“I’m sorry… you’re doing what? On a SCOOTER!!? Why?!”
Well, let me tell you a connection of happenings…
1)My fresh and undying love of scooters.
2)The ongoing search for what work will fulfill me, challenge me, and maybe lead to a “career” of some sort (whatever that is, hah! Career…).
3)A phone call informing me that the house where I have been storing my leather boots, snowboard and birth certificate (listed in order of importance), is going on the market, and that I should probably come and get it.
4)The ever present yearning to do something “out there” in that big ol’ unknown.
5) A little niece in North Carolina that needs to go adventuring with her Auntie.
6)The life goal to find an Italian grandmother, or great-grandmother (I’m not picky), to teach me to make pasta in Italy. If that went down in the hills of Tuscany while drinking wine, that would be acceptable.
7)The knowing that it was time to leave Hawaii.
Ok, so you are reading this and thinking: ‘No, that definitely does not equal scooter trip BY HER SELF across the USA…’
Here’s how my brain worked:
Must get stuff, but how? Do I fly there and grab my bags, then fly to North Carolina for further storage at my mom’s house? Bus? Do I buy a car and drive the stuff? Ok… car sounds better and cheaper than two plane tickets with a ridiculous amount of bags, or trying to keep track of all my stuff on a bus… But where do I get the car? Thus began my mega search of every state I know that generally has the least rusty vehicles, an airport, and hopefully someone I know that I can send to look at the car before I get there…
But then ‘Operation: Find Car, Get Stuff’ got WAY too expensive, WAY too quickly, with too many loose ends that sent me right back at the drawing board… And then it hit me, why not drive a scooter across the country? I’ve already driven across the country a dozen times in all sorts of different 4-wheeled vehicles, so why not shake things up a bit?
I would search for a cheap (-ish) reliable scooter that maintains (-ish) its retail value, pay around $250 in gas to go 4,200 miles, stop in Colorado to ship my stuff to North Carolina, and make one hell of an adventure out of it! Yes, this makes perfect sense! As I started reaching out to my friends, old and new, to see if I could have some places to stay, I immediately got some great feedback. More tips on how I can make this “Scooterlanding” thing work, where to camp, how to not die, that sort of thing… And thus birthed the hunt for #ScooterLife!
And, as my life goes, as soon as I made the decision to make this happen, while not actually knowing exactly how I was going to make this happen, things just started falling into place.
Flight: While still hemming and hawing about where I wanted to begin this journey, I found a ridiculously cheap plane ticket to San Francisco on Virgin America, like $308 cheap after taxes and bags. This was just too good to be true (flights had been upward of $400 to SF for the last several months). I promptly sent a few text messages to a friend who had just moved back to the bay area from Hawaii to see if I could stay with her. That wonderful goddess and her boyfriend were willing to let me stay in their guest room while I searched for a scooter and use her car to do so! So yeah, I bought that plane ticket on the double and figured I’d let the other chips fall as they may.
Plane ticket, CHECK!
RENT: I had briefly texted with an old friend in Colorado who was asking about Hawaii life a while ago, how to make it work and what Island Life is actually like, and I thought; ‘maybe she wants to take over my rent and be a badass new roomie for my best good friend?’ While sitting on the beautiful upper deck at Daylight Mind sipping a Cappuccino, I reached out to her and we immediately got to plotting and planing how to start her Hawaii life, and plan my exit.
STUFF: As it happens, when I stay put long enough, I eventually start to accumulate things that I actually like and kind of want to keep. Combo that with a VERY TINY mode of transportation, and I began to realize how little stuff I would be able to take with me. Who knows, maybe I will live off of a scooter for the rest of my life? (Mom, don’t read that part) Then getting rid of those hiking shoes wouldn’t be such a big deal… But then I probably won’t, and will need to buy them all over again. So, while in the midst of my pile staring, trying not to freak out about how many boxes I would need to pay to ship to NC from Hawaii, my wonderful roommate offered to take some boxes to Colorado! She would be able to get them there for free on her companion ticket for American Airlines and I can just plan on what to do with that stuff later.
Hiking shoes, CHECK!
SCOOTER: Hunting around on Craigslist, and not knowing exactly what I was looking for, it seemed like there would be an adequate amount of scooters to choose from once I made it to the Bay Area. The only thing to determine ahead of time was the cc’s. If I made this voyage on anything 49cc’s and under, I would be able to get away with just using my regular drivers license. If I planned on getting a bigger scooter, I would need to get a “motor scooter” license. The catch? I would need to take to take the test in Hawaii on the bigger scooter, and didn’t know of anyone who had one I could use and rental places wouldn’t let me rent one to take the test, due to insurance. This part of the puzzle would need some more finagling.
With my motor scooter license in limbo, but stuff, rent and flight set, I began my sort of looking, and definitely leaping process to San Francisco to start the scooter adventure of a life time.