I quit my job and rode my motorcycle through 48 U.S. States in 100 days. AMA
I forgot the best part! The macarena
Sorry if I didn't answer your question, but I think I got to most of them. 11 hours later, my carpal tunnel is killing me and I need to go outside. Thanks for all the questions guys.
Last year, I quit my job in Illinois, put all of my belongings in storage except a backpack, and rode my motorcycle 22,000 miles through all 48 continental U.S. states. Name a major U.S. city, I was probably there. I was inspired to do an AMA by this post.
I stayed with friends and family, camped, and used couchsurfing to find places to stay, only staying in a hotel 5 nights and a hostel 2 nights. I survived a hurricane, an earthquake, and an attempt at getting me to join the creepiest cult I've ever heard of. I occasionally planned out which cities I would be in over the next 2-3 days for lodging purposes, but the route was only ever planned out the morning of (or sometimes the afternoon, depending on how much I drank with whomever I stayed with).
The trip was exactly 100 days of travel from June 2 to September 17, with a few days break at the halfway point where I flew from Vegas back to Illinois to see family for an extended weekend, and then flew back out to Vegas and started up again. Here's a map.
It's the kind of trip that you expect to be pretty cool, but it was way better than I ever could have expected - so many random things just sort of happen to you when you're open to it. Here's a brief photo album with a few things from the trip, including a map of my route for the entire trip.
I have tons of stories from the trip - from the Chicago stock trader who retired to Montana, to watching the Seattle 4th of July fireworks on a yacht with people I'd met the day before, to clinging to a lamppost in New Orleans hoping my friend would find me and lead me back to the hotel - so fire away.
EDIT: Since it's the most asked question: I started the trip with about $10k saved up (I had been an engineer, single, with a roommate, in a low cost-of-living area). I finished with about $1000, and by the time I got a job, had a significant amount of credit card debt.
Gas was probably about $1700 I think. I get about 50mpg, so 22k miles/50mpg = 440 gallons, and gas was between $3.20 (Wyoming) and $4+ (big cities/California), so yeah, around $1700.
I spent most of my money on food and beer.
EDIT2: I was 25 when I started the trip, and single/no kids. That's why I did it now, when I had time and availability.
EDIT3: Here's the major stories that I've posted:
Here's my Packing List
EDIT4 The Bike was a 2007 Honda Shadow Aero. I bought it for $5500 with 2900 miles on it in 2009. It had about 10,000 miles on it when I started the trip.
EDIT5 Why not all 50? Alaska: An extra two weeks, and I had to be in Vegas by a certain date to catch a flight back to the midwest to see family. Hawaii: An extra $1000 to ship my bike over and back and fly over and back, as well as an extra week or more to wait for the bike to be shipped each way. They're on the list, I will get the motorcycle to them in the next year or two.