So what is this blog all about? In short, it’s about a cross-country road trip in an electric car – a Tesla Model S. But more than that, it’s about a journey to rediscover who I am, what I like, and what I want my life to be. (Ooohhh, deep, existential stuff.) Don’t worry, this blog isn’t going to be Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. After all, the Tesla is basically maintenance free! 😛
Okay, so why a cross-country road trip in an electric car? Don’t you have a job? A family? Pets? Well, no. I spent the last year divorcing my wife of 10 years, we had no kids, she kept all of our (i.e. her) pets, and I just quit my job as a User Experience Designer at Microsoft, which I had for nearly 15 years. I bought the car outright last year, my student loans are paid off (thanks Mom & Dad), and I sold the house I had, so I have no debt. I’m in a unique situation to do… well, pretty much whatever I want. The question is what do I want to do? That’s easy to answer when you have lots of deadlines and responsibilities from which you want to escape, but when you have essentially no responsibilities and there’s nothing from which to escape it surprisingly gets quite hard to answer. WHAT TO DO?????
Well, as it happens, this year is my 25th anniversary of graduating high school. There are a core set of friends that I still stay in touch with, and we decided we should just do our own mini reunion. So, I bugged a few people about it and they got organized and put together a date and time to meet at one of their houses in the South Jersey area where we all went to school. All of them live on the East Coast, but I live out in Seattle. I also have a bunch of friends from college on the East Coast and my whole family is out there as well, so it would be great to just take some time to visit as many of them as I could.
I started to look into making airline reservations and couldn’t figure out how long I wanted to stay on the East Coast visiting folks, which makes it really hard to determine when to fly back. One of my high school friends asked (jokingly) if I was going to drive my Tesla out for the reunion. It was three weeks before the reunion and I did a quick look via Plugshare.com and determined there wasn’t enough time to do it. Bummer. That would have been a cool trip.
But as I felt the reunion date approaching I felt less and less motivated to make plans for a flight and rental car and set a definitive date for returning to Seattle. I also felt more and more excited about the idea of driving the car across the country, taking my time visiting family and friends, and (to be totally honest) showing off my freakin’ awesome car to anyone and everyone I could.
So, I sat down at my computer and for two days did pretty much nothing but plan out how I could make this trip happen. I built a spreadsheet, calculated distances, drive times, charge times, charge locations, hotels, etc. On Friday, Oct. 18th, after two days of intense computer time and calculation, I determined that it was actually possible for me to drive my Tesla Model S P85 across the country and make it to the reunion on time… if I started driving that Sunday, the 20th. Gulp!
Is this sane? What if I miscalculated something and can’t actually make it from one charge to the next? What if the charging station I plan on using isn’t there or doesn’t work? Fear began to set in. I’ve never done anything like this before. I wanted to take a road trip in the car but was thinking more along the lines of going down to Portland or up to Vancouver for a couple of days. This was not that kind of trip. I was planning on jumping into the deep end with no life preserver. And even though it was way outside my comfort zone, I knew deep down that if I chickened out and didn’t at least try to do it I would regret it for the rest of my life.
So, I packed just about everything I thought I might need on such a long trip. Normally I would pack a large suitcase for such a trip, but that would only be if I was flying, which I wasn’t. So rather than force all of my clothes for the trip into a big suitcase and then lug the suitcase in and out of hotels, I came up with another plan. Since the Tesla Model S has no internal combustion engine, it has a second trunk under the hood, which Tesla refers to as “the frunk”, short for “front trunk”. I thought why not just use the frunk as my suitcase and fill it with all of my clothes? So I did. It works great! I just grab what I need for the next day and put it into my overnight bag of toiletries and such when I stop for the night.
My close friends, Jason and Anne, said I should blog about the road trip, which I thought was a great idea. But what would I call the blog? Once I packed the frunk, I knew this was the perfect blog title. So, with the car packed and my spreadsheet of stops and charges, I was ready to hit the road. Let the adventure begin! 😀