misstheground110 karma2016-01-11 16:38:07 UTC
Heyo! Sounds awesome! Do it!
Utah national parks are absurdly amazing. Zion and Arches are places where you feel like you're on another planet or just got transported back to dino-land. Also, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is super cool. No trails - go where you want - and it has this amazing slot canyon (check it out in my pic album) that's like 6 feet across and goes up a hundred feet that you can walk through for miles.
Sequoia is just fucking absurd also - these trees blow my mind.
Redwood is really cool because you get huge trees but you're also not far from sand beaches.
Couple tips for saving money:
Tough since you'll be coming from away, but having a car is huge just for getting around, and for sleeping in if you can stomach it. I've heard of people coming over, buying a car, and then selling it at the end of the trip. Totally doable!
freecampsites.net is great for finding free places to camp or car camp.
National parks are almost always surrounded with national forests where camping is totally free. I made use of that at pretty much every national park. If there isn't a national forest nearby, if you have a car, you can just sleep on the street in a nearby town.
Bring a camp stove so you can cook your own food. Huge cost saver!
If you're gonna hit a bunch of national parks, buy an America The Beautiful pass, ($80), which gives you free access to the parks and pays for itself after like 3-4 parks.
Gas was my biggest cost, but I got lucky that it's crazy low right now.
I also saved money while I was working as an extra because they give you free food on set. (And I made about a grand working, so my net cost for the trip was actually only like a grand).
If you're interested in working while you travel - I don't know if you'd be able to work as an extra as a brit...maybe? It's pretty official since it's through Production studios. People also get work harvesting weed up by Arcata in CA, but only certain months of the year.
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misstheground18 karma2016-01-11 16:21:59 UTC
If you could go back and change something what would it be?
I'd probably not sleep in my car the whole time, haha! I wanted to save money and have the freedom of going wherever I wanted that day, but I was pretty lonely a lot of the time. I think I'd do couch surfing if (or probably when) I take another trip. You get to meet cool local people that way.
What would you do if you had double the budget?
Hmmm. I'm kind of insane about saving money, so I'm not sure if much would've changed. I probably would've sprung for some more campgrounds (showers) here and there. Or maybe I would've bought a better camera. I loved the one I have, but it's not a dslr or anything.
Best memory from the trip?
I spent a couple really fun days at a hostel in Moab. Lots of cool people and jamming under this tree covered in christmas lights. There was this 70 year old dude who looked like santa who would chill with all the 20 year olds and smoke weed and make hilarious comments. Last I heard he'd taken off with a few of the young'uns and was headed to Florida. Haha
misstheground15 karma2016-01-11 16:26:27 UTC
Yeah, it took a little getting used to. It wasn't a big car - Nissan versa, but the front passenger side seats recline a lot and the back seats come forward to form a semblance of a bed. I had a huge comforter to smoosh in there to even things out.
I didn't bathe a whole lot. A lot of the times campgrounds and truck stops would let me buy a shower for a couple bucks. Sometimes it was like $12 though, so I'd just use paper towels in the car or in a private bathroom at a gas station / library whatever.
misstheground15 karma2016-01-11 16:28:28 UTC
Haha, I was reading a couple other travel AMA's. Seems to come up a lot. I didn't hook up w/ anyone on the trip. I wasn't really looking for it, but being an extra in LA is a pretty amazing place to meet women. 90% of the time you're on set with people and have nothing to do but talk. So easy to just approach a hot girl and ask her if she's an actress or whatever
misstheground15 karma2016-01-11 16:44:49 UTC
That's awesome! Yeah Utah blew my mind.
I really liked doing this slot canyon called buckskin gulch in southern Utah just outside Grand Escalante National Monument. I've got a pic of it on the imgur album - but it was like 5-10 feet wide, hundred feet up and you're just walking through the bottom. Pretty damn cool.
When I was going place to place I slept at truck stops, but near national parks I would just get to the nearby national forest and pull-off of a forest road. When I was working as an extra I just parked on the streets of Burbank near parks (I called Burbank police and they said it was totally cool to sleep in my car).
No weird stuff happened to me while I was sleeping in the car from other people. One time when i was peeing in a bottle in the car people walked by and started cracking up haha....and I did wake up a few times to a mouse eating away something under the hood. That was bad, but they never seemed to stay more than a night.
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