The 12th State Of My Journey

Wisconsin is my 12th state to visit on this trip. It is the second state that I have visited that I have never been to before. I plan to visit three more states that I’ve never been to before, leaving two left to visit on another trip.
I had a few intentions when I set out on this journey, and I may not meet all of them, but I am glad that I am meeting some of them. Initially, I had the big lofty goal of visiting all 48 contiguous states on this trip, but that is probably not going to happen. I also intended to visit the states that I have never visited before, and while I will visit five of them, as I said, I will probably save two for another day.
One of my sisters asked me what I had learned so far on my trip. Honestly, I’m not sure that I have learned anything that I didn’t already know, but I have come to grips with a few things that I haven’t wanted to before.
For instance, I have reconciled myself with the fact that I tend to create huge, lofty, nearly unreachable goals, and I should not get down on myself when I do not fully achieve them. I have always been a ‘shoot for the moon and fall among the stars’ type, and that’s nothing to scoff at. A lot of people never even shoot for the moon or the stars.
I’ve also realized that the motorcycle I am on, with the guitar and extra gear strapped to it, is not the ideal vehicle for the journey I initially intended. Because it is such an amazing wind catcher (and because there are far too few places to hang my hammock in states with few trees), I am not feeling very inclined to pass through the Midwest corridor, which means that I will not be riding through the Rocky Mountains or hitting the West Coast on this trip.
I will also not be visiting North Dakota or Iowa, and will leave them as the two of the 48 contiguous states that I have yet to visit (without losing any sleep or shutting a single tear). However, visiting Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska is certainly sufficient for me, and I have absolutely adored riding through the other states as well.
I’ve also realized that I really don’t enjoy busking. I understand that a lot of musicians pay their dues by playing out on the streets for passersby, but not every musician does, and I would rather lump myself in with the latter. Perhaps it is the entitled prima donna in me that wants people to sit and listen to my songs, but I find playing on the streets a bit demoralizing and I don’t think that either I or the passersby get a whole heck of a lot out of the experience.
Fortunately, I have booked a songwriters’ showcase in Nashville, Tennessee on my birthday, August 4, I’ll be playing in a jam session tonight here in Wisconsin, and I have a few hosts that want to play with me between here and there, but I’m pretty much done with trying to make it as a busker.
I’m not sure exactly what I will do after Nashville, but I think I will be heading back to Sarasota by the end of August. It has been and continues to be a wonderful trip, and I look forward to continuing on down the road. Although this trip may not turn out to be the epic 6 month journey I originally dreamed up with my big, wide eyes, after not leaving Sarasota for 10 years without someone else driving, riding a motorcycle for roughly 7000 miles to visit 17 states in under 3 months is still an endeavor I am sure to cherish for years to come.