I’m at a crossroads of sorts in my life and I’ve decided that I need to make some radical changes. I am 38 and I’ve lived in Georgia, never more than 40 miles away from my immediate family, for my entire life. Now that my grandparents (who were more like my parents) are gone, I no longer have any desire to stay here!
My cousin/best friend (more like a sister) lives in Los Angeles and I’ve spent a lot of time out there over the last few years. She has three adopted children, 11-year old twin boy and girl and their 14-year old brother (who is away at military school). The twins and her husband all love me and, with their blessing, I’m planning to move out there in a few months!
They insist that I live with them for at least a year or so. They live in an affluent suburb, Woodland Hills, and have a 5-bedroom $1.2million house, so who I am to argue???
I’m excited about the move and ready to make the change. Driving out there is actually the only thing that causes me anxiety!
My car is a 2006 Mazda3 Hatchback with 93,000 miles on it (actually the engine was replaced at 49,200 miles under warranty due to a defect that resulted in “catastrophic engine failure” to use the dealer’s terminology). I had my mechanic inspect it top-to-bottom and go ahead and change the spark plugs, fluids and change the transmission oil (gear oil, technically). He also replaced the rear brakes and nstalled new rotors. Freakishly, my front brakes/rotors are still original and the pads have plenty of life left, even after eight years and almost 100k miles!?
My tires still have 5-10k miles or more left in them, but my parents want to buy me new ones before I leave, so I’ll them! So the car is ready for the trip, as is my AAA Membership.
My phone can serve as a 4G hotspot in case I need to use my laptop along the way. My Garmin Nav system is updated and ready to go. I’m also planning to take my Glock 19 along for the trip, just to be safe. I have a carry permit in Georgia and it’s valid in several states I’ll be crossing. And once I’m out of legal concealed carry territory, I have a freakishly huge glovebox with a false back to keep it concealed…
My trip will be 2250-2300 miles depending on which route I take.
The ‘southern’ route is Interstate 20 West. It would take me thru Alabama, Mississippi and Lousiana (not appealing so far)…then it cuts thru the middle of Texas including Dallas, Abilene and El Paso. Then it’s on to Tucson, Phoenix before finally crossing Southern California and reaching Los Angeles.
The ‘northern’ route takes various highways from Atlanta to Memphis, then it’s Interstate 40 West all the way to L.A. Lowlights include Little Rock and Oklahoma City, then crosses the Texas panhandle thru Amarillo. Then it’s on to Albuquerque, Flagstaff and that’s about it until Los Angeles.
The northern/I-40W route looks much more appealing to me, so that’s the way I’m planning to go. I tend to set the cruise at 80-85mph outside of suburban areas and I’m hoping to do that for most of the drive. I also prefer to drive at night, so any sleeping will be done during the daytime…whether in a hotel or at a rest area in the car.
I’m planning to ship the bulk of my stuff so I’ll just have clothes and a few essential items (32" TV, computers, etc.) with me. The electronics will be in the trunk, out of sight.
I’m not sure why I’m so nervous/anxious about the drive??? Prior to this, the furthest I’ve driven (alone) was 850 miles to Houston.
Please feel free to share any advice, comments or stories!