Travel Before Ravel Story 2: A Long Drive Home

As a team of travelers, we truly value the connection that comes with sharing our experiences, even if they highlight the parts that didn't quite go as planned. We hope that our stories are relatable and offer you a new perspective. Enjoy these moments from team member Matt's solo road trip across America!

Ravel Team
May 28, 2023

Travelling alone is a very unique experience, but a solo road trip that zig-zags across the US is a whole different type of adventure. Solo travel is one of the most personal and important experiences some can have, and the confidence gained from taking care of yourself and catering your trip to you is unmatched. However, traveling alone also means eliminating outside perspectives, or those voices of reason and rest many find to be helpful when driving all day. In an attempt to share the not-so smooth parts of travel, we are back with a travel mishap story from our team. Building community around both our amazing expeditions and our most memorable mishaps is just one way that we can make travel more accessible and make travel communities feel like home. In the spirit of overcoming and connecting with others, this is the story of how team member Matt found himself half asleep in Lincoln National Forest with a pocket knife in hand.

Matt driving into the Lincoln National Forest

It was nearing the end of Matt’s road trip across America and his next goal was to get from New Orleans to Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico before the end of the night. Tasked with many consecutive days of solo drives, the darkness of the night on the vacant two lane roads didn’t work to settle him. After a full day of driving that ended in hours of darkness, Matt was paradoxically exhausted and fueled by nervous energy.

The road felt eerie to him and the temperature drop along the southwestern states didn’t excite him for a night of sleep in his soft top jeep. When Matt made it to Lincoln for the night, it became clear to him that his nerves and the cold weren't going to let him sleep. He toured the campsite in his jeep using his headlights to scope things out before setting up for three hours of partial sleep. He spent the below 20s night clutching a small pocket knife and waiting for sunrise.

The next morning, he quickly toured the forest before eventually embracing the new day of travel. Just eight hours from his cousins in Phoenix, Arizona, Matt was ready for the trip but still shaken up from the previous night. He set out for Phoenix, excited by the warm weather and a bed to sleep in. However, after a few hours of driving, he became deeply unsettled by some of the road signs he saw. Rio Grande 10 Miles. To some, signs for the river wouldn’t be notable, but for Matt, they signified a huge mistake. Growing up on the East Coast, the geography of Southwestern states wasn’t a large area of focus at Matt’s school, and many students were taught that the Rio Grande bordered the US and Mexico only.  

Related posts