It was this week, three years ago, that five college friends and I embarked on our epic post-grad road trip. We piled into two cars with a load of camping supplies, our gps navigators, and eager smiles. Yet sometimes I'm amazed we were organized enough to pull this thing off.

Looking back, we had little idea of what the "real world" would entail once the trip came to a close. In fact, the question came up frequently from friends and family that we stayed with. "So what happens next? Any jobs lined up?" I remember the deer-in-the-headlights expressions we'd get as we'd sheepishly dart our eyes to one another. We weren't looking for answers, but rather posed a collective "Ok, whose turn is it to answer this time?" Because in truth, we didn't know. Sure we knew what it was to work hard, to have ambitionsall those qualities that your parents are proud to instill, and any four-year university will really hammer home. But as for a solid post-grad plan—I don't think any of us had one.


So here I sit, three years later, and I'm finally getting around to making shadow boxes from the mementos of the trip. There were so many stickers, brochures, photos, and memories that I picked up along the way. So much so, that it was hard to know exactly where to start or which to include. (I settled for organizing by color rather than sequence.) But I found the process to be cathartic in itself. 

We all found jobs. We all settled into our new cities and apartments. And it's safe to say that we all look forward to the reunions where we rehash every detail of the journey. But never again do I think it will be as exciting to be unsure, as rewarding to drive for hours, and as memorable to sit around a campfire among friends. So for those of you just graduating—with a plan or withoutbe open to the adventure. It seems that there are rare occasions when the best course of action, is having no course at all.

To read more about our post-grad road trip adventures visit 7278 Mile Detour.

Photography by Amanda Dennelly

Photography by Amanda Dennelly