In the Last Year…

Hey Everyone,

Memorial Day weekend marked the one-year anniversary of the start of the Great American Road trip and I’m sure you’ve all been wondering, “What in the heck have those traveling Truckies been up to in the last year?”  Steph and John have both moved on to new opportunities and we asked them both to give you an update on their lives since their time with the Truckster.  Read on to find out where their at and what lies in store for your favorite traveling twosome!

From Stephanie:

Well hello, hello fearless travelers! Truckie Steph here, reporting live from the Big Apple.

truckie stephanie  with stature of liberty

Truckie Stephanie settles in in NYC

Since my days behind the wheel I’ve moved to Hoboken,NJ, and began my first ‘big girl job’ in the world of digital advertising for Neo@Ogilvy in Manhattan. Sadly, I haven’t actually driven since last summer and I must say that I miss it. At least I went out with a bang. Most people who miss driving up here can’t say they spent 3 months driving around the country before handing over their keys for good… but this girl can.

In fact, I think the next time you’ll be passing me on the highway should be my next vacation which involves a road trip to Tennessee. Being from Austin, I’m a big live music fan so I’m spoiling myself with a ticket to Bonnaroo music festival in June. I’ll be the one passing out Frisbees and beach balls next to the big green station wagon and staying in that rockin’ vacation rental from…

Oh man, I wish that were true!!!!

No joke, I just had this flash back to the first time I sat in the Truckster driver’s seat. It was the lunch hour in downtown Austin and my boss and I went out for a test run. I was so nervous, so excited! I think I probably made our boss a little anxious that day, but she still let me come along for the ride of lifetime. That’s so cheesy to say, but I can’t seem to wipe the silly smile off my face right now, so it must be true.

Truckie Stephanie at Work

Hard at work at her new job with Neo@Ogilvy

Though my ‘truckie’ days might be over, that doesn’t mean a thing when It comes to the memories John and I made last summer, the frequency at which I continue to wear my Truckster shirt OR the fact that I still refuse to hold a cold beverage without a koozie in hand, preferably a blue one with our favorite family’s faces printed on it! Plus, any day I choose to relive the dream I’m so pumped we chronicled our voyage for the world to see and for me to remember. (Shout out to all the amazing travel bloggers we met along the way. I miss that life but thank goodness I get to live vicariously through your stories! Every traveler needs a blog!)

And with that, I better get back to my day job. Somebody convince that driving partner of mine to stop by for an overdue visit.  : )

Gear up friends, summer’s almost here and you know what that means: ROAD TRIP!

From John:

Hey again!

I’m writing to give you an update and prove that life does exist after Truckie retirement.  After leaving the Great American Road Trip, I packed all my belongings (1 suitcase full) and moved to Athens,GA, home of the University of Georgia.  Although I’m no longer in college and did not attend UGA, I like the town a lot because of the warm weather, my apartment complex’s pool and its colorful music scene.

Truckie John at work at Edelman PR

Truckie John now spends his days at Edelman Public Relations in Atlanta

To make sure I don’t lose my driving abilities, I currently commute to and from Atlanta where I work at Edelman Public Relations.  When I started at Edelman, I was on their Digital team but recently moved to their Crisis and Issues Management department where I work in an extremely fast-paced environment full of surprises!  I guess since the Truckster broke down so many times, I had the crisis experience that qualified me for my current job.  Soon, I plan on moving to Atlanta, but for now, I’m cruising Holiday Road every day to work.

I still talk to Adam and Steph periodically, mostly to reflect on driving through fields of grasshoppers or to dream of living in vacation homes again.  I haven’t seen the Truckster since we parted last August, but I hear it’s in great shape and ready for public appearances.  With some extra cash I have saved up from last summer, I’m investing in some wood paneling for the side of my car (a Prius).  Just kidding…or not?  

Thanks for following along with us last summer!  I hope you had as much fun as we did.  I miss the baseball games, beach houses, long drives and Truckster fans but at least we all got to experience these great memories together!


Rules of the Road from the Road 101

Here we are a good 4+ weeks into this road trip. I almost can’t believe it, but then I start thinking about all the ups and downs and lefts and rights that we’ve managed to cruise through relatively smoothly. Now I wouldn’t exactly call myself an ‘expert’ quite yet, but I have learned a thing or two. So I thought I’d take this rather uneventful driving day (though we passed through some pretty highway scenery,) as a blog opportunity to share the must-haves on our road trip:

BRING: A Tide to-go stick – love this thing. Don’t leave home without it because the moment you do, BAM coffee stains galore.

BRING: A Map – not really for practical reasons because I’ve never claimed to actually be able to navigate with one…but simply because tracing out the route is A) truly impressive when I realize how much ground we’ve covered and B) fun to remember/preserve for that time 10 years from now when I’m reminiscing about that one summer when I did an all-American 360 in the Wagon Queen Family Truckster – once again, it’s impressive, right?

BRING: A travel buddy – I don’t know if John or I have mentioned this yet, but our lovely stereo system has contracted the tranquil habit of only playing a song or two (at best) before SCREECHING at us with static. Needless to say, I’d be a lost puppy on America’s highways if I didn’t at least have someone to converse with, share stories and laugh at the absurdities we encounter. Plus, John does a good job of helping me find my way (I wasn’t kidding about my map skills – or lack thereof.)

BRING: A journal/computer/tablet of sheet rock and a chisel pen – whatever your preferred method of documentation might be, bring it. Plain and simple. You’ll want to remember the little things – so keep record of them. Plus, an amazing teacher once told me that your writing will never be as good and true as it is when you’re writing in the moment.  I’ve been convinced ever since.

BRING: A book of stamps – every one loves a quick “hello” from the road, and it’s incredibly easy to snag a postcard at whatever tourist hot-spot you might pass-by.  I’ve found that having stamps at an arms reach is a good idea for anyone who’s day doesn’t typically consist of snail mail, especially if you’re like me – someone who often forgets. The stamps in my wallet serve to remind and motivate me! (If you’re waiting on a post card from me right now, please don’t call me a hypocrite. Just make sure I have your address and I promise I’ll live-up to my own road rules. After all, its in print… you can hold me to it.)

BRING: Sunglasses!!!!!! Or buy some on the road – I’m a huge fan of sunglass shopping! (See pix below)

DON’T BRING: More than you can carry in one trip from the Truckster to the HomeAway vacation rental – seriously, one small suitcase is more than enough when you’ve got laundry machines. (BTW does anyone else use that term: “laundry machine”? I’ve recently been ‘corrected’ for not saying washer/dryer by a certain PR guru. It might not be AP style but I still don’t think it’s an incorrect term for machines used to do laundry.)

Disclosure: (One of the things we learned at the TBEX convention this past weekend was to always include a disclosure notice if needed.) I was NOT endorsed by Tide, I just love their travel sized stain-remover stick. Also, note that this list is in no way exclusive. There are a number of things that have made our Great American Road Trip successes possible and you’d probably never get through the whole list if I included them all.

Cheers, Steph