one. I’ve also been told by a couple other friendly proofreaders that this one is probably meant to stay on the editing floor. However, like the adventurer I am, I’m doing it anyway. Consider yourselves warned.
The day I turned 27, I woke up in the back of my Subaru Outback, which was parked on the side of the highway in California. I stalked off into the woods to pee and started thinking about cougars jumping from trees onto my head while I was vulnerable. As the thought crossed my mind, I looked down to see a rotting animal carcass lying about 6 inches from where I was squatting. Let’s just say, I didn’t bring enough toilet paper for what happened next. Read: It scared the sh*t out of me.
Back in the car, I poked Llew until he woke up. It had been a long weekend and I couldn’t blame him for being sleepy after the 28 hours we’d already driven but I was all hyped up on birthday vibes and couldn’t sleep in. “LLEW, let’s get on the road! I want my coffee!” Don’t you just hate morning people? I did before I assimilated and became one of them.
We’d finished the exciting portion of our trip and just had the drive from the California-Oregon border to Seattle ahead of us. In the passenger’s seat, I propped my legs up on the dash and realized that my legs were starting to grow a small forest. I’d had one shower (at an Anytime Fitness near Napa Valley) since Wednesday and it was now officially Monday. Among the things I’d forgotten to pack were deodorant and a razor. Luckily, I had no desire to raise my arms, so I remained blissfully unaware of how French my pits must have looked.
Poor Llew loves showering and being ultra clean but doing a 35-hour road trip in four days doesn’t leave much time for anything but driving and exploring. We generally take advantage of truck-stop showers as often as we can but this time, our route seemed totally devoid of these wonderful treasures.
Our backpack contained multiple pairs of extra clothes, but we only remembered to change one time. Oops. In our defense, we’d only used a couple of restrooms that were clean enough to change inside. Most didn’t have flush toilets and therefore required that you try to hold your breath for the duration of your stay. Rank.
Dentist around the world would shake their heads in unison upon hearing the amount of times we remembered to brush our teeth before passing out from exhaustion at night. If I have cavities, I’ve no one to blame but myself.
I wish I could say that our trips weren’t always like this and that we normally bathe daily and always remember to floss and put deodorant on, but it’d be a sorry lie. You have probably noticed by now how rarely I’m in my own photos. It’s not because I loathe selfies. It’s because I’m so gross that I run away from the camera anytime Llew points it at me. Sometimes, I compromise by pulling my iconic red hood up and looking away (Yeah, that’s not artistic, it’s self-preservation).
Why am I divulging all this info that is certainly TMI? I love embarrassing myself, duh! But really, I want to convey an accurate portrayal of how my adventures really look. They’re dirty, unglamorous, and often so fast pace that if you blink you might miss a whole state. (I literally slept through the entirety of Kansas once.) We never stay in nice hotels, preferring to sleep in our car and save money, nine times out of ten, we shower at truck stops or just skip showering altogether and we always eat in the cheapest diner in town.
The way we travel isn’t for everyone, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We make the most of every second and don’t let the amount of hours on the road keep us from choosing to take the trip. The memories we make more than compensate us for the discomforts we experience along the way and the cheapness of our trips allow us to do them almost weekly instead of yearly. Everyone has their priorities and adventure is number one on our list.