Living out of my car 2004/2005

Summer 2004 for me was like when a kitten sees a box – its all play time from here on out.  I graduated from Bucknell that spring and turned down a job on Wall Street.  All of a sudden, the world was wide open, waiting for me to discover what would be the start of a very long and personal journey.  Almost a decade later I have learned that while destinations are fun, it is indeed the journeys getting there that make life so sweet.  I have given up the idea that I will someday “have done it all and can settle down” in exchange for the idea that I will never stop traveling, never stop journeying.

I did not mean to live out of my car, but it rather just happened that way.  Trips here and there started to blend together, and going home for fresh laundry or those ski boots wasn’t always in the cards, so I just began toting everything with me all the time.

This post is an outline of what these travels looked like from August 2004 until April 2005, when I moved to San Diego, CA.

Nantucket and road trip to Las Vegas, August 2004

After a month of fun with friends and family on the island, Holly and I left in my Jeep from the island at the end of August, heading west towards lands unknown to me.  We drove about 2,275 miles to Las Vegas, before Holly flew home and I turned around and drove the same 2,275 miles home to CT.  Read more about our Vegas Road Trip.

Bucknell and the Flood, September 2004

I returned to Bucknell for a visit shortly after this drive across the country.  Lucky me, Hurricane Irene had some interesting weather in store.  Read more.

Nantucket, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, September 2004

After my Bucknell visit I went back to Nantucket with the family for a nice September surf session.  At this point Holly and I decided a trip to Hawaii was in order.  I flew to San Diego, spent a couple days there, then off to LAX we were!  Loved that LA traffic.  Spent some time in Hawaii, and on the way back we drove from LAX to the Grand Canyon, Four Courners, and on to Silverton, CO to see my cousin Stephen.  I flew back to CT from Denver, and had a few days to rest.

Read more about O’ahu, Hawaii
Read more about the Grand Canyon Road Trip

Nantucket, Bucknell, Delaware Water Gap, Mt Washington and Pumpkin Fest, October 2004

Swept away to Nantucket for Colombus Day, and then back to Bucknell for another visit.  Dee and I hiked the Gap, and I then had a great idea to hike Mt. Washington with Tisha, so off we were in late October. Better yet, why not stop in and see the town that holds the world record for must number of jac-o-lanterns lit in one place at one time?  Keene it was.

Hike and fall foliage: Delaware Water Gap
Hike: Mt. Washington, NH 


Probably a trip to VA, Bucknell, Elmira, CT for Thanksgiving, not sure what else here, November 2004

I am sure I drove to VA at least once during this month to see my parent’s new place.  I know I also spent a few more days at Bucknell, and probably in NYC.  I went north to see Eliza at her college, heard some great stories about things freshman do.

I also went trout fishing with my dad, caught myself a beauty:

Bucknell for one last visit, Sugarbush, Mad River, December 2004

Life was getting good at this point.  I was (somehow) balancing a part-time job at a garden shop in New Canaan with all this traveling.  Living rent-free with my grand-parents helped, and I got to spend some great time with them in the later years (something I am eternally grateful for to this day).

I went from CT to Bucknell for a weekend, then back to CT and up to VT to hit some early season powder, then back to CT for xmas with the fam.  Right after I headed back up for another couple days of skiing at Mad River Glen.

Bucknell visits
Skiing trips 2004/2005

Happy New Year 2005

This year was going to be even more wild than 2004, but I did not know it at the time.  I felt maxed out, like I had “done it all” and perhaps needed to get serious.  I knew I loved surfing, and cold be damned it wasn’t going to stop me.  But I also felt as though there was not much left to do.  Except fulfill a promise I had made years ago, one that I did not think I would actually cash in on: to visit cousin William in Florida.  Well cash in on it I did, and in 2005 I crammed more travel, national parks, family, and friends into a year than I knew was possible.

Breckenridge, CO to VA to Bucknell and around, January 2005

I started of 2005 with a ski trip to Colorado, then back to the east coast to see my parents in VA.  I went for a chilly winter surf, with the water a balmy 33-degrees F and the wind-chill at -2-degrees.

Colorado skiing


Winter surfing:

Just around:

Florida, Costa Rica, Bucknell, CT, back to Florida, February and March, 2005

Time for something warm. I headed south to Florida to see William.  Eliza and the g-parents were there too.  From Florida I took a flight to Costa Rica for a week of surfing in the tropics.

Video: William threatens Eliza with Skidamirink


It doesn’t count if you don’t go to Disney World:

Will and I decided it would be a great day for a surf because, for some reason, no one else was in the water!  Well two minutes later we were yelled at and hauled out by the lifeguards, who had closed the beach. Why? Because there was a black-finned shark migration heading by… once we took a look back at the ocean, we saw not just a few but dozens and dozens of them, riding the waves – the same waves we had been on.  Oops!

More from Costa Rica (Link to Costa Rica #1)


Trip to Cali for a job, Niagra Falls road trip, spring skiing, and my big move across the county, April 2005


I used to be this tough – it was April.  I would never go in that water in April without a wetsuit!

Niagra Falls Road Trip and Spring Skiing
The Big Move: VA to CA


And off to California for a while…



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