The Road Trip: Los Angeles, California
June something, 2016
The road trip all started with Tony Robbins.
I downloaded his book Awaken the Giant Within on Audible and listened to it in two hours while my then-girlfriend was finishing her last shift at the café she used to manage in Griffin Park.
Tony starts talkin:
“Are you setting ambitious goals?”
Well, yeah, I’m gonna be a best-selling author, I tell Tony through the headphones.
“Does that EXCITE YOU?” says Tony.
Uhhh… well, kinda… mostly it just sounds like a lotta work.
“Well what WOULD excite you? Some people just don’t dream big enough… is that you?” Tony asks me in a real soothing yet threatening voice.
I start tearing. YES, TONY THAT IS ME! How did he know?
“Well, it’s time to STOP and DREAM BIG,” he shouts in my ear.
FINE TONY, FINE!
“Take out a pen and start to write! WRITE FOR FIVE MINUTES! Stop the tape NOW and WRITE!”
Fucking shit this guy… So, I start to damn write and write and I write down everything I think I want but I’m not sure I want but think maybe I want and I don’t know… but I write it all down.
I look down at my pad. Amidst all the crazy mumbo jumbo I wrote down like “have Japanese tea garden”—whatever the fuck that mean, I see:
Set world record.
Hmm… A world record? A world record for what? I mean, it sounds fun… Okay. A world record, I’ll do it. But what kinda record? I wonder if there’s some kinda travel world record, do those exist? Is that a thing? It must be a thing. Everything is a thing.
I Google ‘world records travel’ and tons of fuckin travel world records pop up. I start browsing through em all to see which world records I might be able to break, and BOOM… I find one:
Longest Journey by Car in a Single Country... A ROAD TRIP!
Fantastic, that sounds great. I’m lookin at some couple in India that currently has the title at 19,600 miles, which is chicken shit, I think to myself. Well guess what motherfuckers? You’re goin down.
So, I click on the [APPLY TO BREAK RECORD] button and fill out a buncha shit and then I’m prompted with screen that says they’ll get back to me in twelve weeks… Twelve weeks?
You fuckin kidding?
Who plans shit out that far? Oh wait… OR I can pay them a dickload of money to hear back in three to five days. Eight-hundred dollars to be kind of exact (somewhere around there at least).
I pay them the dickload of money they extort me for and wait for the response.
I hear back within a few hours I think, I can’t really remember, but it was fast. Congratulations, you’ve been accepted to apply for the record (is basically what it said). Then I’m prompted with some other page that says in many more words than I’m about to paraphrase it in, “Okay do a bunch of more shit then send us your roadmap and how you intend to break the record so we can approve it, and one more thing: you can’t start prior to approval.”
So, I spend five hours doin the map that night and I’m up with my ex—her name is Heather—so, I’ll just say Heather from now on…. Anyway, I’m up till like 3AM with my ex—I mean Heather—tryin to put together some kinda map that’ll break 20,000 miles… but the thing is they gave us all these rules—like no round trips and no backtracking and no leaving the country and more shit than that, but those are a few, so it’s quite hard to find some sort of route that’ll break 20,000 miles.
Zig-zaggy road trip
We come up with this zig-zaggy lookin route and submit it and THEN they say something along the lines of, “this shit isn’t good enough. Please be more detailed…” Actually, here’s precisely what they said:
“Thanks, we’ll get back to you in twelve weeks OR you can pay us another dickload of money to hear back in three to five days. So again, I pay the crooks because I’m impulsive and I wanna leave in like a week.
I wait and wait and wait and wait and wonder if I just spend sixteen hundred bucks for no reason just to get denied. Plus, Heather’s lease is over and we gotta leave LA and we have no idea where to drive, so we head to her parent’s house that’s right outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
Then, after like two weeks of us staying in the hottest place on Earth, I get a response from Guinness:
We prep our shit for (what we think will be) a 20,000-mile journey up and down the USA. But all that went to shit.
Road Trip Standstill -Gilbert, Arizona
July 7, 2016, or something like that.
The day is at least 120 degrees and the night is somewhere around 110. I gotta go get new tires and get my oil changed and buy a camera and get ready to sleep in the back of my car for… however long that’ll take. Gonna be sleeping in the back of my Subaru Outback on an air mattress, I think.
Before we leave I get bored and post on Facebook about the trip and some guy named Jake I met in a café in Brooklyn at one point in my life sends me a message that says:
LET’S WORK TOGETHER!
He worked for some branding agency or someplace where companies pay him money for content and now we were gonna be that content. He gets us a sponsor called Stream–they’re a live streaming platform. They want us to live stream the whole trip.
WHY AM I EVEN DOING THIS?
Oh right, cause I was dissatisfied with my life.
Five days later, we’re still in Phoenix.
WHY IS THIS SO FRUSTRATING ALREADY??
Turns out we weren’t fully ready yet… Another hiccup with Guinness…
So I flip out cause we are READY TO GO! KML file?! What in the fuck is that? Are we even approved?! WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS MEAN!?!
So I write back in a frantic state of mind:
This chick is probably like, dude. You are CRAZY. Calm the FUCK down. Cause she just writes back…
Okay great. Now I just gotta figure out what in the world a KML file is. I google the living shit outa it and NOBODY has an answer.
In search of a KML clue…
Who would know this? Who needs to record mileage? TRUCK DRIVERS! I’ll call a truck driving company!
So I call one of them and they have no fucking clue.
Dammit… Hmm, maybe another world record breaker? But I don’t know any other world record breakers. I freak out again.
WHAT THE FUCK IS A KML FILE?
But there’s no more time to waste, we gotta get on the road! But STILL–even after a few days driving I’m goin back and forth with Guinness tryin to figure out if I did the KML file thingy right. And STILL they are writing me back shit like: seek professional advice. PROFESSIONAL ADVICE?! YOU ARE THE FUCKIN PROFESSIONAL ADVICE!
But before all that I even went to Best Buy to find someone in the GPS section of the store and and demand he tell me what we gotta do to make sure the mileage is showing on our KML file.
Dude points to some Garmin GPS system.
“That’ll do it”
FINALLY. Some expert help (it wasn’t as we learned).
So we get back home—Heather and I—with some dumb 300-buck GPS system and turn it on and it says update the software. We click update. The update will take 25 hours, please do not turn off your computer.
25 hours?!?! ARE YOU FUCKIN KIDDING ME?
So we wait 25 hours for this GPS to update and go swimming in Heather’s parent’s pool.
Then we have sex; a rare occasion.
Then Stream, our new sponsor, says they sent us two Samsung phones with unlimited data so we can rig the car up to live stream the entire trip. Those phones show up at the house. Free phones. That’s cool.
“You ready for the walk through on how to use the software?”
But the GPS update still has 20 hours or whatever and the KML files are wrong and we gotta get going here and it’s 120 degrees outside and now we gotta learn how to use this live streaming software. I feel flustered.
So I turn on the Samsung Galaxy phones but the phones won’t turn on till its charged for another hour.
I write back to Jake and the Stream people that:
“Phone taking long time to charge can push back Skype sesh?”
Taking out words makes it sound like I’m in a rush.
They say yes and when the hour goes by and the phones are charged we turn them on and are prompted with two options:
Call the cops or turn off phone.
So, we head to the Verizon store, but they tell us they need our password to activate it. We don’t know the password so I send another message to Jake and Stream tellin em we can’t even turn the phones on.
Meanwhile back at the house the fuckin DSLR camera I bought is still on the floor of the room Heather and I were stayin in at her parent’s house and it’s lookin at me sayin:
You’ll NEVER figure me out. NEVER.
I look at the photo of the camera on the box with all its buttons and shit and I’m thinkin:
Damn, I’ll never figure out how to take a damn picture on this thing.
Problem with that is, part of the rules we gotta follow say we’re required to take photos of national landmarks and film two minutes of video footage for every hour we’re on the road… Okay, I’ll worry about that later.
DAY 0: Heather Gets Pulled Over
Actually, it’s not even day one. We haven’t even left yet and Heather got pulled over and lost two points on her license and got a $300 ticket for running a stop sign right outside her parent’s house in a sub-development of a sub-development of a sub-development in Gilbert, Arizona. Not a good start.
We leave tomorrow.
DAY 5: Mile Marker 904 – Another Fight
Finally we left Phoenix and went up to Prescott and then over to Flagstaff and we parked that first night at a Pilot Flying J’s truck stop. We setup the car for the first time to sleep in and I was stressed the fuck out cause Heather brought so much shit and I told her a million times “you’re bringing too much shit” and she was like “no it’s all good you’re freakin out” and I was like:
“YOU’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE. I AM TELLING YOU THIS IS TOO MUCH SHIT. WE WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT THE SEATS DOWN CAUSE THERE’S TOO MUCH SHIT TO PUT AWAY!”
Then that night she easily put everything where it needed to be and we slept comfortably and I woke up and said sorry.
I hate being wrong. Especially when I’m wrong with so much conviction.
But before we went to bed, we put towels in the windows so we could have some privacy. A couple weeks later on an Indian reservation in the back of a casino the casino manager told us we were ruining the “ambiance” of the casino and that we had to leave.
“BUT LOOK AT ALL THE TRUCKS! THEY AREN’T RUINING THE AMBIANCE?”
I was about to freak out.
“Well, see how they’re… clean? You have towels hanging out the windows…”
Translation: Beat it white trash.
Less White Trashy
The next morning Heather made curtains for the windows and put Velcro all around the car so we could slap the curtains up at night and take em off during the day. It looked much less white trashy.
I woke up at like 6am and did 120 pushups (humble brag) on some concrete sidewalk at some truck stop while Heather was still sleeping and then I meditated on my yoga block and when Heather woke up we moved all the shit from the front seat back to the backseat and deflated the air mattress and drove to the Grand Canyon.
I nearly died at the Grand Canyon a few years back, but that’s beside the point.
Here’s what happened next… (coming soon)