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My Peregrination Approaches

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my Peregrination. It’s now getting close enough that it’s time to get more specific.

What is it? At essence, the physical manifestation of my upcoming voyage of personal discovery. The essential purpose? To give myself time to answer the question: What do I want to do for the rest of my life?

I’m not going to go into the details of why I’m asking this question here. But if you’re new to this, you should see some prior posts:

But the essential question is one whose help I need to answer. And who am I seeking out? Old family friends and a LOT of Twitter friends (Tweeps) made in the last few years, most of whom I haven’t met in person – and the Peregrination is born: I’m going to meet my tweeps!


Departure is now settling down and will most likely be Wednesday, April 10. Why then? Short answer: It’s about one week after my last day of work.

“Wait a minute!” I hear a few of you saying. “What happened to your visiting family in Sweden, and starting about a week after you return?” Simple: My family returned from Sweden early (end of January), so I cancelled my trip.

My last day of work will be April 3. And I’m guessing it will take about 5 days for me to completely pack – and to clean my condo to the point that I’m comfortable leaving it unattended for a long time. Add 2 days “just in case” and you arrive at … April 10.


Actually, the nature of the Peregrination is such that I have no set schedule (not quite true – more later). What I have is a rough itinerary. I’ll be circling the country, roughly counter-clockwise, starting and ending at my current home in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve mapped the places I currently intend to stop, and the rough order I’ll be visiting, on a customized Google Map (Best viewed in a full, laptop or desktop browser. Why? Only there will you see a column on the left listing each stop, in approximate order!) However, for preview purposes, I’ve managed to embed it:

I’m fairly certain that I’ll leave California in the first two weeks, and will likely finish visiting Arizona tweeps within a week after that. Which would put me in Texas in the first few days of May. Unless I make a decision add some National Parks in Utah/Arizona/New Mexico! After that? Things become less certain. But I do have one intention at the OTHER end of the trip: I fully intend to be in the Seattle area no later than the end of October. Which will, in turn, cause me to want to rush (a little, if need be) to be back home by Thanksgiving.

Yes. This is putting a limit on the length of the trip, but it’s required (kinda, sorta) by my new car – which can’t use ANY kind of chains – conventional or cable. So I want to cross the areas where there is the highest risk of becoming snowbound well before that risk is more than miniscule. I do NOT want to have to buy a pair of studded snow tires just to keep going!

And who knows? If I find myself more often lingering than moving on, perhaps this constraint will move – and I choose the REALLY linger – not even crossing the Northern Tier until Mid March 2014!

Travel Mode? 

For most of the trip, I’ll be driving alone in my 2013 Ford CMAX Hybrid. (Sorry, I had to put that in. I LOVE my new car!). There are a few planned (or hoped for) exceptions:

  • From Florida to DC, I hope that Amtrak can accommodate me on short notice on the Auto Train. It’s something I’ve long wanted to see – and now I have a chance to not only see, but do it! If this works, then I’ll be visiting my North Carolina stops in an excursion from DC. Hopefully by train, but could be by car.

  • From DC (and coastal Virginia) through Portland, Maine, I’ll be travelling by train and local transit, with an occasional taxi (Boston South Station to Boston North Station at least). It’s the most densely populated portion of my journey, both in actual population and in people I want to meet.

    Why drive when using these modes is so easy (relative to the rest of the trip)? Moreover, part of my answer to the “What will I do for the rest of my life?” question will hopefully include “Where do I hope to live the rest of my life?” and the answer to THAT question is partially already known: Somewhere where it’s not too hard to choose a car free existence. And this segment has the highest concentration of such places, so by NOT driving, I’ll also be sampling the car free existence!

  • There are enough people around Chicago that I might also minimize use of my car there. Could include Detroit by train from Chicago!

Reporting on my journey:

I’ll be tweeting frequently – using the #sjDorstPeregrination hash tag. I doubt a day will go by without at least 3 tweets.

I’ll be blogging less frequently. I intend at least twice/week. If you are reading this and want updates, all you’ll need to do is follow my blog and choose a notification method.

To make sure that people on my stop list are abreast of my progress, I’ll be emailing regularly – at the very least with each blog post.

And for the very few people who aren’t constantly online – and who request it – I’ll be calling once or twice a month.


Everyone who has indicated they’d like to meet me will be sent a questionnaire a few minutes after I post this. It asks for more details of your identity (and explains why I’m asking) and has a couple of logistical questions.

You say you want on (or off) my stop list?

Or just to confirm that you are on (or NOT on) it. Simple! Do one of the following (in order of preference):

  • DM me on Twitter (will only work if I already follow you)
  • Email me directly if you have my real email
  • Comment on this blog post. And if you don’t want me to approve your comment (making it private to me only), just say so!

If you’re asking to be added to the stop list, I’ll immediately send you the link to the questionnaire.

Well that’s about it for now. 24 days (thereabouts) and counting …


  1. 01 Apr 2013 at 17:32

    I am proud of you. I hope you find an answer to your question “what do I want to do for the rest of my life? “

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