Earlier this year, when Life threw a bunch of lemons in Allison Bohrman’s way instead of making lemonade, she went on a trip.
The 2006 Lebanon High School alumna, 32, did an excellent job as an accountant for Crowe, the world’s eighth largest global accounting network, which has worked from its Los Angeles office for more than four years, including six months in the Cayman Islands.
Her career was in full swing. Then came a nasty little bug called Coronavirus.
“The first five years were great. I had so many travel options. Not many people can pack and go, ”said Bohrman, who was mostly on the road for her company.
“Over time, the job shifted with increasing responsibility and I didn’t travel as much. When COVID-19 hit, Crowe let go of a pretty large chunk of his workforce. I was released in April. It was a complete shock. I was devastated. It was hard not to feel like a failure. I’ve worked so hard. I got my CPA. I thought I made the right decisions. I was pretty sad for a while. “
Bohrman, a seasoned globetrekker who had seen 23 countries, got her fertile mind to spin. In 2018, she spent two weeks halfway around the world in Bali, attending a blogger camp for travel writers.
I thought, ‘I have some money in the bank. I have time now. I think it’s okay to travel, ”she recalled.
So on June 14th, she set off on the first of two longer road trips with her Honda CRV 2019.
“I was traveling alone practically the whole time. I’ve had time I’ve never had before, ”said the accountant, who shared details about her travels on Instagram on her blog“ Forever on Vacay, ”which she converted into a website called Foreveronvacay.com that offers panoramic photos Travel tips for driving a car in the USA
“I haven’t traveled extravagantly, but I’ve had rich experiences. I can do it, and I want others to see that while there is a lot of negativity in the world, you can take over what you are in control of and make it work for you. You can be at the bottom and find something positive and be ahead, ”she said.
Part of her motivation, she said, comes from a quote from Bear Grylls: “The adventure should be 80 percent off. I think that’s manageable, but it’s good to have the last 20 percent where you are right outside of your comfort zone. Still safe, but outside of your comfort zone. “
“I would like to challenge people to find this mixture and to conquer the 20 percent almost as a kind of coach. I have learned so much from my own experiences and the feeling of success afterwards is so strong that I feel unstoppable. “
The first trip
Her first road trip, June 14 through July 3, proved to be a test as she explored California and the Pacific Northwest from Los Angeles to Seattle and put 2,400 miles on her vehicle.
“I had never really camped before and always wanted the Pacific Northwest,” said Bohrman, who camped on the coast. “I’ve seen a lot of space without people. It was kind of spectacular, but really scary. I’d heard about the California coast, but the Oregon coast was really nicer. “
When she returned to Los Angeles, a disaster occurred when she was involved in a car accident and had to repair her vehicle.
Undaunted, she set out on a second, much longer trip on August 7th and spent 10 days in Las Vegas. Then it went down the freeway to Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Dakotas, and Minnesota. Among the sights she visited were the national parks in Utah; Deadwood, SD; and the wastelands. From there, she traveled to the Michigan Upper Peninsula and saw Mackinac Island.
While cruising around Michigan, she stated, “I hadn’t seen a fall in the past two years. We don’t get that in California, all colors. It wasn’t even cool and there was still a bit of green, but wow, it was really beautiful. “
From the Great Lake State, it rolled through Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma (on Route 66 in Oklahoma City), Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In the later stages of driving, it increased from five hours a day to nine or ten hours.
On the street maps
Bohrman’s mother, Carol, was delighted with reports from her wandering daughter from across the country and admits she is somewhat surprised by her daring.
“Allison wanted to be a graphic designer. She does that with her contributions. I am amazed how much she likes camping as we never went. She said Zion Park was her favorite. At least she doesn’t go on these paths and leave the net where you get lost, ”said Carol.
“She loves to explore, when we were little we did a jigsaw puzzle called ‘Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? ‘We had a Dora the Explorer doll in her backpack. I am glad that she can now and will not regret it if she is ever tied up. I keep telling her to enjoy the view. “
Allison, a frugal traveler, estimated the road trip cost her an average of $ 1,300 a month. Her cheapest night’s lodging was $ 20 at the Zion National Park campsite and the most expensive was $ 200 at a Monument Valley Airbnb. Most nights she camps. She said it takes about half an hour to set up camp.
“I have an air mattress that I bought in Arizona. When I left California I had a small one, only six or eight inches off the ground. I woke up on the floor one morning and was freezing cold and a little angry. So I invested in a nice air mattress that is 14 inches off the floor. I have an adapter in my car and an extension cord to fill my air mattress. I sleep well, but I also use earplugs and a mask. “
At mealtime, Bohrman said, “I don’t really like cooking in general. I am a minimalist. I have an all-in-one pot and stove. I have freeze dried meals so I just add boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes. Among my choices are turkey, chicken casserole, and spaghetti. I like them pretty well. “
She confessed that she ate 24 times at Cracker Barrel at 13 locations in nine states in the two months after leaving Los Angeles.
Regarding her Foreveronvacay.com website, she said, “My goal is to provide basic tips and tricks for people to travel and help change their minds about how they may be limiting themselves. Anyone can do that. I am not a professional camper. I want to share this so other people can learn, ”said Bohrman, who holds a business degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a master’s in accounting from Belmont University.
For example, she says, “You don’t have to have a fancy camera to take photos. I bought a Sony Alpha 7R II for still images and a Go Pro. I took 8,000 photos, but not all of them are that good. “
“My long-term goal with the business is to get sponsors, but another aspect of the plan is to provide travel and event guides. I’ll have itineraries, packing lists, equipment guides, etc, but I plan to include some personal development tips as well, to challenge readers on how to keep themselves from going on trips or doing such things. ”
The second trip
Bohrman finished her second leg by exploring New Mexico and Arizona. In New Mexico she discovered the White Sands National Park.
“This is a really cool place with white sand dunes in the middle of the desert. And the most unexpected was the Carlsbad Caverns. I didn’t know how close it was, so I thought, ‘Hey, I’m right here. Let me check this out. ‘I don’t remember the last time I was in a cave. That’s why I love to find places like this. “
While in Arizona, she gazed at the giant cacti in Saguaro National Park and sped through Flagstaff, Sedona, and Prescott before making her way back to the Golden State and her apartment in LA on October 17. In total, the second leg tripped her odometer nearly 10,000 miles further.
For the most important life lesson she learned from her time on the street, she said, “Mindset is so important. I should have spent a month in Europe, but Covid happened. I found that in all of these states there is really beauty everywhere. Just so much just around the corner. I never thought I would have this type of adventure so close to my home.
“I never thought I’d gallop for two months. It was definitely a learning experience. I know that at some point I have to have a job that pays the bills, ”said the tired traveler, realizing that life will eventually get back to normal.
However, she already has her next vacation in her sights. It could go south to Joshua Tree National Park or north to Yosemite National Park.
ALLISON SEES THE USA
Allison Bohrman from Lebanon offers travel tips on her website Foreveronvacay.com. Here is an example of their Instagram blog:
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
I’ve visited 21 states so far in 2020, and Michigan surprised me more than anyone. Aside from being mesmerized by the fall rainbow colors, there is so much to do here!
Five Things to Do in Michigan Upper Peninsula:
Visit Mackinac Island before the tourist season ends
Travel over the Mackinaw Bridge to the southern peninsula and stare in the Headlands International Dark Sky Park
Tour the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. It’s a marvel of engineering that gets you as close to Canada as possible without stepping on Canadian soil
Visit Tahquamenon Falls State Park. You can hike to lookouts at and around the upper falls, and rent a row boat to paddle to an island that separates the lower falls. Don’t forget to visit the brewery in the upper falls too!
Cruise Lake Superior for the best views of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore