If you know anything about me at this point in my blogging career, you know I don’t back down from a challenge:
- Quit my nine-to-five as a payroll tax analyst to pursue my own business venture with no home base? Done.
- Live in America illegally for a few months while Uncle Sam processes my paperwork? Done.
- Take a roundtrip to Jamaica and back to America on expired travel documents for both countries? Done.
- Go off to a Muslim country by myself after my travel partner canceled at the last minute? Done.
- Drive from Atlanta to Vegas while COVID-19 is spreading through the country knowing I’m a high-risk person? The trip is booked: I leave in May.
What Do I Mean by High-Risk Person?
Some of you may remember my 2017 post:
It’s the only post I’ve published on my blog that discusses my heart conditions in any great detail. I was diagnosed with my fourth heart condition by 14 years old, but only one is currently active.
Unfortunately, the currently active one is essentially the sum total of the damage caused by the three before it. I also have no guarantee that two of those three will not return when they are good and ready.
Put simply, I’ve lived with a death threat from Mother Nature hanging over my head since birth. Yet, I’m the same woman who ran up a mountain in Alaska and kayaked around the entire Rasdhoo Island in the Maldives.
So, are my heart conditions serious? That depends on who you ask. My doctors have always said yes. They banned me from physical education and pulled me from the track team in high school, but I’ve always been … determined.
Also, according to the CDC, there are four specific groups of people that are at greater risk than others:
- Older people
- People with heart disease
- People with lung disease
- People with diabetes
Why Am I Driving to Vegas?
I’ve been talking about moving out west since February 2019. After Georgia killed my tiny home dreams, I looked westward and made a big decision: I’m moving to California. I even took a trip out there to scope out the specific town I had in mind. I fell in love with the area and was ready to go.
Then, on New Year’s Eve night, just as I was ready to put my plan in motion, my biggest client announced that they would no longer be working with California-based contractors.
Since then, I’ve been scrambling to make adjustments. California is currently off my list, but as long as I get to bask in the desert sun and proceed with my tiny home plans, who am I to complain?
My tiny home project now takes me specifically to Las Vegas because that is where I plan to purchase my tiny home on wheels. I’ll then take it one day at a time as I proceed with plans to build my tiny home on a permanent foundation.
Will I stay in Vegas during that time? Just three months ago, I was in talks with the planning department in a California desert town and finding my plot of Cali land. So, I’m in no position anymore to answer that question — especially in the middle of a global pandemic.
Where Will My Trip Take Me?
Shadow and I are driving across America together. He’ll be riding shotgun in a dog crate because he deserves as much space as he can possibly get. For my own safety, I won’t say now when I am leaving and where I plan to stop, but I’ll share general information:
- Day 1: Louisiana
- Day 2: Texas
- Day 3: Still in Texas!
- Day 4: New Mexico
- Day 5: Arizona
- Day 6 to 14: Nevada
As is my custom, if you follow me on social media, I usually post where I have been after I leave. I will also be sure to post lots of pictures of my tiny home on wheels when I pick it up. I’m giving myself 7 days for that process, because you just never know!
What Precautions Am I Taking?
A lot of my friends and family members are panicking a little — okay, maybe a lot — about my decision to not just drive across the country, but alone and then with COVID-19 spreading like wildfire. I do plan to take some precautions while on the road:
- Most of my stays are outside of big cities; in fact, one is on a farm in the middle of nowhere.
- I already have a habit of disinfecting hotel rooms and Airbnbs while traveling and will do the same for this trip.
- I don’t plan to do any sight-seeing while I’m traveling, although it will take every ounce of self-control to not go see the Grand Canyon — I really might go see it.
- I plan to cook my lunches inside my room to avoid needing to eat out because most food service workers do not wash their hands when they should.
- I lost my health insurance last year, but I bought supplementary hospital benefits to help pay for my hospitalization in case I end up in an ER or ICU.
- I finalized my life insurance policy recently and named my sole beneficiary.
Will My Family Be Joining Me Out West?
In a word: no. After more than a year of deliberation, I’ve decided this is a journey to embark on alone, not just for the trip, but the adventures thereafter. My mother plans to fly out to see me on Day 6 when I arrive in Nevada, but it really depends on whether COVID-19 dies down by then or not. I also have several friends coming to visit.
Aside from that, I intend to enjoy my solitude in Nevada or wherever my tiny house journey takes me. I think a lot of people are afraid of being alone and that is one fear I will never understand.
“Aren’t you afraid of being out there by yourself — and as a woman?” is a question I get often from friends.
I give the same answer every time.
It’s a little ironic that women always think we need a man to protect us when more than half the time, that’s who we need protection from.
If you don’t already know this, more than 55% of murdered women are killed by their romantic partners and exes in America. In fact, every 9 seconds, a woman in America is beaten or assaulted. Men make great protectors when they care to assume the role, but sometimes, it can also be a hell of a lot safer to be alone.
If you have ever driven across America and would like to share some tips, feel free to drop those in the comments. Healthcare professionals with advice on how to stay safe are also welcome to advise me. I’m welcome to all suggestions — except, of course, not going.