Although I was able to travel across the country and back without anything bad happening, there are still a few things I might do differently next time around.
The CYOP Road Trip was my first extended solo road trip, it was the first time I had attempted to produce full podcast episodes from the road, it was the first time I'd taken such a long break from other freelance work, it was the first time traveling without my husband for longer than ten days and it was my first time having a podcast sponsor along for the ride.
That's a lot of firsts! So, I thought I'd share a bit about what I've learned in case any of you out there are looking to tackle similar firsts all at once. Here it goes:
- Maybe pick one or two firsts and learn your way around them before adding more into the mix. It was overwhelming to wrap my head around everything I was attempting to accomplish and trying so much of it for the first time made it feel even more insurmountable. Of course, I survived. I came through to the other side of it all with a giant, exhausted smile. However, if I were to do it again, I'd think about paring down my big leaps.
- Stay everywhere a little longer than you think you might need to. I didn't stay anywhere longer than four nights/three days. I drove through 27 states in six weeks. Friends, that's not enough time to get a good feel for a place. While I have zero regrets—I needed to get things done in six weeks, so I made it happen—I would definitely plan to visit fewer cities and stay each place long enough to work, rest and play. I didn't have a good balance of that on this trip.
- Plan for more nature breaks. I spent most nights of this trip in chain hotels. While, for the most part, that provided access to wifi at all hours and I needed that reliability to produce the show, I really wish I had been able to throw in a few camping/cabin stops along the way. I really do prefer staying off the beaten path when traveling and I just couldn't pull that off on this trip.
Honestly, those three things are what I'd do differently. I think taking these tips into account before I head out on another CYOP Road Trip will make all of the other overwhelming bits feel a little more manageable.
p.s. Want to read more about what I learned about working on the road? I shared my insights from the first three weeks here.