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There’s No Place Like Home…

by Stephanie Casher on August 13, 2006


36 days, 23 States (and into Canada), 10,302 miles, and two hubcaps later (lol), I am finally back home in Santa Cruz. What a wild and crazy adventure it’s been! The euphoria I felt upon returning home, seeing my boys again (JJ is freaking HUGE now!), and finally getting to rest, smoke, and veg — it’s been like the cherry on top of a extraordinarily delicious sundae loaded with whipped cream… Those of you that know me know I’m a total homebody, so this whole summer adventure was quite the departure from the norm… But I feel like this journey introduced me to a whole other side of my self (a freedom-loving, spontaneous, flexible, adventure-seeking side) that I didn’t know I had… And what do you know -she’s actually happy and whole a lot of fun… I really don’t want to see her go, lol. I have to find that perfect balance between home and away, responsibility and reckless abandon…

Processing this trip and everything that happened to me will take months… But you will all be able to read a fictionalized version of this summer’s misadventures when I complete the book I’m planning to write about it, lol. After I finish WHEN LOVE ISN’T ENOUGH… Which I plan to do sometime in October (I’m borrowing Esco’s deadline, lol). ;-) That’s right, I’m not just returning to the reality of my “day job”, but also to the reality of this other dream I’m bent on chasing — launching my writing career. There have been many developments on that front in the past month, and I need to sit down with all my options and make some decisions soon… I will definitely keep everyone posted on any good news :-)

5 weeks on the road, a good portion of it travelling sola, was quite an undertaking… Many people thought I was “crazy” (I’m assuming in a good way??? lol), others were flat out inspired by my balls and determination. But I would (and plan to) do it all over again. This has been, hands down, the best summer of my entire life. I’m not gonna be all cliche and cheesy by saying I “found” myself, but I did gain a greater clarity on my dreams, goals, and desires than I’ve ever had. I know exactly what I want out of life. And I think I have a plan on getting there. And I’ve learned that every step along the sometimes crooked path I’m going to take to get there has beauty in it if I just slow down and look a little closer. There is beauty everywhere, even in heartbreak and pain. There is a reason for everything that happens. I’m not religious by any means, but I do believe now that God (Great Original Doer), has a plan… We just get so caught up in things that don’t mean anything folks… Love yourself, love everyone around you, and don’t take a moment you have on this earth for granted — it’s really that simple. Hard, lol, but simple… But we are all blessed to be alive and breathing ya’ll… Every last one of us…

In the spirit of spreading love and giving thanks, I have to acknowledge all the people along the way whose path I crossed, who added a layer of love, laughter, or knowledge to the mission. I have one hell of a story to tell, and each and every one of you contributed a priceless memory to it that I will cherish forever… To my poet for the love, inspiration, and companionship (I miss you); Meg for being the perfect Thelma to my Louise (I LOVE YOU!); my Jackson Fam (and Cousin Doug!) for giving me the feel of family when I was so far from home (I love and miss you guys so much! I’m already planning my return trip!); dear friends I was able to reconnect with after being geographically challenged for too long (Faby, Lil Chris, Nicola, Carolina, Corey, JoJo, Berhan, Benito) – thank you for the food, shelter, and friendship… Seeing a familiar face at regular intervals refreshed my spirit in ways you’ll never know…xoxo); all the McFriends and McGrawGirls I met and reconnected with – it’s so much fun having folks to share my obession with! (special shouts out to Leish, her beautiful children (I’ll be back Rachel, I promise!), Iris, Colleen, Mama Karen and Paige…xoxo); everyone I met at the Black Writers Conference in Dallas for the inspiration, advice, and community; everyone I interacted with in the South that showed me that “Southern Hospitality” is not just a myth or expression, but alive and well; Officer Hamilton and Deputy Dyk for their compassion and caring; every random person I met along the way that extended their kindness in my direction (especially Captain Mark!); Ann, Alcide, and Leo for making sure my boys, bills, and home were well taken care of when I was gone; and everyone back home who was missing me and praying for my safe travels – I definitely felt like I had a host of guardian angels with me every step of the way.

Flickr has been updated with the remaining vacation photos… So many memories, wow. I hope I can inspire some of you to plan your own little getaways… I’m telling you life is too short to not be L-I-V-I-N…

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Cross Country Tour Revisited…
June 30, 2011 at 10:36 AM

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