I often find myself thinking, “I would love to quit my job and travel the world.” Easier said than done. I'm sure many of us can relate to being a 23 year old and working a minimum wage job that leaves little excess cash (or time) to fulfil our travel plans. Not letting this stop me, I figured out a way to live those dreams. I realized there was no need to quit my job to have an awesome life. A little time management, a bit of preparation, a small amount of cash, and a somewhat reliable vehicle will get you doing the things you love.
Lucky to have a three-day weekend, I wanted to use this chunk of time in the best way possible. Of course, that called for a road trip. First stop, Yosemite! After viewing some amazing landscapes, I headed out to Taft Point to watch the sunset. Coincidentally, I ran into some awesome people who had a high line set, and it didn’t take long for me to join in. I couldn’t imagine a better way to start off my three-day weekend.
We drove down through the valley and continued our journey elsewhere. While gazing up at the massive walls that envelope us as we enter the valley, I noticed little dots scattered all over the rocks. I finally realized that all those dots were climbers in hanging tents after a long day of climbing El Captain! We continued our drive through most of the night and after finally catching a few z’s, we woke up to a truly amazing sight.
Next stop, Convict Lake. We ate breakfast and began to wander around, in awe of our surroundings. Soon after, we found boat rentals for little to nothing and couldn’t resist taking a trip on the water. After spending some time in the refreshing pools of Convict Lake, we were back on the road.
On our way, we made a quick pit stop at some natural hot springs called Hot Creek. I was so pleased that we had pulled over to check out this amazing place.
Just before dark, we got to Alabama Hills, quickly throwing together our packs and making a quick hike out to the famous arch. After a view that was definitely worth the hike, we made our way back to the car and called it a night.
The rain woke us up early and we pondered what to do on our last day. On detour from our 10+ hour drive home, we managed to squeeze in a visit to Death Valley. All in all, I couldn’t believe how many amazing places there are within driving distance from my own home.
The next time you see a few days off on your work calendar, don’t just sit around and complain about how boring life can be - wishing you could be like everyone else. Take advantage of that time, get out there, and do something epic.
Written by Ryan Thompson