Ah… that is the question.
Not long ago, I asked for some opinions regarding whether or not I should set up a fundraising deal and whether it would be selfish or not to do so. Well, I did it. I went over to GoFundMe and launched a campaign.
I’m calling it my Random Acts of Kindness Road Trip. Because, yes, I want to go on this epic road trip across the United States and back. But I also want to stop and meet people and make them smile and share their stories along the way. Wouldn’t that be great? To be able to meet a stranger in a diner in the middle of Iowa and hear their life story?
I know, a lot of people would try and say that they don’t have a story to share. I’d probably say that if someone came up to me and asked. But the thing is, everyone has a story. They might not always know how to tell it, but it’s always there.
Anyway, here’s what I wrote for my campaign…
Hey everyone, I’m Aaron. Recently, I’ve been informed by several people that I seem stressed out. I can’t say I disagree. With two jobs and grad school, it’s not hard to become overwhelmed at times. So I’ve decided to do something about it.
I haven’t been on a real vacation. Ever. At least, not as an adult. I’ve had the opportunity to travel on rare occasions, but those occasions were short bursts of relaxation. That’s not a lot when compared to all the stresses that have come with the last 15 years.
In seeking my first real vacation, I’d love to cross off an item from my bucket list. A cross-country road trip. I’ve always dreamed of getting into my car and just driving from my home in Virginia to the west coast and back again. And I want to be able to stop and see far away friends and all the roadside tourist attractions between here and there.
But driving across the country isn’t an inexpensive journey. Really, for someone who lives paycheck to paycheck with just enough to make ends meet, any vacation can become daunting for the budget. That’s why I’m asking for help.
The course I’ve plotted will take me approximately 7,207 miles, a journey which should take about 2 weeks. My car will travel an average of 300 miles per tank, but needs some work before it’s ready for a trip of this magnitude (new windshield, tires, alignment).
Here’s what the money will help to cover:
Gasoline – $750
Lodging for 14 nights – $1400
Meals – $450
Oil Changes – $100
Windshield – $375
Tires – $400
Alignment – $75
Emergency/Incidentals – $450
I know that there are so many worthier causes out there that you could fund. Believe me, asking strangers to finance my dream vacation feels incredibly selfish. But I’ve recently come to recognize the importance of self care. One of those jobs I mentioned above is that of a counselor. It’s been explained to me that if I’m not able to take care of myself, I won’t be able to help the clients with whom I work on a daily basis. If I’m too stressed out to properly deal with my own burdens, how can I help others with theirs?
Along with seeing the sights and endlessly driving, I hope to stop and help people all along the way. I want to visit with people and learn their stories. I want to help out by performing random acts of kindness all across the United States, whether those acts be large or small. If I can make one person smile on each day of my trip, I’ll consider it a successful journey.
If I’m able to raise the necessary funds and set out on this epic road trip, my plan is to document everything on the blog I keep at The Confusing Middle through blog posts, photos, and videos. If you want to see an example of my writing, please click on the above link.
My hope is to be able to take this trip sometime this summer or fall. Every little bit helps. Thank you!
I share that on my blog because I feel like this has been a growing outlet for me. I’ve been able to reach new people every day with something I’ve written, which is great. So if any of you who are reading this would like to contribute, I would be greatly appreciative. And if you want to share suggestions of places for me to visit during this trip, please let me know. I’ve plotted out a rough course of places I’d like to go, but nothing is in stone.
So far, people have donated $35 to my personal cause. That’s almost 1% of my total. Who wants to push it up to 2%? Remember, if only 400 people gave $10 each, I could leave on this trip tomorrow! Thanks, kids. Stay tuned for more!