I’m glad I took some time out before writing this review of Kicking the States. Immediately after the expedition, I was feeling pretty spent and a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. It’d been a huge project (which you can see by the amount of planning we put into it) which took all levels of effort when combined with the physical feat of actually kick-scooting the length of the USA.
But now with a bit of time and space, I’m able to look back on this trip and realise just how great it was.
These are the 5 things I’m taking away from this expedition…
#1 People are f***ing wonderful
Honestly, if I think back to all the people who helped us on this expedition, it makes me a bit teary (and I am not a soppy person at all!!). I am just endlessly overwhelmed by the love we received on Kicking the States.
From people hosting us and making us feel instantly welcome. Sending words of support. Driving to meet us with food or taking us out for dinner. Buying us drinks and ice cream. Donating to our charity. Joining us for sections. Sharing our story on social media or with the press.
So much love!
It really has given me absolute belief that people are good and kind.
#2 But so are animals
We couldn’t escape the cats and dogs of America. And our trip wouldn’t have been the same without them!!
And I can’t not give a shout out to Becky the chicken. We not only share a name….we also shared a special connection.
Of all the adventures we had along the way the one that stands out the most was bumping into Bubba Peach. We were scooting on a road in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farmland when Gil spotted something crossing the road ahead.
When we neared we found a tiny puppy who was in quite a bad way. He was really hot to touch and his skin was mangy. Not knowing where else to turn to we called our host for that night (who happened to be a politician and dog lover) who thankfully offered to help. He pulled a few strings and a local shelter took him in.
I was sure he wouldn’t survive as he was so unwell.
But Bubba Peach – who we named after the road we found him on – is now healthy and happily adopted. We’ve been told he is loving life and adores cuddles.
This little guy wouldn’t have lasted much longer in the heat and with the coyotes in the area.
It feels good to save a life!
#3 Let politics washover
Being married to an Israeli, people’s need to constantly discuss politics can feel like the bane of my life. I generally try to avoid Politics but I couldn’t escape it in the States. Almost everyone wanted to know what our opinions were on Trump and Brexit. Or asked us ‘is it true your police don’t have guns’ or ‘I heard you are being overrun by Muslim immigration’.
It saddened me to see so many people upset with the current state of affairs and living with a feeling of helplessness. But also to see how people’s understanding of the UK is so far from reality, mostly being fed by media.
But it wasn’t all bad.
What I also saw was lots of people protesting and becoming passionate about the things that they can change in their lives – like getting out to vote, helping with conservation efforts or setting up projects to help the community.
#4 Urban adventures are full of adventure
I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this expedition as much as I did hiking the length of Israel. I thought I’d miss nature. At times the noise of the road got too much. But passing towns and scooting through random residential areas where no one would ever go, visiting iconic cities and seeing farmland made for the best adventure imaginable.
….we witnessed and reported a burglary (!!!)….
…..saw the Beach Boys (or rather Beach Boy….there was only one) and Blake Sheldon (never heard of him before but apparently he’s quite famous!) in concert….
….kick scooted across the Golden Gate Bridge (one of my favourite moments from the trip, made even more special because previous hosts Cheryl and Steve came to join us)….
……were given VIP passes for Universal Studios; being photographed on the red carpet was an EPIC MOMENT!…..
….met the evil criminal relative of our scooters….
….got upgraded to a penthouse suite at the Marriott Hotel, San Fransisco….
…..were recognised after being on TV…..
…..met some distant relatives of Gil (I’d recognise those Drori cheeks and eyebrows anywhere!)….
….found a body….or at least we thought we did…turns out he was just having a nap in the ditch miles from anything!!!….
…..recieved this poem from a pretty cool young man…..
…..hugged a HUMUNGOUS tree…..
…..almost got killed by a tree which fell just metres from where we were camping….
….got chased by a bear….
….delivered talks in LA, San Fransisco, San Diego and Vancouver….
….and got to visit some of the coolest places on the planet!
#5 Helping others makes it all worthwhile
We set out to use this expedition to raise $10,000 to help build a school in Tanzania.
As we neared the end, I started to worry that we wouldn’t reach our goal. This was such a big motivation for doing the expedition and I really felt like we’d failed. So I threw everything into fundraising in those last weeks. Speaking to absolutely everybody, sending out endless emails to press and trying to secure some final talks.
It paid off..
Although it was great to explore the West Coast of the US, to meet all those people (and animals) and to test myself to the limit……nothing beats doing it all for charity.
It gave it all meaning and purpose. It wasn’t just a selfish act but a way to help those less fortunate than us. And this money really will help make a difference to the lives of children.
There is no better way to show gratitude for our privileges than by doing something for others.
It wasn’t all perfect…
Of course, Kicking the States wasn’t all gloss and exciting stories. We had some really tough times when the weather was cold and rainy. Or unbearably hot. My body hurt and had injuries. Some days I had no motivation to keep going. On 2 days we faced roadblocks and had huge detours. RV’s and Logger trucks would sometimes get to close which was always scary. We had people being rude to us or trying to scare us by honking their horn as they pass. The roadside food (especially in the north) was greasy and repetitive. Sleeping in a new place every night got exhausting. Gil and I sometimes argued. And we were wearing the same 2 set of clothes for 3 months which started to feel pretty gross….
…but it wasn’t far off
Still….there is nothing I would change about our Kicking the States expedition. Not a single day!! Even the hard parts provided great memories. And really made me feel like we were working for those charity donations!
This was a really daunting expedition for us both. Neither of us is naturally fit or athletic and we had no idea if it would even be possible to go this far on a kick scooter.
In our talks along the way, we shared what we thought was the perfect formula for making an insane dream like this a reality…
- Take a leap of faith
- Break it down day by day, doing something each day that brings you one step closer to your goal
- Be persistent through the hard times and good
Before you know it, you’ll be in Mexico drinking tequila!
Find out more about our Kicking the States expedition. Read our full budget and how much we spent on the expedition. See how we planned this adventure from start to finish. And read the 13 journals I wrote while on the expedition, starting with Part 1 here.