How I Traveled Across America: SOLO!

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If I had $5 for the number of social media travel groups that I’ve come across in the last 2-3 years, I’d have enough money for a plane ticket to actually take a trip.  Some of them have definitely served up plenty of travel inspiration, while others have seemed to merely become a breeding ground for flossing, vacation shaming, and post likes.  Having had the opportunity to meet a few of the premier Brown Girl travel bloggers has most certainly, provided me a perspective on travel that far exceeds the superficial idea of simply acquiring passport stamps full of basic experiences.

via GIPHY

There’s this one Thrillist Facebook post that I actually came across in January of 2016 that referenced how to travel America for a little over $213 via Amtrak.  I immediately shared the post with my travel Bae, with hopes of us embarking on this experience together.  Unfortunately, due to our collective travel schedules and life commitments, we just couldn’t pull it off.  Not only did thoughts of traveling cross country never leave my mind, I began fooling around with the idea of what that actual trip would look like and the possibility of taking the trip solo.

                      via GIPHY

Planning the Trip

Without even realizing it, (with the help of church sister/Amtrak employee), I had completed enough research to realize that I could actually pull this cross country solo trip thing off! This was the birth of  #BKxUSA  & #DopeChicksTakeSoloTrips

Now, about this Amtrak Rail Pass life……………..

Offered in three options (15 days, 30 days & 45 days), you can literally travel across the entire United States of America for as little as $459; coast to freggin coast!!!

Got Options?

Since I already visited the L.A. area in the past, my original plan was to fly to the Bay area, stay for a few days, and then take the train back home. No exaggeration, while on the phone with the Amtrak agent, was the exact moment that I asked myself: Why are you flying to California, what’s the rush?  It was at that very point when I became clear that this trip would be like no other.  I made a covenant with myself on a few things:

  •  Thy shalt not over plan
  • Thy shalt remain present for the full organic experience
  • Thy shalt be okay with minimal things 
  • Safety comes first
  • Thy Shalt support Black Owned Businesses when/wherever I can

The only rule was, to make overnight stops in states that I had never been and otherwise had no reason to go.  While I didn’t to tons of research, I did invest in USA by Rail and sought out reads on the basics of long distance train travel prep.

Up until the point of this trip, my only experience with Airbnb had been in Cuba however; it was a good one.  Therefore; in accordance with my minimalist trip goals, Airbnb would be the way to go! Being clear of my trip expectations, I grilled my potential hosts on everything I felt I needed to know from proximity to Amtrak station, things to-do, and neighborhood safety vibe, in order to make my final selections, which came to a whopping total of: $328.80.

With just a few ideas of things to-do in mind at the point of embarking on my epic solo travel journey,  I had no solid itinerary.  This was the most non committal   plan-as-you-go type of situation, discovering some of the most intricat details of the U.S. that I could have never imagined.

Solo Travel #1 Perk

The added bonus of traveling solo is not having to negotiate sudden changes of plans or hell……not having any specific plans at all!  My “must-do” of  going on the Napa Wine Train tour, was highly anticipated…….well, that was up until I arrived to the Bay area after being on the train for 5 days and realized I had no interest whatsoever in doing a day-long train tour.  And just like that, I opted to rent a car in Oakland and visit Napa Valleys first and oldest Black owned wine estate, Brown Estate.  I committed to updates via Intagram and Facebook Live, to allow a glimpse into the raw un-edited experience while letting loved ones know I was safe.

We’re here!

I’m reminded that you are able to truly experience life the way intended, when you stretch beyond the basic limits of your comfort zone. I was able to discover and fall in love with life in a way that I never have by being completely open to the unknown of trip experience.

 

Spectacular Views

From the onset of 2017 my scripture life scripture has been 1 Corinthians 13:13.  Praying, reflecting and applying to the everyday ways of life with intention. 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Amtrak Travel

In short: 12 days, 6,794.2 miles later, the blessing and privilege of Faith.Hope.Love is How I Traveled Across America: SOLO!        Spread Love, It’s the BrooKlyn Kisha Way!

 

…….One last note

~Which was your favorite social media post from the trip ?

~Drop all of your questions in the comments section.

~Subscribe to be among the first get a close look inside my various trip stops.

 

 

 

 

happywheels

Not a "Mommy Blogger" but a Mom that Blogs!

21 Comments

  1. Sheila Willis

    Monday, October 02, 2017 at 2:01 am

    I love your courage and indepence. You take life by the reigns and let go! Inspiring!

    • Lakisha

      Monday, October 02, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Thank you Sheila! All of the encouragement that I received from you all along the way kept my spirit lifted.

  2. Ty

    Monday, October 02, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I’m glad that I came across this post. I have been thinking about doing some traveling with my son via Amtrack. You made me want to check into it more. Thanks for the tips.

    • Lakisha

      Monday, October 02, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Ty,

      I’m glad that you did as well. I’ll be posting more content on my trip but feel free to reach out if you want any specifics.

  3. Eva Wilson/SocaMom® (@SocaMomDC)

    Monday, October 02, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Not sure Id be up for doing this alone, but I’d LOVE to do this with the hubby if we could get this kind if time. Seems like a great opportunity to reconnect and have great experiences together.

    • Lakisha

      Monday, October 02, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Eva!
      I think everyone should try it at least once! There were lots of couples and families on the train taking various trips. I’m thinking about starting my kids out w/ a trip from NYC to Canada.

  4. staciesayzso

    Monday, October 02, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Wow, that is an awesome accomplishment! I see you stopped in my neck of the woods. I hope MN was good to you.

    • Lakisha

      Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      MN was awesome! Tried to make it to the Purple Ones home but couldn’t get out of the mall. Next time for sure.

  5. Jeuelle

    Monday, October 02, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    This is incredible! I really love your independent spirit and how you mapped out this trip. I have some girlfriends who travel solo occasionally and I think I might love solo travel too (one day when my kids are grown lol).

    • Lakisha

      Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Juelle girl, that’s a post for another day! How old are you children? My kids left for camp that morning, and I left that afternoon and we all returned the same day. For me, balance is everything!

  6. dawnwairimu

    Monday, October 02, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    you are brave! i have never taken a trip alone but this sounds pretty good 🙂

    • Lakisha

      Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 1:07 am

      Hi Dawn,

      Really, what’s stopping you? You have to try at least once, start with a destination not too far!

  7. Queens of Virtue

    Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 12:45 am

    What an awesome post! I loved reading your experience 🙂 traveling solo should be something we all try at least once!

    • Lakisha

      Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 1:06 am

      Absolutely, I take a solo trip annually!!Have you done any solo travel, If not, where would you consider going?

  8. bernettastyle

    Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    That is so cool. I would love to do something like that with my family over the summer. Hubs wants to go RVing!

    • Lakisha

      Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Bernetta,

      I’d bet you all would love it! See you this weekend in Miami sis! #tribeup

  9. Keisha Adinkra

    Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    This is awesome! The mountains are so majestic to me lol..I am a solo traveler as well. The best solo trip I took was to Kemet it was amazing! I have not been on an Amtrak (Shame). But now that I’m based in VA I plan to take the train somewhere not sure where yet lol….thanks for sharing!

    • Lakisha

      Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Keisha,

      Girl I took 3 books, a coloring book, cards and didn’t use any of them! From window gazing to chatting it up with other riders, my time was well spent!

  10. Carissa (The Green Eyed Lady)

    Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Love this! I told my husband I want to take a trip across America to see the sights and he suggested we do it by train!

    • Lakisha

      Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      You two would so love it! It’s one of the best trips I’ve ever taken and I go solo at least once a year! I’m always around to hit up for questions you decide you take a chance.

  11. Kiwi

    Wednesday, October 04, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Wow I heard of this Amtrak experience but I need a little more details. How did you get on and off did you have a few hours off the train in each city and get back on? Did you pick the 15-30 day package? My favorite solo trip thus far was to Panama where I went for a month this year I made friends while I was in a spanish school!

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