Road Schooled

Lessons from the Road to Somewhere

10 Year Solo Road Trip Anniversary: 9/9/99 – 09/09/09

Posted on | September 9, 2009 | 3 Comments

Ten years ago today I woke up in a tent by myself for the first time. I turned on the radio to hear the weather forecast and all the DJs were talking about was how all the computers were going to crash because it was 9/9/99. And when the weather was finally broadcast possible flurries and frost were in the forecast.

I would like to write how my first solo road trip in northern Minnesota 10 years ago was one of the best experiences of my life. But in actuality it kind of sucked. It was cold and drizzling, I got up to go to the bathroom in the drizzle twice during the night, and the next morning I woke up feeling exhausted since I hardly slept.

I’m not sure why I continued solo road tripping after that first night. I could have said I wasn’t cut out for it and opted to stay home and watch TV the next time I had some time off and no one wanted to go camping. But I chalked up the unpleasantness to inexperience and tried again.

The second time I went solo camping I was woke up in the middle of the night by raccoons fighting outside my tent. Imagine waking up to sounds like this and this right next to your head. Crank the volume up to the max to get the full effect.

Ah, the joys of camping. Despite those first few rough nights, curiosity and a love of outdoor adventure eventually won out and led me around the entire country solo camping. And while there were plenty more unpleasant nights (some good ones too), the journey as a whole was one of the best experiences of my life.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing now if I had given up on solo road tripping because of those first few rough nights ten years ago. Maybe I would be blogging about my favorite TV shows. Regardless, I would definitely be a much different person than I am today.

Today I woke up in a chair at the library at Stanford where I fell asleep teaching myself how to write code for iPhone apps. This whole iPhone developer / entrepreneur adventure is starting out just about as glamorously as my first solo camping adventures. But I’m sticking with it.

I wonder where I’ll wake up ten years from now.


3 Responses to “10 Year Solo Road Trip Anniversary: 9/9/99 – 09/09/09”

  1. Nora
    September 10th, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

    Ooh- I love it: “I wonder where I’ll wake up 10 years from now”…

    Me too! What a fun thing to contemplate…

  2. Carrie
    September 11th, 2009 @ 11:31 am

    Okay, so I have an ipod touch and not an iphone, but you know what app I would really like to see. I would like to be able to set an alarm that played a song on my Ipod when it went off. If you write that app, I will buy it.

    Congratulations on your 10 years!

  3. Sue
    November 19th, 2009 @ 11:30 pm

    @Carrie –

    So I’m a little tardy in my reply but there is an app for that – Alarm Clock Pro by iHandySoft Inc. – it will cost you $0.99…the free version won’t play a song off your iPod…

    Thanks for the congrats on the 10 years!