Into the sunset
A year ago today, I pulled out of my parents’ driveway in Athens, Ga., Rennie behind me in Roxanne, because he was not yet riding shotgun all the time, and my mom and sister standing on the curb, waving at us both through the windshield. It was the beginning of my Facebook Tour and I had no idea what lay ahead of me, other than open road. Three-hundred and 65 days later, here we are, about 2,700 miles away from that starting point but if you’ve been following the adventures since then, you know that it was not a straight path to get here. There were boats to row, mountains to climb, doggies to mend, axles to fix, axles to snap, new wheels to procure, Mexican visa processes to endure and, of course, lots of wonderful memories to make.
But I still have no idea what lies ahead.
I guess we never do. We may think we do but so often, we don’t and if I have learned nothing else on this trip, I am at least wiser to the ways of circumstance. Think about how the whole journey got put on hold for a month before it even got started, and how I was then able to go to events that I would have otherwise missed, and how that allowed me to meet people I would later see again, farther down the road, or how different everything could have been, had Jugo and Bruce not been the two truck drivers behind me on that afternoon when my wheels flew off, coming to my rescue and making sure I got to my next stop safely. It’s like the movie Sliding Doors: you either make the train or you don’t, and the two scenarios that result from each ending are so completely different.
Basically, I guess, timing is everything.
Now it’s time for me to try to turn this project into something, if I can. I debated extending the Aug. 16 ending point, because I had experienced so many delays and detours along the way and it seemed like it had taken away from the point of the project, but in the end, I decided that that’s just life; that’s what happens. You set out to do certain things and you might accomplish them but it will probably not be in the clear-cut manner that you had originally planned. I said I was going to try to see as many Facebook friends as I could in a year and that’s what I’ve done. Of course I didn’t expect to have to go to Mexico twice and naturally it came as a surprise when my rig broke down not just once but two times and well, no, it never occurred to me that I would be switching horses midstream, which incidentally, is not always a bad thing.
So, how many people did I see anyway? Well, at first count, it seems it was exactly 200 people and while most of them were Facebook friends, a few of those were friends of Facebook friends, or even friends of friends of Facebook friends, because not everyone in the world uses the social network. A lot of the visits were home stays but some of them were just meals in a restaurant or walks about the park. Most of them were in the U.S. but there were some in Mexico and Canada, as well, and actually, if I counted the total visits and not just the faces, the number would be higher, because I saw a lot of people more than once, sometimes three times, and in different places on each occasion. That is: I was not the only one on the move here.
I’m still working on the mileage count. When I have it, I’ll tweet it, which incidentally, is how you’re going to be getting all updates from me from here on out. Maybe I’ll post a new entry, if I get, say, a book deal that you should know about but until then, I am going to be mostly offline, working with my word processor. Where exactly I will be is still a mystery, too. One thing is sure, though: when I do settle down somewhere, I am going to owe a lot of people a lot of guestroom space.
Before I go, though, I just want to say Thank You. It sounds almost glib but it’s not; I truly mean it. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you just for being here. Whether your presence was virtual or physical or both, I could not (I repeat: could not) have done this without it. xoxo