Our Epic Summer Road Trip

In one month we will fly to Los Angeles. We will pick up an economy-sized rental car. We will start driving. Three weeks later, we will drop of our tiny rental car in Boston.

Hopefully by that point we’ll be old friends. We will have a name for the little metal box that shuttled us across the country – maybe Mona, after my family’s cat. Or Pippa or Louise, British names that remind us that we came from far away. She will almost certainly be a girl.After 3,500 miles of driving, we will drop off our dear Charlotte (?) at the rental agency in Boston, hop in a much bigger metal box, and fly home to London.


Here are my hopes for this adventure:

I hope Drew and I don’t kill each other.

I hope my fears that have developed in the years since I’ve owned a car (those around idiots who text while driving, crazies who enter the freeway going the wrong direction, and hydroplaning on rain-soaked roads) will float away on the desert California breeze as we ease into a driving-centered life once again.

I hope for a well-curated library of podcasts and audio books that we agree on and can both enjoy.


I hope for meals from roadside diners with vinyl seats that stick to the back of your legs. I hope for plenty of American-style pancakes. And all you can drink coffee in those thick off-white porcelain mugs that I swear you can only find in diners such as this.

I hope that we can appreciate the expanses of land even when we’re on the same highway for 500 miles and Kansas is starting to feel like our own personal version of hell.


I hope that my attempt to work from the road for two of the three weeks goes smoothly. This requires driving after UK business hours, waking early to match my team’s working time as closely as possible, and maintaining a level of zen about the fact that I will be plugging away on the laptop as my family chatters in the other room, or Drew visits our old haunts in New York City.

I hope that Basil will be safe and happy at home with the lovely couple that will be caring for him, and feeding him far too many treats (per our explicit instructions).


I hope that I see my beautiful homeland with new and fresh eyes. All 15 states of it that we will pass through. I hope that our detour to the Grand Canyon is all it’s cracked up to be. I hope we don’t get stuck in too much traffic. Anywhere.

I hope that the parts of America that make me proud will shine through, and that her less flattering bits and pieces, those that I’m subjected to via international news stories, will stay gratefully hidden away.

I hope that our visits with old friends and new, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles will give us the injection of love we need in order to feel confident to flee the nest yet again, and pick up life halfway across the world.

Sometimes it’s just nice to hug your mom, you know?

Even if she is 6,000 miles away most of the time.


  • May 2, 2015

    This sounds like an amazing trip you have coming up! I hope that all your hopes and dreams for this trip will come true 🙂

    • May 2, 2015

      Thanks! We are looking forward to it. Should make for an interesting three weeks!

  • May 3, 2015

    Sounds like you are going to have a great trip. If you don’t kill each other 🙂
    I’ve always wanted to do a coast-to-coast road trip in the US so I can’t wait to follow along.
    Emma Healey recently posted…How Much Does It Cost to Live in Spain?My Profile

    • May 4, 2015

      Zoning out on podcasts will be the key I think to our survival!

  • May 3, 2015

    Don’t worry: The Grand Canyon definitely won’t disappoint! We reached it after some serious national park hopping through Utah and other parts of Arizona and it still impressed.

    You will have the best time, and yes, podcasts will definitely be your best friend on those long days in the car. I assume you’ve already listened to Serial, but obviously if you haven’t, that will definitely eat up a day of your life. And our very favorite podcast for car trips is Radiolab—it’s inspiring and informative all at the same time. Also, we really enjoyed listening to BJ Novak’s short story collection, “One More Thing”… that got us through the long boring roads of Minnesota and Nebraska.

    Bon Voyage!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…Getting the Last Laugh at Bryce CanyonMy Profile

    • May 4, 2015

      Thanks for the insights! Julie is a huge fan of Serial and Radiolab, but looks like we might need to add One More Thing to the rotation. It will be key for the boring drive across eastern Colorado and Kansas. And we are definitely looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon. Seen it from the air, but will obviously be a little more impressive in person! We will be sure to share a lot from our adventure.

  • May 6, 2015

    Serious travel envy going on over here – this sounds amazing!