Up The East Coast

Last year I traveled in my Ford E350 Sportsmobile pop-top for over 8 months. I started in Tampa, went up through Kentucky and Tennessee and continued on through parts of the midwest before I headed down to Texas and out to the west coast. I didn’t get a chance to see or experience much of the east coast last year, so that’s where I decided to start my trip this time around.

A lot of people ask me, “how do you plan your trips?” And honestly, I don’t really plan that much. I pick a general direction and some cool places that Ive always wanted to see and let the universe handle the rest. In this case, I wanted to experience some of the east coast cities and of course watch some baseball. Also, one of the top places Ive wanted to see since I started this trip over a year ago has been Niagara Falls (still haven’t had the chance but plan on it in a couple weeks on my way to Chicago). After spending the first few weeks in Atlanta and then Virginia Beach with family and friends, I officially started my trip. My first stop was Washington DC.

Ive always been intrigued with DC and all of its the history. While I was there I had the opportunity to see the white house and a bunch of the memorials around town. I was really surprised that all of the memorials are in the same place. I guess that’s why they call it the national mall. If you ever plan on going to check it out make sure you wear some comfortable shoes because you will be walking a lot. My favorite part of the trip was seeing the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech and really visualizing what that must of been like was a very special experience. I also had the opportunity to watch a couple of nationals games at Nationals Park. I think it marked the 15th stadium that Ive been to on my travels and, although I enjoyed the experience, the ball park was average. Not hating, just saying there was nothing really special about it. I also got to hang out with some old friends and made some new ones, which, to be honest, is the best part of traveling across the country. Next stop – Philly.


Before I made it to Philly I was asked to speak at a Highschool in South Jersey to share my story with the kids. I need to preface this story with the fact that one of my biggest fears in life is speaking in public. I know that sounds crazy but its true. When I was in elementary school I had a traumatic experience where I froze during a speech and the whole class started laughing at me. Obviously that was something that stuck with me and its a fear that Ive been trying to overcome ever since. Part of my journey, and the message that Ive been sharing, has been to get outside your comfort zone. What kind of person would I be if I told others to work on getting outside their comfort zone and didn’t continue to push myself outside of my own. So Ive been agreeing to more public speaking opportunities so that I can continue to strengthen my ability and overcome my fears. The only way to get better at something is by doing it. I ended up speaking with 3 classes and the kids were great. It really gave me a ton of motivation to continue speaking and sharing my story in order to inspire people to go after what they want. While I was there, I really wanted to see a Philadelphia Phillies game but it was really wet and rainy so I didn’t make it. I didn’t get to experience much of the city of Philly but I was okay with it because I knew my next stop had plenty to offer. Next stop – New York City.

I had an absolute blast in NYC. Ive never been much of a big city person. All the people, traffic, noise and concrete really tend to stress me out. I knew Id probably get a little overwhelmed because this wasn’t my first time to NYC, so I didn’t plan on staying very long, only a couple days, but much to my surprise, I ended up staying for over a week. I have a friend in Staton Island who offered his drive way for me to park and since I didn’t want to mess with driving my new, tall – large and in charge – sprinter van into the city, I thought It would be a good idea to just park in his drive way and take the Staton Island Ferry in to explore the city. Like I said, I only planned on staying a couple days but every time I woke up I felt this draw to go back in and experience more of what the city had to offer. I walked through Central Park one day, I went to the Met museum of art one day, I saw the 9/11 memorial and Freedom Tower one day as well. I didn’t realize how many people I actually knew in NYC. I guess with a city that populated, I was bound to know a few people. Turns out, I knew more than I thought. I walked a lot, saw a lot, experienced a lot, ate a lot and still didn’t feel like I even scratched the surface of what that amazing city has to offer. It’s such a unique and diverse place. Like I said before, I had an absolute blast. At first I wasn’t sure If I would really enjoy my time but after the week I spent exploring, I am already looking forward to the next time I get to visit. While I was there I wanted to experience both the Mets and Yankees stadiums. Unfortunately, the Mets got rained out the day I wanted to go and didn’t have any more home games while I was there. I still got the opportunity to go to Yankees stadium and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The one thing that stood out to me was how massive the stadium was. I guess when you have one of the most successful franchises in sports history, located in one of the largest cities in the world, you can have a massive stadium. Although I wasn’t quite ready to leave, I knew I had to continue on. Next stop -Boston.

Now, I know some of you are probably going to take this the wrong way, especially if you’re from Boston, but for some reason the people in Boston are angry at something, I don’t know exactly what it is. I have a feeling it might have something to do with the way people drive there but for the most part people just aren’t that friendly. Ive been to a lot of places in this country and none of them have made me feel quite like Boston. I am not saying that everyone from Boston is this way or makes me feel this way because I have a lot of really good friends that either live in or are from Boston and they are great. Its just the way I feel during everyday interactions that makes me feel off. I don’t know what it is exactly but as good as NYC made me feel, Boston was the complete opposite. I ended up staying a week with a couple different friends and I did have a great time hanging with them. I even had the opportunity to go to Fenway Park on two separate occasion and managed to get tickets to these bad ass suites both times. (Lucky I guess or I just know some cool ass people). That park has to be one of my favorites so far. I seem to like the baseball parks with a lot of history and Fenway is one of the most historical parks in the country. Once again, don’t take it personal, but if you’re from Boston, just know, it’s not normal to drive like that big of an asshole. Next stop… To be continued.

So that’s a really quick summary of my trip so far. Although Ive spent most of my time doing the city thing, I have also spent some time camping as well. I spent a couple days up in Shenandoah NP which was absolutely beautiful and I am currently up in Maine recharging my batteries in the wilderness after my crazy trip to France. This was just my first blog post to get started. I plan on sharing a lot more of my trip and the different experiences through out the year. As I get more comfortable, Im sure Ill be sharing a lot more detail. My hope is to one day write a book and if Im going to ever have a shot at doing that, I need to get more comfortable writing. I welcome your feed back. Please let me know what you think by reaching out via Instagram. That is also the best way to follow along on my daily adventures. I also want to say a very special thank you to everyone Ive met along the way. By far the best part of this whole experience is spending time and sharing the love with all of you. I can’t wait to see whats next.. Let the road trip continue. Also, Freedom says hi..

1 Comment

  • Wade Dunkin says:

    Hey Joe I was the guy that rolled my window down today and asked why you weren’t in a cooler place . There’s a great store right there on sixth and Lamar called the book people Right beside REI. In their little deli in the back they serve the best carrot cake ever from a local bakery here called quack bakery. Anyhow, and they make their own teabags from the assortment of tea they have. I’ll be reading your blog! Godspeed!