It’s February again and that means it’s time for my annual road trip across the country to find the best snow to ski in, meet up with friends, and, most importantly, think about and plan this silly life of mine. This will be my fourth year driving out west and it’s always been some of the most fun and productive few weeks of my year. Here’s why:
I prefer to drive alone so that I can think, learn, and study as I go across the country. Seventy hours in a car is a great place to really think about the last 365 days and plan for the next. This is where I think about what I want to happen in the next year. For me, if it’s not planned, it doesn’t happen.
Hours Of Learning
Being alone in a car is also the best time to learn and catch up on things that I’ve been meaning to read, or things that have been recommended to me over the year. Audio books and podcasts are my favorite way to learn about everything and I really rely on this trip to learn about interesting people and ideas. Here are a few of the things I will be listening to this trip:
- Nikola Tesla Biography
- The Singularity Is Near
- Stumbling on Happiness
- Thinking Fast And and Slow
- The War Of Art
- Winning: The Jack Welsh Bio
Friends and Fun
Of course, there is more to this trip than a long car ride. When I arrive to all these places, I get to ski, drink, play pinball, and catch up with all my friends. Some of them live in the city I am visiting, and some are meeting me there to hang out. I can get pretty busy during the year, so it’s nice to catch up with my friends and have no distractions as we ride up the chair lift together and talk about life. It’s often at ski resorts where my best ideas, friendships, and stories start.
This trip doesn’t mean I can stop working. Sure, I don’t work normal hours during these few weeks, but it’s definitely not a full on vacation. Besides, I gave up the idea of “normal” vacations 4 years ago when I decided to start my own business. There is a lot to do including customer support, writing and making tutorials for the blog, doing the podcast, working on a new site design, getting ready for NAB, and a ton of little things to keep up with while I’m away. Just because I’m away from my desk, doesn’t mean my business can stop. Good thing I like what I do for a living.
Here is a tentative list of where I will be heading this trip. I usually try to keep my schedule a bit loose. I may not hit all these spots, or I may head to a new place if I find out a friend is there, but here is the rough itinerary for 2013. If you’re nearby, I will be waving out my window the entire trip. I promise. 🙂
- Chicago, IL
- Portland, OR
- San Francisco, CA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Denver, CO
- Chicago, IL
If you want to see where I am or what I am up to, follow along on Tumblr, Twitter, or Vine. Also, if I’m heading to your town, keep an eye out on Twitter for a potential meet-up for a beer or two at the local dive.
What’s Your Plan?
It’s hard to express how important this trip is for me. I try to get a lot done every year, but most of those things come from planning during these next few weeks. I hope you save some time this year to reflect and plan your year. Every action starts with a thought. Plan time to relax and think about what you have done and what you want to do. It may just be the most productive time you spend this year.